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not waving-good luck 2lp (diagonal)

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not waving: good luck

Alessio Natalizia, aka Not Waving, rides the wave of a lifetime on his magnum opus, Good Luck. The London-based Italian artist's second album for Diagonal is an emotional but fiercely optimistic album of skewed cathartic dance pop written in the midst of these dark and uncertain times (made perhaps more uncertain by the recent birth of his first son). It represents the most ambitious album in his own unique catalogue, a discography that features acclaimed work as part of Banjo Or Freakout and Kompakt techno duo Walls -- plus half a decade spent at the axis of underground electronics via his own Ecstatic label and his recent, raved-up output for Diagonal. This latest record sees Natalizia fine-tuning 20 years of recording and rave experience into a vibrant, pop-ready statement that's never felt so necessary. It abandons the sensitive streak hinted at on Animals, his debut LP for Diagonal, to pursue a creative hunch for concision and social unity. This new perspective drives the album's flux of emotions and guides what some may find to be a utopian outlook, wrapping his trademark experimental urges, clever song arrangements, and winking edits in a larger narrative. After all, rave 'floors were conceived for many as a way to forget/abandon the dark undercurrents of late '80s political turmoil. Good Luck is constructed as an album proper and follows a novel narrative: from the ego-pinching computer punk of "Me Me Me", which jabs it into action, to the new wave thrust of "Tool [I Don't Give A Shit]" and the ambient flush of "Roll Along With The Pain Of It All [I'll Text U]", Natalizia clearly delights in taking us on a frenzied ride, but he never forgets his fondness for contemporary club culture (see the fulminating iridescent EBM-pop of "Where Are We" -- with Montréalais minimal wave chanteuse Marie Davidson guesting on vocals -- or the acidic punk jabs of "Watch Yourself"). Good Luck is a thrillingly positive record; it's delicious, sweet, creamy, and wonderful. And that's the thing: even the title feels like a much-needed injection of optimism, a return to the utopian ideals of rave. Contemporary politics/culture/life/love/music/media seem to be infected by a feeling of impending dread -- of fear, alienation, and division. It feels like there has never been a more important time for a record like this. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

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