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Fera - Psiche Liberata (MDR076)


*SHIPS June 21st 2024*

Fera’s trajectory sticks out like a sore thumb, you need to invest time, carefully divided between body & mind, to truly take a deep dive into his audacious output. After the acclaimed ‘Stupidamutaforma’ and ‘Corpo Senza Carne’, Fera is back with ‘Psiche Liberata’, an oblique, imperfect and broken record, in other words, exactly the type of magical voyage you want to be on. The mind, finally liberated.

Fera is Andrea De Franco, electronic composer from Southern Italy now residing in Bologna, also known for his work as visual artist/designer and member of the Undicesimacasa collective. His musical cosmos is profound and imaginative, intergalactic atmospheres that condense fragmented IDM, scintillating textures, distorted synthscapes, crunchy technoid rhythms and swirling abstractions that weave gently, sometimes moody and stark, more often celestial and awe-inspiring.

Mixed in Berlin by Steve Scanu ‘Psiche Liberata’ encapsulates Fera’s dense and intricate thought process in contrast with his simple and direct approach to writing and recording that finds its more natural output in his rapturous live sets where a mono signal runs through a few analog pedals transforming instantly into menacing alien grooves and fluid ecstasis.

Like ‘Psiche Liberata’s artwork, hand-drawn by Fera, every detailed miniature leads to a single cell of sound, tracks collide against each other in a psychotic kaleidoscope where every safe space is confronted with subsequent noise, alterations or interruptions. The black terror of ‘Celestial Anacusma’ is followed by the space-jazz banquet of ‘Milk Tears In The Hug Chamber’ doped up cyber Sun Ra extravaganza featuring Laura Agnusdei and Luigi Monteanni (Artetetra) on saxophones and flutes; ‘Silenzio Solare’ sprinkles Mille Plateaux era minimalism all over hallucinations, while ‘Diluvia’ crosses industrial acid with perpetual motion; title track ‘Psiche Liberata’ murmurs mechanically, a downtempo drifter for the wide-eyed 7AM comedown: ‘Simulacrima’ melts Boards Of Canada’s mellow pastoralism with dystopian meta-level dreamland and ‘Riposa’ showcases an overwhelming melancholy executed with elegance in a slo-mo world where the ineffable transcends notions of ambient and becomes a warm embrace.

Created on a Monotribe, MS20 & Volca Sample/fm, ‘Psiche Liberata’s velvet heaviness was achieved by re-amping many of the instruments through a Leslie Rotary Speaker and a reel-to-reel Telefunken. Fera’s sonic tapestry is in constant flux, underlying themes of love longing and affection run through the record but in a turbulent, volcanic, unleashed fashion, almost on the brink of utter noise or complete silence, reminding us that this is an artist like no other amidst the ever changing electronic scene. These are transmissions from the gutter, where the inevitable meets the unattainable and collapses.

"Fera’s tarnished materials are destined for ruin; “Stupida,” full of longing and regret, sounds like an elegy for a fallen world." Pitchfork

"A cut of dark magic that fits like a glove to overcast days, wild winds and lashing rains. Insistent, the treacle-thick bassline oozes out, soaking the space between the melancholic synth lines." Inverted Audio

"The songs on Stupidamutaforma feel hypnotizing...it establishes De Franco as a composer who uses space and time to create a set of rich, immersive works." Bandcamp 'Album Of The Day'