Kn Radiodifusion // Rundfunk

Truth Is Silence – Interview

May 19th, 2017  |  Published in Feature Press Pic 1


As an artist, the vista of electronic music can be for the most part a solitary journey. Long nights of experimentation alone in the studio alongside lengthy transits on tour without meaningful human contact can be testing. Navigating these emotional complexities can be as delicate and convoluted as the work itself. The duo of have forged a successful musical partnership and also a lifelong friendship that has lasted the better part of three decades. They’ve not only contributed a sincere effort to longevity but more importantly, one toward music. From their early forays into electronica, to crafting music with the Conservatory Of Avellino, they’ve now anchored their attention within the world of techno with great precision, collaborating with names such as Svreca and Donato Dozzy. The duo’s new EP ‘Truth Is Silence’ drops on the 29th. We caught up with them to discuss the intricacies of approach, solidarity and the truth in silence.

Kn: Before we start, where are you both currently located?

LINO: It’s good to start from the point where we are physically based. Nicola lives in Boscoreale and this is where our studio is situated, down in the basement of his house, and I live in Pompeii, which is less than 10 min via Vespa to the studio. Both cities are 25 km from Naples on the south side of Mount Vesuvius.

Kn: You’ve been fortunate to have experienced and contributed to several generations of the Italian techno scene, particularly originating from Naples which has a strong history not only in techno, but also from the days of post-punk. What are the major shifts in consciousness towards music that you both identify with that have unfolded between this period in the late 90’s and today, and also from working alongside contemporaries from both eras, from Rino Cerrone to Donato Dozzy?

LINO: In terms of acknowledgment, we have been lucky to live all these great changes in music that have formed our consciousness, but in terms of time, we recognise that we are getting old and really we don’t know what is the best thing. However, it’s life and we try to be “here and now”. Naples has an ancient tradition in music, well known in all the world, but the underground has a parallel story, that I believe has not been historicised. I guess it’s not the place to talk about it, but yes, post-punk passed across our city forging our tastes and then developed in different directions.

The start of 90’s saw a lot of artists putting Naples on the map. We have been lucky enough to get such great artists like PWOG, Clock DVA, Spiral Tribes, Test Department, Death In June, ZEN PARADOX / LUMUKANDA (maybe Australians are more familiar with those two) and many others. We were there developing our studio on electronic machines, then we had a lot of chances to present our music in the growing context of techno music, which was approaching in the underground panorama, and perhaps we did one of the first electronic performing acts in our area. In one of those parties we met Rino, who was a growing name in Neapolitan techno. We invited him to our studio where he approached the machines for the first time. It was in 95/96, I don’t remember exactly. So, we opened the collaboration up to him and we turned our name from Quiet Men to Qmen. From then to now, meeting with Donato, we have shared many collaborations, with people like John Hughes (Hefty Records) and Enrique Mena (Svreca), just to name a few. In all these years, we have been always busy doing something.

Kn: Taking a closer look at your discography there’s a distinctive gap in releases between 2003 and 2015. How did life look for you both during this period, not only personally but musically?

Lino: Not exactly. From 2004 to 2010, we published for our own label “Mousikelab”, one album of called “S/T”, and Resina “Opinio Omnium” which is a collaboration we did with Marco Messina, who is a member of 99 Posse, one of the most important Italian hip hop reggae bands. In 2007, we had a digital EP release followed by a CD collection of old tracks called “Semeion” via Hefty Records. We stopped for a while because we were involved in many projects and performances between 2008 and 2011, and our album “Randomicon” had been released by Flatmate, a sub-label of the Spanish label Störung. In 2012, we released our last ambient CD, “Descending into Crevasse” via Glacial Movement. So, as you can see, we never stopped our mission.


Kn: Via the use of modular synthesis, generating impermanence in music is something you both pride yourselves on. Are there approaches that you follow to attain this end result and how do you keep the process evolving so it sustains your interest as artists?

LINO: We just use the freedom to go deep into the sound. No special process, just alot of influences such as music, literature, philosophy, story, cinema, life, only good food for the mind. Obviously there are years of practice that lately are more facilitated by technology. Last, but not least, is the care that Nicola has to build up our own instruments, which sometimes are not perfect but they have an uncertainty that puts us on the trail of randomness.

Kn: We’re almost at the halfway point of 2017 and it’s been a strong year for releases and collaborations for you both. Have there been any notable learning curves or positives that you’ve taken away so far this year?

LINO: In the last year, two good friends joined us in the studio, Pier Giuseppe Mariconda PRG/M and Luigi Cicchella aka RuHig. With them we started a new project “r2π” and we have an EP out this month called “Library of Babel” released by Midgar. We did a remix also for Wata Igarashi, and more stuff is going to be released by several different labels. In the studio we used to play long jam sessions from which we extrapolated material to be finalised, but the true spirit of the project is the live approach, the right dimension to flow in the sound. With them we found a new dimension and it’s a pleasure to share lot of tricks with each other. Staying together helps to always find new ways to make music. It’s the connection era and I believe that it is fundamental to establish good relationships with each other. We always search for ways to not remain alone in this adventure.

Kn: The new EP, ‘Truth Is Silence’ lands on May 12 on Substrato. How does the concept of this EP tie in with the musical narrative that you’re conducting at the moment? The use of underlying frequencies to essentially create waves of melody through the use of modular synthesis is heavily in focus on this EP.

LINO: Music is a part of the inner world that becomes audible. So I imagine that the sounds come from a silent place of the mind, the place where the thought communicates in silence. This is the way, in which we can only be certain, that silence is truth.

Kn: How do you think your music communicates with the interconnectedness of those in and around your life?

LINO: What we are trying to do is not express ourselves in the manner of an easy conversation with the neighbourhood. The place where we live is not so open that you can perceive it. Instead, we are trying to intercept people around the world who are more open to certain sounds. We are not interested in material boundaries, as for the quantum physics we are trying an entanglement of distant particles that can react easily to our mood.

Kn: If we were to meet in another 20 years from now, what would you be most proud of accomplishing or contributing in electronic music?

LINO: When we started to make music it was only for the pleasure of being surrounded by sounds. Our goal was to achieve a personal way to express ourselves in this world overloaded with white noise. To choose the right frequencies which should represent us. We are sure of the beginnings but uncertain in the destination. Looking at the past, we are sure of what we have done and what we achieved, but looking ahead we can only say it will be different from now. Definitely we are not as recognisant as Philip K. Dick, so we aren’t able to predict the future.


Kn: It seems like a busy year ahead for you both. What can we expect in terms of releases, new projects and tours?

LINO: We are working hard for the live set of and r2π and we have been invited to several summer festivals in Italy and more are coming in the autumn. As I mentioned before, there will be some releases for both projects plus some remixes for other artists. There is more news to come, but we prefer to keep it secret, enjoying the silence.

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Truth Is Silence lands May 29. Pre Order here

George Alatakis, 19th May 2017