PLEASE DRIVE-BY CAREFULLY

REVIEWS






Negli ultimi anni alcuni jazzisti si stanno impegnando in una particolare scelta artistica che privilegia comportamenti alquanto desueti dalla normalità: suonare in stanze adiacenti in modo da non potersi vedere, ricostruire con l'ausilio di software specifici suoni estemporanei oppure costruire nuovi metodi di improvvisazione basati su notazioni grafiche opportunamente codificate. Su questi elementi si basa proprio il progetto del gruppo Scoolptures, una creazione di quattro musicisti eclettici corrispondenti a Nicola Negrini (contrabbasso) Achille Succi (sax alto, clarinetto basso e shakuhachi), Philippe Garcia (batteria) e Antonio Della Martina (sinewaves): "Please drive-by carefully" è già il terzo progetto del gruppo che affina lo spessore creativo delle prerogative già indicate negli episodi precedenti; i quattro utilizzano percorsi incrociati che riproducono l'attività dei partecipanti a due livelli: da una parte l'interazione con l'elettronica live, dall'altra il sistema utilmente seguìto per suonare: riguardo a quest'ultimo essi parlano di processo di composizione istantanea che segue la logica dei graffiti metropolitani di Banksy: vengono estratti otto pensieri che accompagnano i suoi disegni, i quali vengono opportunamente frammentati in brani musicali in modo da creare una struttura improvvisativa con un suo ordine, e dove, attraverso dei codici comportamentali (suoni in un linguaggio Morse, sovrapposizioni, singole evidenziature degli strumenti) si inseriscono le "insonorizzazioni" ricercate degli strumentisti. Inutile dire che la parte del leone è affidata alla bravura di Succi, una certezza del jazz italiano, che si accolla l'onere di sistemare tutti i collegamenti tramite tutta una serie di continue sfaccettature di suoni che vanno da veloci scale estemporanee a  spezzoni di note intelaiate con opportuni loop di elettronica. "Please drive-by carefully" possiede un tratto formale veramente speciale, è un lavoro fatto da quattro musicisti che sembrano aver interiorizzato la delirante satira degli epigrammi del graffitista inglese, fatto di un paradossale ed oscuro portamento musicale che riesce splendidamente ad accompagnarvi nei messaggi enigmatici  delle vie delle nostre città, facendovi conoscere il pensiero di coloro che vi abitano.   



In recent years, many jazz musicians are engaging in a particular artistic choice that favors behaviors that are not fully conventional: they play in adjacent rooms so that they can not see, they reconstruct improvised sounds with the help of specific software or they build new methods of improvisation based on graphical notations suitably encoded. On this basis, four Italians musicians are engaged in the project "Scoolptures"; the components are Nicola Negrini (bass) Achille Succi (alto sax, bass clarinet and shakuhachi), Philippe Garcia (drums) and Antonio Della Martina (sinewaves): "Please drive-by carefully "is the third recording of the group that establishes unequivocally the artistic depth of the four musicians, whose coordinates had already been shown in previous episodes. The four musicians utilize cross paths that reproduce the activities of participants at two levels: on the one hand the interaction with the live electronic, on the other hand, the musical system usefully to be followed in the performances: they speak of a process of instantaneous composition following the logic of urban graffiti by Banksy: first, the musicians extract eight thoughts that are the strange phrases that accompany his drawings, and then, the thoughts are appropriately fragmented into pieces of music in order to create an "orderly" improvisational structure, where through codes behavioral (sounds in a language Morse, overlaps, signs to find in each of the instruments) you can enter the refined sound of the instrumentalists. Needless to say, the lion's share is entrusted to the skill of Succi, a pleasant discovery of Italian jazz, which bears the burden to fix all connections through a series of continuous facets of sounds ranging from quick and extemporaneous musical scales to fragments of notes inserted in the appropriate electronics loops."Please drive-by carefully" has a very special accent, it is a work made by musicians who seem to have internalized the delirious satire of the epigrams of the British graffiti artist, where we are witnessing a paradoxical and obscure gait that succeeds beautifully to accompany you in the enigmatic messages of the streets of our cities, making known us the thinking of those who live there.


