One year after Rebus, Italian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Fabrizio Testa (also known with the moniker Il Lungo Addio) released a new album which is very different from his previous works, trying to explore the rap and hip-hop world. Trout Rap Replica is out now as self-release and it features Shane De Leon (vocals), Luca Olivieri (fender rodhes), Paolo Soldati (sax) and Jackson Blue (vocals on the title-track). Check the full streaming below and our talk with the artist.
“Trout Rap Replica” is your new album with your original name that marks a clear change of direction compared to your previous works. How did the idea for this record come about?
For a long time I wanted to experiment with a different genre from the avant-garde collages of my previous works. The world of rap and hip hop at the end of the 1980s has always attracted me. Not so much the music as the stories and characters that lived that world. If not in the lyrics. at least in that music I feel like a sense of carefreeness. It could have been the California sun or the smoke from the New York manholes. Stunning Pictures!
The title of the album is a clear reference to Captain Beefheart. Why did you want to mention it and how important was it for you and your way of think music?
The first time I listened to “Trout Mask Replica”, I was sixteen years old. It was as if someone threw a bucket of icy water into my face. So I definitely went mad for it.
How the need to explore this new language was born?
As I said before, I wanted to give a break to all the work I had previously done as Fabrizio Testa. I don’t think I will ever go back to those sounds and this record is the watershed between those productions and new paths. The idea, however, was born in a sunny June of 2015 while I was driving across the Romagna coast. I was listening to a DJ OIL record, and the song “Black Note” started to get under my skin. I saw myself black for a few moments, in a parking lot of some Californian supermarket, rapping surrounded by Mexican girls with big tits.
You focused on the composition and in this record you play the drums. How did you involve the other musicians in this project and how did you work on the lyrics and the sound part?
I rented a studio and recorded some drum patterns. I am not a drummer but I can keep time! Then sent it all to Shane, who now lives in Montana, naturally leaving him carte blanche. I indicated the titles and he wrote and sang the lyrics. I also liked that, drums and vocals. Then I wanted to embellish it and gave it some colour with funky rhythms, typical of that period and I also involved Paolo Soldati and Luca Olivieri.Then I did the usual job of mixing pieces with a laptop in a bar in Milan. I’ve always mixed my records at the bar since “Mastice”. Headphones and go …Finally, I have included some various voices, interviews and Jack Nicholson, Klaus Kinski, Bill Murray … in short, my favorite actors!
I think that, in terms of aptitude, the album refers to a style that is a mix of pure, original rap, let’s say near to 90s, with some slight reference to Flying Lotus label Brainfeeder. First of all I wanted to ask you if you agree and secondly if you had specific references and listenings that led to the final result.
I don’t know the world of hip hop or even this label so I would have no idea. But I understand what you’re talking about, I have in mind the kind of 80s/90s sound I was talking about before. But at home I don’t own any hip hop records other than the Dj Oil album. It was the song “Black Note” that lit it up. Maybe, quite randomly, Beastie Boys also had an influence on me. Last year I saw some of their videos in a bar. Really amazing!
This album will be a meteor or would you like to explore other aspects of the genre? And what about other projects? Should we expect anything in 2020?
I think it will be the only rap album. Anyway, I have no idea. Maybe the next record will be jazz or blues or industrial. Who can say. I might as well not do anything at all. I’ll see. I will release a new work with the project Il Lungo Addio, in a stable 4-piece band with Luca Ciffo of the Fuzz Orchestra on the bass, now officially part of the band. I hope I can play it around a bit!
Ritual question. What are the best releases you recently appreciated?
In this period I listened to Popol Vuh (the soundtrack of Nosferatu by Herzog), Echo and the Bunnyman (the Evergreen album), as usual Coltrane (in particular, SunShip) and a record by Pooh (recorded in the Antilles entitled “Tropico del Nord”).