“An improvisation for just electric guitar and drums, this album comes together as far more than the sum of its parts, due to Gregoretti’s often unconventional, yet solid drumming and di Placido’s liberal definition of guitar playing. It most certainly makes for an exhausting release as it rarely drops in intensity, resulting in a chaotic, yet fascinating album.
Olivier di Placido’s guitar work is drastically different than others who push the boundaries of the instrument, by working with detached necks, broken strings, shorting out the electronics, and so forth, resulting in sounds that rarely sound like they were created with the venerable instrument. Only at times does the identifiable sound of a guitar string being plucked slip through, such as on the opening “Pulci Nella Batteria” and cast within the bubbling murk of “Cascano Pentole”.
The former piece is one that stays a tornado of spastic, clattering disorder, but the latter demonstrates a more fleshed out sense of composition. First leading off at a slower pace before slowly piling noises on, the drums eventually going all out on heavy kicks and resonating snares resulting in a satisfying climatic freakout in the closing moments.
“Van Haleine” also showcases this more structured sensibility: from its lurching rhythm that slowly drives along a noisy, flatulent guitar into a morass of pounding drums and eventually shrill, painful cymbals filling the mix at the end. Often though the structure is a bit more hidden and subversive: “So Do I” has a seemingly scattershot guitar squall for the most part, but a tight rhythm section sneaks its way in every so slightly.
Not to discount Gregoretti’s drumming at all, because he does an excellent job of passing between explosive blast beats and complex polyhrythms, but di Placido’s guitar abuse is what draws the most attention. On “Absurd Blue” he somehow mangles the instrument to sound like a slowly dying jackhammer, while “Repugnant Green” results what sounds like a rainstorm hitting an electrical plant.
As a whole, Mauvaise Haleine is a dissonant, occasionally disjointed sounding work, but it is for that reason that it excels. Like the best of these improv based combos, there are a number of times that the chaos seems to be getting out of control, but is reigned in at just the right time, keeping everything with some semblance of structure. Coupled with the head scratchingly odd employment of guitar and the result is an album that may not be suitable for all moods, but when the situation calls for it, it is splendid.” (Greaig Dunton) http://www.brainwashed.com/
“Um, that’d be “bad breath” for you non-Francophones. One less guitar than above, here with Di Placido in the chair and the results, to my ears, are far superior for several reasons. One, the sound is more transparent, less oppressive, lending a fine clarity to the proceedings. Second, Di Placido is simply a more imaginative, provocative guitarist (even if I still hear some Frith now and then), finding a wide assortment of attacks tailored to his partner’s activity, almost always interesting and showing a willingness to stick by and root around for a while instead of hopscotching from one approach to the next; he’s very impressive here. Too, Gregoretti adapts a different approach on drums, much more in the efi tradition, evoking Gunter “Baby” Sommer or Paul Lytton now and then, but also finding his own sound word that’s like a freer extension of Ronald Shannon Jackson. Even when the pair lurch into territory tangential to that explore on the trio disc (“So Do I”), things are more sharply defined and forceful, juggering along thickly and with power. Even if the overall tone of the disc remains a bit outside my real areas of interest, what they do, they do with admirable intelligence and variation, much more impressively than your standard free drums/guitar duo. Well worth checking out if you’re into this side of things.” (Brian Olewnick/ Just outside)
MANY OTHERS (Di Placido/Gregoretti) “La cigogne de déformation” (Cassette by Scrotum Records )
“,,,the duo of Olivier Di Placido (guitar, reinforced magnets, feedback) & Francesco Gregoretti (drums), in this short-duration tape, shows us a way in which improvisation can very well go into electroacoustic paths without losing its impulsive nature. Plain, unadorned and calculatedly noisy, just the way I like such meetings these days” (Nicolas Malevitsis/Tileskopio).
MANY OTHERS (Di Placido/Gregoretti) “Agression of Paradox” (Cassette by Archivio Diafonico)
“It seems that the Italian tape label Archivio Diafònico has a great aesthetic worthy of imitation. This is definitely harsh noise but it seems to mostly come from amplified acoustic sources which are blurred by distortion to inscrutability. But for me, it’s all an alien ear candy, it’s roughness giving a pleasing texture to it all.
After doing some research online, for there was almost no information in the cassette, I found that Many Others is a duo of Francesco Gregoretti and Olivier Di Placido playing apparently a prepared guitar and drums. It didn’t say on the website I found who was doing what… It’s a bit jazzier than some of the other releases on Archivio Diafònico’s Soundcloud but shares the same feeling of familiar acoustic sounds twisted and distorted enough to be wholly unrecognizable.