Ettrore Garzia :: Percorsi Musicali [IT]






One of the most innovative new sounds in Europe comes from the Italian electronic jazz band "Scoolptures", whose "Materiale Umano" offered a great listening experience and their sophomore "White Sickness" ranked second in our 2011 Happy New Ears Award.


Now the quartet is back with a double CD, which according to the label "molds the sound into a pulsating, urban, tense or ecstatic conglomerate, densely fluid and dynamic, a sound equivalent of Banksy"


The band are Nicola Negrini on doublebass, ubass, metallophone and live electronics, Achille Succi on alto sax, bass clarinet and shakuhachi, Philippe "Pipon" Garcia on drums, prepared guitar and live electronics, and Antonio Della Marina on sinewaves and live electronics.


They combine the beauty of acoustic sounds, the warm bass, the shimmering vibrations of the bass clarinet, the natural lightness of the shakuhachi with the sparse and ominous darkness of the electronics. A great combination of the frailty of human emotions and the menace of urban life, by itself not a new concept, but the way this quartet makes it work is by a subtle minimalism, in which all unnecessary elements are omitted, deleted, erased, and what remains are sparse threads of sounds with sudden outbursts or beautiful phrases or interesting sonic changes.


The interesting thing about the band's musical approach is that it remains relatively accessible, possibly because of the inherent lyricism of Succi's soloing. Like Banksy, what you hear is vaguely familiar and recognisable, but the context in which it appears, the contrast of the sonic backdrops force you to listen differently, resulting in nice suprises and musical enjoyment. At moments I wished they had pushed things even a little bit further into even more unconventional zones, yet the end result is highly recommendable.


Stef Gijssels :: Free Jazz [BE]






Le quatuor italien Scoolptures en est à son troisième album chez Leo, et celui-ci est un double. L’approche de ce groupe d’improvisation combinant instruments acoustiques et électroniques continue de se raffiner, au point de rendre ce nouvel opus vraiment intéressant. À la base des pièces entendues ici se trouvent des partitions graphiques et la réutilisation de fragments sonores rejoués-réenregistrés. Nous avons droit à 95 minutes de musique sous forme de 23 courtes improvisations – dans les deux à six minutes, la plupart dans les trois à quatre minutes. Des pièces bien conçues, complètes en soi, illustrant une maîtrise de la forme courte. Et assez de diversité dans la palette sonore et les intensités pour ne pas lasser. Recommandé. 


The Italian quartet Scoolptures is up to three releases now on Leo Records, and the latest one is a 2-CD set. This free improvisation group combining acoustic and electronic instruments keeps on refining its approach, which makes this new opus quite a treat. Behind the music are graphic scores and sound fragments that are replayed-rerecorded. 95 minutes of music spread across 23 short improvisations – two to six minutes, but most are within the three-to-four-minutes range. Well conceived, stand-alone pieces demonstrating a high level of mastery of the short form. And enough variety in terms of sound palette and intensity to maintain my interest throughout. Recommended. 


François Couture :: Monsieur Délire [QC : CAN]





 

