Italy’s Glacial Movements is a record label with a very specific mission statement. Dedicated to presenting the very essence of the Earth’s poles and other frigid landscapes in sound form, it has released music by artists like Francisco López, Aidan Baker, Loscil and Pjusk as well as two albums by the label’s owner Alessandro Tedeschi under his Netherworld moniker. Recently I spoke to Alessandro about Glacial Movements, what he aims to achieve with the label and what’s in store for the remainder of 2012.
First, tell me about when Glacial Movements began.
I started Glacial Movements in 2004 because I wanted to do something with complete autonomy; managing the artistic choices, musical choices, distribution, promotion and packaging of each CD release. The first work was a compilation called Cryosphere, for which I invited Aidan Baker, Troum, Northaunt, Tuu and others to take part. It was an immediate success! The copies sold out in two months! This gave me courage to move forward.
What is it like approaching artists?
Some of the artists I know personally, like Francisco López, Oophoi and Retina.it, but otherwise the contact takes place via email. Whenever I propose my idea, namely to create a product with a ‘glacial’ theme (including sounds and graphics), the artist always seems to respond with great enthusiasm! I think this happens because I try to run my label as professionally as possible and ease the demands of the artist. I always look to promote and distribute the product worldwide.
Glacial Movements has a very particular philosophy. Can you explain a little about what the label is trying to achieve?
The frigid and virgin nature, the silence and the winter nights, cold and ice analysed in every single aspect. The sun rises on the horizon and warms the Arctic and Antarctic expanses. The mythological significance of the Poles and the slow, elegant movements of the Northern Lights. These are just some of the aspects and visions I want to explore with Glacial Movements. In the world we live in, we have lost the relationship between humanity and nature, the mother of all life forms on Earth. Mine is not just a record label, because my main goal is to use Glacial Movements to restore the primordial unity between man and nature. In this way my label becomes the starting point and the inspiration to the artist involved with the musical project.
Is Thomas Köner the godfather of the Glacial Movements sound? His records must be a massive influence.
Absolutely not. I never take inspiration from other artists, because I think that doing this indicates a lack of ideas. Both of my projects – Netherworld and Glacial Movements – are born, grow and manifest themselves on two main bases: myself (with my deepest and most hidden thoughts), and the nature that surrounds me.
Are you chasing something with Glacial Movements? By that, I mean are you using this sound and these artists to try and unearth something? Something pure, perhaps… an absolute.
Ice and nature are pure elements, so the sounds that describe them are the same. These soundscapes are created to preserve the majesty and fragility of the icy poles, the glaciers, the mountain ranges and the important role and balance they have on the planet. My idea is to bring together artists and musical styles that share the same source of inspiration… the eternally cold and silent.
If Glacial Movements was a drink, I imagine it would be an ice cold vodka.
Yes sure, that is certainly the perfect drink.
Is there an artist in particular who has ‘hit the nail on the head’, so to speak, and come closest to the sound you imagine in your head for Glacial Movements?
Good question, difficult answer, because every artist who has worked with Glacial Movements has given his “glacial” vision to the music and then hit the target. However, I can say that Rapoon on Time Frost has made something completely different from his usual repertoire. In fact, the album seems to be a gigantic iceberg, especially the final track “Ice Whispers”. The same feeling I had with Lull’s Like a Slow River and Francsico López’s Amarok, [both of] which have explored the coldest and darkest side of my label. A different thing happened with the two albums by Bvdub (The Art of Dying Alone and I Remember), which gave a touch of poetry and a greater light to winter landscapes. Another strong emotion I felt when I listened to – and then produced – the Pjsuk, Retina.it and Aquadorsa albums. These works have a unique spark of light, and represent, in my opinion, the most experimental and innovative side of Glacial Movements. Loscil’s album Coast/Range/Arc has explored the peace and majesty of the mountain ranges of Canada, gliding the listener’s mind over these landscapes. There was a moment that I actually thought “oh my god, this is the perfect sound of arctic wind” while listening to Snowbound* by Stormloop (especially the song “Cold Winds”). Then there is Skare, Oophoi and also my two works (Morketid and Over the Summit) which both have an important role in the label.
What is lined up for Glacial Movements in 2012?
I have already released two albums by Pjusk (Tele) and Retina.it (Descending into Crevasse). The other upcoming CDs I’ll release are by Marsen Jules, Celer, Phobos and Yuya Ota. I’m also in contact with Yagya for a future work on my label. Then I have in mind other projects I’m planning, but for the moment it’s still a secret!