Italian duo Metaxu — Maurizio Martusciello and Filippo Paolini — here offer a retrospective of war and suffering over the last century or so, with track titles such as 07021964 Saigon and 06091945 Hiroshima. The recording has extraordinary clarity, post mastered by the estimable Louis Dufort, and the thoughtful examination of each conflict is both poignant and atmospheric. There is no random noise bluster here, despite the opportunity afforded by the subject matter — no dive bombing jet fighters, duelling machine guns or massed tank battles — instead strings and piano music weave their way through electronic clicks and buzzes, the music succeeding in conjuring up everything from the wet heat of the Vietnamese jungle to a cold Spring day in St Petersburg. A modern audience may struggle a little with some of the context: what happened in Sarajevo in June 1914? In Alicant in April 1939? In Belgrade five years ago? The outstanding recording here, however, should present no such problems, even to the Linkin Park generation. 11092001 New York begins with a whine and a rumble, and ends with an extended rush of noise and energy which is as close as you’ll ever want to get to flying into a tall building at speed, with intent. We are left with an impression of futility, of waste and of forgotten purpose: bloodshed in bucketloads, each new cause righteous, each resulting conflict inconclusive. “War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace” as Thomas Mann once put it. “Love is the answer” as John Lennon once said (well, more than once actually, but it’s not like we were listening). Decent stuff this, a history lesson and a slab of philosophy all rolled in to something you can play through your hi-fi system, and have done with in under an hour. Recommended.