TTW#90 – Le Forbici di Manitù – Saliva Calda
First issued by Rosa Luxemburg Corporation in 1990. Mastered for re-issue by Luca Roccatagliati at MarsLife Studio, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2016). Original cover by Massimo Pavarini and Gabriella Marconi.
A1: La Gengiva Superiore Di Dio
A2: La Mia Psicobanana
A3: La Gengiva Inferiore Di Dio
B1: Damento Tan Creppo
B2: Wild Childhood
B3: Saliva Calda
Le Forbici di Manitù (Manitou’s Scissors) is an Italian ensemble, loosely based in Reggio Emilia, exploring music and sound since 1983. They have consistently been on the margins of any acknowledged movement or trend, almost systematically going against the zeitgeist and into obscurity.
“Saliva Calda” (“Warm Saliva”, Rosa Luxemburg Corporation, 1990) was their first long-form outing. It is the culmination of a phase in which Le Forbici droned on privately, in long improvised marathons. At the time, Le Forbici di Manitù were Manitù Rossi, Satana Cianciulli and Alberto Ferrari. The trio used as a textual source for “Saliva Calda” the lyrics of Luca Criscuoli, that were written independently and that the group appropriated as an external structure to the work, deliberately intended as an imposition of form on spontaneous sound material (although the form is somewhat unusual). In the Italian book “Solchi Sperimentali Italia” (Crac Edizioni, 2015), a history of “other” musics in Italy, Antonello Cresti writes about “Saliva Calda”: “Brilliant debut that is enough to propel us in an absurd no man’s land, with pieces that nonchalantly pile up Residents-like electronica, rock distortions, medieval music shards, a gory touch and surrealism galore. Pure madness, which doesn’t use as paradigms other delusional underground adventures, but since its inception is able to define its own space of action and syntax, that surprises and fascinates even today”, twenty-five years later.
Satana Cianciulli (vocals and acoustic instrumentation) is supposed to have been drifting in and out of mental health treatments (often residential). His obsession with divinity (often pathological) might have something to do with early experiences in the back rooms of catholic churches in his childhood, although he has never clarified this. After “Saliva Calda” he fell out with Rossi, returning only briefly to Le Forbici more than twenty years later for “Preti Pedofili” (Sussidiaria, 2011, a short techno-anxious invective against the silence of the catholic church about child abuse). Rossi says Cianciulli still calls him intermittently at night with some new ideas, but mostly to reproach him about the sacrilegious stuff he has done with the name Le Forbici di Manitù since this first cassette “Saliva Calda” (Rossi tends to agree with him on this…). They have also sporadically collaborated on a new work, “Vecchie Vacche”, over the last ten years. It is uncertain if this album will ever be completed…
Manitù Rossi (keyboards) used to incline towards mysticism in a more peaceful and meditative manner than Cianciulli. He says that the name of the group comes from some of the surgical procedures used to mend his arm bones after a car accident in his early twenties, which also involved an insurance reimbursement that allowed him to buy a big Elka synthesizer, widely featured in “Saliva Calda”.
Alberto Ferrari was an acoustic guitarist, mostly atheist, whose contribution on electric, heavily treated guitar was very strictly directed by the mystical pair. His musical interests were very different from what he was made to play, although for a while he enjoyed the long, drone-y private performances by le Forbici during the mid 80s. After the fall-out between Rossi and Cianciulli he took the opportunity to gain distance from Le Forbici, never to return.
After the big split, Rossi went on to invite first Enrico Marani and then Vittore Baroni in the group, as well as many other transient members, and has issued about fifteen more works on tape, cd or vinyl up to now, including the collaboration with the horror/noir writer Alda Teodorani in the audio short story “L’Isola” (Snowdonia, 2010), the collection of rarities and unreleased tracks “AutoMitoAntologia” (Sussidiaria, 2014) and the triple concept album on the theme of hearing damage “Tinnitus Tales” (Sussidiaria, 2016) with a huge cast of special guests.