Applez91 is one of the monikers of Luca Mele, already active in bands like Hexis (IDIOTEQ features HERE), Uragano (IDIOTEQ special feature HERE), Orqan and co-founder of Musica Orizzontale, new DIY label from West Liguria (Italy). With his new release Audacity Music Vol.1 we’re premiering today, Applez91 reveals a huge collection of sounds, crafted and modified to create an immersive new environment. A journey into the void through manipulated field recording, harsh noise moments, sound collage and even ASMR passages, created in total isolation with a mobile phone and the audio editing program Audacity. Today, we’re giving you its first listen, along with special commentary from Luca, including track by track commentary, his take on COVID-19, interesting thoughts on racial injustice and Black Lives Matter, as well as other bands recommendations and thoughts on his local indendent music community.
Comments Luca: “I started thinking about this record when I came back to Italy during the pandemy: I was lockeddown in my apartment without any instruments but I really wanted to create something to survive the situation. Being isolated in a small place is a weird affair: you start paying attention to all the small sounds and sonic details around you. I literally recorded and then sampled everything i thought was interesting.
At some point I had hours of recorded material and that’s also why this album has a lot of bonus and extra contents. There’s no music and no instruments involved in this record: it’s just a photography of a place and its soundtrack, filtered through my vision and my perception of it.
Audacity Music Vol.1 is out 24.07.2020 via Musica Orizzontale, an independent label/collective I co-founded.
All sounds recorded through a phone microphone and processed with an old computer using Audacity, during the covid19 pandemy in Italy.
Asked about the idea behind this projects, Luca adds: “Applez91 is my moniker when I’m doing solo stuff. I also play in three other bands (Hexis, uragano and orqan) so Applez91 is basically an umbrella term for everything I’m doing outside those projects. I used it in the past just few times but I will start using it more in the future for things such dj sets, solo performances and of course music I’ll produce alone. I don’t have a real schedule about future plans with this project, but I have few ideas in mind like two other field recording albums and few collaborations”
Audacitt Music Vol. 1:
“All sounds were recorded through a phone microphone and processed with an old computer using Audacity. This was simply because I had no instruments in my apartment and neither my computer. I borrowed an old one from my cousin and Audacity was the only DAW that could work with it. It sounds really lame but after a while I found this condition very challenging and exciting. I love experimenting and playing around lo-fi and low-budget stuff.
All the tracks except for track 6 were recorded, edited and mastered by Applez91 in Sanremo CC was recorded by blue.exposures in Casaletto Ceredano and edited by Applez91 in Sanremo Tracks 13 and 14 (download only) were created using stock music from win7 and they literally were my demos since i’ve never use Audacity before and i had to test it.
The release is gonna be Digital and Tape, with a lot of bonus contents: The digital download includes the full lenght + 3 bonus tracks and the full 5 images artwork The Limited Edition Tape, includes the Full Lenght on Side A and a special Secret Mix on Side B with outtakes and alternative edits. Also, each tape has a different Secret Mix on it. Then there’s gonna be an alternative streaming version which is a Full ASMR Extended Mix
The visual project is a collaboration with illustrator and visual artist Mante (Instagram @mantesart): a full set of hypermodified mashed images, created with a set of photographs taken by Applez91 during the lockdown. The full artwork includes 5 different images in the Bandcamp download (and one of them as random print in each tapes). Since the music is literally modified and processed Ambience Sound, we thought about doing the same with the visuals: so we started with a raw set of pictures of this space and we modified them until we had a completely new enviroment. It was a really interesting collaboration, also cause usually Mante’s style is really different from this, so it was a huge step out of her comfort zone.
Track by track commentary:
unwrap – I literally thought it was cool to have me unwrapping an Easter Egg as an intro for the album. I sampled that crunchy sound while I was working on a remix but then I decide to also use it for this record. It gave a nice entrance to the album.
Fried Chicken (ASMR Version) – This was one of the first things I recorded and it kinda gives me the idea of doing a full Modified Field Recording records. It’s a slow and immersive journey into this liquid where a piece of meat/flesh is dipped in. The oil gives it a cool sound texture while other stuffs are happening around and the microphone is moving to create some weird panning. There is a Harsh Noise Version in the bonus tracks, way more aggressive and with a shorter montage. We used it as a single before the album release.
Tritacarne – is the italian word for Mincer/Meat Grinder. In this track you can literally hear the dualism Noise/ASMR which permeate the whole record, a back-and-forth with the Knife dissecting the flesh which is pushed into the Distortion and then thrown in the trash.
It’s a really gore track, besides the fact it’s not Flesh but an Orange and i’m just making some juice while recording it.
wind – Did you ever put distortion on top of some wind? Here we are, pretty straightforward.
Outside – An elicopter is driving outside my house and all the birds and the neightobours dogs start screaming at it. I literally just wanted to impress that moment. I listened to those birds tons of times during the quarantine, I love their vocal pattern
CC – It’s the only track i didn’t record by myself: it was recorded in Casaletto Ceredano (few kilometers away from the pandemic epicenter in Italy) by my good friend blue.exposures (who also collaborated with one of my other projects uragano for the official video of Parte2). The car is driving and the recorded vocal message is warning the population to stay inside due to the pandemic situation.
It literally says “Warning! To better counteract the spreading of the epidemy, we invite the population to strictly respect the regulations: don’t go Outside! It’s allowed to go out only for emergencies”.
I thought it was already scaring by itself, the doppler effect is doing the rest.
