Also Etc's carefully prepared GIALLO revolution was nipped in the bud by the on-raging corona pandemic. No concerts, no festivals, no world tours, no revolution? "Nothing here now but the recordings", cut 'n' carved in solid black vinyl...
Here to witness. Go, go!

13 min read 🤓

GIALLO, by Etc

august 8, 2020

It is about a year ago that ETC celebrated the arrival of its long awaited vinyl album ... What eventually became « GIALLO, by Etc » had been in the making for a long, long time indeed ...

{ still, nothing compared to (Topographic [Table) Topographique], the infamously brilliant but by now so long overdue album that I start to forget it was ever made ... —TTT's recordings by now date back almost ten years... ah, time, how it trickles through our fingers like sand - 😕 — ... « Ce n'est pas le temps qui passe, c'est nous qui passons », to paraphrase in French a verse from Dutch poet Rutger Kopland's poem Tijd ... }

The recordings of what was to be the album's material date back to the summer of 2015.

So that makes 5 years by now: a lust-rum.

Etc recording0

Recording happened on Friday June 12th, in the small audio recording studio of the Maison des Ensembles, Paris XII, engineered by Gaël Segalen.

The three or four, maybe five sessions that we multi-tracked at the MDE were fully improvised, soundscapes in line with our —memorable indeed— contributions to the two final ( * ) editions of the small (haha, small... there's that word again... well, 'tiny' even :) Parisian Festival des Ephémères, eight years ago in 2012, and seven years ago in 2013.

Line-up and logistics for the MDE recording sessions were the same as for the festival performances. Jacques Foschia had come train- or buss-ing in from Brussels with his two tube radios's and other analog electronics (oscillator), Anthony bowed his electric bass thru a range of electronic effects, I had brought my Korg MS20, dictaphones and half a meter of selected K7's. And there was Mme. Z. (mouse over the image above), colourfully & mezzo-sopranically chanting, a bit like live-sampling from a rich catalogue of (modern) classical Lieder.

We celebrated our wrapping up of a successful day of studio recording by following it up the very next day, Saturday June 13th, 2015, with one of our so rare live performance. This one in the Espace en cours in Paris XX, supported by Jodi Rose of Singing Bridges fame.

Etc en Cours

A few weeks later we took the MDE multitrack files (they were Logic, I think. Or maybe ProTools, I can't remember) to the Spector Studio in Saint-Gilles, Brussels, where, again on a Friday, that of a tropically hot July 4th, we went through some 12 hours of mixing in (these were the words used on the studio's web site) a "control room like a space rocket cockpit" and -let us add that ourselves- the size and humidity of a max 3 place DIY sauna cabin...

Etc mixing

But it was worth the effort; we ended up with a grand total of some one and a half hours of material, carefully mixed & moulded, that a couple of weeks later was taken once more to the Spector Studio for mastering by Jacques... At that time the idea was to have it released on ["hey, why-not-make-a-"] compact disc. On CD.

Et puis voilà ...Alors, on était bien content ...

Who is out there to listen?

But all that said and all that done, the next step was into quite a different zone: the "get-it-out-into-'the _world'-for-all-of-them-to-hear!" zone.

Reality check ...

We of course are niche artist-musicians, haha, and on top of that, we are vieux media-artists (😜), who for many, many years stubbornly continued (tegen beter weten in /// seemingly impossible, not capable, not (?) to produce and perform within, basically, niche 'genres' of music; genres of music that, once on the 'public' side the layers made up by colleague[-niche-]artists, friends and acquaintances —all much respected and important, don't get me wrong— have been peeled off (think 'onion' here), leave an actively listening and buying audience the size of which is pretty much (think 'onion' again) ... near to zero. That is null, nill, nothing.

[ Next is an intermission written in the form of sort of a very long sketchy (foot)note-to-self, that, it's importance and interest notwithstanding, you are —almost— encouraged to skip; therefore the size of the font is made even smaller and its color is gray 🤓 ]

