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Scars Mended with Gold — Listen to Italian Shoegaze Outfit Human Colonies’ “Kintsukuroi” LP

In the hushed annals of Japanese artistry, kintsukuroi—or “golden repair”—tells of a deeper aesthetic sensibility. Rather than discarding shattered cherished relics, artisans mend fractures with lacquer infused with gold, silver, or platinum. In doing so, they celebrate imperfections, asserting that breakage and repair are part of the history -not blemishes to hide. The practice speaks to Japan’s wabi-sabi philosophy, which finds beauty in transience and imperfection. Beyond mere restoration, kintsukuroi underscores a profound meditation on resilience: objects, like humans, bear scars from life’s tumults, and in those scars, there’s an undeniable elegance.

Italian shoegaze / noisepop act Human Colonies touch upon this philosophy with a new album, ‘Kintsukuroi‘, out on September 22th, 2023 via Custom Made Music (USA), Shore Dive Records (UK) and Waddafuzz Records (IT). This long-awaited release comes five years after their previous offering, ‘Midnight Screamer.’

In “Kintsukuroi,” one encounters an evocative interplay of emotional disintegration and tenacity. Much like its namesake, the album – drawing heavily from other shoegaze acts like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and The Veldt –  reflects this ethos of valuing imperfection and history. It’s a journey back to 90s indie lo-fi dirty sounds filled with drowned lyrics, embellished in swathes of gold.

Each piece of this auditory mosaic is distinct, conjuring disparate inspirations. From potent rhythms and cyclical harmonies to intricate stratums of guitars paired with ethereal vocals and pronounced bass lines, every composition offers a beguiling blend of elements with fluctuating energies. Yet, the collection remains cohesive, grounded by a firm, resonant tonality. Nods to dream-pop, clamour, and garage rock are woven throughout, culminating in a unique equilibrium between potent crescendos and more subdued interludes—a testament to “Kintsukuroi’s” essence.

Set to the mesmeric rhythms of “AIR 909,” with its luxuriantly muffled vocals and commanding guitar strains, is a virtual reality video that is nothing short of a visual odyssey. Created with artistry and precision, this video offers viewers a transcendent journey. From sprawling terrains to the ethereal expanse of our stratosphere, the experience can only be described as vertiginous. Under Zannunzio’s astute direction, one feels not just a viewer, but an active traveler, transcending boundaries and engaging intimately with our vast world.

Watch below and pay homage to Mother Earth, herself in need of the kintsukuroi treatment.

Originating from Bologna in 2013 and presently dividing their time between Valtellina and Mantua, Human Colonies stakes its claim in the shoegaze and noisepop genres. Their early experimentation melded ethereal shoegaze-inspired harmonies with the biting undertones of post-punk lyricism, culminating in their self-titled demo released in 2013. After establishing their presence with numerous live performances across Italy, they sought the expertise of Filippo Strang at VDSS Recording Studio. There, the band wrote ‘Big Domino Vortex‘ (2017, MiaCameretta Records / Lady Sometimes Records).

Their inaugural full-length record, ‘Midnight Screamer’ (2018, MiaCameretta Records / Lady Sometimes Records), introduces listeners to a meticulous melding of captivating melodies against a grittier backdrop. In 2018, the group graced various Italian venues and festivals, sharing their artistry alongside notable figures such as Alexander Tucker, Cloud Nothings, and Night Beats. By November 2019, Human Colonies unveiled their EP, ‘Cloudchaser and Old Songs‘ (MiaCameretta Records / Lady Sometimes Records).

Pre-order the album here:

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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