Antares Flare (New LP)
$ 19.99

Label: Wicked Wax

"The band, which formed in 2018, is composed of alumni from the Rotterdam Conservatory Codarts University of the Arts, including the Maltese jazz musician Dean Montanaro.

Their overall aesthetic is decidedly modern, the result of augmenting jazz horns, guitars, and synths with live modulated delays and highly volatile fuzz pedals, while the groove-based song structures leave ample space for improvisation to take the helm.

Piero Conte, the lead creative behind this eclectic setup, confesses his affinity with the entrancing rhythms of Congolese “pygmy” music and quotes influences as contrasting as Jimi Hendrix is to Clever Austin.

But the guitarist from Rome reveals also a literary dimension to his music, citing the universe of Jorge Luis Borges and the magical realism movement as conceptual fodder for some of the band’s Spotify releases earlier this year: Mirror People opens with the misty sounds of morning dew and Maltese bass player Dean Montanaro’s delicate fragments, followed by the relentless drive of Slovenian drummer Domen Cizej.

The intricately arranged melody of Sandstones leads into a formidable solo by Dutch alto-saxophonist Paul van de Calseijde while Paolo Petrecca’s bewitching tones introduce the theme of What’s Gonna Kill Me First?

This is a raging anthem that backdrops a full-on horn fest including the trumpeter’s fellow Italian tenor-saxophonist Andrea Leone, with the latter’s exploratory melodies haunting the first half of the afro-beat banger Bonsai Jungle (the sextet’s latest single).

Antares Flare’s collaboration will culminate in the issue of a limited-release vinyl, featuring the ghastly, otherworldly sleeve art of Ivan Specchio, and will be distributed by Amsterdam-based record label Wicked Wax."