“Andrea Marutti has had a release on Taâlem before, and there was a time when his name popped a lot more in these pages. I have no idea why not so much these days. Music by Carlo Giordani has been reviewed only once, it seems, in Vital Weekly 727. He takes credit for ‘field-recordings, tapes, treatments, mixing’, while Marutti is responsible for ‘synthesizers, samples, treatments, mixing, mastering’. I understand that this piece is the first part of a bigger work to be released in the future, but it is something that they have been working on for some time. The cover says it was “recorded and assembled between December 2013 and May 2019” and it is part of a soundtrack to “Aquology – Oceano Interiore”, a multimedia project by Massimo Indellicati. The aquatic theme one could not miss in the splashes of water sounds that we hear in the opening of the piece and which run throughout this piece. It all has that below sea surface quality, the soundtrack, I imagine, of being inside a submarine. Now here I would think the treatments are all done with the use of computer technology. Large chunks of field recordings are processed and together with those who still have a more natural feeling combined into a large, twenty-two-minute soundscape of drips, splashes and the uber-drone of what sounds like a submarine engine humming in the back. It is something that could have fitted on the Mystery Sea label, had that still existed. This is an excellent work and it made me curious about the rest of it.”
After “Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings” – which was made available just a little bit more than two months ago – Jean-Marc of taâlem was kind enough to release another effort of mine, this time created in collaboration with field-recordist Carlo Giordani.
As usual, per label’s policy this EP – entitled “Impressioni organizzate di ansie liquide” – is available as a digital download and as two different editions presented on the tiny and collectable 3″ MiniCDr format. One of the two variants comes in a pro-printed 2-panel mini-digipack and is strictly limited to 32 numbered copies, the other is housed in a regular plastic mini-jewelcase and is offered to the public in an unlimited edition.
In 2005 I had the chance to know Carlo Giordani‘s work through Paolo Ippoliti – of Logoplasm fame – who had hosted a large collection of his field-recordings on the S’agita Recordings website. At a time when the field-recordings craze was beginning to spread, I immediately realized that Carlo was a veteran in this… field! A grown man with a very peculiar listening talent and technical ability, as well as a special sensitivity.
After re-proposing some of his works on a digital compilation that celebrated the first ten years of Afe Records, Carlo and I remained in touch, often exchanging recordings and opinions, but without trying our hands in a ‘real’ collaboration.
In 2011 Massimo Indellicati of Ambiente H finally gave us the opportunity to work together, inviting us to provide music to accompany some of his experimental movies, whose main theme was “water”. That was the input which, over the years, again to satisfy Massimo’s need for a soundtrack to his many projects – including the installation “Aquology – Oceano interiore” – led to the creation of a series of pieces that Carlo and I decided to collect under the title “Impressioni organizzate di ansie liquide” (“Organized Impressions of Liquid Anxieties”).
This first part, entitled “Furia e abbandono (galleggiare, annaspare, arrendersi e lasciarsi trasportare)” – which translates into “Fury and Abandonment (floating, struggling, surrendering and being carried away)” – originally exceeded 30 minutes and has been completely revised on occasion of this publication to make it more ‘straight to the point’ and suitable for the 3″ MiniCDr format.
