With his new album “Departure Tapes” released July 2, 2021 on Kscope, UK based Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Giancarlo Erra has revealed the 3rd single and video for “Previous Tape.” He comments, “Whatever music I write, whether for a soundtrack or for a rock band, for me, songwriting and melody are always something that must be there (I grew up listening to Beatles so I can’t escape that!). At the same time I’m not a big fan of solos, but I’m obsessed with vocals, even if synthesised. I own a couple of synths dedicated almost exclusively to that.
So on ‘Previous Tape’, I used a Seaboard (keyboard/synth) because it allows me to play instruments and sounds without quantised pitch, like a vocal (or a theremin), while at the same time with a dynamically controlled expression of other parameters, exactly like I would while I sing.”
Watch the official video below:
The new studio album Departure Tapes, the follow up to 2019’s Ends I-VII, consists of 6 contemplative recordings, written while travelling between the UK and Italy and reflect the extremely difficult year Giancarlo experienced due to the death of his estranged father. Erra comments “In 2019 my first solo album was just being released, and I already had the view that I wanted to be more experimental with the second one, but no precise idea how at that point. Then my father suddenly got ill with cancer, and everything changed. I found myself taking care of this man, someone who I have been distanced from for so long. During this time both of us came to terms with many things. I wanted to get closure, but a positive one, for him and for me.
Creatively it was an interesting period for me – writing this album without realising I was actually writing it, as it is so intrinsically linked to one of the hardest and yet more healing parts of my life. The end result is the most experimental, and at the times, the darkest material I have ever written, without compromise or set plan. It contains all the elements of my music in a very unconscious free flowing way.”
Departure Tapes sees Erra using a wide mix of analogue synths and digital plugins though he is keen to highlight the unsung hero of many of his albums: “The 1979 monophonic Korg MS10, deserves a mention because this synth has a wicked filter, a squelching and screaming one that can really do some unique stuff once you use it with the modular part of the synth. In Departure Tapes and in possibly all of my albums, any bass synth part is performed on the MS10, and I believe is the one sound I use it for most of the times. Once you manually tune down the synth and then you tune and move the filter at resonant peak around the notes you need, this thing is able to make not just walls shaking bass sounds, but also ones that contain enough upper medium frequencies to cut through the mix: I would be lost without this little gem.”
Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the more Electronic/Ambient recordings of Brian Eno may offer a reference point by which to enter Erra’s world, but the depth within his recordings is truly original.
Departure Tapes Tracklist:
1. Dawn Tape [06:15]
2. Previous Tape [01:48]
3. 169th Tape [02:51]
4. Unwound Tape [08:24]
5. Departure Tape [16:51]
6. A Blues For My Father [07:31]
Departure Tapes will be released on the following formats and is available to pre-order here: https://GiancarloErra.lnk.to/DepartureTapes
• A gatefold LP on oxblood coloured 180g vinyl
• 2-disc CD/DVD with the DVD-A/V including high resolution stereo & 5.1 mix:
DVD-V: stereo 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 96/24 5.1 Surround and DVD-A: 5.1 Surround 24/48 LPCM lossless mixes
• Digitally (with digital pre-orders receiving the single “Departure Tape” as an instant download from 22nd April)