I was saddened to
learn that Maserati recently lost their drummer, Gerhardt
Fuchs, to a really unfortunate elevator accident earlier this
month, but it can be taken as some sort of consolation that he's
left this beast of an odds-n-ends compilation behind him. Despite
its inevitable lack of cohesion, Passages sees the band in
admirable form, combining titillating rarities (from their split-LP with Zombi and their remix album)
with a couple of unreleased treasures.
For me, Passages'
defining moments are the two versions of aptly-monolithic "Monoliths."
The original is a delectable cut-up of U2 guitar soars and
dance-punk energy, whereas the remix by Steve Moore (of
Zombi) adds Tangerine Dream synths to produce a mesmeric
epic that sounds as if it's been taken straight off the Risky
Business soundtrack. Also excellent is the trancey, dancefloor-ready
mix of "Inventions" (courtesy of !!!'s Justin Van Der
Volgen) and rousing anthem "No More Sages". The
microhouse of "The World Outside" doesn't exactly whet my whistle,
but it's a minor lapse in an otherwise standout rarities collection.
For lack of a superior descriptor (all other attempts seem to be
heavily hyphenated generic amalgams), Maserati is an epic
band, not in the distasteful internet sense but in that its
compositions evoke vivid feelings of adventure and passion.