Beneath the surface of Blackwater :: Interview and Mix

And what is that sound? Techno I would say. Not specific enough? Add some of the following and you’ll get a picture. Black. Psychological. Industrial. Melancholic. Introverted. All styles that the London/Rome label of Blackwater has explored in its two year life.

Beneath the surface of Blackwater :: Interview and Mix

I was chatting with Marco Moreno Graziano of Analogic Density about electronic music in Italy a few weeks back. After going through a litany of labels we came to a consensus, that machine music is alive and well there; in fine health in fact. But there was something else I noticed about our list, the overlap, artists working together, releasing together and working with a range of fellow countrymen. Some of these crossovers I’ve already covered. Ad Rvina Imperii saw Blackwater team up with the like-minded Love Blast and Stirpe999 to inaugurate their Kapvt Mvndi sub label. But despite such slight divisions there is an overarching sound.

And what is that sound? Techno I would say. Not specific enough? Add some of the following and you’ll get a picture. Black. Psychological. Industrial. Melancholic. Introverted. All styles that the London/Rome label of Blackwater has explored in its two year life.

This young upstart, and its league or musicians, have managed to release over ten vinyl records and a number of CD albums in its short life. It’s hard to summarize what they are doing, but god loves a trier so here goes. Blackwater has set about making a soundtrack to accompany dreams of drowning. Acid. Ambient. Drone. IDM. Techno. Noise. All are rinsed together in a sonic stew of ache and misery.

“Blackwater is an ode to the Sea,” muses the thirty year old head of Blackwater Pier Di Sorte, “and is connected to this dark pond that i hope could become in the next future a Lake a Sea and finally an Ocean full of music and Artists.”

And that’s what this Italy-UK label has been doing, plumbing the depths of electronics to find new backroom knob twiddlers and music freaks who share an obscured audio visions A spread of homeland talent has been collected, with the boss trying his own hardware hardened hand.

1+1=2 by Devianza, Di Sorte’s moniker, introduced the imprint to the masses. Scudding the edges of IDM and gloom the 12” sounds like a prototype for the entire imprint. And sorrow is never far away. “I’m personally inspired by very sensitive, deep and mostly sad music” Di Sorte told me. This sounds quite far away from his days growing up in Rome when techno was just flourishing, following his brother and cousin, “both older…into the most important Rave and Gigs about Techno Music.” Weight and emotion are doled out in equal portions from glowering EPs. Thud and pain are pillars, bass and soul columns, all supporting a reflective claustrophobia. Recent outings by the likes of T. Kode and Lunatik, Subion and Beat Movement all employ scraped and static shrouded atmospherics, solitary rhythms being the breadcrumb trail out of the charcoal forests. Just as strong a visual aesthetic accompanies the audio. Di Sorte reflects, “I was probably most fascinated by the logos, artworks and the idea.” That same fascination is emblazoned on the releases. Stark and powerful images, ghoulish figures, aerial attacks, shadows and shade from the likes of SAWA, Gino Venezi and Paolo Di Lucente.

For those getting to know the label their Visions compilations are solid cross sections of the sound being pursued. Absorbing in one breath, distancing in the next, these CD’s are emblematic of the recesses being explored by this cerebral collective. This is a label on a mission, one with a set purpose and a set vision; one summed up when I asked about what brought Di Saorte to his life in London. “my mission brought me here, i have to finish what i’ve started!” And within this sphere of there is the iconoclastic element to Blackwater and , the hammer and mallet and swagger of futurist youth. Di Sorte is more than matter of fact when quizzed on his deep look into the dark:

“About the reason why we are melancholic is because WE HATE STUPIDITY, WE HATE MEDIOCRITY, WE HATE COMMON PEOPLE.”

But this isn’t some form of superiority, some sense of arrogance, it’s a statement born out of the difficulties encountered in the homeland when trying to get things started. “Italy has been and is still one of the most important centre of music production but is still a closed and very obsolete…in England where now I live the scenario is completely different. There is a business on music and culture that accept and support this business.” And, there is a realization of what other nations and people have achieved, “England is the business machine. But the important thing we have to learn from Berlin experience is the capacity to create a NET, a real and safe net between Artists and Clubs in order to create a scenario and support each other.”

At its core, Blackwater (alongside Kapvt Mvndi and sublabels waiting in the wings Goldenboy Music and NFOB- New Forms Of Beauty) is about creating a fount from which this brand of ink-stained music can flow. Di Saorte describe it as a type of “Musical Socialism,” a “next step into” the “cultural gap.” The dream is a platform, one that is “free” and “without any agreements” and one which will become ever more “underground.” Utopian maybe, but with such belief and determination there’s a feeling that anything is possible with this imprint.

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