INTERVIEW

Warp-esque IDM from an Italian who’s more than a musician

Photography by Owen Richards

Warp-esque IDM from an Italian who’s more than a musician

There is little denying that Italy has been responsible for producing some of history’s most culturally potent artists; a beehive of creativity, it unleashes photographers, fashion designers and visual artists into the world’s consciousness on a regular basis.
Yet it’s not been since electronic maestro Giorgio Moroder first arose to prominence that its musical outpourings have had any major impact and it’s a problem that laptop abuser and serial sound manipulator Enrico Boccioletti – better known as Death In Plains – is taking steps to put right.

Sat outside, basking in the sun shortly after playing the Experimental Circle Club stage at Offset Festival, Enrico is found in a positively upbeat mood. Like with most musical projects, Death In Plains grew from simple beginnings – “I played in another band called Damian,” he says “that was my main project until I started doing this thing by myself about one year ago; it was originally done for fun in my bedroom” – but into an unexpected and very much welcome long term adventure it soon grew.
“The name was originally Death in Donut Plains, from the game Super Mario World for the SNES,” smiles the experimental musician. “It was one of my favourite games when I was a kid and Donut Plains was one of the first stages. I changed the name as I didn’t feel it naturally suited my stuff anymore. I wanted something less funny, something that reflected the music, something that was both darker and more open. Death in Plains – you don’t know what it means, it could mean a lot of different things.”

This desire to not book-end is something that is also very much reflected in the music that Enrico sketches out; a blend of electronic shoe gaze and intelligent dance music that puts him in the same musical sphere as such luminaries as M83, Fuck Buttons and Aphex Twin. Take this all into consideration and it is with little wonder that he describes his outpourings as being “Electronic Shoe-gazery” as he digests and remoulds the same initial influences, albeit in a slightly different way.

Freely admitting that he likes “layers of sounds”, his music is often complex in design, yet when transposed to a live environment it takes on a looser more liberated angle. “Sometimes I play guitar on stage,” he explains “at other times keyboards; it’s an open, evolving thing. It didn’t start out with a live dimension as it started in a bedroom setting. Usually I play alone, sometimes my friends from other bands will play drums, it can work both ways, every time can be different.”

It’s this desire to not be 100% regimented to a static idea that helps separate Death in Plains from others programming loops and walls of sound at the moment, and he reassures that there are plans to take the live experience further, almost turning it into an art installation.

“I’d like to bring some animated visuals onstage as I’m making that kind of stuff. I was thinking about bringing animations onstage, Polaroid collages and stuff like that, maybe next time.”

With not much time to pass before he returns to his abode, he describes his home country as being one that it is very difficult to gain much recognition in. “It’s kind of funny to come from Italy to here, I like a lot of the stuff that comes from the UK. In Italy you have a lot of crap bands. There is some quality stuff but it’s difficult to emerge or for them to go and play abroad as we don’t have a proper economic system for alternative and leftfield stuff. It’s a really small small small circle, even the fanbase is just people from other bands, it’s a scene that celebrates itself; it is very very small.”

At present most future plans remain sketchy at best, the one fully concrete is that
“There’s one song called ‘Over and Above’ that’s coming out as a 7″ single on Disc Error Recordings. It has remixes by both Passions and Jack from These New Puritans.”

“I’d like to do remixes myself sooner or later. I’m going to make one for a new band called New Islands,” he offers in the hope of further enhancing the notion that things like his music should not be too willingly pigeon-holed or pushed in one firm direction; that things should instead be left room to mutate and evolve naturally.
With an almost conveyor belt like delivery of songs in motion, it shouldn’t be too long before Death In Plains touched down on UK shores for good.

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Originally published in issue 10 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2009

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