About

My name is Alex Franquelli and this is my online portfolio.

I am a freelance journalist and writer, mainly writing about politics and music, and my articles appear on a bunch of magazines and online publications. And when they do, they do so both in English and Italian.

I write for The Quietus, Open Democracy, Ondarock, All About Jazz, Angry Metal Guy, Indie For Bunnies and Il Mucchio.

My portfolio: 1, 2, 3

Mike Weis - Don't know, Just Walk

Published by PopMatters

On Mortality and Beauty

Whatever happened to Mike Weis, it happened for no reason. There are no lessons to be learned from a battle with cancer. There is absolutely nothing a portion of body tissue gone crazy can teach us, apart from announcing its own location and existence. Mike Weis is a musician, and if you’ve ever ventured anywhere near good American experimentalism you know him already and, chances are, you love what he does. Chicago-based trio Zelienople has been around for more than a decade, spawning little underground gems like His/Hers and Give it up in the process.

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Kronos Quartet - A Thousand Thoughts

Published by PopMatters

This is the way it is.

This is an album about distances, a record about the space inhabiting the “between” category. It is a geographical territory in the middle—that speck of earth perpetually missing from everyone’s map, which proudly dangles in a specific space-time dimension. This is an album about diversity without intellectual compromises. It is how it is because this is the way it is. There is no re-elaboration or, worse, reinterpretation of the existing aesthetic principles.

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British Summer Time at Hyde Park

Published by PopMatters

“Will the people in the upper-class sections clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your loose change”, the bare-chested, slightly intoxicated male shouts from a distance as he leans against the barrier. From where he is, the stage is not too far, but the view is obstructed by one of the many delay towers adorning Hyde Park today. Someone (hopefully, possibly an engineer) hung some speakers bang in the middle of the big screens on both sides of the stage, thus forcing the audience to use their imagination to try to guess what is being framed. The semi-naked beauty is now shouting something while looking in our direction, when his sober looks are broken by a smile: “Thank fuck for Sabbath!” he raves. And this, we can safely argue, pretty much sums up the general opinion.

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Christian Fennesz - Bécs

Published by PopMatters

Beautiful Noise

Whenever I listen to Fennesz, a distinct and powerful image unveils ahead of me. The Austrian experimentalist’s music unveils itself in a slow but sensual fashion like a nearby galaxy when its lights emerge from behind a nebula of gas and dust. The stars are bright enough for us to be able to see them, but the vast clouds radiating from the destruction of other bodies or their own dramatic creation make up a visual noise that is a colourful show in itself.

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Chris Brokaw - Now, Forager OST

Published by PopMatters

The Gentle Art of Writing Poetry

The obligatory string of titles, achievements and collaborations adorning any review or interview with Chris Brokaw as its protagonist is sometimes an intimidating and cumbersome presence. The variety and notability of most of the acts involved tends, to somehow create a prejudicial aura around this American indie mastermind’s new releases. After all, when the likes of Rhys Chatham, Thurston Moore, Liz Phair and GG Allin adorn your resume, you’re expected to deliver the goods. And make sure they are brilliant.

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Beyond the Redshift - Cult of Luna (Beyond the Redshift): 10 May 2014 - London

Published by PopMatters

This is no rocket science: the redshift and the expanding universe

The Forum, in London, stands in silence, as Cult of Luna take control of the light and toy with its frequency. They cast no shadow, and the wavelength of the photons elongates, shifting to red like that of a faraway object in the expanding universe. The grey, liquid rays may envelop the bodies on stage, but the music travels faster than the speed of light tonight. “The Sweep”, the aptly titled “Light Chaser”, and “I: the Weapon” fill the very few spaces left with flashes of controlled violence and digressions into progressive and ambient. Whether or not this is the end for Cult of Luna as we know them, what we have in front of us is a band at its artistic zenith. But it is when ex-vocalist Klas Rydberg takes the stage that the redshift becomes almost visible to the observers gathered in this semi-circular cleft of our remote galaxy.

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Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

Published by PopMatters

The Implosion of a Black Metal Star

Let’s face it, everything dies. A body’s energy gets transferred to other bodies or objects, in a process which sees the decaying matter’s fate slowly morph into its legacy. The later stage of this body’s life is sometimes the brightest and, for some of them, it coincides with a creative, desperate apex. It is gravity against fusion. Weight against synthesis. Lack of inspiration against talent. Mayhem’s Esoteric Warfare is, in every way, the finest example of this transformation, containing all the elements that have made this Norwegian band legendary, plus a variable: their degeneration.

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Dave Porter - Breaking Bad OST

Published by PopMatters

Journey to the centre of a man

Everything starts with a “click”. A single snap, then two, four, eight and sixteen. Then again. The music is hidden somewhere between the motion of an imaginary pendulum and somebody else’s vision. Casual listeners like to think that a film score is the audible element at that perfect junction between the pictures, the visuals and the composer’s inspiration. It is inescapable and somehow ingrained in a middle-earth suspended between the visible and the invisible; the movement and its opposite. Reality is, instead, quite different.

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Horseback - Piedmont Apocrypha

Published by PopMatters

The raw, honest, and ultimately humane way in which Jenks Miller utters the words “I was born to lose / I won’t have this form forever”, on the aptly titled opening track “Passing Through”, tells a story in itself. It is more than a comment and yet something less than a statement. His voice is left devoid of effects and alterations, so much so that one is able to sense the man’s fragility and alienation.

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