Outflow (CD, 2013)


Released by dEN Records and  Heart&Crossbone Records + Toxo







SEC_ - Outflow (CD, dEN / HCB records 2014)

Some very imaginative and textured, dynamic electronic noise-whatsis from the Italian creator SEC_. His Outflow (dEN RECORDS 017 / HEART & CROSSBONE HCB052) was generated using the full frying pan of now-familiar methods – tape recorder, feedback, radio signals, field recordings, contact mics, synths, etc – but the outputs are tightly composed and assembled, enabling him to serve up a tremendous wallop at the business end. His highly abstracted sounds may run wild and crazy when he lets them go free, but he’s in total control at all times, and he can pull in 13 errant barking dogs with just a single tug on his mechanical leash. Each track is a fascinating assemblage of layers, all competing for oxygen inside a tight, compacted space; SEC_’s editing skills are merciless, always knowing precisely where to let the blade fall. Fans of Miguel Garcia’s brooding night-bloomers are invited to check in here immediately, but whereas Garcia likes to let his surly, ugly sounds go for an extended rampage around the garden to terrify whom they may, SEC_ is all about measured control, economy, tautness, and selection. Every second counts in his no-nonsense, monochrome world. This is the fifth solo record from SEC_, who is Mimmo Napolitano from Casamarciano. Beautiful fold-out package printed silver on black. Arrived March 2014.

Ed Pinsent


Just Outside


SEC_ - Moscaio (Bocian/Toxo)
SEC_ is Mimmo Napolitano, a member of several Italian electronic and improvising ensembles, here heard solo using recorders, no-input feedback, radio, etc. The music is rough and ornery, partially out of noise but more reminiscent to me of things like Rowe/Lehn/Schmickler, bearing a similarly brutal and awkward aspect. The sounds chosen give no quarter to the soothing or calm--all is agitated, acid, black & white. While "Swarms of Flies", the first track, sounds like nothing of the sort, "Becoming an Insect" sounds like just that, an intense, aggravating swarm of gnats with bangs that may be hand swats. The title track seems more out of classic tape music, filled with conflicting elements--echoey bangs and static, metallic whines and low rumbles. It shows more implicit structure than some of the other pieces and though it's not my favorite area, works pretty well by its own lights. Listeners poised between cracked electronics and pure noise will feel at home.

SEC_ - Outflow (dEN/Toxo/hcb)
In one respect, this recording isn't so very different from the above: solo SEC_ manipulating various electronic instruments. But the music is far denser and has, without anything approaching beats, more of a propulsive feel, a great sense of the surge. At its best, the sounds approach the power of composers like Dick Raaijmakers, SEC_ using a similarly rich palette. There are even moments, as in "Evacuation" where you hear the slightest hints of heavy metal. When it settles down to a simmer, as on the title track, it remains finely agitated, never really relaxing. It's interesting to me why this connects so much more strongly with me than the music in "Moscaio". It certainly has something to do with the intensity which seems far more focussed here, more channeled. Each track has depth and presence--the disc is strong all the way through. Highly recommended.

Olivier Di Placido/SEC_ - Rainbow Grotesque (Bocian)
A turntable-like sound seems more prominent in this collaboration (an LP release) though none is listed on the credits, welding some of the same kind of material dealt with in "Outflow" to a Tetreaultian soundscape. I get the impression of many rotating devices here, a circular feeling to a large percentage of the sounds. There's also a rapid-fire, sputtering noise assault that, again, has some of the disjointed aspect of "Moscaio", abetted here by some Roweian guitar noises from Di Placido. And, as in that release I find that the music has slid back into an area more concerned with effect than with a deep body of sound. There's a rapidity of action that outpaces consideration for texture, placement, etc., something I think SEC_ managed to handle very well in "Outflow", though the final track, "_que", hints at the wider spaces of Asian stringed instruments, a welcome respite. As before, listeners into this area, say those who enjoy the stylings of Erik M, will likely not have the same problems as me. 