Italští Scoolptures mají v poměrně krátké době na Leo Records třetí album (tentokrát vlastně dvojalbum v trvání 95 minut) Please Drive-by Carefully. Ani tentokrát nám to Nicola Negrini (basa, metalofon, elektronika), Achille Succi (altsax, basklarinet, šakuhači), Philippe Pipon Garcia (bicí, preparovaná kytara, elektronika) plus Antonio della Marina (krátké vlny, elektronika) příliš neusnadňují. Hrají si s názvy skladeb i s jejich pořadím, čímž vytvářejí z přeházena celé věty jako Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock (což pochází z čísel 3, 4 a 8 na prvním disku) nebo In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes (kterážto hláška je rozdělena mezi čísla 6, 7 a 10 na disku druhém). Je zřejmě zanedbatelné, která část textu pod které číslo v pořadí patří; k celistvému obsahu totiž patří i celistvá hudební prokomponovanost. Instantní kompozice vznikají s jakousi samovolností na základě grafických partitur, a ta jsou zase odvozena z děl street umělce Banksyho. A těch čtyřiadvacet rozhrnovaných, vylaďovaných a propátrávačsky zaříkávačských zastavení je nenásilně vylaďovaným obhlížením života a světa, při kterém se vyjmenované nástroje protýkají za centristického vedení Succiho; ten zdatně své nástroje proměňuje i jejich doznívání za pomoci různých fíglů dopozměňovává, prodlévá, medituje i si dokáže melodicky neordinovaně našlápnout. Občas mi připadá, že je hudební krysař, za kterým se ostatní pospěšně valí. Kam? Do nutkavé melodičnosti, ve které se někdy překřikují a promotávají do vzedmuta nebo naopak do prokočírovaného rmutostnění či šátravě náladovějící atmosféričnosti. Lapidarizující ozvučnost s napítkami jednotlivých tónů ozvláštňuje neodříkavé vypráskávání, přesýpavě chandrovité houštnění se probourává až do zahuštěnosti.


[google czech >english translation]


Italian Scoolptures have a third album on Leo Records (this time actually a double album of 95 minutes) Please Drive-by Carefully. Even this time, Nicola Negrini (bass, metallophone, electronics), Achille Succi (altsax, bass clarinet, shakuhachi), Philippe Pipon Garcia (drums, guitar, electronics) plus Antonio della Marina do not make much easier. They play with the names of their tracks as well as their order, creating the whole sentence like Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock, or In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes (which is divided between numbers 6, 7 and 10 on the second disk) . It is obviously negligible which part of the text under which the number belongs in the order; Comprehensive musical compatibility also belongs to the whole content. Instant compositions are created with some self-denial on the basis of graphical scores, and these are in turn derived from works by street artist Banksy. And those twenty-four narrative, quibbling and quibbling stops are a non-violently tuned look at life and the world, in which the instruments listed lie behind Succi's centrist leadership; He skillfully transforms his instruments, and their maturing with the help of various beads refashiones, lingers, meditates, and can melt in an unordered way. Sometimes it seems to me that he is a musical ratter behind which others are hurrying. Where? The compulsive melodicity, which sometimes sparks and swells into an upshot or vice versa, into a runaway mummies or a scary mood of atmosphericity. Lapidarizační sound with the tones of the individual tones is accentuated by the non-rustling screaming, the sardine chandlery thickening withers until thickening.


Z.K. Slaby :: His Voice [CZ]






Eens in de zoveel maanden onderbreek ik de berichtgeving graag voor een reclameblokje. Dit keer voor mijn goede vriend Nicola Negrini die met zijn kwartet Scoolptures onlangs de cd Please drive by carefully uitbracht. Het is de derde cd die hij samen met Achille Succi, Philippe Garcia en Antonio delle Marina heeft opgenomen en uitgebracht op Leo records, een label voor experimentele jazz. Het is, na Materiale Umano en White Sickness, het derde deel van een triptiek aan de randen van de muziek.

Please drive by carefully klinkt als een intrigerende, nachtelijke tocht door een onbekende stad, het verkennen van een verleidelijk, maar mogelijk gevaarlijk gebied. Donker, warm en diep, swingend, sensueel en virtuoos. Please drive by carefully, meer dan 70 minuten spannende muziek, is in slechts anderhalve dag opgenomen. Dat is eigenlijk niet te geloven; de effectiviteit in de studio van dit kwartet is ongekend. De muziek van Scoolptures is wat mij betreft dan ook een meesterwerk van coherente improvisatietechniek.

Het album is opgedragen aan Banksy. De titels en zelfs de structuur van de tracks zijn gebaseerd op teksten van de graffitikunstenaar, en leggen daarmee een betekenisvol verband met deze parallelle wereld: ‘I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me.’

