The Kryptästhesie interview by Enrico Ramunni

      The congregation of the Hidden Senses has walked a long way since "Shaken At The Sun", self produced double LP, has cast a new light on Italian psychedelia. It was 1992, and since then we have savoured the electroacoustic scans of a mythical yellow 10" single ("The Bodynaut" vs. "Dream Machine"), joined the tribal dance of "A Little Contribution For A Free World" (given away with the "Magic Fuzz ''zine, flown together with Mara on the time machine through the cosmic routes traced on "Floralia Vol. 1" (On/Off Records), a compilation also featuring contributions from two different side projects of Kryptästhesie. And, last but not least, we've been captured and mistreated by an Inner Whirl, issued on Delerium during 1996, that contributed to impose our fellows as best national band of the year on the leading Italian underground magazine "Rockerilla".
    Also the foreign press starts now to spot the phenomenon, spending many good words to relate of this original melting pot charged with guitar and synth based freakbeat and lysergic acoustic frequencies, corrected with Kraut rock tinges, near Eastern spices and heavy garage punk bursts.
       It's our pleasure thus, given our hearty commitment of Guitar Worshippers of the old continent, to share with you the most enticing hints that we have captured during a conversation with the five psychonauts from Lecco, whose names will be first of all announced to the newcomers: Dario (guitars, bass, percussion and vocals), Maurizio (keyboards, percussions and guitar), Fausto (bass, percussions and guitar),  Romeo(drums) and Cosma (lead percussions).

 (Conversation nevertheless attended, in their own rights, also by Elena and Mara, who played a crucial role in the group's life, as apparent, for instance, in the magnificent artwork of "Shaken At The Sun", by Elena. And as it's also evident in a curious tale of chronometers, but please be patient just for a while...)

 After knowing you as a quartet with "Shaken At The Sun", we now meet you again as a five piece, with the insertion of Cosma in the line up. How did this happen, and what did it bring to you?

 Maurizio: First of all it has brought a good blow of fresh air inside the band. The idea came from the four of us, we felt the need of adding another percussionist, and knowing Cosma since a very long time, we naturally thought of him.

Dario: Cosma and I, besides everything else, had already played together before Kryptästhesie were born, in a lousy cover band. He remained around ever since, he used to come to our rehearsals, it's like he'd always been with us, in a certain sense.

Many people, at least from the specialised press, got acquainted with you thanks to the well received "Inner Whirl", but when it was released, that album was almost three years old. How well does it still represent you?

Dario: Very little. During the last year we took a break from our live activity, just because the music that we kept on playing, I mean the songs from "Inner Whirl", had become much too aged for us. Only now we are popping out again on stage with a totally renewed repertoire.

  A "wise" group does promotion for their new record until the threshold of nausea. You have not only stopped playing live in the very moment that your record came out, but even played some totally improvised dates, without trace of any song from the album...

Dario: This only happened in the very last date before the break... Anyway, if Delerium hadn't stored "Inner Whirl" away for two years, releasing it instead rightly after recording it, it would have made sense to promote it. The musician can't be stopped, he just keeps going, otherwise he dies out

Maurizio: It has also been a reaction on a purely emotional ground, all this story that the record's going to be out within three months, and then it's not, and afterwards it's scheduled for November, and then it's January...we kind of hated it in the end, we couldn't even hear it

It's a pity, also because, listening to your two albums, it seems that your evolution has a really fast pace. Have there been any intermediate steps, between those two works, that didn't surface on record?

Maurizio: I regret that a lot of material ends its life in the rehearsals room, eventually getting lost, and we're the only ones that know it, as it happens with lots of bands. Also because we do not follow any pre-defined plan, a project line, we go along improvising, until a certain sound takes shape.

You mean your rehearsals are not recorded?

Fausto: Most of the times we don't record them, when we do it is to have tapes for internal use. We maybe save one improvisation out of five, and we work it over in a further session. That's the real driving force, even if there's no evidence left behind

Maurizio: When we did "Shaken At The Sun" we didn't improvise so much, one of us was coming with a new song and everybody worked it out together.

Dario: We have grown a lot as a band since then, we didn't adjust to each other then like we do today

Maybe it was also a technical growth..

