CALABRIA, Southern Italy — a landscape of unmarked graves hidden by abandoned construction sites left as monuments to a corrupt state; a code of silence masking a culture of extreme cruelty; age-old folk traditions and occulted religious rites which refuse to acknowledge the passing of time; the secret brotherhoods; the holy bloodline and birthplace of the ‘Ndrangheta - part business, part religious order and part ancient military, now one of the most powerful organised crime groups in the world.
Broken Britain Cassettes inaugurates its World Service imprint with Pax Mafiosa, the first dispatch from La Santa, a native Calabrese, who delivers a concoction of ceremonial death chants, phone tappings and initiation rituals. Based around collaged samples from an inherited record collection, Pax Mafiosa invokes visceral fear and spiritual ecstasy with biting electronics and harrowing field recordings.
In Calabria the sacred and the profane are not mutually exclusive. The name ‘La Santa’ refers to both the Virgin Mary and the highest, most secretive level of The ‘Ndrangheta, a secret society within a secret society which links the top bosses with freemasons and extremist terror organisations. Pax Mafiosa is a sonic mapping of this dysfunctional marriage of mafia and religion.
“Giuro di portare sempre con me questa boccetta di veleno e, se per disgrazia dovessi tradire questi nuovi fratelli di Santa, di avvelenarmi con le mie stesse mani.”