“I’ve enjoyed the Belgian label Taâlem (which grew out of a previous label called Harmonie) ever since their beginning in the late ’90s. They mainly put out 3” CDrs (a format that reminds me of trading cards) of darkly atmospheric music marked by electro-acoustic disturbance. This current batch is the label’s 129th, 130th and 131st release, which shows how prolific they’ve become. The 20-minute limit of the format suits this stuff perfectly. Concise statements that leave me wanting more, forcing me to return and listen more deeply. The first disc is by the Italian artist Andrea Marutti, who used to run a label called Afe Records and also records as Amon, Spiral, Never Known and Lips Vago. His latest 3” for Taâlem is, as the title implies, a hallucinogenic drone that throws in some weird wrenches as it gets closer to the end. Marutti works in the post-Lustmord “dark ambient” mode here, starting out with ominous blankets with low throb and slow-motion watery threat. After several minutes, the curtains lift and with cleansing light comes children talking and roughly-recorded scrape that seems like it jumped in from a different record. It’s a neat tonal shift, one that continues into Marutti’s second track, “Peter’s Psychedelic Breakfast”. That title is, of course, a nod towards Pink Floyd, though its unclear who Peter is or what the Floyd connection is. This track is another drone, though lighter in mood than the opener. The strangest part is the very end, in which the sound fades and dissipates, leaving a coda of digital glitches as if someone accidentally bumped the microphone or a cord went bad… and then abruptly hits an “off” switch. Weird. […]“
On Christmas day Belgian label taâlem has released the newest installment in their “Homework” series, which consists of a 59 tracks compilation by artists who operate in the Experimental / Drone Music fields. Andrea Marutti‘s “Awake in the Slumbering Gardens”, an unreleased and exclusive effort recorded in the second half of 2019, is featured as opening number.
I am quite glad to annouce that “Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings” is finally out on the Belgian label taâlem.
As per label’s policy, this EP is available as a digital download and as two different editions presented on the tiny and collectable 3″ MiniCDr format. One of the two variants comes in a pro-printed 2-panel mini-digipack and is strictly limited to 32 numbered copies, the other is housed in a regular plastic mini-jewelcase and is offered to the public in an unlimited edition.
“Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings” is particularly important both for me and the label, because it comes exactly 18 years after my “Traces 94-95“, which on December 3, 2001, inaugurated the now incredibly long series of taâlem publications – when the label was still based in France, and also because it represents my first proper release since I re-built my studio and started working on new music during the recent years.
“A Cypher For Glitchbusters” and “Peter’s Psychedelic Breakfast”, the two tracks featured on the EP in a seamless sequence, were created on purpose of a release on taâlem and were especially designed to fit the 3″ MiniCDr format.
In January 2019, as a sort of ‘personal experiment’ on myself, I worked on this music exclusively by night. For about one week I decided to sleep no more than a few hours each day during the late afternoon, and stayed awake all night to work with my synthesizers, sampler, effects and so on.
The resulting lack of rest put me in a particular state of mind, where I was less focused on the search of an ‘audiophile’ quality to the music, suggesting me to experiment with, and concentrate on, what would be usually considered ‘errors’. I intentionally included some glitches, tape hiss and various defects, and also used field recordings and other sounds which I originally recorded on cheap cassettes during the early ’90s, when I had an habit to slow down sounds with two tape decks and I usually re-recorded the same cassettes hundreds of times.
Both titles are inspired by this ‘experience’, and the tracks have a sort of ‘psychedelic quality’, or at least that is the impression they still give me months after their creation.
“A Cypher For Glitchbusters” is an attempt to describe with just a few words the practice I mentioned a few lines above, while “Peter’s Psychedelic Breakfast” is both an hommage to a quite more famous sonic breakfast – which I guess needs no further explanation – and a personal dedication to my closest friend who has been supporting and helping me ever since my memory can remember.
Amon è lo storico progetto dark-ambient di Andrea Marutti – assieme a Never Known – nato agli inizi degli anni ’90. La sua produzione non è molto vasta ma tutti i suoi album sono, a loro modo, significativi. Attualmente Marutti è attivo con gli Hall of Mirrors insieme a Giuseppe Verticchio con cui aveva collaborato anche nel 2007 in “Sator”, uno split uscito a nome Amon/Nimh. Ora l’artista ha deciso di ristampare “The Legacy”, uscito in origine nel 1999, in versione rimasterizzata e con un bonus CD dal vivo, ribatezzandolo “The Innermost Legacy”. Le sonorità di Amon sono all’insegna dell’oscurità più totale: la musica procede per lente evoluzioni di drones e questo vecchio disco non fa che confermarne il talento. Sin dall’iniziale “Sandstone” siamo proiettati in una dimensione soprannaturale in cui si officiano antichi rituali in onore di divinità innominabili. Amon è forse l’artista italiano di musica d’atmosfera e ambientale che più è andato oltre nell’evocazione di ambientazioni occulte e tenebrose. Gli metteremmo accanto Claudio Dondo con i suoi Runes Order. Sicuramente è una musica che verrà apprezzata dagli amanti di Lustmord, altro artista da sempre senza compromessi nel genere. Le quattro tracce intitolate “The Legacy I, II, III, IV” sono un lungo incubo senza fine da cui non sembra ci sia nessuna possibilità di uscita. Si ha la vivida sensazione di essere chiusi all’interno di una piramide circondati dai sarcofagi: è musica descrittiva e claustrofobica che farà emergere dal vostro io ricordi sepolti nell’inconscio. Le registrazioni dal vivo ci presentano invece materiale proveniente da vari concerti svoltisi negli anni ’90, fra cui il Primo Congresso Post-Industriale Italiano a Pordenone.
