The idea of the four members of the Dueventi project on this, their debut album, is to allow their differences to coexist.
The album’s title, “How”, is both the question and the means they’ve chosen to put their many approaches to creation in constant dialogue with one another.
This is how they each choose to act, to create, to journey. While the project’s style is impossible to define, its identity in this case is precisely the How: it’s a language that can bring together the free spirit of acoustic instruments with the geometric rigidity of electronic music that tends towards IDM.
To compare “How” to other music out now, you have to look all over: influences from Tigran Hamasyan, Apparat, Bad bad not good, Kamasi Washington, Portishead, Christian Scott, James Blake, and the Cinematic Orchestra all can be felt at various points on this album.
Release date: June 19th, 2020
Label: Murmur Music (digital distribution with The Orchard)
Parallel stylistic journeys live together in this multiplicity. One of these represents the more aggressive side of the project, as seen in the title track “How”: a trap-jazz delirium with vocals that oscillate between hypnotic and emotive; or the more coarse pieces like “Struggle”, “Monkey’s Revenge”, and “Everything can Change”, each with a decidedly live feeling wherein the rhythm is entrusted to the drums, played by the album’s guest artist Youssef Ait Bouzza.
Another leitmotif connects the pieces “Everyday”, “Before”, “I Left”, and “Haiku”; these are draped in a dream-like veil in their harmonies and voices, introspective in their lyrics, slow and essential in arrangements, but prone to sudden alterations in intensity and dynamics. In that soft spot between dark and light tones, as if to underline the complexity of emotional states of being, these songs could be represented by a continuous swing between day and night in a sort of time lapse that blends all the colors together and gives back a delicate rotation.
Then there are the more singular tracks that seem to take other roads, like the famous “Eleanor Rigby”. In this abstract version long pauses between one phrase and another amplify the force of each, only then to flow out in an even more explosive second section. What we hear is a venting out that tends towards post-rock wherein “All the lonely people” takes on a new dramatic meaning.
The track “Melting Frame” also follows its own path: a melancholy voice accompanied by an electronic beat somewhere between trip-hop and abstract hip-hop rings out surrounded by jazz counterpoints on sax, piano, and electric guitar. This is one of the pieces that has conserved both its character and structure from birth in an improv session to the final disc. Such is also the case for “Did you know”, a dub hallucination introduced by an extemporaneous vocal melody performed by all four musicians together.
Almost all the tracks on “How” came out of jam sessions during rehearsals, live on stage or in the recording studio, which can be heard in the very live sound that you can’t always find in more repetitive electronic music.
is one of the songs that most represents Dueventi’s research. After a colored opening in which the sax plays between consonances and dissonances in a mutual pursuit, everything suddenly becomes dark to provide a backdrop for a text made of small sentences between long pauses, to give time to internalize each concept, sip the words to intensify its power. These two phases alternate in a dramaturgical draft based on the contrast between the song that directs the attention towards the indispensable and the increasingly cacophonic acoustic discharges, to end in a catharsis of abandonment to slowness, patience.
Like other pieces of this work, “Struggle” sees the collaboration of drummer Youssef Ait Bouazza, who alternates here a drum-machine-style obsessiveness with openings that reveal the freedom of the hands.
together with other songs such as “I left” and “Before”, it expresses the most emotional side of the Dueventi project. The oscillating character between trip-hop, art-rock and modern-jazz returns to music the image expressed by the text, the search for something that lies in the path rather than in the destination, in the movement and time that flows more than in the instant expected or captured. In this constant flow of drones and slow impulses the song struggles to keep up, it always travels one step back to the rhythm, as if it wants to slow down every moment.
a personal reinterpretation of “Eleanor Rigby” has become part of Dueventi’s path. The intention is to give it a more cinematic breath, each image with its duration, each sentence of the text with its weight. The rhythm is not cadenced as in the original song, but elusive and not very accentuated. A classical guitar marks the way with a hypnotic refrain, illuminated by long notes of electric guitar and sax. The voice acts as a guide and frees itself from the rhythmic grid, allowing itself the time necessary to sing the next phrase. The song slips like this for a few verses, until something begins to tilt with the phrase “look at all the lonely people”, the beginning of a vortex that brings the sound to sink and take a darker color, synth and drums are added to a second part with a decidedly more restless character. The atmosphere of this remake is reminiscent of “The rip” by Portishead.
The title track “How”, improvised directly in the recording studio and subsequently edited in the structure, immediately declares its decisive character made of sharp beats, bad basses and chemtrails of sax and electric guitar. The structure ignores the ‘rules’ of the song form and instead preserves the natural succession of the parts born from the instant composition, moving freely between the pungent grooves of a dirty trap of free jazz and long breaths of only voice and electric piano. To strongly characterize the identity of the song is a voice initially cold and obsessive, like a mantra recited by a zombie, which gradually awakens with more intense, warmer melodies. When the piece seems to reach a sluice, instead, what could be a remix of the song, but played live, starts.