Andrea Sartori Il Tagliacode

[Persona; 2007]

Styles: jazzy electronic cut-and-paste
Others: Deepalso, Matthew Herbert, Nudge

Italians do more than Italo. Sartori’s work on Il Tagliacode, and under the alternate moniker Deepalso, is proof. This music is far from the lush, glamorous disco that has enjoyed such a revival over the last couple of years. Sartori is a more idiosyncratic producer, pulling in fragments from innumerable sources and pinballing them against one another on a jittery, echoing surface that glows deep blue. This stuff’s reminiscent of Herbert in its quirkiness, but Sartori’s frequent interruptions of his own structures would make it nearly impossible for Dani Siciliano or Roisin Murphy to sing on top of them; his tracks are more like froggy, impetuous little ecosystems than songs.

His samples all come from some recordings of a jazz musicians’ retreat, including guitar riffs that sound like they were plucked from police chase soundtracks and a number of pattering drum fills, but he avoids nostalgic quoting or cheekiness in the simplest way possible – by adding echo. It also helps that he’s sensitive as a cut-and-paste man. Several of these tracks evince his skill at locating the hidden sympathies between disparate samples. His songs dodge dead-end pastiche (“Hey, look at all my records!”) and squirm their way into distinct textural identities all their own -- although ‘textural identities’ is a bit arid as a description of what’s going on here.

Perhaps the nicest quality of this music is the sense it gives that Sartori is playing without being goofy and composing without being self-serious. If you’re looking for some respite from the morose and/or steamy sides of electronic music, it’s definitely worth your time to slip into Sartori’s cave of reverberant curios and listen.

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