Jérôme Noetinger/SEC_ - Testacoda (Bocian)
I was all ready for "testacoda" to mean something vaguely horrific, like "last head" but no, according to Google Translate, it's simply "spin". Noetinger, of course, is a long-time master of this field and I have to guess that it's largely his presence that swings the music, once again, back into the realm of the thick and juicy. Perhaps not so much thick as ropey, all these strands connecting small nuggets of sonic material, stretched through space, sticky enough to cause small floating objects and dust to adhere. Side A (this is also an LP) works a bit better than the verso for me, the latter having a share of loopiness that I could do without. But here, the fractured, stuttering elements manage to somehow fuse into a Twombly-like surface, isolated items that on their own might not hold much interest acquire a kind of meaning when set down in sequence or overlapped. Tough to explain, but well worth a listen.

A kind of rocky path, then, traced by these four releases but "Outflow" and "Testacoda" are well worth anyone's listen.

Brian Olewnick 


SEC_ - Outflow (CD, dEN Records/HCB Records 2013)

When a parcel arrives from Den Records I usually take a quick look and forward it to Dold Mulder, as it's probably jazz related. Had I not known SEC_ it might have happened too, and I would wonder what Dolf would have thought about this album. He might have enjoyed it, I think, but that's more due to his varied taste than to the fact that this is anything jazz related. SEC_ from Italy is a noise musician, having previous work on Bocian Records, who uses a revox tape recorder, no-input feedback, radio, field recordings, synth, microphones and pick-ups, neon and CRT TV. With this he creates quite some heavy slabs of noise based music, but as you may have guessed not of the heavy wall of noise type of things (it could have ended up with Jliat if that was the case), but more of the kind of intelligent noise, in which things can be loud indeed, but which are put together with some intelligence, some flair for composition, even when, in the case of SEC_ for instance, it's probably all more through matters of improvisation. This reminds me of Marchetti/Noetinger, but even a bit more chopped up, a bit more like a collage of sound. It continues what we heard previously from him, and he does a great job. It takes the noise out of the silly world of power electronics and makes it perhaps into something that is more 'serious', and that's something I actually quite enjoy. Great CD, great cover, no jazz harmed here. (FdW)


SEC_ - Outflow (CD, dEN Records - HCB Records 2013)

Nouveau CD de ce musicien italien que nous aimons beaucoup chez Metamkine. Sec_ travaille avec un magnétophone à bandes Revox, un ordinateur, du feedback de console, de l'électromagnétisme et d'autres bricoles électriques. Il sait allier avec justesse et intelligence analogique et numérique. Il construit des matières puissantes toujours en tension, de véritables coups de poings à la surface de stratifications électrifiées. Il sait aussi les sculpter en mécaniques rythmiques très bien huilées. Impressionnant et vraiment captivant donc recommandé !


Uno scultoreo ammasso di segnali elettroacustici “Outlow”.
Preziosa coproduzione fra l'etichetta israeliana Heart and Crossbone e l'attenta label di Stefano Ferrian.
Un'esposizione cruda e quasi tattile (le forme acuminate/tangibili di Send e Dispersion), fatta di sottrazione e fratturazioni ritmico/sgranate, di pianificazione ed inneschi sibilanti, casuali e ben accolti (la cartavetrata batterica di Boundaries).
Interni spogli, di tormento immobile/dronante, di fremiti e spasmi (i lividi di Return).
Le sberle e i detriti di un nudo oggi, dove a stento si trattiene la rabbia (Evacuation).
Un'oltre asciutto e complesso, quello riflesso negli occhi di Mimmo Napolitano.
Elegante e fluido gesto, primordiale e traforante (Outflow).
D'assenza non rassicurante (Interruption).
Per registratori a nastro Revox, no-input feedback, radio, field recordings, synth, microfoni, pick-ups e neon.

