Claudio Rocchetti - Labirinto Verticale
Since its founding in Milan during the early years of the new millennium, Die Schachtel has occupied a singular place in the landscape of experimental music, issuing a carefully curated body of reissues and archival releases by historically significant figures and projects like Christina Kubisch, Luciano Cilio, Marino Zuccheri, Prima Materia, Claudio Rocchi, Lino Capra Vaccina, Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Roland Kayn, and numerous others, balanced against bristling contemporary counterparts by the likes of Jim O'Rourke, Giovanni Di Domenico, Nicola Ratti, Luigi Archetti, Valerio Tricoli, etc. In 2019, Die Schachtel launched a new series, Decay Music, once again stitching a bond between the present and the past by making a nod to Michael Nyman’s seminal debut and its place within Brian Eno’s development and creation of early ambient music. Across its four releases, it set out to highlight inspired contemporary experimental efforts in the ambient, ethereal, and emotively abstract, delivering remarkable sounds by Vértice, Stefano Pilia, Sandro Mussida, and Giovanni Di Domenico. Now Decay Music returns with two new instalments, Damāvand's “As Long As You Come To My Garden” - that we have already introduced recently - and Claudio Rocchetti’s “Labirinto Verticale”. Occupying a realm of haunting, operatic spectralism, the album illuminates Rocchetti’s singular territory of radical, contemporary experimentalism that has continuously unfolded and evolved for more than two decades. Issued by Die Schachtel in a limited, 180g vinyl editions of 300 copies, housed in a pro-printed inner sleeve and jacket, contained in a silk-screened PVC sleeve, it should not be missed.
The fifth instalment of the Die Schachtel’s Decay Series, Claudio Rocchetti’s “Labirinto Verticale”, marks the return of the Italian Berlin-based composer, following a six-year hiatus, as well as his first release with Die Schachtel since 2008’s “Another Piece of Teenage Wildlife”. Active since the early 2000s, Rocchetti has issued dozens of solo full lengths and EPs - built around a practice focused on concrete pastiches, live hardware manipulation, turntable feedbacks, and various recorded sources and objects - as well as being a member of 3/4 Had Been Eliminated, with Stefano Pilia, Tony Arrabito, and Valerio Tricoli, and half of the duo Olyvetty with visual artist Riccardo Benassi.
“Labirinto Verticale” is rooted in a four-year collaboration between Rocchetti and the Parma-based Fondazione Lenz, a contemporary theatre research collective and organization, and draws its inspiration from the writings of Hölderlin and Calderon de la Barca. Channeling the concepts of memory, sedimentation, presence, and absence, over the length of the aforementioned collaboration the artist produced several hours of music, from which the album’s material would be subsequently drawn.
Embodying an intangible, almost “phantasmic” quality, threaded by a delicate eeriness, Rocchetti’s six pieces collectively form an alchemical “opera al nero”, throughout which ghostly fragments of the human voice surfaces within a subtle maelstrom of otherworldly sounds, created, manipulated and decomposed with the use of cassette tapes, re-recording sessions, sonic refractions, feedbacks, sounds either found or collected during the rehearsals or the theatrical workshops and shows at Fondazione Lenz. Into this rich tapestry of sonority, Rocchetti then deployed his own voice to imitate artificial sounds or instruments, creating an entirely unexpected and disorienting hall of mirrors.
Occupying a remarkable middle ground between the operatic, the abstractions of experimentalism, and seductive qualities of popular music, Rocchetti, in a single stroke, has created an entirely singular from of electroacoustic practice, as though Phillip Glass’ Operas were tossed into a blender run by Alvin Lucier. Thrilling, deeply engaging, and bordering on the visionary, this transportive wonder taps the melancholic and ecstatic alike. A truly wonderful achievement, “Labirinto Verticale” is issued by Die Schachtel in a limited, 180g vinyl editions of 300 copies, housed in a pro-printed inner sleeve and jacket, contained in a silk-screened PVC sleeve. Highly recommended!