Their first self titled record (bowindo, 2003) was released after playing a series of live concerts in which the group attention was strongly focused on the performative/theatrical/ecological aspects of the event: as starting point of the complex dramatic crescendo of the performance, 3/4 usually opened their concerts with amplifying a suspended bulky object of everyday life that they occasionally find at the location. Comprised of a large number of electronic and acoustic instruments, the album mirrors the disparate musical influences and aesthetics of the group. Live electronics, electroacoustic composition, field recordings, drones… All elements are here combined to “create a seven-part cycle of radiant acoustic imagery, with a sonic-methodology aimed at continuity rather than clash, and one that helps to create a fluid sound world, full of juxtapositions, but ones which provide an indecisive magical middle passage.”
In the past two years, after exploring and experimenting with self invented recordings techniques and with drummer Tony Arrabito joining the band, 3/4’s modus operandi focused on live interaction between electronic and acoustic instruments within a context in which the studio itself (tape machines, mixers, effects…) and the actual space in which the interaction take place (weird microphoning, feedbacks…) are considered and manipulated as instruments themselves (not by chance 3/4’s are fans of musicians such as This Heat, P16.D4, Todd Rundgren…).
In this process improvisation and group playing are the main issues, whereas 3/4’s first release was more based upon electroacoustic découpage. The goal 3/4’s are trying to reach is that of unifying in one moment the three steps of songwriting, recording, and electroacustic post-production: this is really clear in the band live performances where usually three of them (Rocchetti on turntables and electronics, Pilia on electric guitar and Arrabito on drums and percussion) are playing on the stage, while Tricoli is placed in the middle of the room, facing the stage and the loudspeakers, playfully live mixing and “engineering” the band sound through a bunch of dusty analogue effects, tape loops, drums triggered synthesizer… The result is powerfully tridimensional, the sonic quality always changing with the strongest dynamics.
3/4’s new album, A Year Of The Aural Gauge Operation, was recorded in their own studio in Bologna along 2004. It features nine songs composed after live improvisations, all of them quite different in genre, but again 3/4’s aim is to create a psychedelic musical flow, one in which new elements and different styles can be superimposed to enrich and develop the peculiar narrative of the album. We generally think of it as a opera.
“a collection of off-centre songs verging on psychedelia old and new, its sound is so dense that you need to blast it out at full volume to get the best from it. Guitars and drumming are conspicuous, even as they’re counterweighted by the group’s customary clicks and hums.This time voice is one of the main elements. At times it comes from a distance, as if thinned down by constant chiselling; elsewhere there are mourning chants, punctuated by constellations of percussive disturbance. Drowned in a sea of dark loops similar to Philip Jeck’s darkest work, the effect can be ghostlike. In places the group drop fragments of attempted lyricism between scattered notes” (daniela cascella, TheWire)
Edited by antiopic on 13 Jan 2009, 20:09
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