STILL – I
Shapeshifting through his vernacular worlds of sound and imagery, Milan artist and musician Still (Simone Trabucchi) defines his practice with a unique, nomadic approach. Previously known as Dracula Lewis, the moniker under which he developed his personal take on “folk” music, he has accumulated a number of releases on various seminal labels, alongside running Hundebiss Records. His Still moniker follows the unearthing of the histories that connect his hometown of Vernasca to Ethiopia and Jamaica, explored under his visual arts project Invernomuto as an in-depth fieldwork that became Negus — a series of sculptures and installations, a book, and a documentary (screened at Unsound 2016). Negus revolves around a cleansing counter-ritual performed by Lee “Scratch” Perry in the Vernasca square where an effigy of Haile Selassie I was burned in 1936. The documentary then follows a trajectory connecting Italy’s overlooked colonial past, seen through personal history, to a reverberation of symbols in Ethiopia and Jamaica.
Within Still, Trabucchi connects these research threads and furthers their sonic and linguistic aspects, developing a work in which “computerized riddims” sustain a shared gospel channeled through a polyphony of voices. Six Milan-based African-Italian vocalists and singers voice a complex, overarching past that is both communal and individual. Using the medium of language, the record is a multi-layered with meanings contemplating the historical weight of words. Both the city and the studio became workshops for the shaping of their complex network.
Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Artwork by Simone Trabucchi and Bill Kouligas.