Fausto: I think the evolution as a collective has been far more important, as far as individual technical skills are concerned we are what we are...

Dario: Crap...

 Your albums have wonderful acoustic songs: have you ever thought of developing this aspect in specific projects, as many people's doing now with all these "unplugged" recordings coming out?

Maurizio: A few years ago we've been discussing the opportunity of playing some totally acoustic live dates, but nothing came out of that. Nowadays I really wouldn't know...

Dario: We are rather investigating our electric side now

Cosma: But it's difficult to say that, because we are going through constant change...

For a percussionist the acoustic situation would involve less problems, I guess: isn't the sound of hand stroke percussives somehow endangered, during an electric set?

Cosma: You bet it is, I...

Dario: ...thought about quitting, he simply has had enough!

Cosma: Following the band's evolution is an endless deed, you have to look for new sounds continuously, and it's no easy task to find solutions to interact in the right way when it comes to electric and very loud songs.

 Romeo: During the last year we have changed the configuration of percussions a lot of times...

Dario: Practically at each rehearsal session Cosma and Romeo add pieces, take this away, put that here, plug here the drum kit, no, better take it off...

Cosma: It's a phase of studying the sounds...

"Inner Whirl" is loaded with images of loneliness: "Flying Saucers", where the little child sees his schoolmates like they were the aliens, "Watching The Sky" of course, and we could bring much more examples. In "The Tree", you even say that a tree growing in a wood is really alone. Does this come from the fact that you feel isolated as a group, besieged maybe?

 Dario: I wrote all the lyrics for the albums, and I can take this interpretation as good, we really are a much singular entity and...(mocking a rockstar) maybe this has unconsciously inspired my lyrics. The way I write derives from the very difficult life I had: a diseased childhood, a troubled adolescence...(everybody laughs)

Let's try another consideration: "Flying Saucers", "Watching The Sky", "And Then My Left Eye Began Again", the more recent "Mara E La Macchina Del Tempo" ("Mara And The Time Machine", from "Floralia Vol. 1"), all share a glance toward the sky above us. What do you expect from the sky?

Dario: It's difficult to dig out the meaning of what I write, because my lyrics are born all of a sudden, without thinking too much. Nevertheless, if this particular aspect comes to surface, it must be a sign of something inside looking for a way out. But let me introduce you Mara and... the time machines (indicating Romeo and Cosma)

Mara, how do you feel when you think that such an amazing song has been written for you?
 (she shyly denies an answer...)

Romeo: It hasn't been written FOR her!

Dario: This track derives from an improvisation of over half an hour, that had to be condensed within certain time limits to fit our slot in "Floralia Vol. 1": we had roughly a six minute budget While we were recording it, Mara had a chronometer in her hand, and she was supposed to send us some conventional signal when we were close to the limit. I can't remember the details actually, anyway she got all things messed up with that bloody crock, and the whole thing went down; we couldn't simply choose a different title.

Is "A Little Contribution For A Free World" plainly a symptom of a percussion based evolutionary process for the band? When did you conceive this one?

Maurizio: It dates back to the recording sessions for "Inner Whirl", and it didn't make it on the album for lack of room, so we spared it for another occasion. Anyway it's true, more than exploring the acoustic side it's likely that we'll be making gigs with nothing more than percussions, sooner or later

Such an anarchic track doesn't seem to fit so well our present time, it recalls much more the utopian freethinking of the Sixties, and its title sounds really perfect for its character...

Maurizio: Every time we perform it, in fact, it sounds different, because the lengthy percussive closing section is totally improvised

Dario: We didn't even play the written opening part in our latest gigs!

Maurizio: I agree that the title really suits it, a fifteen minute total improvisation is always something uncommon, and anarchical...

Dario: From a musical standpoint I'd say that we are pretty anarchical, if we feel like doing a song with only percussions, or only flutes, we do it without thinking twice

 And in fact, "Floralia" has given us, besides "Mara E La Macchina Del Tempo", two other beautiful surprises, signed Gastel Etzwane and Olographic Landscapes. Are these projects just a kind of joke or have they a serious meaning, and how will they go on?

