Shared between the passion for silence and noise, Luca Sigurtà made several releases on labels like Fratto9, Creative Sources, Afe Records, Dokuro, Lisca, Tulip, Karl Schmidt Verlag. He’s played and recorded with To Live And Shave In LA, Andy Ortmann, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Praying for Oblivion, Claudio Rocchetti, UR, Der Einzige, Sanair, Fhievel, and xNoBBq, amongst others. In 2010 he joined Luminance Ratio recording two 7” split singles with Steve Roden and Oren Ambarchi. ?He released a 12
I have had the pleasure of catching you live recently at Macao, the occupied space in Milan (see above video). Could you talk me through your set and could you describe to me the way you generally approach a live gig?
First of all, I’d like to say that playing live is what I prefer doing. Also, I like to do something different with each performance. I like to add, take away or simply modify something every time I play live. In the case of my set at Macao, Milan, I have used many self-constructed loops, which I have since used in an installation in the Liguria region using the same tapes as sound source. When playing live, though, I generally use tapes, different cd players, synth and a lot of other analog “refuse”.
Last year’s album Bliss (Fratto9) showed your gentler side, but you have a noisier streak which is represented in your band Harshcore. Are you just finding hard to let go of your punk roots and a general “punkish” attitude to music, if you pardon the expression? Also has releasing a split one-sided 12” with Panicsville been a long time dream come true?
Yes, amongst all of my releases, Bliss is without a doubt the most introspective or “soul” as it has been described in some reviews. It is an album that conveys the dreamier aspect of my work, my gentler side, even if it is characterised by a certain degree of disquiet. It is a kind of musical representation of what I was and am. When it comes to my attitude, I would say that my approach is decidedly punk. Over the years, I have come to realise this is the main characteristic of my music. I like a certain roughness of sound, even though I am trying to refine certain sonic traits. Gianmaria Aprile, who has been producing my latest works, has helped me considerably with this. We may often bicker, but he manages to contain and mould my punk attitude in the best possible way by guiding the sound in the right direction.
The 12” with Panicsville has bee a dream come true. After a split tape with Andy Ortmann, released in 2011, he and I forged an excellent relationship so when I asked him to if he was interested in doing a split album with the band he was happy to oblige.
You have also a new split album, ERM, this time with Francisco López which has just been released on Fratto9. How did this come about and at what point did López Lopez get involved?
With Francisco López it was more or less the same as with Panicsville. If the latter are masters of noise, though, López is, on the other hand renowned for his skill in dealing with silence (once again, we are back in the same dichotomy I was talking about earlier). The main difference is that with Francisco, I had already been in touch for a number of years and had exchanged a number of albums, before we decided on a split. We decided to work on the same material in order to create two completely distinct tracks whereby I would work on his sound processing and mutations and vice-versa. The resulting tracks are really different, even though one can hear, at times, some of the same samples being used. The album was released mid June on Fratto9 with promotion being taken care by the top German company Dense, specialized in experimental music.
Reverie, the new Luminance Ratio album, is coming out, on the Polish label Bocian. In a recent interview with Gianmaria Aprile, he stated that for this particular release you selected and processed hours and hours of recorded material, which you then assembled and integrated with acoustic parts on cello, sax, baritone clarinet, and double bass courtesy of a number of fellow musicians. Is this post processing work something you had originally planned or something that evolved naturally from the kind of material you found yourselves with?
We’ve made a habit of recording all of the band’s rehearsals, which meant that we accumulated a lot of material. By listening back to what we had, we realised we actually had something which could’ve been worth working on and releasing and it is thanks to Gianmaria and Luca who did a sterling job with postproduction, that this what actually happened. In terms of new and future material, we are now trying out a different approach and rather than going for long sessions, we prefer to concentrate on single tracks and shorter takes. This way we are hoping to get a more direct sound, something akin to a live set, dirtier and grittier.
You’ve released on a number of labels over the years, but have recently set up the microlabel, Kinky Gabber, which co-releases your own output with Gianmaria Aprile’s Fratto9 Under The Sky. Was that motivated by a need to share costs or a way of exerting artistic control over your albums?
I’d been thinking of starting a small label for a while. The first Luminance Ration 7” was the trigger that set everything in motion. Ideally, I don’t want to limit it to my output, but, unfortunately, I have very little time to dedicate to it. Still, I am hoping to release something by a different artist before the end of the year. Running parallel with Kinky Gabber, I would also like to start up a line of “cheap fashion” with screen-printing clothing, but I’ll have to wait until new winter for this.
You live in Biella, in the Piedmont region, a town located roughly halfway between Turin and Milan. Where do you tend to gravitate towards the most when it comes to playing music and going to see bands live? Also, do you feel part of any particular music scene?
On the one hand, the geographic location of Biella is one of its positive aspects as it is so close to both Turin and Milan, that it makes it easy to catch interesting gigs in either city. On the other hand, though, it means that Biella itself, all too often, gets bypassed and culturally speaking it is not that vibrant. Having said that are a number of good local bands such as Morkebla, Rainbow Lorikeet, Hilary Snuff e Ass-Olo just to name a few.
Who are in your opinion amongst the most interesting musicians currently active on the Italian electroacoustic scene at present? Also, which labels/venues do you rate?
I would say that, especially over the past few years, the Italian experimental scene has been thriving, with an output of very high quality, which has been gaining an increasingly positive response and echo. The most tangible effect is that it is reaching a far wider audience than it used to. People are generally more interested and “maybe” even more receptive. I do believe the Italian scene to be amongst the best in Europe and I have said this recently in another interview as well. This is thanks to the very high standard of the different projects on offer, and the care and attention given to both the sound and the visual aspect of it. There may be more opportunities in other countries, especially when it comes to number of venues dedicated to this particular genre and the general “infrastructure”, whereas we have to roll up our sleeves and try and come up with new ways of promoting our work, but other than that we have no reason to suffer from an inferiority complex.
In terms of recommendations, I won’t name names, as I would run the risk of writing down an exceedingly long shopping list. I prefer to just invite anyone interested, to explore the Italian scene as there’s so much interesting stuff out there.
Finally, what are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a new album, which will probably be titled Warm Glow and which will keep me busy throughout the summer. I am also working on new material with Luminance Ratio. There’s other stuff in the pipeline as well, but it still it its very early stages.