Antinote

Various Artists “Studiolo – The 90s Afro Cosmic Era” (Antinote)

2020-05-21T20:50:09+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Antinote and Dizonord present STUDIOLO – Belfiore, Veneto, 1447. Birth of the first “Studiolo” or cabinet of curiosities, these rooms where “rare, new, and singular things”, often exotic, were stored and exhibited. A practice that would spread throughout Europe during the Renaissance.

Northeastern Italy, at the beginning of the 1980s, an entire local scene gathered around a handful of DJs who put their dancefloors in a trance to the sounds of “rare, new, and singular” music, under the strong influence of ethnic and world music. Mixes where German Kosmische clashes with space disco, along with the most experimental side of British new wave, industrial music, creepy funk, deviant rock and pop. All this mixed with Brazilian and Afro music, reggae, ragga, percussions and bhangra… A kind of mixing in total rupture with that of a dying disco for which it is intended as an alternative. A way of playing songs often at the wrong speeds, at 33RPM instead of 45RPM and vice versa, and always the obsession of a slow tempo, between 95 and 110 BPM, while the cruising speed of disco mixes goes up to 125/130 BPM… A haunting rhythm, accelerated or slowed down voices, with experimental and ethnic approaches… the sets by Moz-Art, Ebreo, Roberto Lodola, TBC, Meo, Fabrizio Fattori… are endowed with a baroque, quasi)mystical dimension. Without forgetting the enemy brothers, at the origin of this fusion of styles, Daniele Baldelli, resident of the Cosmic Club in Rimini, who called it Cosmic Style, and Beppe Loda, resident of the Typhoon in Gambara (a small town not far from Belfiore, unsurprisingly) and who referred to his mixing as “Afro Style”. “Afro”, the name that will be adopted by this scene and especially by its fans, recognizable by their post-hippy style, their Citroën DS or 2CV, with car radios fully powered by mixtape cassettes recorded in the clubs by these DJs, then sold in the parking lot of what was still called “the discotheque” at that time. This “Afro” wave mainly involved 3 regions in Italy (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, and Veneto) and the young Austrians and Germans who would go there on holiday. Among them, Stefan Egger, a young DJ from Innsbruck, received a monumental shock while listening to a set by Daniele Baldelli during his holidays in Rimini. Therefore, he decided to make his Austrian dancefloor resonate to the sound of the Cosmic Style.

While the official history of underground dance music has very quickly and rightly retained the contribution of DJs from Chicago and New York, it was not until the early 2000s that interest in the Afro/Cosmic scene was finally shown. Since then, a lot has been said on this scene, its DJs, their completely crazy and obscure tracklists, while Daniele Baldelli and Beppe Loda are playing Boiler Room sets as well as Europan and Japanese gigs one after the other. But few have shown interest in the moment in time when, at the end of the 80s, these DJs became producers and started creating songs that sounded like their sets, where all their influences would collide, often naively, sometimes with genius, always without filters. Nor to how this scene changed at the beginning of the 90s with a marginal approach to trance and progressive house, when the Italian, Austrian and German DJs of this second Afro period played these trance and progressive records at 33+8, as their elders did with synth wave or post-punk records, always staying within this 100/110 BPM tempo. It is in this last period that this compilation will immerse you, through 8 tracks from the Italian, German and Austrian scenes

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Radiante Pourpre “II” (Antinote)

2019-07-05T03:19:35+00:00July 5th, 2019|

One of the many musical entities the French collective Simple Music Experience sent to earth to vociferate electronic incantations, Radiante Pourpre is the name of a duo comprised of Alex and Leopold as well as the name of their 2017 debut album on Antinote. Last year, they have released an acclaimed LP on Kneklehuis under another moniker, Violent Quand On Aime, but the place from which they keep on transmitting musical signals has not changed: a post-exotic world (NO ZONE) where the only remains of the societies we live in are barbwires, battered radio transmitters (TAKATO) and deserted oil rigs the duo uses as fictional shelters.

From their precarious haven, they send us field recordings of waves mixed with analog glitters (INTERLUDE). From their lost at sea run down tower, they record the cries of ominous seagulls (SMALL TALK) and a bewitching Spanish voice (MALA 800), incorporating these to primitive drum machine patterns… And then…

A miracle happens when the record is flipped: a Balearic hit for post-apocalyptic times (IEMANJA)! Begining exactly like the opening track (THE COPS, THE JAZZ, THE BIRDS), in an unexpected twist of fate, it summons the angelic voice of Galadriel Andrade for a delicate Brazilian conjuration. There might even be a sunny spell lurking in the spirited closing tune (MS BUTTERFLY): “NO BORDERS, NO COPS, NO PROBLEMS”.

