A Method to the Madness :: Marmo Music, with Modus Live Set

At needle drop be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to your turntables; there’s a decent chance you’re not going to know where you end up.

A Method to the Madness :: Marmo Music, with Modus Live Set

I love an ole surprise. Christmas. Birthdays. In restaurants I like the waiter to pick for me, though I’m aware that it might be misconstrued as cheek. The less I know the better; well to a certain extent. That’s why I always enjoy getting material from a label I’ve not heard too much about. This was the case when the latest from Marmo Music came in the door.

“The recording side of Marmo was born as a desire to contribute with a own vision of music” said one of the founders Matteo Tagliavini as we chatted on a warm Spring day through a freshly opened Chrome tab. The imprint is the brainchild of a handful of Italian musicians now based in Germany.

With a mouse click prod or two Matteo tries to define the indefinable.

“Marmo Music is more about feelings, like the romantic concept of being overwhelmed by nature and events, a time-machine journey though socio-historical landscapes or soundscapes.” But there are some recognisable influences. The collective devoured “tons of Warp Records, Detroit techno & electro, Rephlex and so on” whilst “digging into 60′ and 70′ psychedelic rock, post-punk, jazz, ethnic sounds” to come up with their distinctive audio diatribe.

Herva, aka Hervè Atsè Corti, is probably the best known name of the Marmo men. This young producer has already been headhunted by Delsin and Kontra-Musik For The DOWC Part 2 Atsè Corti joins forces with Mass Prod, Rufus and Raffaele Amenta as Tru West. Pinning down their style is like nailing jelly to a wall. House and electronics orbit Jazz and free for all experimentation. Tracks bound away from one another, grooves dividing much more than individual titles. Squealing brass meets unnerving scream, drone collides with burbling noise, slow soundtrack takes on funk. There’s even a smattering 4/4 in this all you can mix and match smorgasbord of trans-continental fusion.

Disparity, this separateness of style, is part of the Marmo madness. But there is a method. From such admirable, if not staunch, independence comes something quite an different. Modus, described as a “hardware freak,” maintains the mood of instability. Solid ground is set by “Exibition 11 Airplane” but don’t get comfortable, all is about to dissolve. “Voice of Vatikan” is tripped out, psyched up, LSD infused hypno-chant. Clipped vocals circle amidst thick plumes of grey smoke, ottomans and velvet festooning organs and pipes. Jamal Moss is drafted in to suck down this blurred abstraction and exhale some sort of sanity, or his take on it. Under the hood of Hieroglyphic Being the Chicagoan deals an Acid smeared and smudged remake. Hogging the B-Side this drum machine maestro teases and twists the original, buttressing haziness with beat supports whilst maintaining a heady toxicity.

The latest offering comes in the form of The Leftovers. Matteo tells how “Side A was written between Berlin, New Mexico and Florida.” He continues, “Side B was produced in Berlin during various improvised sessions, in which Mass Prod and Rufus were occasionally joined by Gaia Pollini on guitar and by Stefano Meucci of The Clover and Raccoglimento Parziale.” The 12” is the “out-there” cousin of its predecessors, the strange and rarely seen sideshow family member. Usi e Costumi is six piece whirlwind of warped and weirded out wonderment. The melting pot is cracked, battered into bits with a stick, mixed with some other found bits and re-assembled. Field samples from trailers to turntables, Roswell to, well, Roswell(!) have been employed to create something ultra unique. Noise. House. Indie. Techno. Experimentation and free-play all come together to produce an energetic and extremely original EP.

Only one idea is set in stone with these Italians; that is nothing is set in stone. Live music is soldered to pre-programmed percussion. Traditional instruments melt with modern. Styles are bent, blitzed and blended. Parameters, norms and standards are blatantly ignored and at times this can make the output a little, er, peculiar. But dull it is not. At needle drop be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to your turntables; there’s a decent chance you’re not going to know where you end up.

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