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Forever Faithless

Agosto 2010
Mixare musica dance e princìpi buddisti, un gioco da ragazzi per i Faithless. Dopo aver rivoluzionato la scena dance a metà negli anni ‘90, il collettivo inglese insiste su quesa strada e lancia il CD The Dance: pace e compassione a ritmo di house.

di Jonathan Cameron

Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz
Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz

The “electronica” group Faithless  made their recording debut in 1996. 14 years later they are still going strong. In May they released their sixth album, The Dance (on the Pias Recordings label), and in June they promoted it at the prestigious Glastonbury Festival, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.
The Dance is an appropriate name for an album by such a dance-oriented group. Less appropriate, perhaps, is the band’s name: Faithless. Lead vocalist and rapper Maxi Jazz (whose real name is Maxwell Alexander Fraser) is a Buddhist, while DJ Sister Bliss (real name: Ayalah Deborah Bentovim) was born in Israel and is presumably Jewish.
Little is known about the religious views of the group’s third member, producer Rollo (real name: Rowland Constantine O’Malley Armstrong), whose sister, Dido, is a famous singer.


As Sister Bliss admits, commercial  success didn’t come immediately to Faithless. She says: “We received very little attention from radio in the early days. We were told there was no chorus, no hook, nothing. So we just carried on, doing our thing.”
As often happens to British groups (Genesis are another example), Faithless found their first fans abroad. Their debut album, Reverence, was not a hit at home. Sister Bliss says: “We thought, ‘Well, we’ll just do another record and it was only because (the single) ‘Insomnia’ got this mad following in Europe that we actually decided to re-release it in the UK.”
In actual fact both Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz see the latest album as a return to their roots. Sister Bliss says that before The Dance was released she did “a lot of DJing in clubs around the world, in order to see whether our new music worked.”


Maxi Jazz, on the other hand, says he also enjoys playing to smaller audiences: “Nobody really starts their musical career playing to 95,000 people at a festival with the sun going down. You always start in a pub, with 30 to 40 people in it clapping politely, and saying, ‘He’s good, isn’t he?’” For Maxi, a club on Saturday night is the perfect setting: “When you’ve got your audience right there in front of you, you can hear them, you can see them, you can smell them; 400 to 500 people right in front of you. It’s brilliant!”
Maxi Jazz finds touring hard work and his Buddhist beliefs mean that he has a laid-back attitude towards stardom: “The only thing that’s different for me (with respect to the past) is that I don’t spend much time at my home, but then, at the end of the day, I can put one or two nice things in it!”


Although The Dance was officially released on the Pias Recordings label on May 17th, at first it was available on a digital-only basis (iTunes and the Faithless webshop). Physical copies were, however, distributed by the British supermarket chain Tesco.
The album has 11 tracks. The key ones are: “Not Going Home,” “Tweak Your Nipple” and “Sun to Me.”  www.faithless.co.uk

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faithless - lett, senza fede.

no chorus, no hook, nothing - niente ritornello, niente di orecchiabile.

we just... our thing - siamo andati avanti per i fatti nostri.

got this mad following - ebbe un successo pazzesco.

roots - radici.

clapping politely - che applaudono cortesemente.

a laid-back attitude towards stardom - un atteggiamento rilassato nei confronti della celebrità.