Traks Magazine #1

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TraKs Magazine: everything about the new independent Italian music: interviews, reviews, news and a lot of free music!

No.1 - DECEMBER 2015

WWW.MUSICTRAKS.COM

ANY OTHER

QUIETLY,

BUT NOT

GOING AWAY

DAVID RAGGHIANTI

TURNING UPSIDE DOWN

SUZ

NO PREMEDITATION

REVIEWS INTERVIEWS NEWS


about

We are TraKs. Without “c”.

With a big”K”. We are a

magazine, all in English,

born from an Italian webzine,

www.musictraks.com.

We talk about Italian indie

music. What is it? It is a great

and improving movement that

is taking all the ground left for

creative music in Italy.

A billion of netlabels, indie

labels, micro labels publish

every day records of every kind,

spanning from rock to dance,

from soul to drone music, from

metal to hip hop, from math

rock to new wave. Many of

those lps, eps, videos, are full of

talented and strong songs, and

we are here because we think

that this music deserves to be

known outside of Italian borders.

“TraKs” will take care of

this: with interviews, reviews

and a lot of free music that you

can reach with a mouse click

or a finger touch. Because we

are TraKs, without “c”. And we

love Italian indie music.

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31

Review

ANY OTHER

SILENTLY, QUIETLY,

BUT NOT GOING AWAY

Interview

DAVID RAGGHIANTI

TURNING UPSIDE DOWN

Interview

SUZ

NO PREMEDITATIONS

Interview

CESARE MALFATTI

NewTraKs

DIVIDE BY ZERO

REVIEWS

contents

Interview

DIDIE CARIA

VIDEOS TO SEE

ITALIAN BANDS

IN EUROPE

TraKs is an online emission

supplemental of site:

www.musictraks.com

Editor in Chief: Fabio Alcini

info@musictraks.com


eview

ANY OTHER

Silently. Quietly,

But Not

Going Away

Silently. Quietly. Going Away. Curious way

to call a debut. But it doesn’t seems quite

straight the way of thinking of Any Other, trio

made of Erica Lonardi (drums), Marco Giudici

(bass and keyboards) and Adele Nigro (voice

and guitar), formerly with duo Lovecats, here in

the throes of an adventure a bit less influenced

by new wave. With well-defined roles within

the band, Any Other proceed to the conquest of

indie Italian music (but, on paper, not stopping

at the border) with ten pieces often harsh but

without losing sensitivity. Lovecats, formed in

Verona in 2010 with a clear reference to Cure’s

song, saw Adele working with Cecilia Grandi.


eview

plunge into Nineties sounds. Roger Roger,

Commander has a mood a bit darker, but not

that much: the atmosphere of the lp alternates

phases of contained fury and landscapes

much more sunny. Not much sun at 5:47 PM,

again aggressive; guitar and drums do their

best to guarantee coverage to a loud voice.

Teenage emphasizes a more moderate and intimate

side of the band, with minimal sounds

and most of the work left to the emotional

voice, at least until they start to put hands to

drumsticks and raise the volume level.

Sonnet # 4 starts in the darkness. Early, here

the temptation of noise seems to remain at

bay, but the slow movement grows in a way

so inevitable that the explosion of angriness

and desperation appear absolutely inevitable.

Album closes with the duet of To the Kino,

Again, in which some of ancient new wave

emerges, along with a great job of bass and

drums. Debut of trio earns every praise that

was written for now. Maybe it sounds a bit

nostalgic, but here the simplicity combines

perfectly with the impetuosity of youth.

The duo published a cover album, then an

ep in 2013, enjoying some limitated success.

Then the end of duo, with Cecilia trying to

complete her studies. Adele stepped into

another project, Ferry Pie, and ultimately

teamed up with Erica and Marco, for the

debut. The album opens with Something,

also first video, that sounds very 90s, with

good doses of guitar that begin to draw the

profile of Any Other. A little less storming is

Blue Moon, proceeding in gradual waves, but

not without rhythm, thanks to a smooth but

aggressive drumming. We switch to some

romance in Gladly Farewell, with vocals and

guitar gaining momentum second by second.