Marco Carcasi


improv sphere

SEC_ - Outflow (CD, dEN / Heart&Crossbone)

Depuis deux ou trois années maintenant, j'entends régulièrement parler de Mimmo Napolitano, ce jeune musicien électroacoustique de Naples qui publie sous le nom de SEC_. La plupart du temps, on en entend parler pour ses manipulations géniales au Revox, et pour le mélange ingénieux qu'il fait de l'analogique et du numérique. Sur Outflow, c'est l'occasion justement d'entendre SEC_ avec son excellent dispositif constitué d'un Revox, d'une table de mixage bouclée sur elle-même, de radio, de field-recordings, de synthétiseurs, de micro et micro-contacts.
Sur ce solo récent, le compositeur et improvisateur napolitain enchaîne une suite de sept pièces qui jouent principalement sur les collages. SEC_ paraît mélanger indistinctement l'improvisation et la composition ici, car si certaines structures sont à peu près claires, c'est quand même un sacré foutoir à l'intérieur. SEC_ multiplie les bandes bouclées, les nappes de synthé, les larsens et compagnie. On sent que des éléments sont préprogrammés, mais une grande liberté semble être laissée à l'intérieur du programme. Dès lors, SEC_ n'y va pas de main morte : collage de bruit blanc, de manipulation de bandes préparées, d'ondes diverses, larsens, le tout passé aux multiples effets analogiques et numériques sans que l'on puisse vraiment faire la distinction, et puis SEC_ joue lors du mixage sur le coupage et les ruptures. SEC_ fait inévitablement penser à eRikm et Jérôme Notinger, pour son sens du collage très rapide et virtuose, ainsi que pour son utilisation très détournée du Revox. Mais ce qui est vraiment saisissant, c'est l'aspect très physique de ces manipulations. Il s'agit de musique concrète ou électroacoustique jouée avant tout avec le corps, le musicien napolitain fait pleinement corps en effet avec son dispositif - ce à quoi l'élément principal, le Revox, se prête pleinement en même temps. Et puis il y a aussi toutes ces parties pulsées et rythmées, des ambiances indus et noise qui ne sont pas sans évoquer Wolf Eyes. De l'improvisation électroacoustique bien noise, bien industrielle, bien forte, et bien maîtrisée en somme.
Bref, SEC_ est peut-être une des figures les plus intéressantes qu'il m'ait été donné d'entendre dans l'improvisation électroacoustique récente. C'est extrêmement puissant, c'est physique, c'est recherché, c'est brut et dur, c'est intense, c'est très bien composé, c'est vraiment du bon travail. Saisissant.


SEC_ - Outflow (CD, dEN Records/HCB Records 2013)

Esiste, in musica, un limbo dove, per gli esuli dalle sonorità convenzionali, il termine “sperimentale” diventa il modo per esplorare confini ancora non circoscritti. Territori ibridi sui quali si muovono sapientemente molti italiani: chi affascinato dall’interazione con tecnologie odierne (Ennio Mazzon), chi si rifà a ispirazioni elettro-acustiche para-contemporanee (Vipcancro) e chi invece su questi bordi sottili riesce a camminare da perfetto funambolo. Se dovessi scegliere una categoria per Mimmo SEC_ Napolitano, lo metterei proprio in quest’ultima. Uno a suo modo outsider, anche se le sue collaborazioni potrebbero dire il contrario: oltre alla militanza nella NapoIi Improvvisa! con Aspec(t) e Strongly Imploded, menzioniamo l’esperienza con Ken Vandermark (Spaceways Inc.) nei Rara Avis, poi quelle con Dave Phillips, Andy Guhl e, per stare vicino alle sonorità più brutali di stanza su The New Noise, quella con gli Psychofagist de Il Secondo Tragico. Indizi come l’utilizzo di “strumenti” come TV CRT ci dicono qualcosa riguardo influenze provenienti dalla cracked everyday electronics, la cui la paternità è del non a caso già citato fondatore dei Voice Crack Andy Guhl. La manipolazione analogica, invece, riporta a pratiche concrète, lontane comunque da canovacci manieristi di sorta, creando coni d’ombra elettro-acustici di noise virulento dal taglio power electronics o affiliato alle discendenze nipponiche, del tipo no-input mixing board, la cosiddetta corrente “Onkyo”, che tradotto significa: feedback a manetta.
Ecco, Outflow per dEN Records e Heart & Crossbone è in sintesi tutto questo. Aggiungeteci un bel packaging, il cui font creato ad hoc da Davide Soldarini sembra riassumere l’approccio “forma non-forma” e sghembo di Mimmo.
Tommaso Gorelli