About Victrola

Victrola were an Italian minimal wave band active during the early '80s. Although they only released one 12" single, 1983's Maritime Tatami, their combination of melancholic vocals, post-punk guitars, and hypnotic, danceable electronic rhythms was memorable, and their music gained a new audience when interest in minimal wave resurged during the 2010s. Victrola formed in Messina, Italy in 1979, and were initially a rock quartet consisting of multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Antonio Cuscinà and Carlo Smeriglio, along with bassist Tobia Squitieri and drummer Nino Belmonte. They began sending out demo tapes, leading to some of their tracks appearing on compilations. Eventually they moved to Florence to become part of the city's music scene, and they slimmed down to the core duo of Cuscinà and Smeriglio, and had more of a stripped-down electronic sound. A compilation of their songs was issued in 1983, but the duo's only vinyl release was the Maritime Tatami single, on Electric Eye Records. Following two final concerts in 1984, Victrola became inactive. Both members later performed in a 1993 production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Beginning in the late 2000s, Victrola's songs began appearing on compilations of obscure '80s synth pop and new wave tracks, such as 2009's Danza Meccanica. Dark Entries reissued Maritime Tatami as part of their Dark Entries Editions 12" series in 2014. Five years later, the label released Born from the Water, a double-LP of unreleased Victrola recordings and demos. ~ Paul Simpson

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