A full instrumental barrier, especially in the

rhythm section, welcomes the listener to

His Era, which again goes in waves not quite

regular. The three-minute 365 days proceed

from a simple guitar around and again

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“SILENTLY.

QUIETLY.

GOING AWAY”

6


interview

DAVID RAGGHIANTI

turning upside down

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“PORTLAND”

His debut, Portland, is among the records

on the spotlight in Italian press in recent

times: David Ragghianti hits the mark

right away, with a lp that has a few surprising

sound choices, a few pinches of irony and a

lot to tell.

“Portland” is your debut. Where have you

been up to now?

So far I have lived, stored experiences. Then

I decided to open the garage, going to comb

through what I had available. From this turning

upside down “Portland” was born.

The album is receiving praises everywhere.

Are you totally satisfied or is there anything

you would change?

8 9


interview

What is done is done. I’m very happy for the

praises that the lp is receiving, any value you

want to give to the term “praises”. We would

have liked to have the strings, woodwinds

and maybe more time to record vocals. But

for budget reasons we could not.

How was it born “Occhi asciutti” (“dry eyes”)?

On a summer night, on my way home after

work. A storm of wind and water, the swollen

river was passing the banks. I could not see

anything. Then the next morning, the song

of cicadas. We were undecided whether to

propose it as the first single instead of “Tema

del filo” or as a second single. We opted for a

more intimate first single.

How it was working with Dottori and Turner?

The meeting with Giuliano was born thanks

to the suggestion of a friend, Stefano Antoci

D’Agostino. I was trying to help the artistic

production of my project. Stefano advised

me to listen to Giuliano Dottori. So did I.

Giuliano is for me one of the best songwriters

of Italy. After the contact I met him,

I found out that he is also one of the best

producers that I could encounter. Musically

cultured and sensitive. He knows how to leave

space and to bring the work forward.

Nico Turner was on tour with Cat Power

in Europe. They played in Lucca, where I live,

during the Summer Festival. The band was

staying in the hotel where I was working.

One night Cat Power and Nico came into

the kitchen asking: “Something good here?”.

We have become friends and we stayed in

touch. I asked Nico, who was in Milan du-

ring the recording of the lp,

to play drums in a couple of

songs. He accepted!

This is what I call a good

attitude. Mattia Pittella,

a close friend with whom

I shared my years

in Milan, he played drums.

Then “the Adonis”

Mauro Mr. Fox Samson

on percussions. At choirs

Neith Pincetti, friend

of Giuliano. Thank you

again! The album was mixed

by Matthew Cantaluppi

in Berlin. Another lucky

meeting. Professionally

impeccable and always

available.

the review

With the name of a couple of US cities,

Portland is the first album by David

Ragghianti. Ragghianti takes cues from the

Italian and foreign songwriting to pack

nine tracks of various flavors, respectful of

traditions. With a melodic and rather classic

song, I prati che cercavo, Ragghianti

opens his album: the step is moderate, but

the intensity of the song increases along

the trail, with some more regard to the

percussion part. We travel to the border

of fairy tales often, with the texts of Ragghianti,

but in Amsterdam the sound is

quite concrete and rich. The lp, entitled

to a distant city, is accustomed to travel,

however, is confirmed by Dove conduci,

very soft and whispered, with acoustic

guitar in the middle of the scene, along

with the voice. There’s more bite, but without

losing the temper, in Occhi asciutti,

which can remind flavors no strangers to

Italian songwriter Ivano Fossati. Full of

rhythm and sounds undercurrent Tema

del filo, while Se non ti ammali mai surprises

with underwater sound effects,

reggae and a bit of irony. We return to

very soft and subtle mode with Pause

estive. 300 anni has meditative lyri cs,

and more meditations we find in Raffiche

di fuga. Firmly anchored to all the roots

of songwriting, Ragghianti constructs a

record that shines the most in minute details.

But the very fact that he has taken care

of them says much of his writing skills.

