CAT #: RERVNG02
Music Is Painting In the Air is a collection of new mixes and unheard music from Sensations’ Fix’s prolific output between 1974 and 1977. Revered as one of the great articulations of progressive music, Music Is Painting In the Air offers guide posts to those familiar with Sensations’ Fix’s amorphous catalog and an approachable primer to those just journeying on the sensational trip.
The story of Sensations’ Fix begins – and never quite ends – with Franco Falsini. Born in Florence, Italy in 1948, Falsini became a teenage rock ‘n’ roll convert through a steady supply of 45s sent home by his London-based sister. Following his sister’s footsteps to swinging 60s London, Falsini put his love of music into practice, fronting a space blues trio that riffed its way from the UK back to Italy in a Ford Transit.Falsini became smitten by Vinnie Sherman, an American woman, at a nightclub in Florence where Falsini was holding down a residency. The newlywed lovers made their way to Alexandria, Virginia in the summer of 1969. Arriving on August 15th, the first day of Woodstock, a spirit of freedom filled Falsini and fueled his creative proclivity.
Falsini blazed a trail for home recording that has impressed upon inward resourcing and reflecting musicians and DIY enthusiasts in the decades since. A technology stalwart, Falsini employed a floor model MiniMoog and a tricked-out Teac 4-track machine to transform the Virginia basement of the house shared with Sherman into a cosmic conduit and launch pad for Sensations’ Fix.
The reach for space from a personal place is nowhere more apparent than on Fragments of Light, early basement recordings solicited by Falsini as deal demos and surprisingly flipped into the first of six Sensations’ Fix albums released over the next five years. The up-close fidelity of Fragments – coupled with Falsini’s emotive guitar leads and sparse, sentimental vocals – creates a private quality that separates the album from other extravagant progressive rock productions contemporary to its 1974 release.
Relocating back to Italy on the heels of Fragments’ release, Falsini, alongside drummerKeith Edwards and bassist Richard Ursillo (both American expats), charged through another two Sensations’ Fix albums, Portable Madness in 1974 and Finest Finger in 1976, and a stunning solo album Cold Nose (Naso Fredo) in 1975. Without marketing or tour support to expose Sensations’ Fix to a wider European audience, Falsini and his band of psychedelic renegades left Italy for the golden shores of California and their possible salvation. In 1977, Sensations’ Fix released Vision’s Fugitive on an independent label and fulfilled their major label obligation shortly after with Boxes Paradise.
Falsini spent the next couple decades between New York City and Paris, creatively contentedly creating above par electro-pop (The Antennas) before returning to Florence to launch the Interactive Test dance music label. Meanwhile, the legend of Sensations’ Fix grew. On his 2002 album, The Private Press, DJ Shadow sampled from two Sensations’ Fix songs. More recently, Sonic Youth curated a career retrospective titledSensational Fix at Life Gallery in Saint-Nazaire France.
For Music is Painting in the Air, Falsini and his son Jeyon set forth on a year-long voyage to restore and revisit the original Sensations’ Fix analog tapes. Honoring Falsini’s tradition of autonomy, this collection, as with the majority of the Sensations’ Fix catalog, was mixed solely by Falsini. The sequence is chronologically defiant, encouraging the listener to free associate the recurring themes’ origins and immerse in the body of music as its own universe.
Once this celestial body suit is occupied, it becomes apparent why the forward-thinking yet emotionally-accessible quality of Sensations’ Fix’s music is still finding the universal audience for which its intended. Falsini’s disregard for time and insistence on reinvention provides an infinite reach for his music. The end-goal was seemingly unmarketable by the industry then, but perfectly harmonious with a culture constantly evolving now.
Sensations’ Fix’s Music is Painting in the Air is available now on 2xLP, 2xCD, and digital formats via RVNG Intl. Physical formats come housed in elaborate packaging, including a unique reverse bound record jacket and full color liner notes by Franco Falsini and Joshua da Costa.