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Confrontational – Done With You (2015) – Song by song

Confrontational may be a new name on the music scene, but Massimo Usai is surely not. The mastermind behind this gothic-esque synthpop project established himself as a part of dark/industrial/ambient duet Dahlia Indaco, which he has formed in 1999 and has shaped itself to present emotional and ambient soundscapes, combining dark, ethereal atmospheres blend with a combination of synthetic beats, acid arpeggios and raging basslines, inspired by many great musical formations, such as Cocteau Twins and The Sisters Of Mercy. You also may have come across the Sardinia based noise rock band recs of the flesh, which was also formed by Usai himself in 2004, inspired by William S. Burrough’s novel The Soft Machine. The noise rockers were compared to great names such as Placebo, Queens Of The Stone Age and Sonic Youth by media and Usai still cites these influences when talking about his newest project. With the release of his debut EP, Done With You, Usai himself took some time and wrote down the thoughts and stories behind the four tracks he presents to the audience under the name Confrontational.

By: Massimo Usai
Edited by: Ines

Release date: 13 February 2015
Label: Self-released

01. Wanderer Of Darkness
02. Done With You
03. Giving Ground (The Sisterhood/The Sisters Of Mercy cover)
04. Under This Crimson Sky

1. Wanderer Of Darkness

This is the second track I've worked on for the EP. I've been keeping odd hours ever since quitting my day job last October, in order to focus on music full time. I have been mainly working at night, going to sleep in the morning and usually waking up during the evening. One day, around a month ago, I got up at about 6 pm just in time to catch a wonderful sunset out of my window. Everything about that setting sun seemed to scream at me. I snapped a picture real quick and fell in love with it, so much that I decided to turn it into the EP artwork right away! I spent that night working manually on the lettering, using a battered black marker on a stash of A4 sheets, trying to come up with the right feel. And all of a sudden everything clicked: what I had in mind translated itself into the tangible world. I was so happy that just by staring at it I could feel more inspiration coming up. So I printed myself a copy and brought it to the studio - it was about 2 am at that point, a very quiet and cold night. I placed the print in front of my desk, and let it dictate the mood for an instrumental intro to "Done With You". I think it worked just great.

2. Done With You

"Done With You" is, unsurprisingly, the first song from the lot. Back around summer 2014 there was a party at my place, and during the night a friend of a friend noticed my keyboard setup. He casually started to ask me questions about the way I create my tracks, where do I start from, which software is involved and so forth. So I got to my sequencer and quickly programmed a very straightfoward beat to show him some kick/snare placement. Then played a bassline on keys, added a lead and almost without thinking this thing was there. A whole song out of nowhere. And I had a title too - for some reason, it seemed right to call this one "Done With You". I parked it without lyrics and melodies for about two months while all sort of things happened to and around me (leaving my job being just one of those). Then I sat down at the studio one night, simply letting words flow freely as I sang on the track. Emptiness, shadows and revenge: a tale from a very dark land. I'm really pleased with the outcome.


3. Giving Ground

This is a track by The Sisterhood, which (for those who might not know) was a side-project by Andrew Eldritch from The Sisters Of Mercy. Back in 1985 the Sisters split, leaving Eldritch and Dr. Avalanche on their own, with the exiting members going on to form a new band - which was going to be called The Sisterhood (a name used often in the English press to indicate the line up led by Eldritch). The new band announced their debut gig for January the 20th, 1986. In a race against time, Eldritch secured the rights to The Sisterhood name and recorded a single in just 5 days, playing everything on the track himself and having James Ray sing on it. The single was released as planned on 20 January, the same day that The Sisterhood (which went on to become The Mission) played their debut concert in London. The press hype about the two conflicting parties made the single enter the UK Indie Chart on 8 February, where it got to no. 1 on 15 February 1986. I have loved this song for a very long time and it has been the soundtrack to most of my last year, so I wanted to pay my humble tribute to the Sisters with this version. I invited my good friend Stefano Lindiri to help out during the studio session, and we made it in just about 2 days. It would have taken a whole lot longer without his precious help.

4. Under This Crimson Sky

This song started out as just a title idea around two months ago. I got a call from my pal Andrea Palmas, who is a freelance designer working in Milan, asking me if I'd like to open for Tomy Wealth (a crazy beat-maker/drummer from Japan) and S Í T Ě (a dreamy synthpop band from Czech Republic) on 21 February 2015. I decided to race against time myself, so I got in touch with some killer musicians (Dimitri Obolensky from France, Josh Cameron from the UK, GG Chapel from the Netherlands) for the gig, and set the release of the EP one week before our debut show. After getting in touch with the awesome Mr. Axel Ricks from, it seemed like all that the EP missed was just one more song. None of the other tracks I had ready seemed to be fitting the mood of the EP, so I went back to this working title and tried my very best to come up with something that would sound right. I got stuck on it for about 5 hard days, during which I was going to the studio and feeling kin of a clueless as time marched on. I slowly got all of the pieces of the puzzle together after a break from the sessions - sometimes you got to step back in order to move forward. The ending part features a choir melody that came out of thin air during a jam I did with Andrea himself during summer 2014. Everything comes full circle somehow. I am so very grateful to all the people who contributed to this effort, and I hope everyone's going to enjoy listening to the tracks as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Confrontational links: Official website, Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud