UK bass with an Italian twist
Textured, earthy rhythms and crystalline sound patterns
Organic materiality meets digital abstraction
Over the course of the last twelve years, Simone Trabucchi’s Hundebiss Records has established itself as one of the leading tastemakers in avant-electronics, from releasing Kelman Duran’s debut album 1084 KIDS to Lamin Fofana’s bold Beyonce Sculpting Brancusi. The label’s latest offering comes from Milanese producer Piezo, whose debut album Perdu follows in these footsteps. In a recent statement announcing the record, he boldly declares, “No summer vibes. No easy listening,” and boy, does Perdu deliver.
With powerful percussive stabs and hollow, almost whispering basslines, the album’s opener “OX” sets the tone, its entrancing melodic parts swinging back and forth like a pendulum, where slithering kicks snake across the track’s timestamp. Later tracks, like the exalting ‘Stray” and the record’s calmest moment, “Xerotonin,” showcase the artist’s ability to bring together organic melodies akin to glass or water and earth-like tones with digital, futuristic soundscapes.
Piezo–who spent a few years in Bristol before returning to his native Italy and becoming involved in the renowned Milanese avant-garde club Macao–has previously demonstrated his abilities in crafting UK-leaning techno and percussive heaters on labels like Version, Idle Hands, Wisdom Teeth, and his own Ansia imprint. The musical palette he draws from on Perdu, however, is more introverted and conceptual. Shifting between slow burns like “Amore Tossi” and “Blue Light Mama Magic” (which packs a punch with its hypnotic drum patterns and subdued, almost slurred vocal effects), the record is full of unexpected left turns, like the distorted piano chords and sudden tempo shifts on the hyperactive, deconstructed bass stepper “Rowina”.
Despite Piezo’s resistance towards easy listening, there’s a strange harmony between the heterogeneous sounds assembled on Perdu that feels akin to the Japanese aesthetic principle of wabi-sabi. With each repeated listen, its complexities unfold, making it an immensely pleasurable deep-listening experience.
Perdu is out on August 7th. Listen to “Castrol” and “Blue Light Mama Magic” above, and purchase the record on Bandcamp.
Caroline Whiteley is an editor at Electronic Beats. You can follow her on Instagram.
Published August 05, 2020. Words by Caroline Whiteley, photos by Roxana Cerioni.