There’s a wonderful sense of dynamics in the improvisations between Gregoretti and Di Placido. This separates the tape from a lot of harsh noise which stays monotonously unpleasant and loud and can become like an unpleasant smell in a room rather than a living entity of sound. Here, the sudden shifts in sound and timber keep one unbalanced enough to remain disconcerted and keeps the music from settling into the background. Rather than a slight unpleasant smell, this tape becomes more like the sudden onset of nausea which subsides forgotten and then arises again stronger and unignorable. I hope someone is jamming this in a boombox in some sort of terrifying squalid Italian squat.
Go ahead and grab a copy.” (Tabs out, 8.3.17 by Jill Lloyd Flanagan)
Il batterista Francesco Gregoretti è un acceso agitatore della scena avant-improv partenopea, e il chitarrista destrutturatore Olivier Di Placido, seppur sveli una nazionalità transalpina, è da tempo assiduo frequentatore della Napoli più sotterranea e underground che vi sia al momento. Non è un caso quindi che questo progetto a due veda la luce su spartana tape per Archivio Diafonico, raccogliendo due lunghe improvvisazioni per lato, le cui coordinate portano dritte al cuore più harsh e radical di maestri del mestiere quali Kevin Drumm e Merzbow, mediante una verve estetica davvero personale, fatta di matasse sonore a forme di grovigli oscuri, che vanno a lacerare per intero l’ambiente circostante, allo scopo di esplodere senza alcuna fretta in un magma continuo di raggiante ruvidezza espressiva. Diciamo che i due non vanno per il sottile e non si fanno testimonial di una musica dalla facile presa: le loro sono emozioni forti che ti attorcigliano le budella, cagionando al contempo uno stato di ansia, prima, e di benamata pace, dopo, quando spetterà al nero silenzio (rin)chiudere per sempre nell’oblio la sediziosa tempesta appena passata. Dare uno sguardo alle diverse foto che documentano su web i live set dei Many Others conferma l’attrazione della coppia per la manipolazione totale della strumentazione acustica, offrendo al pubblico un set dove Di Placido domina una guitar-table manipolata che è a stretto contatto con l’impianto ritmico di Gregoretti. Tutto ovviamente avviene in autentico real time: improvvisazione, manipolazione, e distorta resa finale. Buon ascolto se ne avete il coraggio!!! (Sergio Eletto, Kathodik webzine, 2017)
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & SEC_ – RAINBOW GROTESQUE (LP by Bocian Records)
Dans les mains des artistes les sonorités semblent malléables à volonté.Ils les tordent, les coupent en menus morceaux, les pressent, les triturent, les étirent, les secouent dans tous les sens, et surtout les combinent avec une vélocité surprenante.Beaucoup de passages calmes aussi, superbes ambiances souvent sombres et crasseuses.Ce qui est intéressant avec cette approche c’est que tout en sollicitant l’imaginaire, en amorçant des histoires faites de bribes et de rebuts, la musique reste toujours ancrée dans l’instant, dans les sensations immédiates.A écouter sans plus attendre! “
Yann Leblanc (Revue & corrigée # 96)
“Bocian est un excellent label polonais spécialisé dans le free jazz (Mats Gustafsson) et la noise (Kevin Drumm), ainsi que dans le croisement de ces deux esthétiques : et c’est bel et bien ici que se situe SEC_(Revox, table de mixage en feedback manipulée sur bande, field recordings & samples), artiste virtuose du magnétophone à bande Revox. Plusieurs de ses travaux ont déjà été produits ou coproduits par Bocian, mais c’est la première fois que son duo avec Olivier Di Placido (guitare préparée avec micros non fixés) est publié ici, et en vinyle.
Le duo propose ici sept pièces d’improvisation électroacoustique barrées et puissantes. Les deux musiciens évoluent sur des territoires différents : sur des recherches purement sonores aux bandes et à la préparation des guitares, sur du collage sonore survolté et proche de dada, sur de l’interaction très proche, ou sur une distinction nette entre les deux musiciens. Mais quoiqu’il en soit, le duo évolue toujours sur des territoires hautement créatifs (au niveau des textures) et très intenses. Leur musique est vraiment énergique, pleine de force, de joie pour la rencontre et de passion pour les médiums utilisés.
Un duo qui vaut vraiment le détour. D’une part pour l’approche unique de la guitare avec Olivier Di Placido, et d’autre part surtout pour le talent indéniable de SEC_ avec son utilisation des bandes magnétiques. Le duo propose une traversée épique à travers les déphasages électromagnétiques, à travers les défaillances et les parasites électroniques, à travers le détournement constant des médiums (magnétophone, guitare, table de mixage). C’est brutal, puissant, beau, énergique, créatif et survolté. Parasitage, détournement, collage, et déconstruction comme piliers d’une création électroacoustique neuve et fraîche, unique et belle, très physique et spontanée, mais également primitive et virtuose.”