L’Ora Del The – One of my rituals during those days was drinking some tea in the afternoon: it took 1.57 minutes to prepare it
GodspeedYouWhiteHorns! – So, one of the weird things during this lockdown was the 18.00
Flashmob: In some random days at that time in the afternoon the population was doing stuff like playing music from balconies, singing or even playing car or boat horns. Which is this case. I tooks the name from one of my favourite bands ’cause it reminds me of them.
The noise at the end is some wind coming back together with some birds before the next track MECHA-WIND – Which is the robot version of the previous wind aka my hairdryer. Like the other “windy track” it’s a really static blast of noise, more high-end this time and I also used some different distorsions set-up
DoomClean – Basically a soundcollage of my laundry. It’s another immersive track where the liquid is creating the sound texture. The first part is quite fast, almost like a spin-dryer blastbeat. Then it starts with its heavy and monotone proceeding, like a giant and broken washing machine who drags itself into the water, still spin-drying until it just breaks.
Sanremo, March 2020 – The closing track is also the first one I recorded. A really raw field recording taken during one of the already mentioned 18.00 flashmobs. The song in the background is the italian classic “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” by Domenico Mudugno played by my neighbour with youtube from his balcony. All the people claps their hands and screams “Bravo! Nice!” I drank some water in silence at the end of the song.
This record is born because of covid-19. I had in mind to do a soundcollage/ field recording album for a while, but this definitely took shape during the pandemy. It’s the OST of my isolation, but it’s also the soundtrack of a specific place which is my house, created using the real ambience sounds of this place, but seen it from another perspective. I don’t know if the connection is clear for you but yeah, I think coronavirus has changed our perception about few things in our lives, like how we socialize, how we work but expecially, how we live the spaces around us. This album is also about that. Besides that and talking about covid19 and music, I’m still trying to figure out how the music scene it’s changing at the moment: I’m seeing a lot of musicians trying to create new ways of doing live shows and on the other side a lot of musicians trying to do the same as they were doing before the pandemy. Here in Italy the emergency is apparently gone (actually not really but that’s the perception) and it seems that everyone just want to go outside and dance together. We got hit too much by this pandemy and I get why people are just fed up. There’s not too many facemasks around and nobody is really paying attention about social distance at the moment.
We’ll see what will happen this autumn when we’re gonna have the usual flu virus spreading. I am not positive.
In my opinion is probably one of the most relevant social movement of the last decade. I think it’s really cool that we’re finally using the power of media and internet to focus on important problems like racial discrimination and police brutality, to inform people and let the voices of the oppressed being heard.
Demonstrations are the lifeblood of a movement, but the web resonance is something that could leave the mark, expecially in the whealty and upper-class people, when the riots can’t do that. But anyway, i live in Italy and Italy is weird. Here the BLM movement didn’t have a huge resonance like it happened in other states.
Ironically, Italy it’s a really racist country with a lot of police brutality problems. The racism in Italy is tricky, it’s really rooted in the people’s brain and it’s mostly immigrant based Like, I clearly remember when I was young and we had a lot of discrimination against Albanian people, only because they were moving a lot to Italy since their country was devastated by war. And it’s the same in recent times with black Africans of course: for the average Italian citizen they’re just not welcome here. I think it is super weird since Italian people are well known to be immigrants in almost every country in the world (literally just think about America or UK and the huge italians communities). And talking about police brutality, I think our police is one of the worst in Europe: not only they’re literally not helpful at all most of the time when you have a problem, but they also really like to beat up people for almost no reason when they have the opportunity.
The list of cases of abuse power is very extensive, expecially during the recent lockdown. The fascism is still here and alive in the institutions, even if it should be dead since ages. So yeah, we do have a problem and I don’t even know how to approach it. I honestly wish that we had more than just few demonstrations here but I can see Italy as a not-really-inclusive country (unless you’re in the DIY scene or similar context.but yeah, we already know that) It would be nice if the average Italian citizen would care for real about black people/immigrants. It just not happens really often.
Local music scene:
Audacity Music Vol.1 will be released by Musica Orizzontale which is a collective of people from my area in West Liguria (Italy). Storically this area is one of the worst in North Italy for indipendent music: we always had some nice and interesting bands and projects but the lack of venues and the lack of people showing up at live shows (due to the fragmentation of the territory and the worst public transportation ever) are huge barriers for our local scene.
Fragmentation is the key word here, and you can see it also in between musicians: a lot of cool people who don’t work together too much.
We created Musica Orizzontale as a label focused on gathering people from this region and connect them together and with people outside. That’s the mission of our collective.
We don’t really care about genres, we care more about the intentions and the point of view of a project. It’s literally a collective of outsiders doing different styles of music with the same intent and the aim of collaborate.
There are few other cool situations in our area I want to mention:
Arci Camalli it’s basically the only active venue that books Punk, Hardcore and DIY touring bands in the whole area. It’s the point of reference of the small Punk scene in West Liguria, gathering old local bands like Eversione and CGB alongside young ones like Frattura, plus it create a really cool connection with the North Italian Punk scene and the French one.
Another cool situation is the collective called Adventures, which is a reference point for the local Club scene, booking a lor of international acts alongside some good residents like James Falco
Other bands worth your attention:
Still talking about artists and bands from West Liguria worth a check, I can surely name: Sonno. (who is one of the co-founders of MO and uragano bassist) plays some sort of really dreamy and dark electronic music, mostly improvised-based
wyer who is a tattoo artist, painter and multistrumentalist from Sanremo who just released a super solid black metal album