Dario: By my side, I began doing such things without a precise intent, maybe for lack of better things to do. I had a totally playful attitude, in the beginning at least, then I began to enjoy it really, and I did other things, also with the aim of proposing Gastel Etzwane on stage. The project consists of utilising only my voice, filtered and treated by means of effects such as delays, phaser, octaver and harmoniser...

Where did you get that name?

Dario: It's the main character of a novel by Jack Vance, a rebel musician roaming around his own planet. We are now working on a common record as Gastel Etzwane and Olographic Landscapes, a split CD that we hope to release within the next year.

 How did Olographic Landscapes get started?

 Fausto: The main reason was for testing a newly purchased 4 track recorder. I wanted to see what would happen by manipulating it, throwing sounds therein...

The track we already know shows distinct similarities with John Cage, at least in the procedures if not in the results as it looks like a true apology of randomness...

Fausto: Of course, the driving force of the whole project is alea, to let randomness infiltrate the weft of music, dictating its own rules. You as "director" keep what you do under control only in part. This will be even more apparent in other tracks that I will publish later, anyway the word is "let it happen", without planning too much. I'm practically a big sound stealer, many primary sources I teal them from the radio, others are sounds casually getting in and modified by means of effects, then guitar, synth, bass and voices are poured therein much in a "dirty" way, without caring neither for sound quality, nor for structural precision...

Dario: disgusting!

Fausto: I like Cage very much, anyway...

What sort of opportunity gives you the opening of the On/Off label, in whose management you are involved, with respect to having a contract with an already established label such as Delerium?

Maurizio: Besides the starting investment, the big problem of self production lies in the distribution: with On/Off we seem to have encouraging perspectives, even if it will be difficult to reach the same level of distribution that Delerium could provide

Fausto: I guess that for us self-production is the ideal thing to do, because the rights of the record remain in your hands and because you have a closer contact with people who buy it, without intermediates. I don't care if maybe we sell 500 copies less, this bond with our listeners is really too important for us.

 Have you ever considered reissuing "Shaken At The Sun"?

 Maurizio: I still have requests for that record , but we didn't agree with Delerium for a reissue, because we wanted to keep our rights on that. Our idea would be reprinting it on our own budget, but now we prefer to spend the few money we have looking toward the future, rather than the past

Future plans?

Dario: We are completing the soundtrack of a short horror B-movie: initially they wanted just to use "Dream Machine", then we have agreed to add new music for some sequences. Then we'll be giving our contribution to "Floralia Vol.2", the next On/Off release, and also to a compilation of electronic music, that will be issued by a club connected to the 21st Century Schizoid Music fanzine, in Udine. In the latter track, Maurizio and Fausto played synths, Romeo a water filled washbasin, Cosma a self made iron flute (when one says: I can't believe it, it sounds!), while I contributed with Gastel Etzwane voices. Giacomo of Mirabilia asked us a song for his 7" split singles series, and we'll do it. Last but not least, we are working on out third album, hopefully to be released by On/Off within this year.

Some time has passed since we discussed these subjects with Kryptästhesie: meanwhile, they have returned back on stage, with a totally renewed program, including for the first time some material sung in Italian, in a very experimental vein, with lots of Gastel Etzwane vocal treatments and Olographic Landscapes noises ceaselessly woven with proper Kryptä sounds. Percussions are often in the foreground, and the iron self built flute actually sounds.

"Floralia Vol. 2" is already available, and Kryptästhesie's contribution is called "Brevi Amnesie" ("Brief Amnesiae"), and consists of an amazing two minute instrumental freeform piece.

If ya want more information you can check out their home page at:

Kryptasthesie's Home Page
cool diamond animation

 Kryptästhesie will be delighted if you write to them, and your ears would be delighted with the magic sparkling from the new "Floralia" outfit, featuring psychedelic bands from the whole world (yeah, there's also Houston represented, with a previously unreleased track by Dunlavy that's really worth your money). For both purposes, you can use the following addresses:


  On/Off Records
Via Rocca 3/4
17028 Spotorno (SV), ITALY
   Dario Antonetti
Via San Cristoforo 7
22040 Annone Brianza (LC), ITALY


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