About Raffaele Attanasio
Born to a musician father in his home city of Naples, Attanasio was only satiated when listening to virtuoso maestros like Il Guardiano del Faro and Keith Emerson. Developing his prodigious ear, he trained on drums and then piano and his auspicious ability become apparent early. In his late teens, he ventured into DJing and electronic music production and has garnered plaudits from Jeff Mills, Len Faki and Ben Sims; even performing with Mills in a B2B live set and also Octave One. He found a home within the electronic music community, heading his own label Letter From Jerusalem, and releasing on others, such as Third Wave Black and Non Series. His label even released music from Douglas McCarthy of the band Nitzer Ebb.
The confines of contemporary music often ensnare a musician in a particular sound. Wrapped up in a box that defines and sells the ‘product’, that it’s easier to digest for the modern consumer. It operates on a plane where it is assimilated in tiny soundbites that are quickly digested and moved on. Sound can get lost amongst trying to ‘make it’ or get likes. Music is not lost though; it exists as it always has and the passion for composing transcendent and transportive tracks exists in an artist like Raffaele Attanasio.
“My trajectory, I hope, will always be uphill, in continuous musical evolution… I’m always hungry for new sound experiences, and I’ll put all my soul into it.” – Raffaele Attanasio
What has never been lost on Attanasio is his eclectic flair. His releases span from nefarious techno – even releasing under his X-501 alias – to riveting Detroit inspired dance music with soulful piano. That piano may encapsulate a sound not many may equate to the Italian, but he now threads down a course that garners influences from his native Naples and musicians like Keith Jarret Duke Ellington and even Hans Zimmer. His artistic mould is shaped from by his experiences, and these are laid bare in his jazz-tinged sound on his album Nuovo Futuro, which was released on Axis records. Kaleidoscopic in his quenching of musical thirst, Attanasio keeps music in its purest form. These melodic air vibrations evoke something opaque, yet wildly pulchritudinous, regardless of the audience.
About Nuovo Futuro:
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato.
Music is an innate sense that taps into our very core. It exists on a prism, and the range is infinite, for anyone to think they’ve heard everything would be imprudent. Inspiration strikes in a myriad of waves, acting as a cascading waterfall in which each idea is a droplet converging into one stream. Music doesn’t know the rigid constraints of exclusivity. Preferences and ideologies can mould an individual; circumstance and fleeting moments require different melodies throughout the part being played by each being in the cosmos.
As each moment calls for an explicit sound, so too does Axis with it’s latest release from the heterogeneous Raffaele Attanasio. The multifaceted Italian has delivered an eclectic sound over the years, from devious techno to melodious rhythmic beats. Attanasio delivers a jazz-tinged, angular, progressive and championing album by coalescing influential factors: a musician father, a multifarious palate in music, and prowess as a multi-instrumentalist.
Nuovo Futuro is creating a new future by travelling to the past. Digging into the Zeitgeist of Naples post-second world war, Attanasio extrapolates the sound to present day, combining modern flair with an enriched sound. The influence of American blues and jazz is felt in his hometown, the history comes to life through these compositions, influenced by 70s spaghetti films and rich Italian exuberance. This album is a journey through the streets where he grew up, but also, encapsulates a wandering mind, meandering into the harmonious Mediterranean under the watchful eye of Mount Vesuvius. Melodies are soft, smooth, progressive and fulminating the constraints of contemporary music. It emanates a renaissance for a sound that Axis is espousing in their releases.
Verdict: Produced by Jeff Mills (so you know your already onto a winner) the album has an overall funky jam session quality. Raffaele brings the skills with his impeccable Piano/keyboard work as the Percussion and Bass hold the groove. Their is so much energy and life in the performances, each track just hits the right mark and you cant help but get down. The Alternate versions are like a reprise of the originals, keeping the signature melodies while adding subtle twists and variations perfectly. ‘Equilibrio Dinamico‘ is the one track on the album which steps away from the Jam session vibe and lays down a more 4/4 house production style. With its dreamlike quality, a lush Piano floats above live drums on the original/alternate versions while solid electronic beats hold down the ‘Midnight Mix’. Such a great release, Raffaele Attanasio’s talent shines here, not only as a musician but also in his compositions that breath with vitality.
Out now on Axis Records