Industrial Blues / In-Depth Study no.1 / Marco Valietti (guitar)
Osvaldo Schwartz‘s debut work is an interesting work in many respects. The perspective that we want to explore with the in-depth articles that will be published weekly on the Rizosfera NEWS blog concern the artists who collectively co-operated with Osvaldo Schwartz in the compilation of this marvellous excursus over twelve years of his ‘solo’ career. Thus, Industrial Blues is both a solo work and a choral work. Each of its parts expresses a different perspective on how the blues can marry industrial. Insight No. 1 is dedicated to guitarist Marco Valietti, with whom Osvaldo Schwartz shares the convertible blues project entitled Valietti & Schwartz. The convertible blues division was entrusted with the arduous task of ‘rethinking’ on the side of acoustic blues+Velvet Underground overtones+industrial percussion+sonic spatialisation with flashes of dark techno-dub the suite of La sfida (The Challenge) originally conceived by Osvaldo Schwartz for the Officine Schwartz OGR show in 2011. The version featured in Industrial Blues is therefore rethought with ten years behind it of acoustic and electric blues played in a Morriconesque key, since the other surprise of La sfida is the soundtrack suggestion for a ‘western-spaghetti’ film in the style of Ennio Morricone. Here we briefly recall the happy season of Sergio Leone’s legendary films with Clint Eastwood that in the 1960s produced a worldwide film canon, summed up in the famous ‘dollar trilogy‘ (1964-1966). It was these splendid soundtracks, minimal but poignant, that impressed Osvaldo Schwartz from childhood. In particular, it was the musicians chosen by Morricone to characterise the melodies and timbres of the acoustic and electric guitars that served as models for Valietti & Schwartz: these were Alessandro Alessandroni (The Whistler), Enrico Ciacci and Bruno Battisti D’Amario. But this influence of the Morricone sound world is cast in a more leaden and industrial dimension. The five tracks of La sfida (The Challenge) are:
Balcasar Buda 2’40”
Bill Vagund 4’32”
MARCO VALIETTI BIOGRAPHY
MARCO VALIETTI was born in 1962 in Bergamo. He began his musical career with a strong interest in the purest and most traditional form of blues of the American Mississippi artists of the early years of the twentieth century. Together with his interest in the traditional blues, he deepened his knowledge in Chicago electric blues, and soon a rich concert activity with the Midnight Breakfast Blues Band followed. His intense work is witnessed in the production of five electric version CDs and one acoustic. During the 1990s Marco Valietti took an active interest in flamenco music and he learned the basics of singing and guitar in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). At present, in addition to his usual concert activity in the blues world, both in the electric version with the band and in the acoustic version as a soloist, he has joined a new musical experience, Convertible Blues, in which Marco Valietti’s influences of the blues tradition come into harmony with Osvaldo Schwartz’s “industrial” impressions.
Industrial Blues by Osvaldo Schwartz :: Rizosfera-NUKFM 017 :: Pre-order from 5 September to 6 November
Industrial Blues ::
Two years of dedication, between Bergamo, Turin and Amsterdam. Nearly two hours of amazing sound and images. Osvaldo Schwartz‘s work takes place in over ten years of intense activity(2010-2022) as a monumental work of a radical extraneousness to the permanent state of crisis of our civilisation. In short, Industrial Blues is the imaginary fusion of two antithetical ways of being and two antithetical sound worlds, the blues and ‘industrial’ audiovisual culture, with an unexpected master of ceremonies: Ennio Morricone. This monumental work speaks to Europe and the entire West.
INDUSTRIAL BLUES is very rich in content, sounds and images and it is formed by:
1) 16-page colour booklet printed on high-quality Twill paper with a separate biography sheet
2) 16 GB USB Card with audio and movies in high definition
3) the USB Card is screen-printed in full colour and comes with a Bristol board on which the ‘credits’ of the work are printed
4) the digital streaming of the entire work on RizoStream digital platform with a private code for those who will buy it
The contents of the USB Card are divided into three macro-areas: 1) AUDIO 2) VIDEO 3) AUDIO-VIDEO OFFICINE SCHWARTZ. Thus, two thirds of the work can be attributed to OSVALDO SCHWARTZ while one third is attributable to Officine Schwartz (a live multimedia event at the MIAO Museum in Turin in 2011/see the YT video uploaded in Industrial Blues’ Rizoshop page).