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D.K. “Riding For A Fall” (Antinot)

2019-06-24T19:38:53+00:00June 7th, 2019|

Is another EP from D.K. about to land on Antinote while the first one has been announced only a month ago? Well, this looks very much like a series and – spoiler alert – Riding For A Fall EP is the second installment in a trilogy.

With a BPM crossing the 120 line on 2 out of 3 tracks, there’s little doubt that this second 12″ is also meant to be played in a club environment. The 9:37 min long Voices sprawls over the whole A-side. Like many productions stamped “D.K.”, the structure is linear only in appearance: it winds up and down between fantasized exotic landscapes, digital plug-ins mimicking “far east” instruments that are barely recognizable.

It gets even snakier with the Samurai Showdown-inspired Shoubuari (Battle): pixel swords brushing past our ears, martial drumming and menacing synths (D.K., were you the kind of kid who owned a Neo Geo?) – it’s pretty obvious that we’re in the world of SNK’s legendary fighting game.

Things calm down with Riding For A Fall: less button-mashing, more concentration as we’re witnessing the sacred martial art known as Street Fighter’s quarter circles…

But enough with these video game metaphors! No need to be a pro-gamer to enjoy this piece of music. It’s sad & slow house music with a cinematographic quality – and, perhaps, the most moving moment in this series of 12″.

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Domenique Dumont “Miniatures De Auto Rhythm” (Antinote)

2018-10-25T21:27:54+00:00October 25th, 2018|

Miniatures De Auto Rhythm is the brilliant Domenique Dumont’s second long player for Antinote. It’s already been three years since Domenique Dumont made its entrance in the music world with his debut, Comme Ca (ATN 020LP, 2015). Despite a seemingly very quiet musical activity (the opening song to Antinote’s compilation Five Years Of Loving Notes (ATN 5YEARS, 2017) was the only song released by the band in three years) a few things have changed in-between these two summers: Domenique Dumont is no more the mysterious lone French producer Antinote introduced last time but a Latvian duo, Arturs Liepins and Anete Stuce, which has been collaborating with “an enigmatic French artist whose existence cannot be confirmed nor denied” (sorry, but it sounds like there’s still some mystery in the air, and, again, Antinote is just as clueless as you might be), the duo have been touring live and, most importantly, they kept on broadening their musical palette experimenting in a definitely pop field. Eight of these experiments are now tied together in Miniatures De Auto Rhythm. The record probably begins where Comme Ca ended: frantic but light drum programing backbones a solar and slightly melancholic melody on “Le Début De La Fin” (“the beginning of the end”). However, the scope gets enlarged as soon as one reaches the second tune, “Quasi Quasi”, or “Quand”, on the flip side, perhaps the most overtly pop-rock oriented song on the record with its Mediterranean guitar and emotional bridge. The road towards the apex of the record, “Le Soleil Dans Le Monde”, is a narrow and windy one, punctuated by toy instrumentals like “Ono Mambo Haiku” or the Donkey Kong Country-friendly “Message Of The Diving Bird”; however it never departs from its original tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s quite pleasant to imagine these eight “miniatures” as field recordings from an enchanted world of pop music designed by some Pierre & Gilles disciples or being musical interpretations of half-mechanical, half-organic creations from a certain Otto Rhiesem (who might have inhabited the Locus Solus villa). There may be no definitive answers to this second set of riddles by Domenique Dumont.

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Alek Lee “Colors” (Antinote)

2018-06-28T23:26:03+00:00June 28th, 2018|

“Alek Lee’s second 12” on Antinote starts with an uptempo opening to a rather downtempo record. Playing with some of the genre (namely, deep house) codes like the use of a politically-aware speech or vibes, Alek Lee can’t resist to give Time his special treatment nonetheless: using some of his dubby tools and bringing in a warm trumpet he takes the song onto a rather windy road. Don’t fall for it though: Time is a red herring…

The next song is without doubt more immediately recognizable as an Alek Lee’s tune with its slightly Pink Floydian vibe and its overall jam feel. On Kesef, the musician whispers in a tunnel of sound effects, joined by his beloved melodica and a nonchalant electric guitar.

Those who dug his previous EP might want to check out Colors and its nemesis – Dark Colors – on the flip side. Borrowing some of the ingredients he put into Sfarot, Alek Lee cooks a set of two eerie dubs. On Colors, the dark and thumping instrumental backs the voice of an impossible child, a creature bred in Tel-Aviv musician’s most twisted fantasies. Meanwhile, Dark Colors paradoxically takes a much more sentimental path. No voice this time but an emotionally-drenched melodica-lead breaking through a foggy environment of ominous synths and enigmatic noises to round off Lee’s mistier record so far.”

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