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Larsen -- Roberto Maria Clemente, Paolo Dellapiana, Silvia Grosso, Fabrizio Palumbo, and Marco Schiavo -- is a mysterious experimental rock band from Torino, Italy. In and around 2000, the quartet began wheedling artist, label head, and producer Michael Gira by sending him a series of bizarrely packaged CDRs on the 1st and 21st of each month. After the packages stopped arriving, Gira received a letter informing him of his mission: Told to arrive in Torino on the first of the following month, Gira was to spend 21 days producing the band and would return home on the 22nd. Enclosed with the letter was a round-trip flight to Italy and an advance payment. Interested due to the unique circumstances, as well as the recordings he had been sent, Gira obliged. For three weeks, Gira produced Larsen without actually seeing them -- the group played behind a screen and did not communicate directly with him. Instead, the group's assistants aided Gira and provided language translation. The producer would spend hours hearing the band play, watching their shadows, and occasionally would hear the members argue violently. When the time was right, Gira would be told to record. After the recording was completed, roughly ten hours of material were edited down with the screen again separating the producer and an engineer from the group, as assistants provided translation back and forth. Rever wound up being the end result, and Gira released the record on his Young God label in early 2002. ~ Andy Kellman