In the first AUDIO section of OSVALDO SCHWARTZ there are six tracks, five of which can be attributed to a single suite, LA SFIDA performed by the ‘Convertible Blues’ duo of Osvaldo Schwartz and Marco Valietti. While the sixth is a stand-alone composition, ELETTROMECCANICA, a track by OFFICINE SCHWARTZ composed by Osvaldo in the 1980s. It is here considered as a trait d’union between the Morriconesque industrial blues of the suite LA SFIDA and the dark wave-industrial sound of the early Officine Schwartz. The recording of ELETTROMECCANICA (a track never released before) is the last recording made by Osvaldo Schwartz (in 2021) in Turin at Marco Milanesio’s OFF Studio while the recording of LA SFIDA was made in Bergamo in 2020 (in Dario Ravelli’s professional studio) and subsequently arranged, spatialised and mastered by Maurizio TeZ Martinucci (Clock DVA/TAGC/Pragma) in Amsterdam in 2021. The team that created the AUDIO section of INDUSTRIAL BLUES is therefore of the highest level.
In the second section – VIDEO – by OSVALDO SCHWARTZ, there are three audiovisual materials of a various nature. The first material in the section is a ‘short film’ entitled A VAPORE (Domenico Morreale is the filmmaker) with a beautiful original ‘percussive steampunk/industrial blues’ soundtrack by SCHWARTZ & VOLT (VOLT is Emiliana Voltarel, an electro-noise artist from Turin). The second material in the VIDEO section – VIDOPRO is its title – is a documentary filmed by Domenico Morreale that revolves around the making and background of INDUSTRIAL BLUES, so it is ‘THE MAKING OF‘. The third material is the ‘artistic’ video clip of ELETTROMECCANICA edited by Domenico Morreale and Osvaldo Schwartz, and it is a video of great impact that witnesses a strong revival of the avant-garde ‘industrial’ aesthetics of the 1980s, with expressionist stratifications and a very evocative panorama typical of Russian cube-futurism.
In the third section – AUDIO / VIDEO OFFICINE SCHWARTZ – we propose the original version of LA SFIDA (as in the AUDIO section in an ‘industrial blues & Morricone’ version) in OFFICINE SCHWARTZ’s live performance (one of their last ever live shows) held in Turin in 2011 at the MIAAO Museum with the audio of the event remastered by TeZ of Clock DVA (OGR is the title of the suite that in the AUDIO section of OSVALDO SCHWARTZ is instead called LA SFIDA). In this section you will find the original ‘core’ of the sound concept of ‘INDUSTRIAL BLUES‘ in its rawest, most enigmatic and challenging version. A pure pouring of sounds, noises, electronics, rhythms and images twisted and ‘bent’ into the highest dimension and expression that the Blues can have in the 21st century.
Osvaldo Schwartz Biography
After spending the 1970s as a rock bassist, hippie percussionist and punk guitarist, Osvaldo Schwartz landed in the 1980s as a new wave multi-instrumentalist musician. In 1983 he founded Officine Schwartz, a band focused on multimedia research and experimentation about the aesthetics and history of industrial civilization. He gave particular importance to the research on noise, using self-built instruments made from scrap materials, dance, 8mm projections, videos, industrial sounds derived from mechanical machines, Futurist graphics. With Officine Schwartz he produced compositions able to create contrasts between sounds and emotions. He was the director, the composer, the author, the multi-instrumentalist and the luthier. Officine Schwartz never wanted to follow a specific musical genre as they thought it was necessary to constantly evolve in order to extend the research. Thus Osvaldo Schwartz attended choral singing courses, learned to play the trumpet and studied the orchestral form to found the marching band known as Banda D’asfalto. In the early 90’s with twenty players of reed horns, brass instruments, accordion, bagpipes, drums and a choir, he created shows and renewed the band Officine Semoventi. He delved into popular musical culture, both local and from Eastern and Northern Europe, invented the instrument called Tubicordo and together with the band he began an ethno-industrial research. At the end of the century the band was reduced but still it retained the same characteristics: Tubicordo, metals, electronics and noise. In 2015 Officine Schwartz celebrated their 30th anniversary with an event entitled From Here to Rust, a documentary, and a massive rhythmic performance. The last trio concert was performed in August 2019. In addition to the commitment with Officine Schwartz, Osvaldo also performed as a musician in The Pirate Ship busker company and in Teatro Sezione Aurea with the choreographer Eugenio De Mello and produced soundtracks for Davide Ferrario’s films. In 2018 he started the project Convertible Blues with the guitarist Marco Valietti and the ever-present stainless Tubicordo. In 2022, his first multi-media work under his own name, Industrial Blues (Rizosfera-NUKFM editions), was released, crowning a fruitful decade of new compositions and avant-garde audiovisual experimentation.