esoteric [adjective; es·o·ter·ic \ˌe-sə-ˈter-ik, -ˈte-rik\]:
- designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone
- requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group;
- limited to a small circle; [via]
ArteTetra is an experimental DIY cassette imprint working between Potenza Picena and Bologna, Italy, self-identified by crazy bandcamp tags such as Quinto mondo, exotic powers, obscure sounds production corporation, nat-geo 3.0, new weird hawaii, digital gnawa, cheap drugs, thai dubs. Its first released tape, back in December 2014, was Exotic ésotérique Vol.1 and gathered artists and musicians the label had the pleasure to work with over that period such as Above the Tree, Nicola Tirabasso, Lleroy, WAKAN and many others. The release title embeds the whole two-sided aesthetic of this crazed outcome, which relies on spreading exotic sounds over a small group of initiates and disciples – hence the esoteric labelling. To put it in the fine guys over at ArteTetra’s very own words: “the idea came almost as a programmatic manifesto and guideline for our label, with the first cassette we were trying to seek for and define our musical identity while getting to know musicians and labels to collaborate with“.
Exotic Ésotérique Vol. 2 is the second chapter of that first compilation, and as much as the first episode, the attention in selecting the tracks has been put on combining several different genres, aiming to create kind of a musical cabinet of curiosities (“a sonorous wunderkammer“) including some of the rarest and strangest tunes and bands one can think of. The only difference with respect to Vol. 1 lies in the fact that the total number of tracks has almost doubled, and that they are mixed together forming a 2 hours mixtape split in two sides – namely Exotic, and of course Ésotérique. Free jazz, noise, sound art, Italian occult psychedelia, neofolk, vaporwave (!) and tropical music joins in a chaotic charade of sounds thriving on the urgent need of blurring the boundaries between what’s usually called ‘traditional music’ and the most recent radical forms of sonic hybridization.
No more tradition, no more gimmicks or homages: just a funky family of colourful outsider sounds and a rainbow of moist exotic and tropical vibes from your favourite obscure sounds production corporation.
We’re glad to present you today the entire Exotic side available for streaming few lines below: but first, let’s take a brief look at the artists (and their tracks) appearing on this A side:
- The Mauskovic Dance Band – A Big Brain by The Mauskovic Dance band, a supergroup from Amsterdam, proposes a mixture of delirious lounge music, afro-cumbia rythms and helium-distorted voices going along with funky guitars; on the background, magic truffles and nasa documentaries screenings;
- Mårble – Coming from the most tropical region of Siberia (!), Misha and Anthony runs the label Hair Del. which is specialized in dealing with exotica and tropical-wave; Archipelago is a jazzy, playful tune coming straight out of the 70s;
- Babau – Luigi and Matteo are Artetetra CEOs and founders, and they’re now hitting the record back with the project after 2 long years when only a single Babau track appeared [on Communion’s compilation Interdimensional Folklore Vol.1]; No Light experiments with Ethiopian traditional sounds and anisotropic iPad synth technologies;
- BICIKL – BICIKL are a Lithuanian band based in Belgrade, both tied to free/improv music and to roots eastern music; Penga hosts an unforgettable guitar vibrato and unstoppable drums;
- DJ Bitcoin – Project by the Italian artists and label owner Aaron Rumore, head of the Körper / Leib imprint and half of the Radford Electronics duo, DJ Bitcoin deals with Gamelan sound collages and samples that mix together in a whole new entity that could be somehow defined as abstract-ethnic music; €urowallets plays indonesian melodies and riddims providing kind of a weird royal march for a sultan recorded on an old, worn out tape;
- Kuru – Kuru are a duo from Trento, Italy that can be assimilated to Don Cherry’s spiritual jazz, but featuring an even more tribalistic connotation: their remarkable skills and style lead them to work together with Otto Kokke on some of his compositions, other that releasing a split 7” with the Dead Neandhertals appeared on the Italian Kohlhaas outcome; Potong Jari is a violent composition for saxophone assault and restless drums investigating over the very materic nature of sound;
- Marimba – Marimba is a project by Paul Jones [Cindytalk, Mothership Convention, Stolen Recordings] and Elia Buletti [Delmore fx, Das Andere Selbst], who met each other in Berlin in 2013 out of a multitude of shared interests and influences; Turkish Rainbow is an instinctive sonic pattern that evolves through improvisation and derangement of all the senses;
- Hexn – Hexn is Alberto Brunello [CobraCani, Non Piangere Dischi, Hartal!], who gave ArteTetra the bonkers Ysempar piece developing a malavolent, wicked mantra characterized by sharp drum rhythms and throat singing lines;
- Holypalms – Very well known among the Artetetra fans (or, better said, cult members), Pavel Eremeev, also in the russian math rock band uSSSy, after the Jungle Judge tape [Aug. ’16] gives us Great Amazing Waterfall, a tune full of dangerous baritone guitar melodies and hypnotic gongs he’s gonna bring for the first time in Italy during his late-April 2017 tour;
- Los Siquicos Litoraleňos – Misterios del Amazonas, offered to us by the alien cumbia, acid latin music ensemble from Argentina, is a cauldron of happy psych synths and deranged, visionary harmonies that show how healthy the lo-fi, outernation current experimental scene is;
- LDGU – Finally, the founder of Tresno outcome Paolo Rossi, who came back from a one-year-long journey to Indonesia and Borneo that allowed him to collect a whole spectrum of different recorded sounds, and also to learn to play traditional genres such as Gamelan, Suling, Sampelong, Sapek, contributes to the record with the short-track called Dawet, a minimal and graceful melody of sampled Gamelan chimes.
Of course, much more could be said about the artists and bands on the other side too, but we’d rather not overfit this article with too many information, and address your attention to the Tiny Mix Tapes piece which is about to go online soon – offering the other side, the Esoterique one, for full stream. So, push the play button and enjoy the raving, exotic mess of Exotic Esoterique Vol. 2, Side A. Support ArteTetra!
Follow ArteTetra on Facebook, Tumblr, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. This Sunday [March the 26th] don’t miss the launch party for the new season of Giardino Magnetico in Bologna, Italy, curated by Communion, Islands and ArteTetra, also featuring the live performance of Phoebé Guillemot aka RAMZi: RAMZi | Giardino Magnetico.
Side A: EXOTIK – TRACKLIST
01 – The Mauskovic Dance Band – A big brain [00:00]
02 Mårble – Archipelago [02:22]
03 Babau – No Light [06:55]
04 BICIKL – Penga [11:53]
05 DJ Bitcoin – €urowallets [19:07]
06 Kuru – Potong Jari [22:07]
07 Marimba – Turkish Rainbow [28:19]
08 Hexn – Ysempar [31:03]
09 Holypalms – Great amazing waterfall [35:34]
10 Los Siquicos Litoraleňos – Misterios del Amazonas [40:51]
11 LDGU – Dawet [48:38]
Born in Brescia, Italy in 1989, after his Master Degree in Engineering for Comm. Technologies & Multimedia he moved to Turin where he currently lives and pursues his PhD. Among his interests: new technologies, music as unbiased form of social/cultural expression, Guy Picciotto.