Label: Haunter Records
Release Date: 29/06/2015
Haunter Records have a good thing going with Italian modular obsessive Giovanni Napoli, aka Somec. Having signed his debut EP ‘Arbitrary Function Generator’ totally out of the blue, there’s been just a couple of months break before Napoli’s follow-up EP, ‘Source Of Uncertainty’ has hit the label. Everything about the release sounds broken and generally dishevilled, yet this is all part of the appeal with Somec - he is a self-confessed lover of using battered old analog hardware.
Most of the offerings begin timidly: the result of careful programming and meticulous attention to detail. Yet as they progress, Napoli’s network of machines seem to wrestle free from their constraints, trampling their own path in a haze of bitcrush and crackled dialtones. The rough trod ‘MD Discount’ or ‘Drone DPO’s gritten, downcast synthesisers and rambling tin pan drums both make good examples of this, twitching bleeps and modem glitches spattering the mix in loose, off-kilter placements.
For a record so clearly unconcerned by it’s dancefloor functionality it is odd to hear the traits of rave and electro bleed through. Swollen bass-lines, discordant synths and skittering, technoid percussion sound heavily tape-saturated; their rhythms never consistent enough to be considered dancefloor friendly. ‘Skan’s stop-cut synthplay is testament to this, occasionally falling into a regular groove before sinking back to meandering dreamscapes. The bug-eyed ‘Incertezza’ is a further case in point, bumping forward in a disengaged, lethargic fashion.
Few producers are able to deliver something so lo-fi in such an well-produced manner; Napoli’s experiments feel both considered and at the same time randomised and freeform. There is an almost krautrock-ish psychedelia at play here, akin to a producer like Dead Fader or Ekoplekz. Where he will tread next remains unclear, however Haunter have provided a fitting home for Somec material thus far. Just don’t stop fucking with machines Napoli.