10 11


SUZ:

NO PREMEDITATION

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“LACEWORK”

interview

Photos by Malì Erotico

12 13

Susanna La Polla, aka Suz,

has taken a new look to

Italian trip hop: her third lp,

Lacework fortifies the wave

of returning trip hop that seems

to characterize the very

last stage of production of a

certain sector of Italian independent

music. Suz started

in the early 90s as a backup

singer and vocalist for the


interview

pioneer of Italian ragamuffin

Papa Ricky. With producer

and bassist Ezra Alessio “Alessiomanna”

Argenteri (both

already in the ranks of Casino

Royale) she is then landed to

a solo career with the albums

Shape of Fear and Bravery

(2009) and One Is A Crowd

(2013).

What differentiates the work in

"Lacework" from your earlier

records?

Besides the fact that "Lacework"

is the first of my disks

that is born from a piano, in

this third album has seen the

work only of Ezra and me,

excluding the mastering of the

tracks for which we have entrusted

to Joseph Ielasi.

You chose to use for the first

time the piano. Can you

explain why?

The piano was actually used to

compose, with the intention

to rearrange everything later

with synthesizers and machines,

but in some parts it sounded

so good that we decided

to keep it. There was no premeditation

in fact.

You wrote lyrics in Thailand,

Brixton and Bologna: what did

you found in those locations?

In Koh Tao I found the quiet and

time to think, meditate, read. Brixton,

and London in general, have

certainly enriched my English

vocabulary and Bologna finally gave

me what gives me every day, that is

the ability to receive many stimulations

that come from suffering of

mine or my friends’. In short, my

town is the primary source of the

stories that are mentioned in the

songs of the disc.

How did you write "King of Fools"?

King of Fools comes from the observation

of some people close to me,

alas, unable to live in the present and

see the beauty in things. They are

looking at the earth from a distant

island unattainable in the sea.

Can you tell the main instruments

you used?

Quite simply my instrument is the

voice, but I imagine this is not the

answer you need, then I will tell you

that after writing the frames of the

songs on the piano, an old

grinding wheel of the early '900

played amiably by Ezra, the whole

thing was rearranged in an electronic

key. For rhythms Ezra used an

old Akai sampler and a synth for the

Teenage Engineering OP-1 and a

Kawai sx 240, also working a lot on

the effects to try to make sounds deeper

and dilated.

LACEWORK

THE REVIEW

The first track is Billie, and immediately

it presents the new sound of this

record: the piano. The song has a high

pace and a catchy good harmony. Richer

in effects but also in some ways more minimalist

Pure Rapture, with odd beat and

some new wave impressions. King of Fools

softens the tone, although a mock organ

gives to listeners a bit of concern. The

Abacist, strong and dark, has a step once

again underlined by the piano. Wall of

Mist pursues the road of heavy percussion.

Sensual ethnic moves characterize the following

Wide Blue Yonder, giving feelings

that may call into question Massive Attack

or smooth pop music of 80s. Anthemusa

arises quite differently from the rest of the

record, with the voice of Suz that stands

statuesque right from the start. Dramatic

piano lines shore the notes of Lethe, where

is apparent a certain amount of resentment.

Testing of Gold also sounds very

dark, as if towards the end of the album

the lights tends to fade, and negative feelings

got the upper hand. Neither the mood

improves with Still Water, which again

hinges on percussion and combines the

contrasts. There is a consistent rhythmic

speech innervating all the pieces of Lacework

and building the structure on which

the voice of Suz now lies, now stands.

A hard and polished elegance that does

confirm the good that it was already known

about the singer from Bologna.

14 15


interview

cesare malfatti

A

record devoted to the Art of Milan,

not only the main works, but also to

smaller and more obscure ones: with the

2015 Milan Universal Exposition as an excuse,

Cesare Malfatti (in these pages, portrayed

by Fabrizio Fenucci) has created, with the

help of collaborators, mainly for the lyrics,

like Paolo Benvegnù, Francesco Bianconi,

Kaballà, Alessandro Cremonesi, Luca Morino

and others, Una città esposta (An Exposed

City). We had the occasion to have a chat

with the Milanese songwriter and guitarist,

formerly with La Crus, Afterhours, Amour

Fou. How is it born the collaboration with

16 17


interview

Did you are more stimulated

or doubtful for such a work

being associated with a controversial

event as Expo?

