Wednesday 2 October 2013

MOTHER NATURE & BLACK SEMIOTICS - a double release by Tetine out on Wet Dance Recordings

MOTHER NATURE & BLACK SEMIOTICS - a double release by Tetine out on Wet Dance Recordings

The sounds of MOTHER NATURE and BLACK SEMIOTICS were written between 2000 and 2005 with a deep sense of collective utopia in mind. They were recorded in a small room in a flatshare in Hackney and in a studio in Bethnal Green used as an office and rehearsal space.

Most of these tracks were part of 3 different art projects Tetine were involved at the time. The first one was Turkish Bath – our 16 hour long film-instalation on masculinity and its social, sexual and human unfoldings - comprised of 16 men of distinct backgrounds, nationalities and age groups and recorded in realtime in their private showers, bathtubs & toilet. The project was exhibited as a four-channel audiovisual installation at Instituto Tomie Otake / as part of Sonar in Sao Paulo in 2004 and in New York aMonkeytown in 2006. 

Some pieces were also part of the original soundtrack we composed for the Brazilian feature film '33' directed by Kiko Goifmann who at the age 33 decides to undertake a journey to find his biological mother. And a few others pieces were  written for the installation-dance piece Winterspaceby British duo Igloo.

Both releases reflect an intensive period of prolific music-making and transformation in Tetine's trajectory as a Brazilian duo relocated to London from Sao Paulo in the early 2000’s. It also coincides with the period we were fighting cliched Latino stereotypes  in Europe through the airwaves of Resonance Fm on a weekly radio show Slum Dunk dedicated to all sorts of unexpected and obscure music produced in the south hemisphere.

The 20 tracks on MOTHER NATURE & BLACK SEMIOTICS form a collection of never-released material. They translate an intense period of social and personal changes involving the end of a long relationship, obsessive gay cruising, hormone alterations, family deaths and a disturbing lack of money. 

Tetine’s music here is dark, atmospheric, slow, delicate, melodic and playful. Some of the tracks sound achingly sad. Some tracks evoke nostalgic and spacious liquid landscapes. Its otherworldly beauty and meditative qualities reflect a particular harmonic sense acquired after more then 18 years recording and improvising together as a duo. Both albums display a careful craftsman's approach to sound. The music is the result of a luminous-dark mix of organic and synthetic sounds with synths, piano, bells, melodic basslines and samplers running through melancholic counterpoints of great beauty.

MOTHER NATURE BLACK SEMIOTICS speak of “staying human” as opposed to “becoming machine”. It was composed with the arrogance of a "second childhood" as Derek Jarman once put it. We haven’t blocked any of the sonic flow during  its recording sessions in favor of more planned or formalistic approach. Its creative process and the spirit of the sessions were urgent and self-liberating. Everything was done spontaneously with zero pressure - no record labels involved - and  zero cash. 
It's also worth saying that these tracks were inspired by Goya paintings, Derek Jarman films, Greimas’ Semiotics of Passion theory, Brazilian 70’s religious processions, early Milton Mascimento's folk songs, Kraut and a great deal of Kraftwerk. On another note, we are proud to say that no steroids or heavy compressors were used in the making of these tracks. Its harmonics run freely & do resonate. They are there. 

MOTHER NATURE BLACK SEMIOTICS are dedicated to our dear late friends Charlote Maluf, Laura Di Vison & Claudia Wonder - exceptional Brazilian artists that made a huge impact on Tetine.

B L A C K  S E M I O T I C S  >> the operator's manual  


The term “black semiotics” is used here as an unofficial DIY poetic-political diagram of musical signs, sounds, indices and feelings which can be located and/or perceived, simultaneously, in the inner spaces of songs and on the outside in the air.  This gesture shall be understood as a possibility of engaging in new modes of subjectivation and processes of sublimation - as a generative sonic metaphor for speculating on physical, ethereal and sensorial forms in conjunction with a number of pre-industrialized, serialized and capitalized dimensions of) any musical material; obscure, overlooked or popular and also as direct political expressions of resistance in relation to distinct hegemonic sonic scenes and contexts both internally and externally in the world territory. In this regard, an electronic clap in the syntax of a programmed rhythm pattern in a song, a small sound fragment of a sampled syllable such as “ai”  taken from the  phrase “ai amor” - doubled or duplicated as a sonic unstable interval produced by hitting two different notes on a cheap sampling keyboard - or an entire song as a wave form in a given context or an ‘artist’ in flesh (well-placed or displaced in any territory) or in name (also a group, a collective or an entity) in relation to other artists, groups, collectives and sonic expressions and experiences may be ‘felt’, read and translated inter-semiotically as new components of a sexually-charged reflexive automatic musico-writing improvisation to invent or generate new ramifications, free and rigid associations, and other subjective relations between forms and substances, expressions and contents in a live sonic diagram. Black semiotics, thus, are thought in the context of this essay in terms of perceptible sonic-social relations which are able to act randomly disorganised and inappropriately in the articulation of a black-latino-brown musical reading of the world as supressed voices in other musical contexts. Brazilian post punk, funk carioca and other bossas are part of what we call Black Semiotics.

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