Back in 1971, when this real gem of electronic experimentation was released, the term “cybernetic” was used to refer to the future. Or, at least, to an obscure science in the hands of a few experts, conducting experiments in rooms filled with huge electronic calculators. Automated controls, auto-regulation, information theory… those were abstract, uncommon and rarely used concepts which would change the world in a few years – and, in our case, deeply influenced an album which, almost half a century later, remains a mystery.
The greek origin of the word used as a title (kybernetes, which indicates the pilot of a ship) is not very helpful and we still don’t know who is hiding under the Peymont alias. For many years it was commonly believed that Peymont was Piero Umiliani in disguise, but some of the most respected theories explain that the nickname was used to hide the identity of Luigi Malatesta – composer of film scores, music libraries and, oddly enough, the hymn of the italian political party Democrazia Cristiana – or the world famous Egisto Macchi (a more fascinating and plausible thesis).
The 13 tracks featured on Cibernetica, indeed, bring to the mind the most abstract and experimental compositions of Macchi; but if we fell into the pitfall of living this listening experience as it was a treasure hunt, we’d make a huge mistake.
Indeed, this music is constantly a means to research and explore: we can almost see the author and the musicians – whoever they are – locked in a research lab (“Laboratorio di ricerche”) while assembling thermoionic valves (“Valvole termoioniche”) and artificial kidneys (“Reni artificiali”), using an oscilloscope (“Oscilloscopio”) or an electronic calculator (“Calcolatore elettronico”), discussing about analysis and distillation (“Analisi e distillazione”), electronic impulses (“Impulsi elettronici”) and automatism (“Automatismo”). If you are careful – and we’re certain you do – you can also listen to the noise of a teletypewriter printing these notes, in a future perfect time.