- Q & A with Raffaele Pezzella from Unexplained Sounds Group
Please give us a brief bio of the label. How did it start, til today….
Unexplained Sounds Group started the activity in 2014 as a musical network operating through social media networking. After one year, following the great response to the network, and to my personal music project Sonologyst, the label was born, as consequence of all ideas and projects circulating between artists in the previous year (the name came from the title of a Sonologyst album, based on unexplained sounds recorded by people all around the world, and that science can’t still explain). The most important of those projects is the international mapping of experimental music scenes, focused on single countries, that still remains the USG trademark, even if during time, different projects were run, and individual artists releases were out. This networking is always the heart of label, and I like to imagine that stimulations from people, and not my single man thoughts, will model the label in the future. This continuous and creative interaction with musicians and followers gave to me the idea to launch a radio streaming program too, that is now at its 95th weekly edition.
Which labels inspired you most to make your own?
Because USG started as a music social network, I didn’t follow any label model in the project building. But if I should quote the name of a label that I have in high consideration, it would be the Belgian Sub Rosa. A label I follow since more than 20 years due its pioneering work in the avant garde and “unexplained” music discovery.
Which is the motto for Unexplained Sounds Group?
Music is out there.
Which are the advantages and disadvantages of running a music label today?
Without digital technology and social media networking, USG wouldn’t have existed. So I can say that this project is strictly connected to the new technology era.
Which are your future plans for the label?
There are different ones. Of course to continue the sound international mapping, looking deeper at the East Asian experimental scene; expanding the new sub label Eighth Tower Records, focused on obscure and experimental dark ambient music; creating more bridges between music and other form of arts.
- Three distinctive Unexplained Sounds Group releases
Various Artists – ‘Visions Of Darkness In Iranian Contemporary Music‘
USG dedicated, during last year, a special attention to Iranian music scene, as one of the most creative of worldwide panorama, as well one of most discussed for well know political matters. This compilation is a 2nd volume, after a 1st was released in 2016. But this time the focus is on dark sound, as consequence of the artist mood, quite darker after the country was put in a black list and more restrictions were applied to many things, including money transactions to and from Iran. That is a big trouble for Iranian artists that can’t have the possibility, like the Western ones, to get the resources to develop better their projects. So I’m extremely proud of this project, and enthusiast to cooperate with Iranian musicians to promote their music.
Ashtoreth – ‘Morana‘
‘Morana’ is an album USG released as digital and limited edition CD. It’s a work by the Belgian artist Peter Verwimp, a very talented musician, who thinks, feels and plays his music starting from a shamanic that attitude. It has been the most stimulating collaboration I had with an individual artist, and the work has been reviewed by many magazines, digital and printed, around the world. With the consequence the CD release was sold out in a few weeks, and now we’re thinking to print more copies to satisfy the request from people.
Various Artists – ‘New Frontiers Of Electronic Music‘
Frontiers: the limit of knowledge or the most advanced achievement in a particular field, or an outer limit in a field of endeavor, especially one in which the opportunities for research and development have not been exploited. Difficult to say when, in the musical aesthetics field, we can apply that definition. Certainly it’s always an arbitrary and limited choice. By all means I tried to collect a group of musicians and sound designers who make a great effort into stretching the electronic and electro-acoustic music possibilities, searching for new expression paths, mostly indifferent to music trends. They come from Sweden, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Japan, Belgium, Scotland, Germany, and some of them are well known to the Unexplained Sounds network followers. Others are recent discoveries from the underground experimental electronic scene. All united by the same passion to explore the frontiers of unknown and possible musics.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis