Andrea Marutti – Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings reviewed on Vital Weekly

Here‘s the first review of Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings as written by Howard Stelzer for Vital Weekly:

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. […]

Homework – Year 4

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.

The compilation is available as a free / name your price digital release on the label’s Bandcamp page.

Andrea Marutti – Sleepless Nights | Lysergic Mornings

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.

More information is available here. You can listen to the complete release and purchase it on the dedicated Bandcamp page.

Amon “The Innermost Legacy” review on Ver Sacrum

This review of “The Innermost Legacy” has almost eluded me, I just discovered it today… It was written (in Italian) by Caesar for Ver Sacrum:

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.

ODRZ66

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.

Unfolk – File Under Oblivion

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.

Amon “The Innermost Legacy” review on Onda Rock

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.

Amon “The Innermost Legacy” review on The New Noise

Here’s another review of “The Innermost Legacy” courtesy of Fabrizio Garau, it was published recently on The New Noise webzine:

“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.

Amon “The Innermost Legacy” review on Vital Weekly

A new review of “The Innermost Legacy” was recently published by Frans de Waard on Vital Weekly:

(…) St.an.da. is a new branch to the mighty tree that is Italy’s Silentes label. Another is their Silentes Minimal Editions, who re-release a double CD by Amon, in cooperation with Eibon Records. The latter originally released this in 1999. Behind Amon is Andrea Marutti, who seems to be less active these days. A decade or so ago he seemed much more active when it came to releasing music, either under his name, but also as Afeman, Lips Vago, Never Known and Spiral. As Amon, he was most active from 1996 to 2008. Originally “The Innermost Legacy” was a single CD; the second CD contains “a selection of previously unreleased tracks recorded at various Amon concerts during the late ’90s”. If Orsi’s latest album is ‘slightly darker’, then this is sure ‘very dark’. It is the kind of dark ambient that one heard quite a bit in the 90s, when for music like this, someone invented the term ‘isolationist’ music, a term to describe a broad range for more experimental forms of ambient music, usually made by individuals in home studios. It is not a term I use a lot these days, but just now I am thinking about it and it occurred to me that it is also a term that one could apply to music that has a very claustrophobic feeling. That is something that the music of Amon has in abundance. The sound of being locked in a small room and an escape is not imminent. You hear sounds outside, but very much also inside your head and you could easily think you’re going crazy. It is interesting to compare the studio music and live recordings from those years and note that the studio recordings have a level of abstraction that I didn’t find in the concert material. It’s not that these are easier going, as here too everything is pitched down quite a bit and a bit of distortion is not avoided, but as far as live music from the dark underbelly of the universe this is something that at a medium-high volume will be quite overwhelming. At the same volume, the studio recordings would come to mild torture, with that more than a mild distortion of all sonic frequencies. It is all quite overwhelming but on a rain-soaked Thursday afternoon, this is the perfect soundtrack; it all stays very grey!

Amon “The Innermost Legacy” review on Blow Up

A new review of “The Innermost Legacy”, written by Gino Dal Soler, was included in the March issue of Blow Up magazine:

Da tanto non sentivamo parlare di Andrea Marutti alias Amon. Il suo ritorno contempla ora la ristampa – dopo vent’anni dalla sua pubblicazione – di “The Legacy”, quando il suo interesse per suoni e fenomeni interplanetari volgeva lo sguardo verso quella ‘Face of Mars’ fotografata per la volta nel 1976 dal satellite orbitante Viking, in una delle sue missioni. Una faccia di Marte che pareva somigliante alla Grande Sfinge di Giza, diviene così un pretesto artistico per esplorare nuovi suoni, facendo volare l’immaginazione su segni e simboli di un possibile passaggio in tempi antichi su quel pianeta. La musica ancora una volta riflette le profondità abissali e spaziali di una Dark-Deep Ambient non lontana dal primo Lustmord, quello delle “Black Stars Hang”. Ma è l’altro CD a catturare l’attenzione, un “Live Report” finora inedito di rare – e per questo preziose – testimonianze dal vivo, un paio delle quali al Link di Bologna e all’Open Air Ambient Festival, sempre a Bologna, mi videro partecipe e promotore. Le altre sono a Milano e Pordenone. Eravamo tra il ’97 e il ’98, lo stato dell’arte del sampling, dei field-recordings e di certa Ambient.