RELEASE DATE: OCT 2017 FORMAT: DL/LP
‘On Pause’, that’s how life has felt for the last year. Entangled in this family drama, without a clear way out. I’d say it lasted from around April 2016 - April 2017. Working with a dad who was sick, but reluctant to seek help, reluctant to change, unable to change.
In April 2016, I had at this point been working for my dad for 4 years. We built deck and fences mostly. As time moved on through the years, my dad became less and less able to do the work by himself, which resulted in me being more and more reluctant in finding some other form of work, not wanting to leave him to fend for himself. At the start of the 2016 work season, and quickly progressing through the next few months, my dad seemed to fade away as whatever was wrong with him eventually killed him. He was an alcoholic and smoked constantly. One of those or a combination killed him. After he died on October 1st, we went through a book of photos: even just looking at photos from a few years back, you could see how sickly he had become in the last few months.
‘On Pause’ is an expression of the last year of my life, with and without my dad: the days of work, and the frustration that went along with that (Track 1 and 3), the morning of his death and the subsequent legal hassles (there not being a will) (Track 6), the fond memories and acceptance (Track 2 and 8), uncertainties (Track 7), changes in perspective after his death (Track 4), and the moments of calm that find their way into these chaotic situations (Track 5). It is deeply personal. However, I never really intend the meaning and stories behind the tracks to be known to the listener. It’s left to the listeners interpretation, hopefully being linked musically to some sort of memories or experiences. To me, it’s also not a sombre or gloomy album for the most part, maybe introspective, but rarely in a sad way. Things that my dad used to do that were infuriating are now running jokes and things we remember him by. His death was a shock, but it wasn’t a surprise, and maybe it was easier to make sense of because of that.
Musically, this album felt like a combination of ‘Healer’ and ‘Repetitions’. I used much of the sound palette or ‘Healer’, and mixed it with some of the compositional elements I was working with on ‘Repetitions’ (both in how tracks were layered and created, but also in terms of structures and the dynamism that goes along with that). Specifically on this album, I made pretty strict use of static cassette loops of varying length (also a reference to ‘On Pause’). I would often stick with 1 or 2 different lengths for the duration of the track, which would allow for sections that seemed to stay static, but also changed slightly as the different length would interweave the melodies and tones in different timings. This also gave the opportunity to experiment with changes in melodic pacing, where some loops would only play a note or two during the length of a loop, while other loops would have a flurry of notes that although not in time rhythmically with the underlying notes, would stay in time due to the length of the loops used. Another thing I found interesting while working on this album, was the mechanic variability of loops recorded on cassette. Even though the loops were static, the reproduction of them via the tape deck was not, so it created subtle differences per repetition, somewhat like how a musician can play the same passage over and over again, with the passage sounding slightly different each time. These are all pretty boring details I suppose, but the point is that I had been listening to a lot of minimalist music from the 70’s and 80’s in the last few years, and had been intrigued about creating similar effects and shifts in a static medium like tape, versus using live performers like Reich and Glass. Not sure if it’s necessarily been a success, but I do feel I have slowly moved away from the my early drone works into a loosely based modern-composition approach.
1. Heavy Riser 2. Underlying Softness 3. Again 4. Fake Strings 5. Momentary 6. Across A City 7. Interlude 8. Forever
All tracks by Valiska
Vinyl Cut by
Andrea Belfi performs 'Lead' from his new album 'Ore' at Acud Clu
Profile Image/ Cover Art
Artwork / design by Francis Redman
Italian-born Andrea Belfi is a drummer, composer and experimental musician. Artfully blending the acoustic with the electronic, his performances are equal parts energetic and hypnotic, featuring long-arching soundscapes that are rich and immersive.
Inspired by the likes of instrumental post-rock group Gastr Del Sol, seminal dub outfit Rhythm & Sound, and Pierre Schaffer protégé Éliane Radigue, Belfi’s music pulses on the exploration of deep and mysterious nocturnal spaces. Strikingly atmospheric and replete with vivid timbres, his music is oftentimes rhythmically complex but also pure and reductive.
A live performer at heart, Belfi’s music comes to life on stage where he’s built a reputation for electrifying drum solos and off the cuff improvisations. He’s been refining his current live set for a decade now, consisting of just his noble Saari drum kit from Finland, a Nord modular, and a sampler.
Having performed at the likes of Centre Pompidou (Paris), Unsound Festival (Krakow), Cafè Oto (London), Issue Project Room (New York), GAS festival (Göteborg) and Artplay (Moscow), Belfi’s become known for his charismatic and engaging performances. His extensive experience includes both solo and group tours across Europe, notably touring with Nils Frahm’s band nonkeen in 2016.