I remember as if it were yesterday when, during a school trip in the mid-90s, I listened to a friend’s mixtape and how I was dazzled by especially one of the songs. After a few days I asked him what it was, but he had already erased the tape cassette and he couldn’t recall the selection he had made! It took me almost a year to find out I had listened to Black No. 1, the best-selling single by Type O Negative from their 1993 album Bloody Kisses. Since then, my passion for the band, with its melancholy, its humor that sometimes develops into self-devaluation, its extreme and hopeless romanticism, and above all with Peter’s magnificent voice, has stayed with me.
Type O Negative had a great influence on Paolo’s music: their theatricality, their love for sudden conclusions or changes or even their “musical jokes”, some chord progressions and melodic contours, became part of who he is today. In the score of the piece Paolo plays with October Rust’s credits, when he writes «de-composed and re-composed», suggesting that it’s not a cover in a traditional way but a true reworking of the original song. The Florentine composer and pianist makes the piece his own, modifying the structure, changing the sections’ functions, reinterpreting the themes, deleting and adding musical elements, but in doing so, he reveals how much he absorbed some characteristics of Type O Negative’s language and shows, in this tribute to Peter Steele’s memory, his deepest gratitude to the band.
This important and meaningful presence is effectively represented by the drawing done for the single by the illustrator Rosaria Mottola, who, with an inspired guess, turned the prickled stems of October Rust’s artwork into a staff on whose notes Paolo Cognetti’s path unfolds. The name and title placement, imitating that of most Type O Negative’s albums, and the use of the green, so dear to the band, as the only color other than black and white, complete the game of cross-references.
Music composed and performed by Paolo Cognetti
Recording and Mix: Filippo Rossi and Lawrence Fancelli at Officina Sonora del Bigallo
Master: Niccolò Caldini
Digital distribution: Songtradr and Kanjian Music
Artwork: Rosaria Mottola