I never had doubts, the lp is

on Milan and its works of art,

the six-month Expo are just

an excuse to promote the

artistic heritage of the city.

The music of the songs had

different moments of birth.

Is it been a long work to get a

consistent picture or the pieces

were made in the running?

The music came first, I chose

the song to be combined

with artwork, then the author

has written the lyrics.

The music maybe always

wins on the lyrics. Also

my way of singing makes

everything smoother.

Expoincittà underlying the lp?

It was born when I learned that Alessandro

Cremonesi was studying an idea that tied

six works of art in Milan to six months of

Expo, I thought that these works could be the

subject of many songs. I have added seven

more songs on many works or particular stories

of Milan, once I made the album I went

to the City to talk about this project and the

collaboration was born.

Is there some possibility of

reunion of La Crus at the

moment?

Soon we have to meet...

and maybe something happens...

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“UNA CITTA’

ESPOSTA”

18 19


newtraks

Divide by Zero

With a declared passion for music from

the triangle Editors-Interpol-The National,

but also for the post-punk of 80s, Divide

by Zero began their adventure in 2014

and now they published the first self-titled

ep . The core of the band comes from other

groups from Ravenna (Pitch, Silvermood,

Mr. Nothing, Renudo). The members are:

Christian Amatori, Davide Benelli, Carlo

Andrea Ceccoli, Luigi Palestini, Nicola

Rambelli. It starts with Your favorite bones,

sounding quite basic which, besides the aforementioned

bands, is influenced also by something

à la Depeche Mode, especially in the

introduction. No superpowers comes with

a bit more epic and

also with some characteristic

of anthem:

for example a chorus,

but also some exciting

rides of guitar.

Eastern Europe is the

watershed of the ep

and proposes rhythms

high which contrasts

with a pointed guitar.

Oswald, with some

echo and some effect,

turns up the volume

without losing control.

Soft explosion slows

down a bit, offering to

guitars the way to offer

a more sweet side

of themselves, but the

song grows up: we

become increasingly

aware that the end of

the record will not be

peaceful or pacified.

There is definitely a remarkable mastery of

the elements in the field by Divide By Zero,

who know the terrain on which they move

and put together an ep definitely enjoyable.

We can hope for the next episodes that the

band completes the process that can lead to

having a style all of their own.

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“DIVIDE BY ZERO”

Debut name is In a

State of Altered Unconsciousness:

this is the

title of new record of Earthset,

band born in Bologna

in 2012: the album

is published by Seahorse

Recordings and distributed

by Audioglobe / The

Orchard. After a first demo-ep

in 2013 and two

years to propose in concert

their repertoire in major

venues in Bologna and at

The Good Ship in London,

the band comes out with a

concept album of ten tracks

. Overture opens with

very sweet and gentle tone,

while Drop turns a bit in

acid, with math rock on

the background. The two lines (math rock,

not excessive complications) are also confirmed

by The Absence Theory, which looks a

lot like a rock song altogether. rEvolution of

the Species opens the way to some change

of pace. Acoustic guitar and romantic attitudes

surprise the listener in Epiphany, but by

again it the song resumes running and hammering.

So What ! evolves as a playful song

but the final goes on darker tones. Skizofonia

opens with a beat, but then evolves in an

almost symphonic piece overtly psychedelic.

Gone proceeds along more direct influences

toward grunge and 90s with something of the

Smashing Pumpkins emerging here and there.

A.S.T.R.A.Y. walks on trails that remind

somehow the neo-prog, with long guitar solos

and various evolutions. And the piano

Earthset

opens Lovecraft: you proceed in misty land;

the contrasts, especially those caused by the

guitar, are very strong. The long suite (over

seven minutes) of Circle Sea shows an epic

construction, underscored by a brief aside

spoken. There is good and inventive power in

Earthset, able to present a consistent lp.

