0051 // Somec


Despite the fact his releases have only emerged over the past year, Giovanni Napoli aka Somec has been honing his craft with modular systems for some time. When we spoke with him earlier this month, he revealed his love affair with all things hardware began over a decade ago. "I think it happened around 2002-2003" he begins. "During that time I was listening to a lot of noise - things like Cabaret Voltaire, CAN, Einstürzende Neubauten, Clock DVA... I was very attracted by the electronic sounds often felt in those production. One night in Lecce I saw an ambient live set from two guys called Mono Watt, they used only synths and drum machines... Wow. I think it was the first time I saw those strange machines running so close to me, It was love at first sight. A few months later I bought my first drum machine - a used Yamaha RM1x and I started to play. An obsession was born. It took years of practice for me to reach a sound identity - I was tied to analog stuff because it was easy to use, sounded good and never crashes like a PC."

Even Napoli's day job is tied up with hardware - he is a buyer for an Italian pro audio importer, buying the machines he produces with 'compulsively'. Whilst this may be an expensive hobby, Napoli's productions have not gone unrecognised - he has become a repeat fixture on Milan based imprint Haunter Records. When asked about his first contact with label head's Daniele and Francesco, Napoli reveals the relationship developed rather naturally. "Well we hung out at the same places and listened to the same music, so sooner or later we were going to meet. One night I met Daniele and Birsa at a bar - there was something that united us. We shared the same attitude towards music. Above all, they had the right music culture and sensibility to fully appreciate my works. I had never sent my tracks around and I did not want to do it to be honest, but Haunter Records was the perfect place to give birth to Somec. From then we started to work together on various musical projects, doing stuff for culture and not for trends. Everything has been consolidated at Macao (an abandoned slaughterhouse) which has become our second home. Something great was happening, something true - pure future for Milan."

Releasing his second EP for the label 'Source Of Uncertainty' a couple of months back, it may be a surprise to those familiar with the record the speed at which Napoli constructed it. When asked about the composition he told me he hadn't worked on the tracks for more than six hours overall. "Most of the tracks were recorded in the studio in December 2014" he add. "I was on holiday in Lecce (my hometown in the very south of Italy). There is not much to do in these wastelands - wake up early and go fishing in the morning and then spend rest of the day segregated in my studio."

The lack of arts scene in Lecce is likely what drew Napoli to his current home, Milan, where he has been living for the last ten years. But even there, Napoli says the arts scene has not always been particularly vibrant. "When I arrived in Milan the state of the art in the music field was very bad. Milan is full of mediocre nightclubs populated by Pithecanthropus cavemen. The music is totally overshadowed and only appearance and the car you drive count. At that time the “underground” music was German Minimal Techno (from 2006-2007) - that dry shit without reverbs. The scene worsened dramatically a few years later... from minimal to French touch aka 'Elektro'... Holy shit! Things like Justice and other shit like that come out from that bleeding wound. Fortunately common sense won. Now all that rubbish is a distant memory."

Napoli's mix for us covers a disorientatingly wide range of sounds and styles, comprised of tracks made by friends and people Napoli respects for "the contribution they have made to this scene". He describes the mix as "a climb up to the light - it tells a little of the last sad months of my life. Now maybe I've found peace."


Charles Cohen - Cloud Hands [Morphine Records]
Bellows – 01 [Boomkat Editions]
Noumeno - Abstract, Emerge, Vanish [Unreleased]
Mudlogger – Fades [Game of Life]
Dopplereffekt - Mirror Symmetry [Rephlex]
Virgin Prunes - Down The Memory Lane [Baby Records]
Robert Lippok – Bouncingform [Raster-Noton]
Unknown – Unknown [Unknown]
British Murder Boys - Hate Is Such A Strong Word [Downwards]
Philip Jeck – Demolition [Touch]
Medusa Cyclone -Dream House [Third Gear Records]
Benzo –Void [Water & Sand Productions]
Somec – Untitled [Unreleased]
Weightausend - Meet Your Doom! [Forthcoming Haunter Records]
Violet Poison – Aldebaran Alabrahamis Oxakindis B2 [Repitch]
Emptyset – Armature [Raster-Noton]

0051 // Somec by Stray Landings on Mixcloud

  • Published
  • Sep 14, 2015
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