KMRU / Valentina Magaletti
INNER_SPACES AUTUMN 2022
In synergy with the Linecheck Musicfestival, for their opening night, a program with two emerging artists among the most appreciated at the moment, the very young Kenyan Joseph Kamaru (1997), aka KMRU, and Valentina Magaletti, percussionist based in London. Two musical conceptions in contrast but not opposite. One, smoothed on the threshold of delicacy and diaphanous luminosity and exposed to an open and metaphysical temporality. The other is more linked to the performative dimension through percussive instruments, dreamy and imaginative, in evolution and poised between the affirmative rhythmic aspect and the sound evanescence that integrates the parameters of fragility and impermanence.
KMRU’s art makes use of few elements but transfigures them into wide-ranging forms and sound universes, in which time seems suspended and ambient sounds are transformed into soft fickle melodies in loops, but without coldness, appearing as a distant living torch. that never goes out. Sometimes the sound flow grows and overflows but without overflowing, always remaining in an area of composure and measure.
KMRU is an ambient musician who opens his ears to the sounds of the world, as Philip Sherburne of Pitchfork magazine entitled his interview with the artist. In an astonishing way, the sounds of the surrounding environment rewinds them into meditative ambient music. Instant sound footage with his portable recorder is grouped into tunes with dilated drones, until real-world landmarks dissolve into haze.
The album that made it known, Peel, of 2020, released by Editions Mego, an audio work of material depth that intertwines fields and acoustic recordings together with subtle electronics to create an emotionally engaging tapestry. Since that date, the productions of the African musician resident in Berlin have multiplied, sometimes leaving his stylistic code, as in Logue, of 2021, under the influence of American minimalism, postrock, with ample sound stratifications composed of synthesizers and from electronic drums.
Valentina Magaletti’s path is quite different. At the center of his research for several years has been the reformulation of another way of conceiving and listening to the sound universe of drums and percussion. As she explains herself in a recent (October 2022) interview with journalist Alberto Campo:
“I’m looking for a different approach to the instrument, moving away from the convention that cages the drums. I like to break the mold and vary the set-up of the kit itself: no dishes, the speaker off the ground and so on “.
This evidently refutes the cliché according to which the battery is a secondary instrument, unsuitable for narration:
“In its own way, on the other hand, it speaks, like any other instrument, for example the piano, which is also percussion. I tell stories with drums. For me, and I say this first of all as a listener, the difference is made by drummers capable of communicating, beyond technical skill, which in itself does not constitute an absolute value “.
The wait in Milan for the percussionist’s project maintains these data of unpredictability, of constant research by the artist, who will reveal her direction precisely at the moment of the liveset.