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“EARTHSET”

REVIEW

20 21


eviews

LEBOWSKI

“DISADOTTATI”

Disadottati is the third studio album of

Lebowski: new lp comes with some significant

changes. David

Lenci is the sound

engineer, flanked by

Richard “Rico” Gamondi

of Uochi Tochi

mastering. The eight

pieces of Disadottati

move in mazes with

electronic influences from psychedelic

pop vein, with irony in the lyrics. We start

with an allure of elegance but also with a

bass grooves of good importance: Rent to

buy opens with a long instrumental session;

lyrics talk of economic problems solved

with daily solutions daily (apparently)

original. Il

cielo è sempre

meno

blu sways on

the dancefloor

between

sounds very

saturated

and rich, with

psychedelia and Madchester influences,

and again everyday problems treated lightly

but still present.

It hits hard in Il tagliateste, high tempo

and dirty tracks, with a perfect portrait of

a dismissal presented as something made

for the benefit of the laid off. Rhythms slightly

loose but much poison for Offshore

El Salvador, which uses percussion and

guitars very obvious and powerful, for results

that travel on the wire of the ambiguity.

L’incapiente, after an intro strongly

electric, is grafted almost completely on

voice, drumming and present participles.

The keyboards add a touch of surreality.

X provides rhythm and percussion before

all, structuring a sound more and more

steeped in electronics. What remains of

analog, however, such as the guitar, is quite

acid. Una vita disarmata enters the house

of Vasco Rossi, mostly to mess around,

while the ending is left to the keyboards of

Mr. Costa. This lp can hurt: songs almost

always speak of economy, domestic or global,

and always sick. And it does it through

sounds very alive but also very dirty. The

result is strong, convincing, sarcastic, almost

painful.

DAP

“RESONANCES”

His name is Andrea D’Apolito, but when

embraces the guitar

he prefers Dap: the

Roman folk singer

debut, published by

Toto Sound Records,

is Resonances.

Although this is a

beginning the lp can

count on a considerable

number of collaborations, ranging

from female voices Vahimiti Cenci and Sara

23


eviews

reviews

interviews

WWW.MUSICTRAKS.COM

streaming of full albums

videos

news

Sileo to guitarists Jorma Gasperi and Daniele

Sinigallia. And Strombolifeatures the

trumpet of Paola Fecarotta. Departure is

soft with Crossroads, that convene to voice

and guitar-style folk classic. Strong personality

and also some electric ideas are

instead in Eye for an Eye, short but rather

intense. The voice of Dap is the main actor

of Stand Back, which returns to soft tones

and not always simple structures of guitar.

It’s not too volcanic Stromboli, which indeed

further sweetens the landscape with

a female voice and a piano. Back to winning

ways and acoustic guitar folk When I

call, with aftertaste of prairie landscapes.

Independence Day sees a very soft flow

of notes, at least until a final surprise. Not

again has a feminine and very Celtic opening,

however, but it gains a faster pace.

Pearl, with darkness absent in the rest of

lp, becomes a pop-rock song well executed.

Attention to detail and an eye to the

general framework ensures a good overall

result.

CLICK HERE

YES DADDY YES

“GO BANANAS”

AND LISTEN TO

“RESONANCES”

Born around 2009, Yes Yes Daddy today

publish Go Bananas, a record that they

define “simple” but that sounds pretty

convincing. With power pop, a sharp atti-

tude and large doses of guitar, the lp kicks

off, thanks to Noah, cooler in the first part

and more pounding in the final. Day

Before Weeding plays with small britpop

resonances. Chorus for the introduction of

Between Mind and

Body, which proceeds

in a totally vintage

mood, with some

Beatles influence.

Monkey See, Monkey

Do maintains a

high level of volume,

with a lot of guitar

sound. Modernize is qualified by a sharp

drumming and some romantic inclination.

More power in Sermonize, but it’s gentle

power, with melancholy accents. Leave

‘em expands its sound, with a very articulate

drumming and guitar trying to play

with volumes and effects, becoming one of

the more structured songs of lp.

Tearful presents hushed tones and autumnal

atmosphere, but it makes noise in

the second part of the song.