Last June the 7th, I joined my friends Massimo & Antonio – better knows as ODRZ – in their studio located in Osnago (close to Lecco, Italy) to offer my contribution to their huge ODRZ66 collective project.
Every friday night from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., starting from January the 4th, 2019, ODRZ have recorded a noise track. Musicians operating in the Electronic, Experimental and Noise scene were invited to participate and record a live improvisation with them. The project will continue throughout the current year and at the end it will consist of 52 tracks, one for each week. ODRZ66 is supported by Norwegian label TIBProd Records which is releasing the outcome on a monthly basis on their Bandcamp page.
On purpose of this recording I dusted off my old Belco audio generators, a modified Casio SK-1 keyboard + assorted effects and gadgets. This is the direct link to the track we recorded together – simply entitled “ODRZ66.23” – which is now part of the June update. We also had time to record additional material which could easily be the foundation for a more structured future collaboration… Time will tell.
The picture in this post was taken by Enrico Ponzoni.
Last September I had the great pleasure to collaborate with Alessandro Monti/Unfolk on a track. Basically, I abused one of his guitar pieces – treating it with several effects – and I also added a few synthesizer sounds for good measure. In the beginning there was no plan to release it, but Alessandro enjoyed the result and thought that it would fit on the latest Unfolk album, which was still in the making then… Well a few months are passed and our collaboration – baptized “Alpha/Black Hole/Omega”- was included as the last number on “File Under Oblivion“, the final chapter of the Unfolk project which was recently released by M.P. Records. Needless to say that I’m happiest to be featured among the members of the Unfolk collective on this very special double CD release. Here’s a short press-release written by Alessandro himself:
“File Under Oblivion” is the final Unfolk album: from positive artistic oblivion (Disc 1) to negative Internet oblivion (Disc 2), the topic changes and so does the music; a PROGression through different genres, decontextualized and even merging into each other. Not exactly a ‘concept album’, but all the tracks are thematically linked. Featuring the Unfolk Collective plus Tim Bowness as a special guest on one track, Mauro Martello (OpusAvantra) and a rare remix by house music legend Visnadi (who scored huge hits as Alex Party & Livin’ Joy in the 90’s). Exclusive artwork by Jarrod Gosling, Mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge, London.
The Unfolk Collective is: Roberto Noè, Claudio Valente, Daniele Principato, Alex Masi, Elisabetta Montino, Riccardo De Zorzi, Franco Moruzzi, David Mora, Matteo Lucchesi, Tullio Tombolani, Bebo Baldan, Andrea Marutti, Alessandro Monti.
