Bristol’s Caravan Recordings follow up the debut album of minimalist techno act emptyset with an inventive take on underground disco from Antoni Maiovvi. The Thorns of Love is Maiovvi’s third album of psychotronic dance built on layered soundscapes which tease you in until you are completely immersed and at their mercy. Billed as a Liebes-Arie to a broken heart, there is Italian drama and euphoric fear fixated on creating a lush and atmospheric album.
An enchanting album that soars with feelings of hope ploughed into disco vibes.
Take album opener “This is the Beast”: it’s a delight from start to finish. A slow introduction alerts your senses to a greatness to come over a near seven-minute tune. Its simplistic nature belies a more complex structure and by the final third, Maiovvi’s slightest tweak will send a thrill down your spine — that’s how much you’ve been drawn into his sound. At its close there is a feeling of both satisfaction and loss as the final synths dissipate. As an album about the ravine of heartache when a lover is lost tuned channelled into the dancefloor, it’s a fitting start. “The Sigh from the Sky was a lie without doubt” is a 10 minute supertrack of upbeat, bouncy Italian disco, taking in a euphoric edge but then Maiovvi goes melancholy with “Treason”, a minimal piano piece creating a dark, brooding atmosphere.
“Class Dagger” brings Bristol’s underground disco hero regain his fun side with hints of his nefarious creature of the night side via a nod to 1980s synths over the course of a 13-minute epic. Finally, on “Horsehead Blue”, he seems to reach some kind of peace with his lost love, helped along by Brian Ferry. The Thorns of Love is an enchanting album that soars with feelings of hope ploughed into disco vibes, plunges into despair briefly, then emerges in a more mature musical landscape. For an album about the highs and lows of love, it brings it home to the dancefloor.