My Dry Wet Mess
My Dry Wet Mess is the moniker of 29-year-old producer and visual artist Giovanni Civitenga, a Rome native who recently relocated in Berlin after spending four years in Barcelona. Though his father is the bass player for Ennio Morricone's orchestra and a studio guitarist on numerous Italian records, from a young age Gio was drawn towards hip hop. At the age of 14, his father gave him a sampler and an Atari, and his beatmaking experiments grew boundless. Initially trying to emulate the feel of De La Soul s "Stakes Is High," he began experimenting with sounds inspired by Squarepusher, Alva Noto, Leafcutter John, Phonophani and above all, by object-sampling virtuosos Matmos. As he became more fascinated by the possibilities of digital sound, these early experiments ended up released under different monikers across different styles, spanning from laptop improvisation using custom software to post-rock inspired electronica.
After moving to Barcelona, Gio took a break from music to study Interactive Design and started experimenting in the field of audiovisual art. He developed bits of software for a friend (director Martin Allais) for sound-reactive video performances, which led to an audiovisual collaboration with Alfred "Daedelus" Darlington in 2009. At one point Gio demonstrated his software using some of the very first My Dry Wet Mess productions for reference; Daedelus was so impressed that he signed My Dry Wet Mess to his Magical Properties imprint. Irrational Alphabet was released in October 2010 to underground and critical success alike. As LA Record aptly put it in January 2011: "Irrational Alphabet is controlled madness at its very best."
Shortly after a bootleg remix of Flying Lotus "Pie Face" was used to promote a MDWM appearance at Los Angeles' Low End Theory two years ago, he was asked to join the stable. Stereo Typing will be released on Brainfeeder on November 13, 2012.
Of his own madness, My Dry Wet Mess explains:
"I never have a specific idea of how the music will sound or what genre is going to be. I like to think that I'm looking for ideas and that all I know how to do really is putting myself in a situation in which these ideas can appear. And that's what I like about making music, the mystery of it. You make tons of choices thorough the process but the reasons behind these choices are hard to track down. I heard the amazing German painter Gerard Richter say in an interview: "Painting is another way of thinking" - and I thought that was it, as simple as that."
(photo: Adria Canameras)