A psychogeographic review of Maurizio "M07"
I venture out in the blinding light listening to Side A from Maurizio "M07" on a CD-R my friend made for me from the 12", complete with every pop and crack from the already well-played vinyl. The rest of the Cd is your average summer compilation, not bad, but all I care for are those twelve perfect minutes of minimal dub-tech. Twelve minutes that stretch the summer afternoon into infinity, waiting for that suburban holiday bus that might come every hour or so and take me to the dead city in the plain. M07-A is the perfect soundtrack for aestivation, nothing left in the august emptiness but the pulse of its heartbeat and mine.
This is not the cartoonish version of Ghost town; no witty Hammond chords or comfortably spooky sound effects, this is the real deal, stores closed, empty buildings, cracked concrete and melted asphalt, nonexistent traffic, the end of civilization indeed. Or perhaps more precisely, the end of times. Working time, party time, reggae time, all bound to be absorbed once again by Time, the great beat. I have the track on infinite repeat, the bus might never come. I am becoming very familiar with the stop, going over every scratch, every ding, every scuff, every blot of baked guano gracing its synthetic surfaces. The billboard side features some irrelevant advert, every single colour dot of which at this instant carries more weight than the whole picture itself.
The bus is finally in sight, a steel carcass tumbling down the hillside no faster than the afternoon, I can't tell which of us is moving towards the other. Several rotations later it reaches me, I hoist my envelope onto the slow-motion platform and sit down for the journey.
M07 is the bare minimum for survival: aqueous volumes, the odd nutritious knot of organic matter, and the steady, going beat in that immense chest that now stretches over beyond the city limits. With enough imagination it's possible to imagine the few remaining living things hiding in the dark of boarded-up windows, subsisting on algae scrounged from rooftop water tanks.
I find myself walking unusual streets, in search of traces of activity, if not life. The burning star above has reduced familiar avenues to a barren arrangement of contrasting shapes, the few survivors hugging the walls in the hope of avoiding the almost tangible sunlight. I enter the record store, whose vacant air-cooled sections fail to bring me out of my torpor as I rove past shelves of congealed CDs. Their garish covers must have meant something not so long ago, back when the city played them in the complex space/time of functions and interactions, of markers and signs. Now of course it's all gone, and the only path lies deeper in the half-life tunnels and deep sleep underground vaults. If only they had been built... So what now then?
Now we wait. The sun will go down, and M07 play just as well in the dark.