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Artist Portrait: Andrea Marutti

img  Tobias
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It was a dangerous childhood episode which started Andrea Marutti's fascination for the dark and sinister side of life: „When I was 16 I had a bad car accident. My nose was broken and since then, one of my nostrils is almost useless, so I can't breath correctly“, he says, referring to his aptly titled work „The Brutality of Misbreathing“. „Many times I found myself in need of fresh air, but uselessly. My only refuge were sleep and dreams.“ The album was published in 2007 on Opaco Records – and it is the first epic Marutti has released under his own name, after almost 15 years of music-related activities.

Breathing in slowmotion
This, too, is the reason most people will likely not know him under his civilian name, even though they may well have been in contact with one of his projects. Only shortly after setting up Afe Records in 1995, Marutti signs with Murder Releases for the eponimously titled debut of his first alias, Amon. In the ensuing four years, he will extend the discography to six publications, while simultaneously establishing Afe as a multi-genre label with its fingers in anything from the Avantgarde to Noise and from Drones to (leftfield) Dance. Amon’s „The Legacy“ from 1999 signals an important step in his career: It hooks him up with Mauro Berchi and connects him to the family of Berchi's label: Eibon records, whose tasteful packaging displays a similar sense of love and dedication towards the music contained within as Afe's.

„The Legacy“ already hints at what Marutti will later describe with drastic words in the press release to „The Brutality of Misbreathing“ („Just like being choked by the anxiety of an endless resonating emptiness, uselessly searching for a way out of loneliness. Spending days with half-closed eyes, hoping to dream reality away for as long as possible, observing a new failure in the early morning light.“): It is almost as if these monolithic drones with organic, but discreet microtonal scratches and glitches running circles in the background, are metaphors for his distorted respiratory system, like pitched down breaths in suffocating slow motion.

On the other hand, it is also an album which shows that Andrea is not content with his music standing still. All of these pieces develop according to a live-logic, with surface textures subtely morphing continously. „Enter Darkness“ begins with a high-pitched frequency which sends vibrations through the entire room and five-and-a-half minute short „Exit Light“ moves from a serene and crystal clear opening to a rich, ominous rumble. Industrial soundscaping, granular modulations and a pronounced sense for layering his tracks are the factors which turn Amon into a Dark Ambient project with a distinct flavour.

Self-confidence and bad dreams
During the immense success of Afe's tenth anniversary show, Marutti starts to realise what he has achieved. „Fifteen different acts - about thirty performers in total - went on stage during that night and the place was crowded with hundreds of people“, he tells Webmag Connexion Bizarre in an interview conducted at the end of last year. „It was a memorable event which has given great sense to my activity with the label and to all the time and strength I infused into Afe since the beginning.“ The self-confidence this provides him with, as well as the ongoing issues with his health lead to „The Brutality of Misbreathing“ - and the beginning of his solo career under his own name.

Interestingly enough, this brings about musical changes as well. „The Subliminal Relation Between Planets“ (on Czech label Nextera) is a great example of his new, more varied and oppulent style. „Subliminal Relation“ is dedicated to the beauty of the countryside of Italian region Catanzaro, its timbres are still dark, but no longer just singularly domninated by the colour black.

Sixteen-minute ouverture „A drop within a Drop“, a gentle caress of harmonics and warm tectonics, is possibly the most positive and sensous statement he has ever produced and a similarly upbeat mood is present in the other pieces as well, although the gargantuan fields of „In the Fish Trove“, with its haunting phantasmagoric dissonances, are yet again a step into the void.

Here, heavy lungs are in- and deflating as heavily as ever, hard pressed to suck in the necessary air. Other than that, however, it seems as though Marutti has all but defeated his demons. A joyous harmonica features prominently on „The Pulsating Silence“ and the feeling of „Wonderful Ostentation“ is rather one of glorious majesty than of pain.

Which is not to say that this man is no longer of interest for fans of the genre. Quite on the contrary. The newly-gained optimism has allowed Marutti to build his pieces even more freely, without answering exclusively to his fears. „The Subliminal Relation Between Planets“ is an album noone with an interest in Drones and Dark Ambient should miss this year.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Andrea Marutti
Homepage: Andrea Marutti Interview at Connexion Bizarre
Homepage: Nextera Records
Homepage: Eibon Records
Homepage: Opaco Records

Article in serie

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1 Dark Ambient Special 1
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4 Interview: Vestigial
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5 Artist Portrait: Andrea Marutti
Breathing problems: Marutti's pieces develop ...
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6 Label Portrait: Reverse Alignment
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8 CD Feature/ Formication: "Agnosia"
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9 CD Feature/ Sinke Dus: "Akrasia"
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