- Antinote founders Iueke and Zaltan are both in the rare vinyl trade, so it's no surprise that the collector's sensibility permeates their label. Iueke's Tapes, in which his neglected '90s recordings are dusted off and pressed to vinyl, make for a kind of personal crate-digging; new releases like Stéphane Laporte's kitschy Fourrure Sounds and Nico Motte's Italo-Vangelis trip Rheologia have done their best to sound like long-lost gems. But Imaginary Choreography is the label's first bona fide vintage find. Its five tracks were made in the mid-'80s by two Italian musicians, Paki Zennaro and Gianni Visnadi. They were never distributed beyond a handful of demo cassettes—that is, until one of these tapes was discovered by Iueke's partner in a Paris market.
Made with a minimal setup of synths, drum machines and guitar, Imaginary Choreography was meant as a practice aid for contemporary dance schools. It's not just the title that hints at this intent: the album's poised, minimalist compositions, neutral in mood, seem designed to be unobtrusive and adaptable. Sometimes this is to their detriment. "In A Dark Run" has a quiet, jittery energy but doesn't quite take it anywhere. The scant glimmers of drum machine and synth in "Mollusk Dance" are weighed down by the surrounding silence. In these moments, the album's intended function seems to be holding its creators back.
Elsewhere, though, the constraint becomes a boon. The 15-minute opener "Migration" is the record's crowning achievement, and a solid introduction to the duo's sound. The percussion patters gently around a beat rather than staidly marking one out, and the pastel-hued synths and guitars are woven into soft, harmonious chord-tapestries. It's an extremely unimposing world, but over time you find yourself sucked in. When the track's bassline hook returns after a languorous central breakdown, it's a gentle revelation.
Paki and Visnadi don't quite reach these heights elsewhere, though they come close. In "Waterlight," the drums are reduced to a barely-there shaker pulse, allowing those crystalline synths to swell richly. The guitar patterns in "Parallel Waves," meanwhile, crest and fall with soothing regularity, even if the drums piercing their liquid surface are just a touch too sharp for comfort. Imaginary Choreography is a charming record on its own terms. As with any crate-digger find, the improbable facts of its discovery make it all the better.
02. Parallel Waves
03. In A Dark Run
05. Mollusk Dance
06. eMigration (Bonus Track)