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & SEC_ – Mare Duro (cassette, Noise-Below, 2014)
“,,,Mare Duro est une cassette courte, mais marquante. On y retrouve deux pièces qui jouent sur les ruptures constantes et toujours inattendues entre un calme contemplatif et monotone et des explosions déconstruites et surpuissantes. Deux pièces qui révèlent encore une fois le talent et la précision de SEC_ comme d’Olivier Di Placido : une attention constante aux textures, aux timbres et à la forme, aux ruptures de tension et aux dynamiques hautement contrastées, aux contrastes vertigineux même. C’est court, puissant, et virtuose ; on en redemanderait. Du très bon travail.”(Julien Héraud_Improv sphère)
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO “Why don’t you play like Chuck Berry?” (soundcloud, 2016)
“Before you go, you ought to know: the assault weapons ban at the watermelon seed spitting contest has been lifted. It’s up to you to protect your own hide, so stay alert. No lifeguard on duty, and the closest police station is at least an hour and a half away. Look both ways. Avoid traffic graft, because seeds leave scars. Indeed, this is a sort of laidback country affair, so it’s good to keep in mind that most folks aren’t really paying attention to which way and how fast they’re spitting those little things.
We’ve got a few smartphone dummies out here too. They used to call it a media circus. More like a media dud, these days. About 75-80% of the spectators are completely unaware of their surroundings during the grafting procedure: roots onto the legs, gadgets onto the hands.
And that’s how Olivier Di Placido’s guitar got so tangled up: it wasn’t paying enough attention, and Olivier started grafting and slicing and trepanning all over its body during an all-out drunken surgical binge. Remember: this guitar could be you, so look alive out there. Doesn’t hurt to beef up on local customs either.” (Weaver_TinyMIxTapes)
Olivier Di Placido & Crank Sturgeon – Twice Heathen Scent (Cassette, Coherent States, 2016)
“Σε περιπτωση που το ονομα του Crank Sturgeon δε σας λεει κατι, καλο θα ηταν να κανετε πρωτα μια γρηγορη αναζητηση στις φωτογραφιες του google και μετα να τσακιστειτε να ακουσετε αυτο. Προκειται για μια εξαιρετικα ιδιαζουσα περιπτωση ηλεκτρακουστικου αυτοσχεδιασμου σπιτικης προελευσης που εχει πεταξει το savoir vivre απο το μπαλκονι.
Olivier Di Placido & Fritz Welch – Untitled (Tape, Human Sacrifice, 2016)
“Absolutely no nonsense Technicolor squall and dramatic brokenness from that most hectic of fluffer duos: Di Placido/Welch.
Like stitches in yr lip this stings a little as it wrenches new shapes outta junk-drums and garrotted-guitar. Frantically itchy as scabies it is… the scabby metre has you shuffling on and off the hot foot never quite sure where to hang your hat. But I’m diggin’ it… diggin’ it bad.
I’m listening with an abstracted grin now. I just can’t help it; the reptile part of my brain fair goofs on the hard/soft, fast/slow choices being presented to my dense grey lumps. But at the same time my debonair city-slicker love-node is lapping up the lightening-fast interactions and improvisations between flapping pig skin and eviscerated coiled steel. The perfect music for the metrosexual caveman perhaps? Shit… let’s throw a party to find out. I’m on nibbles.
Is that some post-production fingering I can hear in the backmasked vox that plays us out of this side? Wonderful, wonderful… let’s get some electronics soaking up this gravy to deglaze the nuggets.
The other side* made me squirt like Slaine in full-on berzerker mode such is the slap and clatter, the fizzing rip and hi-hat chit-chit-chit-bash. Like an erotic jazz experience it manages to create that brassy plateau of living a constant high… then stops on a teasing sixpence.
It’s not all hi-NRG jizz-riffles though. One small section’s a right downer of industrial ‘booms’ and ‘crashes’ played out next to a juddering (bass) washing machine that segues neatly into a promise of friction and anatomically crude charcoal drawings. Phewy.
The art of the improviser occasionally gets ladled with faux academic nonsense from highfaluting bodies, boards and authorities. A pox on them. This is vital as hydrogen and alive as a fresh pig because it’s free from any grey-beard permission.
Play this at your next lecture and watch Prof implode!
