Antonio :: Breeze (Smashing Tape)

The overarching style comes from the pits of punk, a mechanized revolt of pistons and gravel. Yet there are softer moments lurking under those creaking sounds, warm keys cutting through the oil soaked gears. Tough, true, but there’s also a tender edge that counters, and compliments, the harshness.

Antonio :: Breeze (Smashing Tapes)

Antonio Barbetta has had a very successful twelve months. The Smashing Tape boss has clocked up four 12″s under his Antonio moniker and another as Raw Ambassador. Not bad for a newcomer. But success isn’t measured on output.

Barbetta’s label was inaugurated with a split tape between himself, as Raw Ambassador, and DJ Loser. The latter served up three cuts of beautifully fuzzed out techno, lush notes dowsed in Chicago dust and wayward experimentation. The latter laid out his signature sound, a triumvirate of gritted teeth and hurt feelings.

His most recent outing, Breeze on his own label, collects four tracks of bitter electronics. His style is tricky to pin down. Synth, EBM and Wave are all there. His sound is DIY, dripping in distortion and underproduction, with a serious nod to techno. Take “Spaze.” The entire piece groans. Static and fuzz dominate, beats clatter against a wall of distortion and notes attempt to cut into that impenetrable bulwark. The track is dense, heavy but toes a groove. “Breeze” is a slower work. Still soaked in decay, a softer tone comes through. Keys, shrouded in speaker hiss, mourn as they blister into the red. INNYSTER, aka Seixack, is the remixer. The Brazilian cleans up the original, leaving some grit beyond. He lets those cloaked chords loose, allowing them to bend into cascading bends and slides.

Antonio isn’t re-greasing the wheel with his grubby and grimy music. Instead this Italian is blurring certain lines. The overarching style comes from the pits of punk, a mechanized revolt of pistons and gravel. Yet there are softer moments lurking under those creaking sounds, warm keys cutting through the oil soaked gears. Tough, true, but there’s also a tender edge that counters, and compliments, the harshness.

Breeze is available on Smashing Tape.

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