Phinx – Hòltzar (2013)

music production / composing / engineering / mixing
DESCRIPTION

“Hòltzar” is an hermetic and enigmatic work where the timbre testing is the pivotal element, carefully researched amongst chirurgical electronic parts and dusty, concrete natural sounds.

The album has been conceived in a mountain hut and later registered and produced in house, in a garage, in a garden and other unusual locations, making use of all available spaces and rooms to recover their different sound features.

A good part of the concrete sounds, recorded during some travels, have also become part of the music compositions themselves: tree branches as snare drums, cicadas as charleston, rocks as mallets, noises as pad.

An extensive use was made of Indian musical instruments, purchased in person in West Bengal and Rajasthan formed the foundations upon which many tracks of “Hòltzar” were arranged and took their final shape.
The whole creative production was processed by using electronic and technical instruments of granular synthesis, reverberated and distorted. Electronics in Phinx’s latest work is employed and tested through samplings from old vinyls with the additional impact of sounds from analogic synthesizers. No use of artificial editing and auto-tuning was made with acoustic drums, guitars and voices, choosing instead to interact with imperfections and noises.

Lyrics in the album mainly originate from literary compositions, while its title “Hòltzar”, together with two out of the twelve tracks in the album are in Cimbrian, an ancient tongue, currently almost unspoken, which used to be the language of populations settled in enclaves around the Asiago mountain plateau, in Northern Italy. One of the main features of this old, ethnic language, possibly originating from Southern Germany lands, is to link a sound typical of Northern Europe with a grammar close to the Italian’s one and to the vernacular spoken in Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige regions in Northern Italy.

Phinx’s latest release is enriched by some featuring including artists from the independent Italian and international music scenery as in the track “Not for Animals”, performed in couple with Russian/Swiss singer Ekat Bork, or in “Kubla Khan” track where rhymes are by the crew Reanimation Squad. Additionally, strings arrangement in “Trolls” has been composed and recorded by Bologna Violenta, while trumpet player Spano has taken a part in “Pach un Khnottn” and a few sections in “The 5th Kingdom Pt.1” were performed by the bass guitar player Martino Cuman from the band Non Voglio Che Clara.

The mixing has been carried out by Francesco Fabris in the band’s own recording studio, whereas the digital and vinyl mastering was completed by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering in London.

“Hòltzar” artwork is achieved by Boitier, an artist coming from the street-art scene who exclusively makes use of analog techniques and strictly natural materials, being employed in the development and fixing of films and prints.

Performances shall be staged through a sound and visual experience specifically designed to re-create the same flowing of details and materials which has so deeply characterized the artistic production of “Hòltzar”.

About “Hòlzar”

“Genius, brilliant, and destined. These are true artists, mixing the mechanical realm with human ecology. This is changing us. From inside out, the revolution is here.” Spread

“This is a music production of international standing indeed, both in format and in its contents. Once lights are off, Phinx enter their ideal dimension, mixing sounds in the darkness. The outcome is a dark, experimental record; quite specific and universal at the same time. Analog and digital features are masterfully accomplished. A remarkable feat, for sure.” Rockit

“By mixing philosophy, poetry, tales of really underground life, high level maths and computer science, Phinx release a record both experimental and mature, shadowy and gloomy at the right point, just perfect to balance the incoming warm weather.” Rolling Stone

“‘Hòltzar’ is a modern record which provides an effort to put together rock music’s  different souls by a clever use of rhythmic basis and manic attention to sound details. The outcome does breach your soul’s depths!” Buscadero

“It’s almost an hour of enigmatic and elusive music, which goes beyond conventional musical genres and gives a clear example of an in-depth, extremely detailed musical product. An eccentric and baffling work.” Il Mucchio

“Such a beautiful and complete record as ‘Hòltzar’ is definitely hard to find in the current musical environment. This work by Phinx is a surprising, enigmatic, highly dedicated production and indicates an extraordinary overall compositional maturity.” Radio Web Italia

“‘Hòltzar’ is a record to be discovered, tasted, listened to again and again, just to focus on any specific, deliberately inserted,  detail and find out the great compositional inspiration of these boys from Bassano del Grappa.” Troublezine

“‘Hòltzar’ by Phinx provides an amazing musical universe out of bold and effective music trails, merging electronics with instruments, natural with organic, wood with metal.” Extra Music Magazine

“A never boring, mature work, possibly hard to digest in just a few hearings,  but doubtlessly of great interest to boundless music lovers.” OndaAlternativa

“Astonishingly wandering in wonderful chambers of echoes, providing, through the stereo cones, an amazing obsession with cutting edge, with distant aims and landmarks. This is ‘Hòltzar’, a certified record, designed for those searching strong emotions coupled with evocative, accelerating, pulse-pounding, smooth emotions.” Shiver

“‘Hòltzar’ is simply a great record. Phinx are very good and that’s it!” MusicZoom

MUSIC

CREDITS

Music production, writing and programming by Francesco Fabris

Executive production by Michele Rebesco and Phinx

Recorded and engineered at Home, in a garage, in a garden and in other various locations by Francesco Fabris
Mixed by Francesco Fabris at Home (Bassano del Grappa, VI, IT)

Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering (London, UK)

Phinx are:

Francesco Fabris: vocals, analog synths, bass, guitars, other instruments
Alberto Paolini: drums, percussions, backing vocals
Daniele Fabris: synths, sequencers
Pietro Secco: bass, backing vocals

Additional performers:

Vocals on “Not for Animals” by Ekat Bork
Strings on “Trolls” by Bologna Violenta
Rhymes on “Kubla Khan” by Reanimation Squad
Trumbets on “Pach Un Khnottn” by Spano
Some bass parts on “The 5th Kingdom Pt. 1″ played by Martino Cuman

Management: Michele Rebesco

Photography and artwork made analogly by Boitier
Design by Francesco Fabris, Boitier and Alberto Zanotto

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