[ (train-train of thought-thought); much more could be said, it's a fascinating topic, worth a book or thesis /// the 'near to zero audience' observation of course is also a main reason for unPublic to be; to act as an against the concert-mirage, against 'public-as-fiction' performances; or should one, au contraire, be very much 'in favor of' (?) ::: my personal stance contradicts itself. It's a paradox: je suis pour ET je suis contre, and from that paradox unPublic rises ||| let me write that book (?) /// the constat of course is not new, there are generations of artists already that in, say, modern times [starting somewhere in the late 19th century] passed their working lives in 'unpublic mode' (? intuition, claim like that needs some sort of verification ||) // some will pass from 'unpublic' to 'public' mode in the course of their career; sometimes just for a little while, sometimes also permanently [that possibility is surely among motives to make some stubbornly persist: "onze tijd die moet nog komen!"] \\// others (and again: that's always but a few) will pass from 'unpublic' to 'public' mode after their demise \\ Nowadays the 'unpublic' group however is so much more voluminous than it was 50, 70, 90 years ago // seems to get bigger with every next generation to come ]
IF you read this, and do not know me as a physical person: of course I exaggerate. A bit. But that's to make a point ... ⚫ ...
[{(([{: with many parentheses :: among the talents that were bestowed upon us, there is not the gift for propaganda or promotion; at later times in our creative lives (unlike, maybe, in earlier days) I for one drifted (to a large degree that was by choice ... or was it not? —the corresponding, thrilling & compelling bio-story & socio-psycho-logical analyses will have to wait for some other time, haha) away from the places and people that might have provided the chance (or misfortune, depending on your point of view 😂) of being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time to cross the path of a latter day Epstein, or a 21st century McLaren... :}]))}]

Endorsing Etc

Etc's attempts, back in that summer and fall of 2015, to find a 3rd party outlet for their latest work, remained limited to sending a demo to a one or two interesting labels that we vaguely knew (about). Who will have, I guess, acknowledged the recordings' quality. But mere quality alone does not sell music. Would it be worth some, a, any deal? Etc is not a touring band, Etc hardly ever gets 'public'. And except for the words you are now reading, where and what are the compelling or otherwise heartbreaking Etc-related stories that will tickle the world and make people eager to reach out?

Etc press clip

Out of the very few promotional attempts, as sole feat of arms emerged a written endorsement received from Guy Maddin, a Canadian screenwriter, director, author etc, endorsement that Anthony met somewhere sometime; we should ask him for the details, I forgot ...

But, hey, thank you Guy! Much appreciated!
Glad you enjoyed the music. I didn't know your work, but I am watching your The Green Fog now, a fascinating collage film! Onder ons gezegd en gezwegen, though, I do find the Kronos Quartet soundtrack's really kind of tiresome... We may not be Kronos, but had it not crossed your mind? Did you not remember? Did you not remember it? Did you not remember, did you not remember, did you not remember, did you not remember, did you not remember, do you not remember, etc ?! 😂😂😂 ...

Through Giallo eyes, or how to giallofy

Also Giallo is a niche. But of course, there's niche and there's niche. Over the years and in the context of 20th-century literature and film, Giallo built up a pretty substantial cult-following, especially among non-Italian speakers.
The word is Italian for yellow.
Italians use 'giallo' to denote a series of paperbacks with yellow covers published from the late 1920s onwards. Originally these were the translations of rational-deduction crime novels, but 'giallo' became to denote also many fantastic and erotic-y derivatives of the genre, finally to become a synonym for any kind of mystery thriller whatsoever.

When applied to film, 'Giallo' (with a capital 'G') refers to a particular kind of Italian thriller-horror movies, with mystery and supernatural horror elements, mixing slasher and crime fictions, psychological story lines and horror, sex, erotics, psychedelics ... As a trash/erotic thriller-horror movie genre Giallo bloomed in the 1960s to 1980s. With but a number of exceptions they were avalanches of incoherence and bad taste. But Italian incoherence and bad taste, somehow for many non-Italians emanate a peculiar charme, brimming as it were with fine doses of non-intentional irony, usually projected into things by us, spectators, 'in hindsight'. Sort of the so-bad-that-it's-good that has become the camp banner, proudly swung by many an artist worldwide.

Now it's difficult to classify Etc's Anthony Carcone as Italian. But neither is-a-he-not, having undeniably Italian roots that make him meta-Italian, say. At the very least. And it may well account for his starting to urge Jacques & me —it must have been some two, three years ago— to re-vamp Etc, to look in our mirrors through Giallo eyes, apply ingiallimento (that is, giallofication) giallo eyes and so explore, or rather: emphasise, the strong 'cinematographic' elements that were inherent in our 2015 recordings. As, btw, in pretty much any planing and 'atmospheric' electro-acoustic soundscape, haha, yes, yes, Guy, indeed: vast nocturnal worlds mix all but too well with women screaming their hearts out (in Italian) and spooky Giallo sound design...

For here's the rub: in the absence of words, as in our improvised soundscapes, as in the bulk of the contemporary practice of free electroacoustic improvisation (EAI, a fixed point of the evolution functor acting on the category of western culture musics (cf. ** )): even though music, abstract instrumental music, clearly expresses something, it says nothing definite about anything (paraphrasing an observation in the introduction to Enrico Fubini's The History of Music Aesthetics (1990)).