Then, a cover of Imagine, mostly acoustic:

the comparison with a totem of this

magnitude is done with lightness, giving

an original version of an enormous classic

that might seem immutable. Lp closes

with Inner Freak, sweet and nocturnal,

where the melancholic side of band finds

its fullest expression. Good test for Yes Yes

Daddy, that with this record doesn’t give

up pop roots but also welcome other useful

influences.

24 25


interview

features, all your passions.

Didie Caria

Primo Tempo is the new lp of Didie Caria:

torn between love for the theater and

music, he has decided not to choose, making

a record “that comes on the wooden planks

of the stage of a theatre,” to use his words.

Your story is not exactly the one of a “normal”

independent musician...

Yes, then we can start to destroy the concept

of “normal”. I have not a normal story for an

independent musician and I think even that

no independent musician wants to be called

“normal” in its story. I have my own story

as the other people. Beginning as a gospel

singer, I am passionate to theatre and I step

through the musical theatre,

than I study butoh dance and dance theater

for a short time.

Then I try to merge all these different artistic

languages ​in a single concert that also has the

characteristics of a show.

How do you harmonize all these aspects?

An album of songs is a journal of photography,

so there is never a question of harmonizing

the different characters of the story

but rather to be able to make make more vivid

the image of what you are experiencing at

this moment. By doing this it suddenly springs

from your imagination your more specific

What were the biggest difficulties

you encountered in

making the disc, if there were

any?

One difficulty was the economic

one that definitely was surpassed

thanks to the passion of

my producer Neda (Meatbeat

records) and the generosity of

the people through a fundraising

campaign, that allowed me

to produce my album and to be

here to speak in this interview.

Sometimes in the writing of

the album there was another

difficulty with arrangements

because when you like a song

you you think you have to add

things, but then it turns out it’s

not necessary.

Why this title? What feelings occurred in

the realization?

The album is called “Primo Tempo” because

this title represents my musical but also art

and theater vein. The feeling that has accompanied

most of the writing is a great freedom

to do what I wanted, in the way I wanted it.

The goal was to give joy to me in the first place

and be as honest as possible.

What instruments did you use in lp?

The album sounds you hear are, from the

most conventional: a guitar, a ukulele, an

electric piano. Then there are a number of

games: a chessboard, a glove, pliers wood,

a stool, a wand over which I stuck a ball of

rubber bands, a dynamo torch ... The arrangements

have been made using a loopstation

which is one tool that allows you to record

sounds of any size and send them to loop or

repeat them overlapping on one another to

create the structure of a song.

CLICK HERE

AND LISTEN TO

“PRIMO TEMPO”

26 27


videos to see

Calibro 35

Bandits on

Mars

click and see

España Circo

Este:

Margherita

Mia

Amycanbe:

Wherefrom

Tales of

Unexpected:

Sfumature

di Quarzo

Gran Torino:

Albero

e Foglia

29


italian bands in europe

Modena City Ramblers

denis the night & the panic party

November 13, 2015:

BIG SHORT LOS ANGELES FILM FESTI-

VAL // World Premiere “You Could

Be my Home”

Modena City Ramblers

and 99 Posse

November 2, 2015:

La Bellevilloise, Paris (France)

November 3, 2015:

Heaven, London (UK)

November 4, 2015:

Vk, Bruxelles (Belgium)

November 5, 2015:

Sugar Factory, Amsterdam

(Netherlands)

Calibro 35

February 25, 2016:

Paris (France) tba

February 26, 2016:

100 Club, London (UK)

February 27, 2016: Craig Charles

30 31

Funk & Soul, Manchester (UK)

March 19, 2016: Bi Nuu, Berlin

(Germany)

March 31, 2016: Marula,

Barcelona (Spain)

April 1st, 2016: Madrid (Spain) tba

April 2, 2016: Madrid (Spain) tba

España Circo Este

December 11: Youthcenter, Imst

(Austria)

December 12: Cafedecentral,

Innsbruck (Austria)

Melampus

December 10, 2015: Le Bourg,

Lausanne (Switzerland)

December 11, 2015: Turba, Lugano

(Switzerland)

December 12, 2015: Sedel, Luzern

(Switzerland)

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