If the whole chillwave trend brought something to the musical landscape of the last couple of years, it was a melancholic feel, teasing every listener’s need for both escapism and childhood (or teenagehood) regression. In this sense, “1979“, last year’s debut album from the italian Casa del Mirto (House of Myrtle, for the non italian readers), spoke volumes with its bedroom recordings and its nostalgic cover, an actual photo of Marco Ricci, the band’s mastermind, as a child and his mum. But then came “1979 remixed” and it was clear that we were facing a much more complex and subtle proposition. It could be a geographical thing – Marco is half finnish and half italian – or the fact that Casa del Mirto are a one man project who morphs into a three headed dance beast, but it’s only now, with the exquisite double opus “The Nature” that all the different nuances come to the fore. Rather than escaping the reality, there’s a will to dive deeper into it. And it can be a beautiful journey.
Introductions first. Casa del Mirto for dummies: Who, Where, When, Why.
Who: 2004, a bored guy who lives up on the mountains dreaming of a sea outside his window. 2011, three bored guys who imagine the ocean taking mountains’ place.
Where: Trento, a funny italian city, which is the ideal place for witches’ Sabbath parties full of woodmen and deers escaped from Deerhunter.
When: from time immemorial, since when the heart started beating until it stopped. 2004.
Why: we are all Cancers. That’s why we’re not so good “talkers”. I think the “why” is inside the music we play, something that we express by sounds and compressors.
Your name started circulating a bit less than a year ago thanks to M.A.P. (Music Aliance Pact) and its enthusiastic endorsement. The right sounds at the right time or proof that even in the busiest times (musically speaking) the grass of other countries can still be greener?
We live in strange days, musically anything is possible. Thanks to the web and word of mouth through blogs and webzines a band has plenty of opportunities to get in touch with an infinite audience. But all threatens to run away in a moment, to get lost in the multitude of proposals and to be old one minute after birth. Short lives. And there is no strategy to anticipate what will be the next thing to be spread to the world. To Casa del Mirto web has been and still is important, MAP allowed us to get in touch with reality beyond our physical boundaries. Musically speaking, we think there’s no more “other countries”, nobody knew we’re italian before we made it clear, everything, now, is like to be together on a balcony smoking cigarettes even if we live in Los Angeles or Sydney or Trento. Distance means nothing, and we like this way of treating and producing music. We’re used to release music in free download when we’re working on a new album, ’cause we like that those who follow us could feel what we feel, just like walking together on a path.
Let’s fight the battle once and for all. Casa del Mirto Are NOT glo-fi. Discuss.
Generally, when we think about the music we’re composing, we use to refer to “mood-music”. It’s a no-genre and, at the same time, an all including-genre. Our songs are so different one from the other. It depends on what we’re feeling in the moment we’re writing. Obviously, in the background, a red thread is always present, which is the main character of Casa del Mirto. Don’t know if it’s glo-fi, chill wave or any other stuff. It’s just what we’re feeling. A Human Feeling.
“The Nature”, your new album, is doubly impressive: not only it is quite different in sound from last year’s “1979″ but it’s also a double album. How did it come about? What do you make of the fact M83 is also releasing a double album later this year?
“The Nature” is a long journey from the inside of the human being to the outside of the world. It’s a double album because contains these two different places. The first part, with a more intimate and closed sound, represents the “self” looking in the mirror, a character not able to keep a relation with the outside. The second part is more solar, the mix is brighter and the basic theme passes from singular to plural. In its entirety, The Nature is double because double is the nature of life, the one of the men and the one of the relation between these men and the world.
We think that the return to long and complex records (and here we refer to M83 and others), is a sort of natural consequence to the “liquid” internet era music. Don’t get us wrong, we love the web and all the visibility/possibilities it gave us, but maybe there’s the need of a long speech between the artist and the listener, a long and a deep speech, That’s what we’re trying to do with our music.
It is also – Heaven forgive me – a concept album (first disc goes under the title The Nature, second is named Beyond The Nature). Is it so?
Yes, it could be considered as a concept album. A concept album of a schizophrenic guy. Inside “The Nature” there are a lot of different feelings and every song is peculiar, but it is all about how we live the nature, not just in a naturalistic way, but the nature as the nature of human beings, the nature of human feelings. The album deals with the relationship between a human being and life, death, outer space, sun, earth, animals, sex, love, hate, everything! The Nature in a wide meaning.
It surely seems a more extrovert affair than “1979″, this time you also have guests. how did the collaboration with Freddy Ruppert, Hot Sex And High Finance and Cornershop happen?
Every Saturday morning, Marco writes an email to a band from the ’90 which played an influence during his life, mainly to say “thanks” to them. That’s what happened with Cornershop, and after the email we remixed Non Stop Radio and they returned the favour back with the beautiful featuring on Snap Yr Cookies. When we listen to that song we always think: “Do you realise who’s the one singing???”. Still unbelievable for us.
We wrote to Freddy Ruppert (Former Ghosts) while he was touring in Italy. We are big fan of his work. We sent him the music ideas for two songs and he liked the stuff, so we picked him up at the airport early in the morning and the night after those two songs were ready to go. Freddy is a real talent and his voice is deep as the ocean.
The featuring with Hot sex and High Finance happened after a remix we did for “Push it”.
All these collaborations have been something special for us, both on artistic and human side.
Casa del Mirto are also behind the label releasing the record, Mashhh. What would be your fantasy roster?
I love you but I’ve chosen darkness, Class Actress, Hype Williams and Boat Club. That would be a dream team.
What next for Casa del Mirto?
Live sets, Remixes, Olympic Games. And finally…Moijtos!
“The Nature” is out now on Mashhh! Records