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ART IN RELEASES

Andrea Belfi
Andrea Belfi | Qualcosa di simile al nero
- nord modular synthesizer, electroharmonix 2880 four tracks looper, berhinger mixing board, iPod -

"qualcosa di simile al nero" in italian means "something close to black". It is a two part improvisation/compositon. Those two pieces electronic flux, with elements of old "music concrete" and song oriented drones and beats."

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Andrea Belfi:

 

I started playing drums when I was 15. I had some skater friends who needed a drummer for their no-fx/rancid/descendents style punk band. That's how I started. The band was called Wallride. I played the first concert at a party at my high school, then the second one in a pub called "downtown" in the countryside of Verona.
From then on I've never stopped playing. I kept on playing with D.I.Y. hardcore punk bands for a few years, then at the end of the 90's I switched to other kind of "rock" music.

I lived in Milan for two years when I was 19-21. There I did the accademy of fine arts. There was were I first met experimental music, in the wider sense of the word "experimental". I bought my first electroacoustic cd's at Giuseppe Ielasi's distribution in Monza (Steve Roden mini-cd "the radio"), met people like Renato Rinaldi and Alessandro Bosetti and started making music with electronics and various means. I did my first electroacoustic records in 2001, only with a mini disc and a multitrack sofware, Cool Edit pro, using no drums at all.
Then between 2000 and 2006 I spent a lot of time in Bologna, with Valerio Tricoli, Claudio Rocchetti and Stefano Pilia. There I recorded my second solo cd, released for Hapna in 2006. I did my first "real" european tour with my electroacoustic solo together with 3/4hadbeeneliminated in 2006.

I've also had played for seven years with an italian rock band, called Rosolina Mar, with which I had a lot of fun. In 2008-2009 I started numerous international collaborations with David Grubbs, Stefano Pilia, Mike Watt, Attila Faravelli, Machinefabriek, Ignaz Schick among others. Than two years ago I decided to move to Berlin, but that happened only last year, on June 2011.

 

I started mixing drums and electronics back in 2004. I was not playing beats though, I really was into european reductionism at that time. Then after a heavy dose of old great dub I tryed to add beats, using a vocabulary of reductionist style sounds applied to groovy music.

The set I've used here for "qualcosa di simile al nero", is composed by a nord modular synthesizer, a four track looper, an iPod with three samples, and mixer.

 

Your sound as a drummer is different if we think in many of the drummers and tendencies working around minimalism and reduccionism in the well-known "Echtzeitmusik" scene in Berlin...

I would say that I tend to be more a composer than an instrumentalist, which means I think about structures more than only about beats and sounds. I enjoy playing music thinking as a producer.

 

For Audition I put together my electronics, and made something with them.
I like narrative structures, I like to tell stories with no words, and that's what I've been tried to do with this release. In fact I was thinking about doing something which puts me in the situation of a dub-live set instead of an electroacoustic live set. Everything is made live tough, except a couple of pre-recorded sounds that I manipulate. Real time music is the only one I can deal with, I'm still a punk hardcore guy at the end, and still ready for a stage diving at a Gorilla Biscuiz show!

When I start a new recording I just don't think, I only make music. I've just finished a record released on last February on ROOM40, called WEGE. That album took a lot of efforts, and three years of work. I started working on it only thinking about the musical compositions, then the process of recording changed the music and the approach to the live set as well. It is a continuous work in process.

 

As performer I search intimacy, mistery, and something on the edge of melodic and radical experimental music. I think first as a composer, than as a producer, and then as a musician. I mentioned c-schulz & hajsch CD before, it represents well what I want to say here

 

The interaction between improvisation and composition:

When I play solo I usually collect a sound vocabulary first, than I use to create musical structures. In fact I play "songs". My last solo live set lasts between 15 and 40 minutes, and has 3-4 long songs. You can feel that I'm playing sort of songs, even if I improvise a lot with them.

When I play with other people, I feel that I can improvise from scratch, and to create musical structures only when required.

I also have to say that I write proper compositions for bands, like the one with Mike Watt and Stefano Pilia (Il sogno del Marinaio, for the Moondog tribute trio Hobocombo) and for several other quasi-"rock" related projects.

 

My life is music, in fact I'm somehow trying to keep distance from it!<(/p>

My influences? Well, I can tell you as a musican Mike Watt is one of my first font of inspiration, but in general I would say all other musicians I collaborate with are font of inspiration.. Then yes, there is Ennio Morricone, King Tubby, etc, etc.

 

When you perform solo on what do you think? Where to start?

I think that I have to start with a certain sound or a certain gesture. That's it. Then, when I play I think as less as possible, in fact I don't want to think at all when I perform.

 

Independent curatorial spaces:

Independent curatorial spaces are good for creating new art of course. I think that a good curator needs to be a good seller, especially if there is a good quality art behind.

 

Future Cahallenges? Probably my next solo would be a way more concentrated pure rhythm. I started some Berlin based collaborations, each project with it's own sound world.That's pretty exciting I have to say.

Interest in sound? I just can tell that I started listening to congolese music four years ago and I'm still doing that.

 

Recommendations:

I like these italian based musicians:
Attila Faravelli, great music philosopher and a carefull listener and performer.
Renato Rinaldi, an incredible musician, one of the greatest experimental music performer I’ve ever seen live.
Enrico Malatesta, a nice percussionist, I like his style and approach to the music material.
Giuseppe Ielasi, a high class chef in choosing the right music (in fact I discovered tons of great music from him) and an experimental music surgeon. Starfuckers, I’m glad I’ve seen they are still playing together these days.

 

Sites:

www.globalgroovers.com and wrldsrv.blogspot.de two great african music resources.

I reccomend Q-O2 a great place for experimental music and art residency and performances in Bruxelles | www.q-o2.be

The "watt from pedro show" a radio show made by Mike Watt and friends. twfps.com

 

 

Andrea Belfi, 1st June 2012 Berlin
www.chocolateguns.com