Pulver und Asche
Digital (3D) + Flexi-disc single
October 7, 2022
ABOUT THE RELEASE
NITON: 10 YEARS AND THE COMPLETION OF ‘CEMENTO’
It was a Wednesday in early autumn ten years ago, on 3 October 2012, when Italian musicians Luca Xelius Martegani and El Toxyque invited Swiss cellist Zeno Gabaglio to share the extemporary joy of a ‘drone night‘: amidst the dust of the Officine Creative in Barasso (a disused factory in the Varese lakes region), a free sonic journey would come to life, offered to spectators – human, but also canine and feline – lying on the floor.
The success of that evening – and its recording, later released on vinyl – led to the foundation of the group Niton, the experimental electronic music trio that would continue its musical work in the following years with rather varied ideas, poetics and approaches.
The celebration of Niton‘s tenth anniversary – next October – coincides with the conclusion of the discographic journey of ‘Cemento‘, the group’s third album: in November 2021 the Berlin label Shameless Records released ‘Cemento‘ in a stereo digital version (7 tracks), an LP (of 6 tracks) and with 7 videos made by RO-M). On 7 October 2022, the Swiss label Pulver und Asche will release ‘Cemento‘ with 7 digital tracks re-imagined and remixed in 3D and a physical edition of Maas (the only track not included on the Shameless LP) with a special physical flexi-disc design and concept.
Cement is a substance with a compact and cohesive appearance, but it is the result of the combination of very different materials, united through a precise and methodical process.
Thus “Cemento 3D” – the third album of the Italian-Swiss group Niton – is the result of the re-elaboration of sound materials collected over a period of five years, in very different places and situations: from 2015 to 2020, between Ticino, Varese, Zurich and Milan, in theatre spaces, in recording studios, next to Alpine lakes, in Romanesque churches, in arthouse cinemas, not forgetting that the first recordings for “Cemento” took place on 17 May 2015 among the surreal, post-industrial reverberations of the ex-Saceba cement factory in Morbio Inferiore, Switzerland.
All the sounds accumulated over five years were then processed, edited and mixed with the precise aim of coexisting side by side, to trace a listening path that aims to be rich and dialectical, questioning but at the same time satisfying.
“Cemento 3D” consists of seven tracks that combine electronics and acoustics, noise and melody, research and relaxation. The name of each track is a translation of the word “cement” into languages that offer a different semantic root, and therefore a different path of sound and meaning. Due to the mixing work with 3D spatialisation techniques, listening with headphones is highly recommended.
MAAS – ENHANCED FLEXI DISC SINGLE
Pulver und Asche Records has established itself – over the years – as a label that devotes great attention to the physical realisation (objective but also conceptual) of its productions. For the single Maas, designer Alfio Mazzei decided to invert one of the fundamental assumptions of music publishing: the content is in fact not in the container but it is the container, inside which there is only a suggestion of the idea of a disc. Maas is in fact printed on a transparent flexi-disc that – with plastic welding – becomes packaging, while the cardboard disc placed inside has grooves that do not produce music. On the contrary: the cardboard disc – when in its container – obstructs the hole that allows the flexi disc to be fixed to the turntable platter. In order to listen to the music, the cardboard disc must therefore be removed and the container placed directly on the turntable. The theme evoked by Mazzei’s graphic design is that of material – but also symbolic – forms with which cultural products manifest themselves. And, by extension, the reflection embraces the very idea of culture: its nature, its evolution, the relationships we entertain with it. The physical musical support is no longer essential; the disappearance of the object has also changed the relationship between human beings and the art of sound, modifying (or shifting elsewhere) those elements of necessity, urgency and possession that had been its characteristic for many decades. Maas‘s production underlines these dynamics not in order to assert an ideological position of resistance, nor even to suggest nostalgic regret. Rather, it is meant to be a gesture of lucid awareness by someone who – looking to the future, despite everything – chooses to continue to produce and print music as a value of culture, from humans and for humans.