** 250 copies ** Riding the razor’s edge between rigorous experimentation, innovation, and tradition, London based, Italian composer, cellist, and electronic performer, Sandro Mussida, joins the Die Schachtel family with Rueben, his 3rd solo LP.
Active since the early 2000s, Sandro Mussida worked extensively with Mark Fell, Curl Collective, Lorenzo Senni, Oren Ambarchi, and Alessandra Novaga, among others, as well as a founding member of the interdisciplinary artists' group TQS Collective, before releasing his solo debut, Ventuno Costellazioni Invisibili, on Metrica in 2017, followed by Eeeooosss, released by Soave in 2019. Rueben, like its predecessor, deploys a microtonal vocabulary within a three-instrument sound palette and builds upon Mussida’s long-standing investigations of active listening, augmented by a developing practice that challenges aural perceptions of historical, non-equal-tempered tuning systems.
The 3rd instalment of Die Schachtel’s Decay Music series - launched to highlight inspired contemporary experimental efforts in the ambient, ethereal, and emotively abstract music - Rueben was recorded during 2018 in the church of St.Giusto in Volterra, Italy. Deeply inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings encountered by Mussida during the work’s composition, and conceived at the intersection of acoustic and electronic aural fields, in careful response to the space itself, the sounds of electric guitar, bass clarinet and cello - treated as minuscule sound atoms, rapidly projected to form structures of evolving densities - harmoniously enter into dialogue, forming a multi-layered, contemplative sonic landscape, within the interwoven complexity of their own reflections.
Central to Mussida’s work is the role of the performer, the experience of sound in a given space, and the relation of those sounds to memory and observation. Across the length of Rueben, bound to the work’s inspiration in the visual realm, the interplay between the senses blurs, presenting the act of listening as a mirror for the experience and legacies of seeing. In Mussida’s hands, sound emerges as a trace or memory suspended in a non-linear conception of time, where imprint, movement, and event, as they relate to place and happening, are perceived by the ear, recalling the Russian theologian Pavel Florenskij’s idea of ‘reverse time’, that likens temporal condition activated by experiences with art as similar to that of dreams.
Vast in scope and intricate detail, the 9 discrete compositions that form Rueben unfold in a series of interconnected, shimmering landscapes of tone and texture, each, through the interplay of their elements, configuring a radically dense rendering of minimalist, ambient music that challenge the perceived boundaries of those historical definitions. The identity of individual sound sources fades against their collective whole, sculpting an inward-looking aural image of the church of St.Giusto, that echoes the radiance of the paintings that lay at the heart of the album’s inspiration.
An inspired and radically forward-thinking realization of electro-acoustic music, Mussida pushes toward innumerable possible futures of experimental practice, imbued with ghosts and histories of the past. Rueben is issued Die Schachtel on vinyl in a one-time edition of 250 copies, pressed to 180g marble vinyl and housed in a pro-printed inner sleeve and jacket, featuring an original Sumi-e painting by Japanese artist and avant rock drummer Akihide Monna (Bo Ningen), contained in a silk-screen PVC sleeve.
The Decay Music Series
Die Schachtel's Decay Music series was launched by the Milan imprint in late 2019 to highlight inspired contemporary experimental efforts in the ambient, ethereal, and emotively abstract music, which was inaugurated by Vértice’s Besoch Trauma, a hitherto unknown hook-up between industrial pioneer Maurizio Bianchi, Saverio Evangelista (Esplendor Geometrico), and Juan Manuel Cidrón, a rich tapestry of creatively challenging sound - a hypothetical imagining of historic minimalism and ambient music, bred with industrial and punk. Vértice was followed by Stefano Pilia’s In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni, where the respected Italian guitar player/electro-acoustic composer, drifts between experimental electronics, and quietly rustic ambient folk themes. The title was extremely well received and sold out very quickly. It has been repressed in a limited run of 100 copies for this occasion.
As usual with Die Schachtel, the design by Bruno Stucchi/Dinamomilano plays a relevant part in the overall charm of the series. The records are pressed on 180g silver marbled vinyl, and are housed in heavy matt black jacket with special illustrations by contemporary artists, interacting with a silkscreened post-industrial alchemic-looking custom-design typeface, silkscreened on a hi-quality clear pvc sleeve that hosts the jacket.