Je zult het vrijwel nergens horen als je het niet zelf koopt; er zal bijna niemand zijn die Scoolptures durft te boeken voor een optreden, maar laat het niet ongehoord blijven, haal dit avontuur in huis.


[google dutch>english translation]


Once in a while, I've been interrupting the announcement for an advertising block. This time for my good friend Nicola Negrini who, with his quartet Scoolptures recently released the cd Please drive by carefully. It is the third CD he has recorded and released on Leo records, a label for experimental jazz together with Achille Succi, Philippe Garcia and Antonio delle Marina. It is, after Material Umano and White Sickness, the third part of a triptych at the edges of the music.

Please drive by carefully sounds like an intriguing nightly journey through an unknown city, exploring a tempting but potentially dangerous area. Dark, warm and deep, swinging, sensual and virtuoso. Please drive by carefully, over 70 minutes of exciting music, is recorded in just one and a half day. That's actually not to be believed; The effectiveness of this quartet's studio is unprecedented. In my opinion, the music of Scoolptures is a masterpiece of coherent improvisation technology.

The album is dedicated to Banksy. The titles and even the structure of the tracks are based on the lyrics of the graffiti artist, and thus make a significant connection to this parallel world: "I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take to protect me."

You will hardly hear anything if you do not buy it yourself; There will be almost nobody who dares to book Scoolptures for an event, but do not let it be unheard of, get this adventure home.


Gert Den Toom :: Polaroid Van De Dag [NL]






This two-disc set is the third release from this fine Italian quartet. Mixing improvisation with live electronics, Please Drive-By Carefully is a hybrid of open-form jazz and spontaneous response to unconventionally notated scores.

The four musicians—Achille Succi on alto saxophone, bass clarinet and shakuhachi; bassist/composer/electronics artist Nicola Negrini; Philippe Garcia on drums, prepared guitar and electronics; and Antonio Della Marina supplying sinewaves and electronics—interpret graphic scores derived from the work of British street artist Banksy. The scores are of several different types, among which are some with dots and dashes resembling Morse code, some done in QR code, and some looking like Ferdinand Leger’s paintings of tubular forms.

The realization of the scores takes the form of an interplay between the textures and lyricism of jazz on the one hand, and the timbral possibilities opened up by electronic collage and live processing on the other. The sounds range from the warmly human tones of Succi’s shakuhachi and bass clarinet to the electronically-generated layers that give the quartet its distinctive sonic profile. The tracks are concise and well-focused—all but five of the twenty-four are under four minutes long. Succi’s balanced lyricism and the understory of Negrini’s bass work ensure that the music draws on a vital reserve of emotional depth amid the conceptual rigor.


D.Barbiero :: Avant Music News [US]






Ostatnio strasznie dużo nie napisałem. Wyrzuty sumienia mam tym większe, że minione trzy miesiące to nie był czas posuchy. Począwszy od Art Of Improvisation, którego nota bene Impropozycja była 'partnerem medialnym', nie skomentowałem ani słowem. Oczywiście wytłumaczenia są, że przeprowadzka, że dzieci coraz bardziej wrzaskliwe i roszczeniowe, ale prawda jest taka, że duetu Fernandeza z Parkerem nie powinienem był pomijać. Grali fenomenalnie. Dużo potem myślałem o zjawisku emisji dźwięku poszczególnych muzyków i drastycznej przepaści jaka dzieli starych mistrzów i 'wschodzące gwiazdy'. Nie napisałem jednak nic.

Podobnie miała się sprawa z nowym, podwójnym albumem Scoolptures "Please Drive-by Carefully", który jak żadne tegoroczne wydawnictwo na prawdę mnie urzekł. Znów Włosi zaproponowali idealnie zbalansowaną wersję mocno planowanej improwizacji, ze świetnym, bardzo subtelnym, nienachalnym zastosowaniem elektroniki. Temat finalnie przemilczałem. Może dlatego, że nowościami staram się już z powodzeniem nie zajmować.

...


