I/O | Polytone | fratto 9

Andrea Reali (voice) | Luca Mauri (electric guitar) | Paolo Romano (double-bass) | Paolo Benzoni (drums)

Recorded december 2005 by Paolo Censi at New Art Studio in Uboldo (VA); Mixed during the 2006 by I/O at Ebria Studios in Mariano Comense (CO) Mastering and post-production by Giuseppe Ielasi.

fratto9 under the sky rec-Ebria rec

“Polytone” is the second album of the band, released after three years from the debut one, which has been originally released by Ebria Records and already sold out. If the first cd was a snapshot of the birth of the band (formed in 2002), being composed by the recordings of the former rehearsals of the band, this second album represents the band after two years (the recordings are from December 2005) of improvisation and after several live shows.

listen to I/O | track 01
listen to I/O | track 02

The band has played with different artist like Liars, Ovo, Anatrofobia, Damo Suzuki, Giuseppe Ielasi, Rosolina Mar and many others. I/O defined itself as “Minimalistic Rhythmic Improvisation” and “Poytone” is characterized by a focus on the rhythmic aspects of the songs (referring in particular to the idea of “pulse” meant in the minimalistic way), which are built and de-constructed in the 8 tracks of the cd.

I/O is input/output, on/off, empty/full, 1/0, in/out, white/black, io, entry/exit, +/-. input/output, on/off, vuoto/pieno, 1/0, in/out, bianco/nero, io, in/out, +/-. input/output, on/off, closed/open, 1/0. I/O is a contemporary music’s project which mix the different background of the members through the technique of improvisation. The result is an original sound in which is possible to get a glimpse of minimalism, free-jazz and de-structured rock.

I/O is the sum of two well defined half: one-half is acoustic and it is composed by doublebass and drums, and the other-half is electric, filtered and with real-time samples, and it is composed by voice and guitar. After the release of the first album, in which the ensemble has been explored the rarefaction of the sound and its timbers, the band focused its attention on the “pulse” concept: the complex and de-structured rhythms become the framework of the I/O sound. An evidence of this process is the new album “Polytone”, released by Ebria Records and Fratto9 Under the Sky records and distributed in Italy by Jazz Today.

I/O has been played in many festivals, clubs, squats, cultural associations and art galleries with different artists like: LIARS (US), Damo Suzuki’s Network, OvO, ZU, Giuseppe Ielasi, Sinistri, Tasaday, Tiziano Tononi, Uncode Duello and many others.

Sophomore full-length for the Italian quartet formed by Luca Mauri (guitar), Paolo Romano (double bass), Paolo Benzoni (drums) and Andrea Reali (voice and electronics), recorded in December 2005 and mastered by renowned soundmaker Giuseppe Ielasi. As expected, I/O have maintained their minimalistic formula, both in the layout (this time it’s mostly white) and in their sound, self-defined “minimalistic rhythmic improvisation”. However, my impression is that this work is slightly more focused, “rockish” and “regular” than their debut, but I admit I haven’t gone back to their self-titled cd lately. The semi-structured, controlled improvisation of the quartet still mashes shards of funk, jazz, art rock and vocal experimentation (Reali’s voice must be counted as an instrument per se), sometimes sounding like a curious bridge between ’70’s and today’s avant music. The lesson of Starfuckers (“Infinitive Session”-era)/Sinistri is still the best possible comparison, if coupled with more retro-sounding jazz rock (Universal Congress Of?). Tracks that have made yours truly shiver: n. 6, with funky lines and a double bass line running in circles; and n. 8, with its desertic guitar lines and tribal drumming. Still, I don’t think that this work can come close to the pleasure of seeing them live, where their creative energy is truly released, but that’s the deal with improvisation-based material. Should they manage to really let loose the beast, they would become a HUGE band. CHAIN D.L.K. – web-magazine by Eugenio Maggi

I/O, from milan, italy, release this new album after two years since Their debut: ‘No overdubs, no prepared samples’ – clearly written on CD spartan notes, – all eight tracks been recorded live in studio, – as stated, – unique way to reproduce Band’s feeling and attitude. I trust that, because the whole album production looks excellent, sounds are bright, smooth and strong. – I/O are masters of free improvvisation, without being random, They scarf syncopated and epileptical, through elegant jazz double-bass lines, funky guitar cuts, accurate professional drumming, analogic loops, and, last but not least, a tracking shot of vocalizes better meant as boiled foam, saliva, tantric vocal chords wisely stretched as playing an instrument. – Avant-gardism, art-nowave, – call it as You wish, – btw Polytone is food for modern Jazz affiliated and other People who need a soundtrack for Their own elucubrations. The entire cd has been recorded live without overdubs, because there are not other ways to capture the improvisation without a scheme’s mood. That’s the reason why no editing has been done. KOMAKINO – web-magazine

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 14.00
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MP3 version (63.30MB zip download)

€ 9.00
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One thought on “I/O | Polytone | fratto 9

  1. Second album of “minimalistic rhythmic improvisation” from this Italian quartet. The results are reminiscent of Can, and it’s no surprise that I/O have been one of Damo Suzuki’s pick-up collaborators on his neverending world tour. On these recordings, Andrea Reali’s vocals are guttural, mysterious and pre-linguistic, while Luca Mauri’s guitar is cruel, angular and severe. The first track has wah-slash guitar and muttered, drawling vocals, while things get sluggish and sinister on the third track with binary notes alternating like pistons on a steam press. The concluding track sounds like feral cats fighting while the empties are turned out in a dark alley.

    THE WIRE magazine (U.K) by Nick Southgate

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