*I’ve used the rather unhelpful ‘this side’ and ‘other side’ descriptors because there’s nothing as bourgeois as track titles or side demarcations on this babycake. Total Hardcore yeah.” (Joe Murray / Radio Free Midwich )
“The tape opens with a splutter of vocal clicks, hisses and growls, interspersed with howls of feedback. Alternately clean and distorted, the voice of Fritz Welch begins his July 2016 collaboration with Olivier Di Placido in characteristically guttural, spasmodic style. Over the next 20 minutes, many of the crunchy, chewed up sounds are almost completely unidentifiable. Welch’s voice and percussion pass through a battery of electronic processes, accompanied by Di Placido’s uniquely adapted guitar – which is, as Welch points out, “a nice way of saying a guitar that’s broken in half, essentially. The neck is removed. The pick-up is completely separate.” ( The Wire-November 2016 -Issue 393)
“Francia e Stati Uniti fanno crash, si vogliono bene e il risultato è questa cassetta nera dall’artwork che più spartano non si può (giusto la copertina con foto e nomi). A dire la verità c’è anche un po’ di Italia, i più attenti sapranno che Di Placido bazzica Napoli da tempo (era parte dei Many Others col socio Francesco Gregoretti dei Grizzly Imploded). Welch, invece, proviene dai folli Peeesseye (cercate assolutamente Mayhem In The Mansion, Shivers In The Shack, gioiello weird-noise che ha pochi eguali ancora oggi), ma presto li ha messi da parte per continuare in solitaria, o tutt’al più con qualche amico che gli garba: Tim Olive o Dylan Nyoukis, in quest’ultimo caso pubblicando per Chocolate Monk, l’etichetta fondata da Nyoukis.
I due pezzi, tra mille virgolette, pubblicati per la Human Sacrifice dello stesso Welch, sono quanto di più ostico e senza senso possiate ascoltare: cigolii, sfregamenti di oggetti amplificati (Di Placido è un maestro nel seviziare le corde della sua chitarra), come a creare atmosfere tese e giocose allo stesso tempo (immaginatevi le nuvolette dei fumetti piene di squeech, taaaak, uuuuooouuuhh invece delle solite didascalie) frutto di un evidente buona-la-prima (la seconda parte è più articolata). In linea teorica potrebbero pure irritare, invece stappano le orecchie come meglio non si potrebbe. Di Placido stesso confessa via mail: for this tape, Fritz sent me some recordings directly made with the microphone of the computer i really like this one, it’s really rough!
Questa potrebbe essere l’ideale colonna sonora per un film giapponese di quelli strambi assai, con protagonisti personaggi muti e presi da improvvisa isteria recitativa. Va da sé che è roba sconsigliata agli amanti di cose più regolari.” (Maurizio Ichingoli / The new Noise)
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & FRITZ WELCH – SPECIAL REPORT FROM THE END OF TIME (cassette, Human Sacrifice, 2019)
“In the hot summer of 2019, Di Placido and Welch went on a European tour, taking them from Naples to Glasgow and from this tour, we find fourteen short pieces on this cassette. I heard their music before, with a previously self-released cassette (see Vital Weekly 1048), so the brutality of their improvisations isn’t alien to me. Olivier di Placido plays electric guitar with a variety of pick-ups, each differently connected to rods, and objects, while Fritz Welch plays percussion, objects and uses his voice; the latter, so I would think, mostly sparsely. The pieces here are short, somewhere between one and three minutes and each sound like a concentrated eruption of sound. It has a great acoustic noise approach from both players, using all of these objects on the
instruments they are using. It is a thorough scanning of surfaces here, with amplified objects and very little by way of electronics to alter the sound, even when it’s not absent here. This is hard-core improvised music and I mean that in that is hard-core music but also the nothing planned/total freedom performance approach by these two men. This is some very furious music that can only be played with maximum volume so that even the quietest moments become explosive. Check out some of the live videos on YouTube and you know what I mean. (FdW, Vital Weekly)
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & FRITZ WELCH – HAMMERING NAILS BY HAND (CD by Toxo Records, 2021)
From Naples and Glasgow hail Olivier di Placido (electric guitar) and Fritz Welch (drums, percussion, contact mics). The first we know as someone who plays a lot with _SEC and the second is one half of Trouble Tracer. I reviewed two of their previous duets before (Vital Weekly 1048 and 1209) and they have a fourteen-track album, recorded in Glasgow and Naples in the spring of 2020. That made me wonder how this album was recorded; together in two different studios or separate and then mixed together? You don’t know these days any more how such a thing works, uncertain times and all. Despite all the chaos within the music of this duo, this music is strangely coherent. Of course, one reason for that might each of the pieces started with one player laying down an improvisation on tape and sending it to the other for a musical response. And that makes it ‘easier’ (maybe not the right word) to be more coherent? It didn’t affect the vibrant energy of these pieces. It still works like charm. The music is energetic, almost a punk rock version of improvised music, with no reservations to bending the techniques to play their instruments and nothing, lasts for very long, maintaining some great dynamic level. Sure, noise plays a role as is to be expected, but it never seems to be about a pure, all-noise assault. The music can be quiet and introspective; well, within reason of course. It never drops beyond the level of audibility. Both guitar and drums are truly tortured and music teachers worldwide shake their heads in disbelief. We would never train you to play like this, they would say, but rules are there to be broken. Thirty-six minutes of guitar and drums biohazard storm. (FdW, Vital Weekly)