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Review: Julinko – Nèktar

The biggest problem with being envolved with music is there is usually a ton of releases every single day and there is not enough time in our lives to look through it all. What ends up happening is finding out about certain records only months – or even years – after they were released and most of them end up being hidden gems that makes us go “Where has this been all our lives?”. The project I will be talking to you today – and its subsequent brand-new release -, is one such case and up until very recently, I had no idea it existed, let alone the fact that I would enjoy it so much. Called Julinko, this is the musical vision of one Giulia Parin Zecchin, a singer-songwriter from Italy. With the help of drummer and synth adept Carlo Veneziano (Orfaust), Giulia founded Julinko as a means to explore ancient melodies and her deepest dreams. Today she is releasing Nèktar, her brand-new record which also counts with Francesco Cescato on bass and of which I will be writing a few words.

As described by Giulia, Nèktar points to a backwards initiation journey, where death corresponds to a new life. It is the result of her oneiric visions and being intensely and mysteriously seduced by the a specific word – nectar, nettare, nèktar -, which gave the album its name. Driven by such strong source of inspiration, Giulia set out to put her dreams and visions into music and the result is a visceral and somewhat improvised musical experience. It is a fusion between various elements that drive her creatively and a few of those can be discerned upon careful examination. From her more ethereal vocal and guitar moments that channel Emma Ruth Rundle – case in point, the album’s title-track and “Death and Orpheus” -, to Nèktar’s heaviest and more doom moments where Julinko collectively invokes the spirit animal aspect of Chelsea Wolfe – as can be heard on “Deadly Romance” and “The Woods, The Wheel” -, the album’s influences are clear. There is even some experimentation, of which Giulia is not afraid to stay close to, where she sings in a more concerted and less digressing manner – “Servo” and the initial moments of “Spirit” remind us of this exact feeling.

As it stands, Nèktar is the perfect example on how to channel various musical influences without sounding like a copycat. Giulia isn’t afraid to show us her vision and how it came to be, free from any sense of pretentiousness. It is as if she had been a disciple of all these great female musicians for all these years, breathing and drinking in their wisdom, and now she left the nest to spread her wings and shine bright. It is a beautiful opus of pure alchemical darkness, one that mixes doom, psych and shoegaze to create a perfect blend of mystical music. An outstanding release and Julinko’s best record so far.

Highlight tracks: Deadly Romance; Death And Orpheus; The Woods, The Wheel; Nèktar

8/10

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