Varv – Lowlands promo page

Varv is a duo composed of Andrea Cappi on keys and Francesco Mascolo on drums, and it’s a crossover project in which the jazz background of both musicians is stripped of its more traditional characteristics and used to explore more experimental territories, between electronica and prog rock.

 

ARTIST: Varv

TITLE: Lowlands

LABEL: Off Records

RELEASE DATE: May 24th 2024

FORMAT: CD / Digital

CATALOG N.: OUI032

GENRE: experimental jazz / electronica

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Lowlands is Varv‘s first album and plays out like the soundtrack of a dystopic movie that investigates the relationship between man and the earth, both in the sense of the world in which we live and in the sense of fertile ground for future growth. In the album written song parts alternate with sound manipulations and improvisations, resulting in an experimental approach with regards to timbric qualities while blurring the lines between different musical genres.

Album opener “Drizzle” develops around rhythmic key chords that build up to a frantic pace, creating a groove with the drums that is then deconstructed in the middle part of the song, to be brought back in towards the end. With its changes in color and rhythm, this track is a good representation of Varv’s approach.

“All Fulness” sees guest Matteo Pontegavelli on trumpet guide the listener through abstract and undefined soundscapes. “Permeability” is imbued with soulful vibes and is also the first track Varv ever published, in 2022, while “Childhood” is a delicate ballad that evokes carefree childhood moments.

In “Limestone” a simple chord progression slowly evolves through small variations in timbre where everything seems suspended. Sitting somewhere between chillwave, synth pop and indie, this track was the main single lifted from the album. .

“White Kitten” is the most abstract track, here the duo completely let loose. The dialogue between the two musicians weaves a sonic tapestry made of alterations and synth sequences that play a game of contrasts between chaos and order.

“Ready Arteries” begins with keyboard riffs and a drum break pattern on which guest Daniele Nasi eventually joins in on sax. This track pushes the album even further out musically, towards the edges of dance music. While the melody on album closer “Kings of Weno” has echoes of rock, while the song is about dreaming of escaping the city to live on a distant tropical island in the Pacific.