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by CZN

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Few things are left for chance when it comes to CZN, the percussion-heavy project where prodigy rhythm shamans Valentina Magaletti and João Pais Filipe converge along with producer Leon Marks. Although intuition does play an intricate part in their outputs, it is the result of years of training picking different directions in rhythmic patterns that plays the bigger role in their latest Commutator. The path is clear, but the options are not as narrow as the creative decisions to avoid: 4:4 and other obvious patterns are forbidden coordinates, as well as the traditional drum kit and its limitations.

By exploring the numerous possibilities enabled by two drums kits reimagined from scratch and an array of copper-zink-nickel gongs and cymbals forged by Pais Filipe (the reasoning behind the CZN name), the group creates trance-like pieces that defy circularity, and create enticing movements to defy boredom. The listener is dared to dance, rather than invited to do so, being guided through a series of accelerations, decelerations and dynamic narratives where drumming intertwines perfectly with the environments produced by Marks via dub and non-melodic elements.

Throughout the two pieces of Commutator, the rule becomes the avoidance of norm. Torpor, as well as the obvious, becomes the only real tendency to avoid. This long-play comes out as the symbiotic output of two percussionists who are akin despite having trailed such different paths, perfectly merged in ever-shifting electronic landscapes. It is a standalone document, valuable by itself and with a growing interest in a proper context.
Andrea Forte.


released May 31, 2021

Recorded in Porto at Oficina João Pais Filipe.
Mixed by Leon Marks
Mastered by Enrico Mercaldi
Artwork by Nicola Giunta
Sleeve by Patrick Keuthen


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Valentina Magaletti is a drummer, percussionist and composer whose goal is to strategically enrich a folkloristic and eclectic palette through endless listening and experimentation with new materials and sounds. She has performed and co-written with many artists including Nicolas Jaar,Jandek,Charles Hayward, Mica Levi, Tirzah,LafawndahKamasi Washington,Sampha,Graham Lewis,Thurston Moore,Gruff Rhys ... more


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