Having the opportunity to open for the legendary Killing Joke is a big deal. Having the opportunity to record with Jaz Coleman is even bigger. For Christian Ceccarelli (bass, electronics, synthesizers) and Emiliano Di Lodovico (guitars, synthesizers), also known as Deflore, they got to do both. Opening for Killing Joke in Rome, Italy set the stage. Blowing away Jaz Coleman in the process resulted in the recording of the three song EP, Party in the Chaos. The Italian instrumental duo never had luck finding the right singer for their intense, and often beautiful, soundscapes. But, when you get a chance to open a Killing Joke gig, you have to put it all out there, not only to win over a crowd impatiently waiting on the headliners, but because you never know who could be watching.
Coleman does more than just sing on Party in the Chaos, he also contributes synths and piano throughout, complimenting the instrumentation provided by Ceccarelli and Di Lodovico. The opening title track doesn’t sound unlike an early Killing Joke song. Granted, the band uses a drum machine rather than Killing Joke’s erstwhile drummer, Paul Ferguson, but the track is no less powerful. As synths, bass, and electric guitars soar over electronic sounds and drum patterns, Coleman chants “Chaos, Chaos, Chaos, Chaos” over and over again. What makes the track standout is that it sounds inspired. Indeed, Coleman sounds energized and Deflore pulls no punches.
The second track, “Sunset in the West,” is an ethereal instrumental that features Coleman’s sparse piano against Deflore’s cinematic backdrop. The two work together to build a subtle, building tension that eventually gives way to a thick guitar riff that serves as a chorus of sorts. Credit goes to Deflore and Coleman for realizing they don’t necessarily need him as a vocalist when an instrumental track is perfectly emotional and provocative. “Transhuman World” closes the EP in a similar vein as the opening track. This song sounds a little more industrial than the previous two, albeit with a reliance on strong instrumentation rather than a heavy use of samples. As Coleman sings, “Welcome to the transhuman world,” you have to wonder if his Killing Joke band mates aren’t a little jealous. Yes, it would work well within the KJ universe, but it still stands alone as Coleman and Deflore. And it’s this quality that makes the EP unique, even if the Killing Joke fan base may see it as a stop-gap between albums. This is a separate project all together, even if there are some sonic similarities among the two. But, that’s exactly what makes Deflore and Coleman natural partners.
Party in the Chaos only suffers from one thing: brevity. It’s a shame there weren’t at least two more songs to fill out this project. But, perhaps the success of this release will provoke more collaboration among the two. If you’re a Killing Joke fan, you’ll definitely appreciate this release. If you’re a Deflore fan, you’ll love hearing what the duo can do with the right vocalist. If you’ve never heard of the Italian instrumentalists, this EP will inspire you to dig deeper into their discography.
– J. Kevin Lynch