13 song CD
Listen/buy on Bandcamp
Orbed And Bright (Feat. Suz) / Kickin’ It (Feat. Sensational) / Pure++ / Planets In Heaven (Feat. Suz) / Booting / Blind Star / Smells Like Gold (Feat. Francesca Amati and Sensational) / Heavy Spring / Slow Q / Things To Come (Feat. Suz) / Pure Thing / Bliss In The Mix (Cash Path Riddim) (Feat. Sensational) / Nina Burgess (Feat. Suz)
Compiled for the first time on CD, all the digital singles released by Manuele Giannini (Starfuckers, Sinistri) and Massimo Carozzi (El~Muniria, ZimmerFrei) between 2010 and 2014.
Jamaican reggae foundations, Berlin dub-techno settings, experimental approach. Featuring guest vocals by Sensational (Jungle Brothers), Francesca Amati (Amycanbe) and Suz.
Both coming from northwestern Tuscany, Manuele Giannini and Massimo Carozzi found themselves diving headfirst in the creative frenzy of 1990s Bologna, where they moved to attend college. As founding members of seminal avantgarde/noise/impro bands Starfuckers and then Sinistri (Giannini), or electronic/poetry project El~Muniria and multimedia collective ZimmerFrei (Carozzi, also an active solo sound designer), theirs was a crucial contribution to the city’s underground scene, and to its national and international relevance.
Sometimes, though, musicians don’t listen exclusively to the kind of music they play, and this is one of the things that make them great musicians. More often than not, the best among them listen to Jamaican music. They understand it first and foremost, so they love it. Giannini and Carozzi do, and that’s why we’re here, but you couldn’t really tell by their discographies alone, until they finally got together in 2009 to start Weight And Treble.
Their music is mostly a simple two bar heavy rhythm, written in classic Studio One style, with a melodic bass line, a skank guitar, an organ riff and sometimes a charming, hypnotic voice. Or some unconventional rapping. Everything is played and dubbed with vintage (mostly) analog gear, seasoned with mesmerizing static noise and an european techno flavour.
The main idea is simple. Riddims must be built on a small early nineties sequencer, with a dogmatic four-track aesthetic: always using the same few devices (analog bass synth, analog drum machine, FM synth used as both organ and guitar) with the same four sounds, as if they were both machines and real musicians in a studio. Not thinking about their possibilities but about their costraints, therefore adding the typical human music limitations to the typical machine music limitations.
Compositions are influenced by the economical and reductionist approach of Jamaican music, manipulated with serialist techniques like inversion and retrograde. With colour provided by the subsequent treatment through dub’s four traditional machines (spring reverb, analog phaser, analog delay, analog filter), and added ambience and textures found in field recordings and dusty record players used as instruments.
Plus real human voices, as we said: strong and elegant Suz has been the main singer throughout the duo’s history (and contributes lyrics with lots of literary references, from John Keats and Thomas Moore to 2015 Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James), while Francesca Amati (of Amycanbe and Comaneci) was unfortunately just a one-time guest.
As for NYC’s Sensational, formerly known as Torture, his trailblazing presence has been felt in the rap world and beyond since the mid-90s, collaborations with the Jungle Brothers (when he was known as Torture) and Wire cover stories included.
Until yesterday, all this amounted to five digital EPs plus a handful of compilation contributions and remixes done and received, all recorded and released between 2010 and 2014 (with just one poshtumous exception, but the album title sounded good and we left it like it is). Today, all original Weight And Treble productions (almost: there are one song, a dub and two alternate versions missing, but we added and unreleased version of Smells Like Gold with two vocalists instead of one!) get compiled for the first time on one CD. Such a perfect format if you want to enjoy the duo’s music in a fluid, flowing way. Especially if you still have a pre-Bluetooth car stereo like us, and a long night drive to do.
The chemistry of the recording studio, the crucial importance of space between sounds, the musical and inspirational legacy of reggae, the immortal wizardry of dub’s originators, the pulsating four on the floor beat of steppers and techno: that’s where Weight And Treble’s foundations lay. With the adventurous experimental background of Manuele and Massimo as a unique lens to observe and process them.
Sing, sing, music was given.
<- EL~MUNIRIA Stanza 218 (Remixes & Versions) (LB 18)
-> ENCORE FOU Il Numero Undici (LB 20)