Lips Vago – Fictional Selfs EP

Artist:  Lips Vago
Title:  Fictional Selfs EP
Format:  12″ EP
Label:  Fluyo
Cat. number:  Fluyo02
Tracks:  4
Playing Time:  27:04
Release date:  December 1, 2023
File under:  IDM / Leftfield / Deep House / Trance


Tracklist:

a1.  The Mobility of Her Features (7:31)
a2.  Filler 4  (6:29)
b1.  Laughing-Stock [Remix] (7:52)
b2.  VST Atlas (5:12)


Samples:


Credits:

All titles composed and performed by Andrea Marutti.
Recorded and mixed between April 1996 and January 1999.

Mastered by Marco Pellegrino at Analogcut Mastering.


Label’s press release:

Andrea Marutti is most known in the electronic music field for his more experimental works. Since the early ’90s he has been crafting his own blend of mind-expanding soundscapes, creating a strong sense of ancient mysticism and time travel with his Amon project. Also dealing with Pseudoarchaeology, lost myths and explorations of the inner self is his other alias, Never Known, which at times offers a lighter approach to Ambient music. Through the decades, several of his releases have been published by labels such as Eibon Records, Nextera, Amplexus, Silentes, Drone Records, Taâlem, etc. Marutti has also been releasing music under his own given name, in duo with Giuseppe Verticchio/Nimh as Hall of Mirrors, with Davide Del Col as Molnija Aura, and again in duo with Andrea “Ics” Ferraris as Sil Muir. Later on he was also involved in two collective projects, Maribor and Meerkat, and pursued other important collaborations with Fausto Balbo and field recordist Carlo Giordani.

Only a few people are aware of the fact that, in parallel with his numerous publications of experimental music, Marutti has created a large amount of rhythmic materials with completely different characteristics from those hitherto known to the public. Call them Electronica, IDM, Leftfield – or whatever – over the years, hours and hours of recordings have accumulated in his vaults, and only a fraction of these have been released in the form of ‘homemade productions’ in very few copies. The bulk of his output in this area is currently unreleased in any form, and his vinyl debut – Lips Vago’s “Fictional Selfs EP” – is just the beginning of an unveiling operation aimed at recovering and spreading musical treasures that have been hidden for too long.

“I couldn’t exactly explain why these tracks created under my Lips Vago guise remained unreleased for so long. I didn’t mean to ‘hide’ them of course, I always considered them on a par with my experimental music that had more luck instead. Perhaps the real reason is that during the years when I was most active there was not much room, and consequently interest, for these kinds of sounds in my social circles, and these pieces never reached the ‘right’ ears. Then the years passed and I never really tried to ‘push’ them anyway… I am really glad that things are changing now.”

Mostly recorded in 1996, the four tracks on the “Fictional Selfs” EP exhibit an attention to melody that is skillfully declined in different ways. Whether it is the epic build-up and refrain of “The Mobility of Her Features” – a track which the author admit was “dedicated to a girl larger than life, in many ways…” – or the incredibly cheesy keyboard solos in “Filler 4” – inspired by no less than Mike Paradinas / Mu-Ziq’s alias Jake Slazenger: “I’ve got my Alesis HR16 drum machine just because I knew it was on his kit list…” – Marutti clearly knows his stuff and the entertaining qualities of his music ooze from every note.

Anyone curious to hear the original version of “Laughing Stock” will have to wait a little longer, but the Remix gracing the second side of the EP offers a thoroughly enjoyable version, in which multiple organ parts playfully chase each other over a forest of assorted percussion and synthetic laughter. The last track, “VST Atlas”, the only one in this collection dating to 1999, expands the sound range by using various samples – “That was the very first track I recorded using Cubase VST, hence the title.” – and opens a window on the more recent productions of the project.

As already mentioned, Lips Vago’s “Fictional Selfs EP” only manages to scratch the surface of the author’s large archive of unpublished recordings, but judging from these four pieces the ‘dark side’ of Andrea Marutti looks so bright you would not believe it.


Further notes by Andrea Marutti:

Well, it happened at last, it took quite a long time but in the end it happened: some of the music I recorded under my Lips Vago alias in the mid ’90s has caught the interest of a label and got released on vinyl.

I must admit that when I first heard from Jorge from Fluyo Records back in late 2022 I was quite surprised: he had discovered a few mp3 files on the Afe Records website – excerpted from some old Lips Vago CDr editions – and he was interested to listen more for possible inclusion on an upcoming compilation on his label. I did not have high expectations but I trusted him and gave him access to a large part of my archives.

Right from the start he seemed to have quite clear ideas about the type of tracks he was interested in, they would have to be ‘dancefloor oriented’. I have hours and hours of unreleased ‘music with a beat’ in my archives, but those which are really meant for the dancefloor are just a few.

He immediately fell in love with “The Mobility of Her Features” – a 1996 very melodic ‘trance’ track which I’m also still fond of after all these years – and in the end he decided that, instead of including it on a compilation, he wanted to release a full Lips Vago EP!

I let him choose the other tracks that suited best the mood he wanted to achieve, with absolutely no further input from my side. He slowed down “The Mobility…” to 130bpm and edited it a little bit – the original had a veeeeeeery long ‘ambient’ intro – and also took care about having all tracks properly mastered for a vinyl release.

When it was time to create the artwork I made a few proposals. The two images that were used on the center labels are real photographs – with no post-production or editing – that I took with an old Fuji digital camera just a few days before it ceased to function; its CCD was corrupted and the images had this sort of ‘melting’ quality, making people look hardly reassuring, almost ‘possessed’ I would say.

So, most of the ‘dancefloor oriented’ tracks in my archives are no longer unpublished, but I still have many hours of IDM / Leftfield / Downtempo unreleased stuff and I’m quite a nice flexible guy. All archival / reissue labels out there are warned: get in touch before all this music is buried with me! (8-)

(December 2023)