And Polo: Every time I describe a city, I am saying something about Venice / -When I ask you about other cities, I want you to talk about that one. And about Venice when I ask you about Venice – the Kan said./ To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains explicit. For me it is Venice.(Italo Calvino, «Le città invisibili»)
The inauguration of the 56th Venice Art Biennale, our accounts jam packed with theme-related newsletters, my handwriting is marked by various memos for Nation25 the new nation we are creating along with other travel companions) and we can still see images from our memories of past editions.
As I write, the Biennale has yet to open its doors to the public. But for the art world, it is as if it has already come to an end. Everything I hear reminds me of Venice even though we are now trying to introduce you to two evenings in Rome at the Macro Testaccio on 15 and 16 May.
The line-up is as diverse as the names and genres.
Clap! Clap! will sweep us away to the imaginary islands and tribal sounds featured on their most recent album «Tayi Bebba» (Black Acre, 2014). Fantastic landscapes kissed by magic and ancient rituals: field recordings and percussions for House with a hit of the jungle and fully dubbed sounds for a mix that is unanticipated and convincing.
The wave of Ninos du Brasil follows (scheduled for the evening of 16 May). This group was born of the mind of artist Nico Vascellari and drummer Nicolò Fortuni and it can really bring down the house and get everyone moving in a liberating dance. From Venice, it seems as if we’ve arrived at a Brazilian carnival that chose a hardcore concert as partner. Batucada and noise, Samba and Electronica. Glitter and confetti, electro-punk costumes and an incredible burst of energy from the vocals and drums. Then there is every kind of percussion instrument (cuicas, congas, bells, djembes, rolls, cymbals, claves, maracas, whistles, chimes..)
Just to give you an idea:
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Another sure hit of Energy comes from SBTRKT, who I have already presented, with his masks and a dustup that is somewhere between Indie pop and Electronica.
A couple of words about Ambassadeurs AKA Mark Dobson, the musician / DJ from Brighton: from electronica to Hip-Hop, Dub, field recordings, Ambient…
[soundcloud url=”https://soundcloud.com/lost-tribe-records/ambassadeurs-myway?in=ambassadeurs/sets/cantyouseeep” comments=”true” auto_play=”false” color=”ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”81″]
Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto will be performing the evening of 15 May as well. He explored his grandmother’s experience at a concentration camp in What we Held Onto – nostalgic melodies, vocal samplings, field recordings and full percussion. In Lineage, whose album cover is of his grandfather’s house in Hiroshima, he added some hip hop, jazz and funky. No Better Time Than Now (Ghostly, 2013) is a declaration of honesty and truth, consideration and confidence with fluid and delicate sounds. Written during a period of endless travels that taught him to stop at nothing, not even feelings, and become immersed in that precise flow with the certainty that nothing could possibly be better. He stated: «Don’t sleep on a feeling. If it feels right it is. We say life is ‘short,’ but [we] know it feels ‘long,’ so when you have a chance to be honest with yourself, take it — there is no better time than now.» Warm and embracing sounds and a feeling of being protected no matter where you are.
Ravenna native Lorenzo Nada will perform on Friday the 16th, exactly 4 days after the release of his new album «Plush and Safe» (La Tempesta International and Fresh Yo!) Godblesscomputers. The title of the album was taken from a work by Basquiat when he was still going under the name of SAMO and scattering tags on the walls of SoHo and TriBeCa. The response to the impossibility of controlling things and a launch towards events without reflecting too much on them.Try. He wrote his track list by hand – to read as a preview while listening to Closer, the first available track:
[youtube id=”uFMQ_MrSUWI” width=”620″ height=”360″]
Replacing seconds with beats and loading synths with human sensitivity.
To come back with La Batteria (group made up of former members of Otto Ohm, Colle Der Fomento and the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio). They re-appropriate a style from the past and project it into contemporary sounds and arrange the music for images using the 70s, Ennio Morricone and Goblin as reference points.
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In the meantime, I took a virtual tour of many pavilions. I read positive comments about the Japan, France, Albania, Spain and China Pavilions. Not much about Italy.
Everything is on Facebook, albeit unreliable.
I’m leaving for Venice soon.
note to the text: this text was written on May5, 2015 on the road to the 56a Venice Biennial.