Sy - CDr digipack - 2009

Released by Toxo Records

CDr in three-sided weaved cover with inner page










Weltraum is a trio from Naples, Italy, operating since 2003. In 2006 they released an ep for Lona Records, "Traum/Trauma". In 2008 Weltraum turned into a trio of P'ex (guitar, prepared guitar, metals) , SEC_ (synth, electronics, microphone) and Luca Piciullo (drums, bells). In this line up we find them on their new release "Sy", that was produced in their home studio. In their noisy soundscapes they spread around a primitivism that is very seductive. They are deliciously anarchistic in their approach. They create expressive and emotional textures and collages that work very immediate and are full of a sense of urgency. Sometimes they come close to rock music, using primal rhythmical structures. But they do not engage completely in the vocabulary of rock music. The spirit and emotion of rock however is definitely present in their music and not to denied. In fact they keep a perfect balance between rock and pure noise. This is very explosive and burning music that comes
very close to your nerve system. Yes, they make their point very effectively.

Dolf Mulder




Weltraum are an Italian trio that occupy an odd nexus where noise, art punk, and free jazz converge. The bulk of this album (their full-length debut) sounds like it was mostly improvised, but the sheer density of the unholy din that these guys unleash suggests that a lot of pre-planning was involved. Also, there is a lot of instrument switching happening, as each member is credited with a number of roles.
Notably, Weltraum’s instrumentation is one of the main things that make “Sy” as enjoyable as it is. While the trio certainly employ some traditional rock tools, like guitars, keyboards, and drums, they rarely use them in conventional or expected ways. P’ex’s guitar is often heavily treated and unrecognizable as such, while Luca Piciullo’s drumming is frequently bolstered with bells and clanging metal. The band’s third member (SEC_), on the other hand, is usually too busy conjuring up textured electronic chaos to touch his keyboard at all (though he sometimes startles me with an unexpected blast of Goblin-esque prog-horror atmospherics).
It is largely Piciullo’s drumming, though, that makes Weltraum a bit more unique and exciting than their peers. All throughout “Sy,” Luca shifts quite adeptly between pounding neo-tribal toms, primal deconstructed rock, and skittering jazz flourishes, giving SEC_ and P’ex a very visceral and sometimes virtuousic foundation for their sputtering buzzes, bleeps, squawks, hisses, scrapes, and howls. I personally prefer the looser, more unhinged side of the band, but Weltraum can also lock into some surprisingly tight, jagged grooves, such as one on the untitled fifth track. At such times, they could easily pass for a great lost No Wave band.
“Sy” is certainly a heavy, inspired, and immediately likeable album, but it is a limited one, as there is not a hell of a lot going on melodically or songcraft-wise. As such, these seven songs can start to sound a bit one-dimensional after a while, even though that one dimension is admittedly quite a cool one. Context is everything though, and I bet these songs are substantially more killer in a live context than as a passive listening experience. 6/10 

Anthony D'Amico