Fortunato Durutti Marinetti 
Eight Waves In Search Of An Ocean 

Soft Abuse • 2023

Eight Waves in Search of an Ocean is transformative, slightly transgressive, and delightfully marches to an original beat.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Velvet Underground lately. I’m reading Dylan Jones’ oral history, Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife) of the Velvet Underground, and he frequently makes the (undisputed) case that the band is ground zero for what rock ‘n’ roll would evolve into through the 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s. Not surprisingly, I keep hearing VU influences in whatever music I listen to. Whether it’s a direct influence or filtered through other musicians who have taken a cue from the legendary band, I hear their impact in the work of Daniel Colussi. Eight Waves in Search of an Ocean, his latest release as Fortunato Durutti Marinetti, may not immediately conjure connections to White Light/White Heat, but dig a little deeper, and you can hear echoes of Lou Reed in Colussi’s work beyond their signature deadpan sing/speak delivery.

It helps to understand that Colussi is something of a shapeshifter and persona-maker. Essentially a solo artist through his project, the Pinc Lincolns (and before that, a brief stint in Vancouver band the Shilohs), Colussi emerged as Fortunato Durutti Marinetti in 2020 via Desire, a cassette release that perfectly aligned with early pandemic ennui and uncertainty. I don’t remember whether Colussi ever explicitly said Fortunato Durutti Marinetti was his real name; still, it was (and still is) so easy to buy into the conceit that this was music being made by a musician based in Canada’s melting-pot metropolis (Toronto) and birthed in Italy’s most populous and European of cities (Turin), as famous for its cultural heritage as it is for a suspect burial shroud. Like Lou Reed-led/post-John Cale VU releases, Fortunato Durutti Marinetti’s Desire and 2022’s Memory’s Fool are lyrically ambitious records with deceptively straightforward arrangements that flew below the popular radar. They are the epitome of “if you know, you know” culture, revered and respected for their conceptual depth and ease of entry.

From the outset, Eight Waves in Search of an Ocean appears to nod towards the work of another idiosyncratic Daniel: Destroyer’s Dan Bejar. The album opens with “Lightning On A Sunny Day,” a song that embodies Colussi’s “poetic jazz rock” description of his work. As others have noted, the track could pass for a Destroyer outtake circa 211. What both Dans have in common with Reed is a slave-like commitment to artistic expression and an unwavering belief that genre is merely a marketing construct holding little sway over the creative process.

Too bad for you if some six minutes of bouncy, sunny synths weren’t enough to satisfy your yacht rock yearnings because, by the second song, Colussi is already moving on (be patient, the fifth track, “Clerk of Oblivion” delivers in spades). “The Flowers” is a subtle ballad about love discarded as dispassionately as a passed-its-prime bouquet that showcases some of the album’s most poetic and profound lyrics: “My black-eyed susans with broken heads / With all their petals missing / My red carnations are now left to go limp in the vase / The flowers of regret get nailed to the wall / And the faithless flowers of neglect get tossed straight onto the floor / But can you tell me what I’m supposed to say to this drained bouquet that you gave me? / How should I arrange it?”

“Misfit Streams” bears many hallmarks of producer Sandro Perri’s impact on Colussi’s music. Less a Warhol-like svengali and more guide-on-the-side influencer, the song’s bouncy fretless bass and sensual groove feel a little corny and out of step with Colussi’s nasal delivery of some of the album’s bleakest and darkest lyrics (“How do I express / something that’s so obvious / for anyone to see? / Such as this long blue vein that never stops bleeding”). In case it wasn’t clear what the song’s title refers to, Colussi layers on analogies to articulate that feeling of being invisible to and out of step with the world around you. He takes a similar approach with deliciously flute-flavoured “The Movie of Your Life,” with lyrics that play out like an ever-increasingly descriptive litany of metaphors (favourite line: “You’re the best man / Walking in on the groom / With the bridesmaid / In the bathroom”). 

Again, much like Reed’s musical MO, Colussi is playing (us) with repetition, lulling the listener as would a master hypnotist who drops an unexpected suggestion into our subconsciousness that we then accept as truth. It’s a manipulation so subtle as to appear unintended, but nothing on Eight Waves in Search of an Ocean isn’t premeditated or purposeful. Fortunato Durutti Marinetti revels in touchstones from Colussi’s musical influences but is not derivative or pedantic. Like the best work of his musical heroes, Eight Waves in Search of an Ocean is transformative, slightly transgressive, and delightfully marches to an original beat.

Thanks for checking out DOMINIONATED

We rely on reader support to keep delivering Canadian music conversations like the one you’re reading.
Become a supporter and help keep DOMINIONATED’s conversations going.