This is the history of the eclectic and influential Italian project LIMBO which, after 20 years of activity, left its permanent mark on the international underground music landscape.
Formed in 1984 as the brainchild of Tuscan artist Gianluca Becuzzi - until today one of the most important personalities in the Italian electronic and experimental scene - LIMBO started out as a three-piece consisting of Becuzzi himself (vocals, synthesisers, programming and songwriting) and the two fellow art students Bruno Farese (synthesisers) and Carlo Mallegni (bass synthesiser).
Already three months later, the band released its first demo tape "Limbo" which gained the attention of the Italian music press and local promoters. Soon LIMBO began to perform live in Tuscany, also appearing on the underground tape-compilation "Still Life" with two tracks (including a new composition) on Roman label Komakino.
It didn't take long and word about LIMBO spread throughout, resulting in the band gaining a contract for a mini-LP on the already renowned label Spittle Records from Florence. After Enio Benassi taking the place of Carlo Mallegni, the three recorded the mini-LP "Poisoned Kisses In Limbo" in November 1985, which was released in February 1986.
After that, LIMBO embarked on the "Poisoned Tour", performing live all over Italy. Both the success of the record and the tour led to Spittle proposing a contract for a full-length album.
So at the end of 1986 the band locked itself up in the studio to record an album, having another change of line-up with Giovanni Fiaschi replacing Bruno Farese. Due to Spittle's failure the album was never released though, and the master tapes went lost. Only one track from those sessions appeared on the "Independent Music Meeting 88" compilation LP. After all these troubles, the further course of LIMBO was set by the departure of Benassi and Fiaschi and the decision of Becuzzi to work now as a duo with new member Vincenzo Mustone.
The two composed and recorded new tracks during the first half of 1989 which constituted LIMBO's actual debut album, named "My Whip, Your Flesh" and released in October of the same year on Mantra Records. This release was also followed by an Italian tour, further increasing LIMBO's status. All tracks of "My Whip, Your Flesh" were used in 1990 by Milanese director Fabio Salerno for his horror movie "Notte Profonda" (English title: "Deep Night") which became cult after the suicidal death of Salerno three years later.
1991 saw LIMBO's line-up expanding to a four-piece with Giovanni Fiaschi coming back and Silvio Pucci joining in. The band then returned to the studio to record the successor of the debut album. "Our Mary Of Cancer" was another important step in the artistic process of LIMBO, incorporating also guest vocalists like Alex Spalck of Pankow and Elena Margarolo of Brazil. The album was finished soon after and released by Helter Skelter in a limited edition of 666 on blood-red vinyl which sold out completely in few months only.
Leaving no break, the band continued instantly preparing material for the subsequent live shows and at the same time composing new material for yet another album. During its production, musical differences between Mustone and the rest of the band built up, leading to his departure after the recording process. The third album, entitled "Vox Insana", was released in spring 1992 on both CD and Vinyl on the newly established Dune Records instead of old label Helter Skelter.
Helter Skelter anticipated the release of "Vox Insana" with the unauthorised re-release of the two previous works "Our Mary Of Cancer" and "My Whip, Your Flesh" on a CD combining both albums (leaving out just one track from MWYF). This CD, known as "Black Album", was only authorised later - at the time neither band nor producer had been asked for permission.
However, "Vox Insana" further increased the popularity of LIMBO and in the course of the promotional tour the band (again as a three-piece) performed for the first time outside Italy with a date in Vienna.
At the end of 1992 the band recorded their fourth album "Evirazione Totemica Seriale" which was released by Florence based indie label Abraxas (under license from Dune Records) in the spring of 1993 and followed by an Italian tour. Also, new mixes of the album tracks have been made for an additional LIMBO release, but the project was never released.
The band, not satisfied with the production work on "Evirazione Totemica Seriale", decided to stop working with external producers in the future and went on writing new material. They recorded a new demo which was sent to various labels, but in the end a contract was offered in 1994 to LIMBO by Angelo Bergamini (head of legendary Italian electro-wave band Kirlian Camera and at the time also label manager of Ludwig II records), who was positively impressed by the band's live performance at a festival in Pisa (Italy). Bergamini signed LIMBO for an album and a single after listening also to their recent demo recordings.
