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HDK 72 † La gabbia umana


Swarming cells and microorganisms, gurgling on magnetic tape and tension organ in the background.
Diagnosi 01:15
Cold high notes, distant echoes, medical machinery
Walking of synthesizer-zombies at slow steps. Creeping circular melody.
Rising tension saturated like stagnant air. Unreal cries. Menacing atmosphere created by a gloomy drone.
Stubborn oscillations on the bass pedal. Feeling of expectation with percussive crescendo. Artificial sequenced tingling.
Rising tension saturated like stagnant air. Unreal cries. Menacing atmosphere created by a gloomy drone.
A sibylline chant modulated in "phaser" rises and spreads slowly. Feeling of stall.
Agitated swing base with continuo bass, altered organs and deformed sinusoids fleeing from planet earth. Noir trumpet solo.
Eerie chorus of seagulls and chordophones, echoes of long notes in the livid dawn. Dilated sounds advance like dark omens. Desolation and bewilderment.
Neon-synthesizer sinister carpet. Electronic dripping and laboratory noise.
Drops of infected blood dripping on cold chords. Fear and dismay.
Distressing score for human breath, bass and synthesizer. Tensive-stabbing theme.
Fantasmi 06:08
Dark tormented singing of distant choirs accompanied by funereal percussion. Wailing of oscillators and hissing of vital organs.
Liquid gasps and sighs, acousmatic murmurs on processed tapes. Modulated filter until the last breath.
Broken melodic lines, obsessive modular, sirens. Environment saturated with fire and soot.
Espansione 06:46
Low-frequency micromutations advance inexorably. Dramatic atmosphere.
? 02:07


In 1979 the director Antonio Rasiera started filming a sci-fi tv-movie called “La Gabbia Umana” (The Human Cage), an alienating and dehumanizing post-apocalyptic parable in which the human body is described as an inexorably closed cage, “without key and without lock”.

A few days after the start of filming, director Rasiera (already prey to his serious disease) dies: today what remains of “The Human Cage” is its soundtrack, composed by the maestro Augusto Ralla.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last April, at HDK headquarters, we received a package without a sender containing some tapes and a handwritten letter. The letter said:

“In a ghostly Milan overwhelmed by what will go down in history as 'the first wave', I found myself violating the curfew imposed by the authorities and by pure chance locking myself up in the basements of what was once Docuvideo TV network. Here, after a frantic search, with enormous amazement I found a treasure in my hands - I could not call it otherwise - since we all thought it was a buried legend, certainly shrouded in an aura of sinister and almost mystical mystery: the intact reels of the soundtrack of "La Gabbia Umana" (The Human Cage), a TV movie script never made for unknown reasons. The forgotten masterpiece of one of the most underestimated and unrecognized authors of soundtracks in our cinema, the maestro Augusto Ralla.
From the very first listening I was sucked into the organic and proliferating sounds of those tapes: the famous "phonological experiments" of Maestro Ralla bounced in my ears, insinuating them like crawling worms, acoustic bacteria that made their way into my ear pavilions, sweeping away any grip on an ever more shattered and incomprehensible world.
In my head slowly the images of what would have been the first and only Italian drama with a virological-apocalyptic background that should have aired between the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980 came to life. Composed in a few weeks these ghost tracks - or rather orphans - they were made with little means, few oral indications from the director Rasiera and no reference screenplay.
These songs are the sonorous narration of that story: a alienating and dehumanizing post-apocalyptic parable in which the human body is described as an inexorably closed cage, without a key and without a lock. I propose them as originally conceived by the author, faithfully reproduced from the original recordings ".

Should we believe this story? Maybe not, but we prefer to think it's true. Have a good listening.


released February 14, 2021




Heimat Der Katastrophe Milan, Italy

DIY label focused on ambient punk, minimal-synth, dungeon-drone, wartime music and post-nuclear wave. Managed by a creative punx collective from Milano city.

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