[google polish>english translation]


I have not written much lately. The remorse I have is that the past three months were not the time of the drought. Starting with Art Of Improvisation, whose notion Impropose was a 'media partner', I did not comment on the word. Of course the explanation is that the move that children are increasingly screaming and claiming, but the truth is that Fernandez's duo with Parker should not be overlooked. They played phenomenally. Much later I thought about the phenomenon of the sound of individual musicians and the drastic gap that divides old masters and 'rising stars'. I did not write anything.

Likewise, the new Scoolptures double album, "Please Drive-by Carefully," was released, which, like no other album this year, really captivated me. Again Italians proposed a perfectly balanced version of heavily planned improvisation, with a great, very subtle, unobtrusive application of electronics. The subject was finally silent. Maybe it's because I'm struggling to keep up with the news.

...


Marcin Kiciński :: Impropozycja [PL]






The Italian quartet Scoolptures has a new double album on Leo Records, Please Drive-By Carefully, based on quips by the street artist Banksy. I would describe the quips themselves (and "quip" is already my word) as trite counter-culture wisdom (the title being a relatively short example). They don't seem to have a lot of depth, but then I guess a sentence rarely does. That said, I do respect the idea of street art, and it makes a good motivation for an album. (It was interesting to read tales of something painted in public, on a surface someone else owned, being given high dollar value worth, or being stolen, etc. The post-art spectacle of Banksy's fame and resulting reputation & collectable value for his work throws the economy of the 21st century into bizarre relief. This "performance" aspect of it, which happens via collectors & profiteers, is more compelling than the simple art, in my opinion. That said, I read about this elsewhere, not in the album.) The album itself has been quite enjoyable, one of the few recent albums with a goodly proportion of slow & mellow sections that I've enjoyed, so perhaps that's something of a special accomplishment already. The electronics tend to be subtle. The shakuhachi is also used to fine effect. Neither feels gimmicky. There are no specifics about how Banksy's material was used to create graphic scores, other than that statement, and no other description of approach. That differs from their previous two albums (including White Sickness), where psychological research & other methods are mentioned. Those two albums were recorded in the same session, but released separately, a year apart. In this case, we get two albums at once. I don't know if they're intended to be heard separately, but that's mostly what I've done. The second made the stronger first impression, but I've subsequently enjoyed the first also. This is often calm & usually sophisticated music that doesn't sound much like anything else overall, even as it sounds like a traditional jazz ensemble at times. It often has something of a conversational quality, certainly a chamber music quality, but with sounds mutating into other sounds, there isn't always a sense of stable individuals within a conversation. There are various counterpoints thrown off as (electronic) echoes, which might transform into something else; the pulse might be a heartbeat, and some other sounds might evoke different intra-individual orientations. It can be taken as an exploration of the self-other boundary in that sense, but is obviously difficult music to summarize. These albums also work well for getting annoying jingles or pop songs out of my head. (I go to public places, where it's common to be at the mercy of such things.) That's always welcome.


Todd McComb:: Jazz Thoughts [US]






Autre travail de recherche faisant largement appel aux instruments et appareils électroniques, celui du quartette Scoolptures qui propose un travail basé sur les peintures, traces, empreintes, tags, du célèbre street artist Bansky. Il en résulte une sorte de transposition sonore graphique qui forme la matière de vingt-quatre pièces réunies sur deux CD sensiblement différents d’ailleurs. Ici également, un souffleur, Achille Succi, s’inscrit parfaitement dans cet environnement futuriste très élaboré et apporte une certaine jazzité à cette démarche résolument contemporaine. Notons pour les oreilles sensibles que le son d’ensemble est beaucoup plus léger que chez Swedish Mobilia.


[google french>english translation]


Another research project using electronic instruments and devices, the Scoolptures quartet, which offers a work based on the paintings, tracks, prints, tags, of the famous street artist Bansky. The result is a sort of graphic sound transposition which forms the material of twenty-four pieces united on two CDs that are substantially different. Here too, a blower, Achille Succi, fits perfectly into this highly elaborate futuristic environment and brings a certain jazzity to this resolutely contemporary approach. Note for sensitive ears that the overall sound is much lighter than Swedish Mobilia.


