I recently found a book in our local book-crossing hut about the Italian musician singer-songwriter and composer Franco Battiato, who died last year in May.
Battiato is a figure I’ve always been interested in for various reasons. One certainly was his ability at crossing borders between avantgarde and pop music, between high culture and entertainment.
Over the course of his career he was prog-rock icon, the first Italian musician with a EMS VCS3, a minimalist composer, a top-of-the-chart pop star and a singer-songwriter. He composed songs, lieder, operas, painted and directed several films (though, I have to admit that I’ve never seen any of them).
In case you never heard of him, here’s a couple of things to get you started:
Besides composing his own music, he also worked a lot for other musicians. Through the book I stumbled onto this one. An electronic album from the late 70s, which sounds very much like contemporary euroack ambient music.
And here is great article by Marc Weidenbaum. Quite fittingly – as I was just remembering an artist who I was so deeply into during my twenties – it’s about how finding, buying and listening to music has change over time: Some Memories of Media (disquet.com). Here’s a quote from the piece:
One band in particular sounded much better on dubbed tapes than when I finally bought the vinyl. I realized it was because my friend’s tape deck taped a little fast. I’ve always preferred the quicker take, and have tried to emulate it with MP3s and other digital recordings.
I can’t hide that I find Meng Qi’s Wing Pinger one of the most beautiful electronic instruments of the last years. So it’s wonderful to hear it in action, in the hands of a real master.
I discovered the Austrian Drummer and experimentalist Lukas König though his shape-shifting, absurdist rap project with Leo Riegler KOENIG LEOPOLD, who are responsible for some some of my all-time favourite tracks. His latest album Messing, is worth checking out if you’re into more abrasive, experimental sounds. My personal favourite is the slightly older Best of 28, because I like things better if they have a bit of groove, and König definitely knows how how to groove.
Well, since I mentioned KOENIG LEOPOLD, here’s one of the personal favourites I was talking about, and yes, you should do it like the Europeans do it.
infinite digits, who I’ve interviewed last year, just released another album. After his “18,000 seconds of drone music.” he’s back to his peculiar mix of process-based melodies, ambient sounds and drum&bass beats.
Looks like somebody built a playlisting feature for Bandcamp! Check it out here: https://bndcmpr.co/
(via Caesura Newsletter)
And finally, have you ever found a lost tape? These people seem to have found lots of them. I, on the other hand, have just found another rabbit hole to fall into!