Contemporary music from everywhere

ranter’s groove – 俳句

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Niet f-n and Giuseppe Fantini describe their Kaczynski Editions label as “permeated with true punk spirit.” The label’s name is a reference to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The former math prof killed three and injured 23 Americans with homemade bombs between 1978 and 1995. By way of an explanation, he offered up an anti-tech manifesto that has resonated worldwide.

However sincere his intentions, Kaczynski killed three innocent people. He tried to kill more. The man is an odd choice to name anything after. I asked the duo about the Kaczynski reference by email.

“Your reaction to the name of the label and its contents is what we hope when someone approaches our music. Naming the label after TK testifies a strong stance against the standardization and clichés that permeate arts and the society in which we live.

“At the same time, as we said before, we think that the best way to express our dissent is through provocation. Our slogan is ‘music is the only weapon’ as we aim to represent a cultural bomb.”

Fair enough. Still, the association is jarring given the fact that Niet f-n and Giuseppe Fantini make music infused with electronics and digital editing. Beautiful music, in fact.

Their latest as ranter’s groove is among the best releases to cross my desk this year. 俳句 (Haiku) features 16 short pieces inspired by the minimalist poetry of Masaoka Shiki.

“It uses a series of micro-compositions that subvert the traditional image of a haiku as static and meditative state,” they told me. “Essentially it is a twin vision of Japan’s polar opposites: traditional and futuristic, meditative and furious.”

A mix of analogue and digital rhythms were produced with guitar and tape loops. The duo added found sounds and spoken word recordings to produce an intricately constructed dream-state audio experience.

“We know this is a contradiction but we are contradictory people and we don’t really mind,” they wrote to me. “We have always been attracted by revolutionary people and by people who have extreme thinking so it was a very natural choice for us.

“The fact that he is anti-technology and we use a laptop and so on is not a problem for us. On the contrary, we like to mess with [people’s] heads. Our music aspires to be ultra-modern, innovative and original. We could not do otherwise and this is not about using technology or not. We are interested in feelings and strong ideas that are reflected in unique and revolutionary sounds.”

Niet f-n is a sound artist and audio engineer who lives and works between Italy and Spain. Giuseppe Fantini is a guitarist and self-described electro-manipulator. In addition to his solo project zerogroove, Fantini is a member of Stanza 101 and Zero23.

Kevin Press

The Moderns, vols. 1 and 2, by Kevin Press are available exclusively from Amazon.

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