Released today is a collaborative album between two north-Italians, Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri. It’s free from a clear concept and instead concentrates on the minimal, sensitively electro-acoustic developed sounds that the pair arrived at.
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“Soolo is a collaboration between Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri, who are both artists residing in Northern Italy. Between these artists, their solo work has appeared on the likes of Slowcraft, Fluid Audio, Shimmering Moods, Time Released Sound, Fluid Audio, Elm and Dewtone. Not to mention appearances on Francis’ own Krysalisound label, and some of our early followers may recall Francis’ album ‘Apart’ which we released back in 2018.
The Grotta Veterano project has been active for just a couple of years, working creatively within a limited space, to apply recorded instruments, effects and field recordings through digital processing. Francis Gri has been active under his own name since 2011, exploring his improvised style, typically using guitar or piano as the focal point. This collaboration began as a collection of small sketches by Grotta Veterano, built around substantially long and controlled improvisations, using a piano. The same first melodic and rhythmic line of the piano was twisted out of phase and subsequently superimposed onto the original one, allowing chords, melodies and timbres to be created. Sensing that the work was not yet complete, he invited Francis to develop the work, knowing that he would add just the right amount of magic, to develop the work into soundscapes. Francis added guitar and electric piano as his chosen instruments to embellish these sounds but he allowed the sparse, cascading minimalism between the notes to breathe. You can hear all kinds of details in between the keys, as field recordings, fading notes, light noise and blurred electronics interact with the compositions.
The final collection, Soolo is free from a clear concept as the artists decided to focus less on themes to work to, for fear of falling into a cliché all too common within the ambient genre. Instead, the collaboration and sounds itself becomes its own path, as the artists worked remotely, with little communication. The music became a form of communication in its own right, as each artist reacted to what they heard as sonic interpretations developed. The cover photography provides a feint visual backdrop to accompany the music, with the misty landscape giving an ambiguous stimuli for the listener, as they decode this body of spacious sound.“
Written and produced by Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri
Mastered by Francis Gri
Photography by Harry Towell
Art and design by Andrew Heath