Jean Buzelin :: CultureJazz [FR]






N’abandonnant pas les eaux stagnantes de White Sickness, leur précédent CD, Scoolptures emprunte néanmoins quelques nouveaux chemins de traverse. Le taggeur Banski est à l’origine de ces deux CD : partitions graphiques, réorganisation des structures : autant de pises radicalement explorées ici. Chaque pièce, toutes de courtes durées si l’on excepte celle ouvrant le premier CD, propose un territoire à patrouiller. L’esprit des gamelans ici, un shakuhachi contemplatif ailleurs, des chocs d’archet un peu partout, une ruche scintillante par instants, des sons étouffés et parfois en cage, rien ne manque ici. Les electronics ne sont pas de commodité ni d’irritation mais s’imposent autonomes et indispensables. Le saxophone, tantôt au cœur de l’action tantôt commentant le match, résulte toujours vif, droit, fielleux. Idem pour un batteur et un contrebassiste, on ne peut plus proches et solidaires de leurs deux amis. Deux CD passionnants. Voilà tout.


[google french>english translation]


Not abandoning the stagnant waters of White Sickness, their previous CD, Scoolptures nevertheless borrows some new ways of crossing. The tagger Banski is at the origin of these two CDs: graphical partitions, reorganization of the structures: as many pisses radically explored here. Each piece, all of short duration if one excepts that opening the first CD, proposes a territory to be patrolled. The spirit of the gamelans here, a contemplative shakuhachi elsewhere, bow shocks everywhere, a sparkling hive at times, sounds choked and sometimes in cages, nothing is missing here. The electronics are not of convenience nor of irritation but impose themselves autonomous and indispensable. The saxophone, sometimes at the heart of the action and sometimes commenting on the game, always results sharp, straight, fiery. Same for a drummer and a double bass player, we can no longer close and solidarity with their two friends. Two exciting CDs. That is all.


Luc Bouquet :: ImproJazz [FR]






3e album de ce quartette italien expert dans l’art de la composition instantanée. Ses 24 compositions ont été générées à partir des partitions graphiques de l'artiste taggeur britannique BANSKY. Pulsations d'un jazz urbain et atmosphérique procédant par collages et superpositions. Un pont sons-images aux allers-retours intensément créatifs.


[google french>english translation]


3rd album of this Italian quartet expert in the art of instant composition. His 24 compositions were generated from the graphic scores of the British artist BANSKY. Pulsations of an urban and atmospheric jazz proceeding by collages and superpositions. A bridge of sounds and images with intensely creative back and forth.


Orkhestra [FR]






“In this double CD the original process of instant composing conceived by Scoolptures is powered by graphic scores obtained from the works of the street artist Banksy. His intimate and sharp stencils, motions of a suffering humanity, are transformed into the sound matrices of these 24 compositions. mould the sound into a pulsating, urban, tense or ecstatic conglomerate, densely fluid and dynamic, which are a sound equivalent of Banksy's stencils.”  “The sound equivalent of Banksy’s stencils” sounds like a great concept.  But what does it mean?  Banksy’s art is immediate, witty, sarcastic, caustic, razor sharp on issues, polemical, almost a call to action,  Above all, Banksy’s art is aimed for maximum impact.  No one listening to ‘Please Drive Carefully’ would see or hear the connection to Banksy if it was not explained to them and even then……… “ The album notes are little help.  So let’s forget about Banksy and concentrate on the music.  The improvisations are blended with live electronics.  The adventurous use of the shakuhachi and bass clarinet  layered over the electronic sounds gives the quartet its uniqueness.  The tracks are short and succinct   There is great variety across the twenty three tracks of the two CDs and the listener will have much to admire about the sounds that are created.  The music is original, fresh and vital. There is enough here for the music to stand on its own.  It should not, and does not, need tendentious excuses for music making. 


Jack Kenny :: JazzViews [US]