CENTRAL UNIT. Current members of the band are - from left to right -
Riccardo Lolli, Alberto Pietropoli and Enrico Giuliani
From the end of the seventies to the beginning of the eighties: years of great musical innovations in Bologna, and in particular on the 2nd April 1979 at the BOLOGNA ROCK which was held at the Palasport in Bologna, a mega concert of surreal, free and straight rock.
Born in the historic cellars of Via San Vitale.
Meanwhile, the last independent radio station RADIO CITTA' 103 began to air the first singles of what will later be called NEW WAVE.
The radio station was animated by a lively mixed group of journalists, musicians, designers, writers, theatre actors and people ready to pick up on a new trend from the UK and the USA. Natale Nitti, Alberto Pietropoli and Roberto Caramelli were a part of this movement.
They researched through many avenues of this new musical trend. In their search they came across new types of music and their attention was drawn in particular to Californians TUXEDOMOON.
Their music, with the use of electronics as a base (keyboards, drum machine) and sax, was the spark to start CENTRAL UNIT (Nitti, Pietropoli and Caramelli).
In addition to saxophone and electronics, bass plays an important role in Tuxedomoon: Pietropoli, who has already been a part of various bands, contacts an old companion, Enrico Giuliani, who becomes the CENTRAL UNIT bass player completing the initial line-up.
The group compose their first songs: SATURDAY NITE, BESET CITY and ROCK ONZE, which will be part of their first self-produced vinyl, LOVING MACHINERY, released by LM Records, a small independent label.
The EP is completed with a version of WHAT USE as a tribute to TUXEDOMOON, which CENTRAL UNIT met at the concert organized by Radio Citta’ 103 in Bologna.
The EP, despite not having any promotion behind it but thanks to frequent broadcastings by various radio stations, receives good response and reviews. SATURDAY NITE was broadcasted many times in Belgium, Holland and Germany. Included in the TOP 15 of RADIO FM BRUSSELS, it appeared on a German compilation called NEW WAVE 1980.
LOVING MACHINERY also marks an important step in the history of CENTRAL UNIT: cover is designed by Giorgio Carpinteri and this collaboration will continue for all the subsequent releases.
The band has some important reviews: music sweeps without complacency between different genres and lends itself to being associated with scenic representation and images, as is often defined “soundtrack music”.
CENTRAL UNIT continue to compose: their association with Peter Principle - Tuxedomoon bass player - in August 1982 bring them to record some material which will be subsequently published in June 1983 by CGD label on their first self-titled album “CENTRAL UNIT”.
New opportunities are opening up: the band participates at “Milano Suono” exhibition; in October 1983, after the release of the CGD album, they're invited to join “No Wave No Jazz” festival in Berlin, sharing the stage with Fad Gadget and Einstürzende Neubauten.
Unexpectedly, the relationship with the CGD cools down. Label requests differ too much from CENTRAL UNIT attitude, so the contract is consensually terminated in April 1984.
There follow six years of silence with some failed attempts to revamp the band, up until the year 2000 when the turning point that leads to the rebirth of the group comes. The plan at first foresaw the presence of all the original members, but everything seems to be wrecked when Nitti is forced to move far away from Bologna. The determination to start over again is very strong: the band comes in touch with Riccardo Lolli, an acquaintance of Giuliani, a good keyboard player, creative singer and composer.
There was a decisive meeting for a restart that leads to the composition of many new songs in perfect continuity with the style and sounds that have distinguished the music of CENTRAL UNIT.
DEMOS 2001 CDR is self-produced and proposed to some independent labels. It appeals to Vannuccio Zanella and Nino Destra of MP & Records, and this lays the foundation and collaboration that brings the band back to life.
In 2003 the label reissues the two records from the 80’s in a single CD, while in the meantime the band is enriched with the inclusion of the drummer Andrea Ventura. In September 2004 CENTRAL UNIT release the CD “INTERNAL CUT” with renowned jazz trumpeter Marco Tamburini as a special guest.
Even with a recognizable style, new members Lolli and Ventura bring new breath to the compositions and the results are tangible in the production of new songs, which will appear in October 2010 on the album “I SEE YOU”
CENTRAL UNIT are now considered an historical band, and retrospective interest by listeners is always on.
In 2013 Mannequin Records reissues the historic EP “LOVING MACHINERY” in a white vinyl limited edition; in 2013 Vinyl Magic reissues on vinyl the 1983 CGD album “CENTRAL UNIT”.
Projects follows one after another: in September 2018 “WHATEVER DAY SUITS YOU BEST” is released on both vinyl and CD. Time passes by, but the creative work of Lolli, Pietropoli and Giuliani seems inexhaustible and new works are on the horizon.
….To be continued….