Alèfe is the solo project of the Italian producer, musician and sound designer Alessio Festuccia, currently based in London. According to the press release, his music combines obscure samples from unknown sources with deep hypnotic basses. The sonic atmosphere of his musical universe is at the same time both obsessive and melodic, with light digital voices and mellow electronic pianos.
Hidden Chambers is the debut album which is out now via Vulcano. We asked him to select 5 tracks which inspired his music. Check the playlist and listen the full album below.
Lapalux – Flowers. A personal evergreen anthem which I often like to open my dj sets with. I love how quickly It sets this mood like everything around you is falling apart and we have to hold on to the beauty that surrounds us to survive. For me that’s what this song is always been about. I also think the sound matches the cover artwork quite perfectly, which is something I need to happen in order to really appreciate a project. Now Lapalux has embarked on his modular synth trip, but I used to love him more when he first put out this sort of crazy chopped-up breakbeat, changing the rules of the game. Trying to crack how he managed to create such intricated and head-bobbing beats became part of my excruciating daily practice of music making and, I guess, that’s how I learned that there’s more to the 4/4.
The Knife – One Hit. We all need that one friend that shows you new tv series, lends you interesting books or plays new music to you. It’s a treasure! I remember being sixteen, lying on the sofa at the end of a very long day, hanging out with my old friends, It was most surely very late at night and we had too much to drink. Then this one friend of mine grabs the computer and puts this song on and it blasts through the speakers. I was hooked. The Knife is my bible for vocal sounds: hearing the way in which Karin Dreijer’s voice always flutters in lower and higher octave pitch shifting without almost ever revealing her natural tone was crucial to me. It has become the only way I could think of vocal processing, from then on. Favorite quote: “Spending time with my family (her brother Olaf was the music producer) /like the Corleone!”
Samaris – Goða Tung. It can happen very easily to grow tired of a song. These days an album might last less than a season and few songs stick and were made to stay for good. This is one of those. Goða Tungl is one of those loves at first sight that I am never going to have enough of, in my heart Samaris sit next to my first music idol Björk, since they’re both Icelandic. There is a magical quality to their music that it’s undefinable but vivid and widely recognizable. This track really turned a switch on in my head. I was in the midst of an immature first phase of making music, where I thought I needed hundreds of layers in order to have an interesting sound and then I stumbled upon this song. Then, I knew. The use of so few music elements blew me away: bass, claps, voice and a clarinet (!) is what you need for a masterpiece of a track.
Bibio – Down to The Sound. Most of my friends know I don’t have sympathy for guitars. It’s just not my favorite sound, I find it uninteresting if not banal or boring most of the times. The only exception I make is for Bibio. It might be for the tape processed sounds, it might be that he is also heavily into sampling and from time to time he drops banging house-y tunes, it might be for his genuine and naïve approach to music making. It might be for all of those things combined, but He’s the only guitarist I really enjoy listening to. Down to the sound came into my life in a quite difficult moment, when I found myself alone, and it helped me go through it. The soundscape of this song is just mesmerizing, instantly takes you somewhere afar. It’s a sort of sonic shelter, almost like a World where sometimes I’d love to live.
Mount Kimbie – Carbonated. It’s just so really hard to say exactly why this song means so much to me. I guess you’d just have to listen. I mean really listen, maybe watch the video too, If you like. It’s got that perfect afterparty “I don’t want to come back home just yet” vibe that I used to feel after going out clubbing but, more important, it has that right mixture of melancholic elements that manage to stand really well against a dance beat. And the opening breathing synth pad is a masterpiece. Mount Kimbie more than anyone else might be the band that first taught me how to mix energetic and sad vibes to create something that transcends two simple emotions by combining them in something higher and unique.