Best known of their work together as r²π, or separately as PRG/M, Retina.it and Ruhig, Lino Monaco, Nicola Buono, Pier Mariconda and Luigi Cicchella, accompanied by Flussi Festival‘s curator Francesco Leone, are the men behind the new Camera Magmatica label. Hailing from the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii, the imprint celebrates its first release on November 25th – obviously its debut release being written by r²π.
Monument dig deeper into the imprint and its foundations in an interview with the founders – enjoy the read while listening the premiere of track Luna Crescente from the label’s debut release Largo Nilo EP.
Hey and congrats for the new label! It seems you five have known each other for a long time already. How was the idea behind the label formed? Why are you launching it now?
Thanks! Despite the generational and logistic gaps that separate us, we all met each other in a given space and time, the electronic music portal that the Flussi Festival used to be. Each of us is constantly updated and curious about the dynamics that characterise the underground music market, so we have also decided to propose ourselves under a different vest, a more entrepreneurial one, rather than just musicians.
Ideas are not lacking, we don’t think we are original, but as you well know, ideas are constantly changing and undergoing a recursive process.
We feel part of a network and we want to create our rhizomatic point, on top we have always embraced the DIY cause, and this is the natural evolution of a long-lasting process.
Could you tell more about the idea behind the label, and its sonic identity?
Different souls and visions are involved in it. We are not aiming for something particularly functional for the dance floor, our tastes are different, and this can only be a strong point – a wind that carries us towards unknown coordinates.
What does the name Camera Magmatica stand for?
The Magma Chamber is a physical place existing in all volcanic territories, an enormous space filled with glowing magma, a concentration energies and forces ready to explode.
We live here above, and if it’s true that nothing is dispersed in this universe, something like these energies will flow to the top of the surface. We are totally exposed to it.
We believe in this meta theory and sometimes we can also perceive it physically.
In an email you described the label sound as the “Neapolitan hypnotic sound”. What does the Neapolitan hypnotic sound mean to you?
You should know that here in Naples there is a proverb that says “Vir Nap’l e po’ muor” (Neapolitan dialect), it means “See Naples and then you can die”.
Contemplation is inherent in Neapolitan people, people that unconsciously feed on philosophy and got a big strength.
We can say that Naples is always been a focal point for European culture. In the city you can find evocative places where you can feel the energies of the past, present and future. Resonant places like the Catacombs of San Gennaro or The caves at Cumae and Baiae hosting the Cumaean Sibyl.
Melville in the 18th century talked about catacombs people, people who lived in the meanders of the subsoil. From here Virgilio found the gates of the underworld and the alchemy, mother of science, had its laboratory in the mazes of the Neapolitan alleys. Neapolitan language is surreal and everything that goes beyond reality has to do with the world of ideas.
This is the spirit that we find again, an atavistic memory that resounds even in the most uncultured minds. In the light of the above, it’s really natural for us that our music may have a hypnotic, mesmerising effect to listeners.
A lot of amazing music, in my opinion, comes from Napoli. How is the Neapolitan techno scene – in terms of music or parties?
Here techno is perceived at different levels. Perception is manifold and, as it sometimes happens in the today’s internet, which not coincidentally James Bridle calls the New Dark Age, there’s a lack of communication or people just do stuff to validate their own ideas. What could be more natural? Closed worlds prefer to remain locked in their shells, but we don’t hold any hard feelings.
In the specific case of techno, Naples in the ‘90s was able to emerge in the music scenario, giving excellent contributions in terms of dissemination and “console artists”. Over the past decade, a series of pioneering events have taken place in the field of electronic arts, such as the various festivals born during that period as Sintesi, Interferenze and Flussi to name a few.
In this decade we are only beating a well-worn path, after all this is part of the essence of every place where music lives and thrives.
Will you only be featuring Neapolitan artists on Camera Magmatica?
We don’t like it and it’s not our intention to dwell on aspects such as territoriality or localism, we aspire to create a movement, transversal and free from concepts such as territorial belonging. But at the same time we’d like to (re)create interest and attention towards a musical culture that was alive, throbbing and vibrant in our area until the mid-2000’s, to end up tied to logic that we feel don’t belong to us.
Needless to say that beyond these considerations, it would be our pleasure to highlight and raise artists from our territory who are close to us both in terms of sound and affection, too.
So your first release is by r²π. Stunning! Was is specifically crafted for Camera Magmatica?
We had some stuff set aside, both in our minds and archives, which, in a certain way, we kept jealously because we felt it was “really ours”. So let’s say that the idea of the label was born in a parallel way to the development of this material and the idea of one pushed the other in a reciprocal way.
What else should we know about Camera Magmatica’s debut release?
What we feel to say is that, despite the fact that it is an EP, therefore very limited in terms of possibilities of expression, we wanted to express in our 4 tracks some of our influences and inclinations ranging from what we call teutonic-electronic-funky passing through the territories of the electro but always immersed in what we feel to be our sound mark, that Magmatic Groove that we like to think of as the sound of Naples Underground, the one that moves in the sub-soil together with the lava rivers, source of life and destruction of our land.
We also want to thank our friend Jacopo Severitano who has both motivated and supported us on the way to this first release (in fact, maybe everyone will notice it for its strong imprint, the Camera Magmatica logo carries his signature).
There are a lot of new labels popping up. Besides your defined sound, is there something ‘special’ about the label you’d like to share?
Beyond our sound proposal, which We think in some sense to be already “special”, in the meaning of the term “not ordinary”, “unusual”, starting with this first EP each Camera Magmatica release will be followed, two weeks from release date, by a Special Bonus Pack (Bandcamp exclusive) composed by some loop tracks, actual DJ tools composed by the same artist and extracted from the material used for the main release or obtained by its unused sounds.
What is to be expected from Camera Magmatica in the future?
Nothing, we just believe in what we do. However each of us, in different ways, has dedicated his life to music. It was logical that in an era such full of proposals we too felt proactive in forging our own idea of a label.
And that’s it.
Something else you’d like to tell?
Sure: We are singing in the rain!