That, however changes as soon as, in one way or another, words are grafted onto an otherwise abstract sonic texture. Words, language with images or without, make signifiers converge onto a signified and act in a way not dissimilar from an observer opening the box that holds Schrödinger's cat to see it come jumping out alive. The words will fix a narrative in the hearer's consciousness, and there pick one among a multitude of originally superposed semantics.

That's what giallofication does.

Etc recording0
Metronome keeping time in Dario Argento's 'The bird with the crystal plumage' (1970)
[pass your mouse over/out/over/out etc on the picture to make it tick]

Anthony masterminded a first giallofication some three years ago, the result of which was aired on November 10th, 2017, by Radiophrenia, a Scottish temporary art-radio-station, broadcasting great content 24/7 during two full weeks that year (6/11-19/11), online and on air, from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts.radiophrenia You can still listen to that broadcast on Soundcloud ... Clocking at some thirty minutes, it is sort of a near-to-full warp of the later vinyl album. With, however, also a lot of differences, and —in particular— a quite different dynamics. Haha, however that is not a something you'll readily discern on first hearing. You will need to listen a lot... Hop, and again here's a wonderful topic for someone in need of such for a short (well, maybe even a long) thesis or mémoire ... (if only there were one, I'd add it to the list ... note to self: compile that list). This particular mémoire should also include an exhaustive enumeration of the precise sources of the Giallo samples that were used, and now can be heard on the record. I'm afraid that in the heat of the process (re-editing the mastered recordings from 2015 at the casa Carcone, with to our right a pile of dvd's of Giallo movies, to the left a small battalion of bottled wines, and in between a selection of connaisseur cheese) none of us at the time bothered to jot down wherefrom came specific curses and cries that were tentatively introduced here and there, often to be quicly removed again and replaced by something different, etc... Anthony and Jacques might still remember some of the titles. I definitely don't, though at the time we saw quite a few of them.

We did at least two long-ish sessions, cutting down the original CD-length selection (about 80 minutes) to the max of about 2 x 20 = 40 minutes needed for the two sides of a 33 rpm 12-inch vinyl album. It was not easy really, to do that and come to an agreement as a threesome.

But in the end we did manage to bring it all of it down to two sides: an A-side with Io, io, io, clocking at 14 minutes and 21 seconds, and Sangue et fondo at 6 minutes and 33 seconds; and a B-side having Ora colpiscimi (12 minutes and 2 seconds) and Il gran rifiuto (8 minutes and 56 seconds)...

Et voilà... Thus it came about that in the summer of 2019 we held shrink-wrapped copies of our « GIALLO, by Etc » limited vinyl edition firmly in hand, in a cover designed by Gaël Le Bihan.

The Giallo revolution

epsiloniaIn the evening of Thursday November 14th of last year, 2019, we had the pleasure to be the guests of Jean-Baptiste Favory and David Buxton in Epsilonia's Electrons Libres, a long-running broadcast axé sur les musiques électroacoustique et la "Kosmische Musik" (dedicated to electroacoustic and "Kosmische Musik") on Radio Libertaire, one of the few remaining radios libres (in a 'political' sense) in France, to present the album and talk about ETC's Giallo project. In French.

A memorable event, that received its logical follow-up in a live presentation of the album, just two weeks later, on the 1st of December, in Les Nautes on the Quai des Célestins, overlooking the river Seine in a city where legends came to die, but also continue to be born...!

Etc aux Nautes, 1/12/2019
Etc performing GIALLO aux Nautes, 1/12/2019 ↑
[ Picture by Jean-Jacques © jjgfree ]
Etc press clip

Etc aux Nautes, 1/12/2019
Etc performing GIALLO aux Nautes, 1/12/2019 ↑
[ Picture by Roxanne ]

The fine visuals that evening, projected on the wall against which we that night performed the GIALLO album in full, were signed Marc Plas. Marc made us a (silent) mash-up of classic Giallo flics, which (at least) had Dario Argento's L'uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo (Bird with the crystal plumage, 1970) and Lamberto Bava's Macabro from 1980.

Giallo mash
Giallo mash
Giallo mash


Though it's still not clear when that may be, there must be a next time, and a next launch: a time to say 'cheese!' and embrace that GIALLO experience. By Etc.


No, no, no!
No, no!
No! ...
No-stop the revolution!

{.}- to be continued -{.}

notes __ ::
(*) The two final of a total of four editions, if I am not mistaken... [ ^ ]
(**) Schellinx H. and Ferrand, E. (2009) Az elektroakusztikus improvizáció mint metanyelv és rögzített pont (Electroacoustic improvisation as metalanguage and fixed point (i)). In Batta, B. (ed), Médium Hang Esztétika - Zeneiség a mediális technológiák korában. University of Szeged, Szeged. [ ^ ]

tags: etc, giallo

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