Here’s the latest review of “The Innermost Legacy” as published by Roberto Mandolini on Onda Rock:
La suggestiva immagine delle piramidi della Piana di Gizah, con sopra Mercurio, Venere e Saturno allineati, campeggia all’interno del libretto di “The Innermost Legacy”, ristampa a vent’anni di distanza del terzo album di Andrea Marutti a nome Amon, “The Legacy” (Eibon, 1999). Le sei tracce del disco sono state rimasterizzate dallo stesso Marutti, che ha voluto includere nella ristampa un intero CD, “Live Report”, una raccolta di registrazioni archiviate tra il 1997 e il 2000, e fino a oggi rimaste inedite. Ad inizio scaletta “Sandstones” è la porta verso l’ignoto che Amon apre a coloro che lo ascoltano: un drone proveniente da chissà dove risale dalle tenebre e lentamente avvolge ogni luce; la tensione non si scioglie, rimanendo costante su una portante che modula suoni acustici ed elettronici. Le sinapsi sono ora pronte a percepire minime variazioni di luminosità anche nell’oscurità più totale (“The Legacy I: Enter Darkness”). I suoni acquistano maggior dinamica e il drone maggior profondità: Amon ci sta portando all’interno delle sue visioni, dove le immagini in bassa risoluzione delle Cydonia Mensae catturate dalla sonda Viking 1 nel 1976 prendono la forma del Volto su Marte. Marutti con le sue lunghe composizioni dark-ambient sembra voler officiare dei riti ancestrali, cortocircuitando passato e futuro con visioni altamente suggestive. Rispetto al recente passato, nella musica di Amon ci sono meno sintetizzatori e più campionamenti. I drone spesso veicolano strati di feedback controllato. I brani dell’album sono numerati con le lettere dell’alfabeto greco. Il quinto in scaletta, quindi quello preceduto dalla lettera ‘ε’, “The Legacy IV: Exit Light” è il punto di non ritorno dall’universo di Amon, rappresentato con il lungo drone che chiude l’album, “Amunhaptra”. Tre delle nove tracce contenute sul CD “Live Report” – “Aura Rhanes”, “Ank-Sen-Amon” e “Darkside Return II” – sono state registrate al Rototom di Pordenone il 29 maggio del 1998 durante il Primo Congresso Post-Industriale Italiano. Una è una prova registrata in studio, a Milano, tra la fine del 1999 e l’inizio del 2000. Le altre cinque sono state registrare dal vivo durante le prime esibizioni di Amon, tra Milano (Molto Gallery) e Bologna (Fiera District, Link). Le tracce sono state editate per creare un unico flusso senza soluzione di continuità.
“The Legacy” uscì vent’anni fa per Eibon Records. Amon (Andrea Marutti) è da sempre una delle idee fisse di Mauro Berchi su come debba essere il dark ambient, tanto da che in passato lo ha definito il più importante progetto in Italia nel genere e si è occupato quasi sempre dei suoi dischi, oltre che di quelli registrati assieme a Giuseppe Verticchio/Nimh (a nome Hall Of Mirrors). “The Innermost Legacy” è una ristampa con aggiunte, pubblicata da Eibon assieme a Silentes, altra etichetta da sempre attenta a ciò che fa Andrea: nuovo mastering del musicista stesso, bonus cd con pezzi live, compreso uno proveniente dal Primo Congresso Post-Industriale italiano a Pordenone, la città di Old Europa Cafe (era sempre il 1998). All’epoca, prima che entrasse in gioco tutto il cosiddetto drone-doom – che avrebbe alzato la barra della potenza, cambiato la partita, suggerito nuove contaminazioni e anche un ‘nuovo passato’ in cui trovare spunti – c’erano i cloni della Cold Meat Industry, i cloni di Lustmord e c’era Amon, che come ascolti partiva da dove prendevano le mosse gli altri (tutti fan dell’industrial della prima ora, fossero i Test Dept, i Throbbing Gristle, i Coil, gli SPK, i Zoviet France o qualche nome ancora più sepolto), ma che non sapeva che ciò che suonava sarebbe stato etichettato come dark ambient: niente ruggiti infernali, niente canti monastici, niente trucchi horror. The (Innermost) Legacy è semplicemente (?) il respiro di creature eterne, il vibrare di una dimensione i cui abitanti non si agitano affatto come noi, che sappiamo di morire presto. Non a caso l’album è ispirato dal cosiddetto “volto/faccia su Marte”, dunque si parla di storie che abbracciano i millenni e non i secoli. In un’epoca in cui si ristampano tanti minimalisti delle origini, una generazione comunque precedente a quella di Andrea, Amon sembra più vivo e credibile di altri suoi contemporanei.