The tracks of the demo were re-arranged, virtually stripping them from all guitar and bass parts, which led to internal problems with Silvio Pucci (bass and acoustic guitar) and Giovanni Fiaschi (electric guitars and violin). Moreover, Fiaschi's relocation to a new place about 300km from their hometown further weakened the structure of LIMBO, but the trio still succeeded in finishing the recordings of both the new album "Zos Kia Kaos" and the accompanying EP "Siliciolatria" in summer 1994. The two CDs were licensed by Bergamini's Ludwig II to the German label/distribution Discordia and finally released in the spring of 1995. Both Pucci and Fiaschi left soon after, reducing LIMBO to a one-man-project constituting of Gianluca Becuzzi.
Performing with the aid of backing tapes and visuals, Becuzzi by himself played several shows in the following months (including Germany and Switzerland) as LIMBO, also supporting Kirlian Camera on their tour through Germany and Austria.
Limbo's sixth album "Sein Und Zeit" was then released through Discordia directly in May 1996, following the release of "Plays Discordia" album by Metaform - a plagiarist side-project of Becuzzi - a month earlier. In the meantime Becuzzi had also been asked to replace the singer of the renowned electro-industrial band Pankow, so in parallel with the work on his own two releases, he was also doing the vocals on the new, homonymous Pankow album which was released later that year.
Resulting from Discordia's bankruptcy, "Hell's Gate Visions (1986/1996): A Total Revision", the long awaited retrospective remix album, was released only in October 1997 on follow-up label Triton. The collection became a huge success, but business relations between LIMBO and the new label soon ended.
While waiting for the release of "Hell's Gate Visions", Becuzzi was already writing new material for the continuation of "Sein Und Zeit". After an Italian mini-tour in May 1998 (this time with live support of D.Loop from the Italian EBM project Kebabträume), the seventh LIMBO album, entitled "L'Être Et Le Néant", was released in October by Solar Plexus, a sub-division of the German label/distribution Nova-Tekk.
Conceived and recorded in the same sessions of "L'Être Et Le Néant" in the summer of 1998, the recording of a cover album - the first part of LIMBO's "Millenium Trax" trilogy - was finished, and already in January 1999 the album titled "Continuum: The Fire Front" saw its release through Energeia, dark-wave label from Naples. Following the release of the two albums, LIMBO went on a short Italian tour.
Exactly one year later, the second part of the "Millenium Trax" trilogy, "Cospiratorium: The Ice Line", came out also on Energeia. The album included collaborations with the most important Italian electro acts of the eighties and nineties, such as Sigillum S, IT, Atrax Morgue, Kebabträume and others. Also Kinetix - Becuzzi's current project - was already introduced then. Work on this intensified soon after, and no tour was organised to support the new LIMBO album. At the same time, Becuzzi was also involved with Kirlian Camera, playing live keyboards and recording also a few tracks with them.
The idea for the last part of the "Millenium Trax" trilogy was to capture live versions of LIMBO's most important tracks. The band's concert at the Wave Gotik Treffen 2000 in Germany constituted the base for this release, but because of the unsatisfying quality of the recording a final tour was organised by D.Loop in March 2001, with three concerts covering the north, centre and south of Italy. The line-up consisted of Gianluca Becuzzi (vocals), D.Loop (backing vocals and keyboards) and the sound engineer Paolo Cillerai (stage mixing and effects), who recorded all the albums from "Sein und Zeit" up to "Cospiratorium".
The band recorded enough material for a live album and a live DVD, but when Energeia first postponed the release and later shut down, Becuzzi saw less and less reason to go on with LIMBO as he was already working intensely on material for Kinetix - by now his main project - and moving further into experimental territories.
Still, finishing the trilogy was important and in July 2002 the duo Becuzzi / Loop signed a contract for the last chapter of the "Millenium Trax Trilogy" with the Genovese label Cursed Land Entertainment (a sub-label of Beyond Productions) who asked them for a kind of "best of" release. So although its concept radically changed from a live album to a compilation of remastered, remixed and brand new tracks, "Compendium: The Light Fall" was finally released in April 2004 as a posthumous album, about two decades after the first demo tape and concluding an unparalleled career in underground music.