Retina.IT Semeion

Retina.IT Semeion
Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono are Italian duo Retina.IT, who have been making spacious, stripped down techno for almost a decade. Their recorded songs are not made for the dance floor, although there are flavours of Plastikman’s driving, psychedelic minimalism, instead the morphing, murky, rhythmic textures induce more of a state of abstract armchair contemplation. Semeion is a collection of rare, previously released works, as well as exclusive unreleased tracks. Some are from the Hefty label’s infamous compilation series Immediate Action, while others are singles off of their earlier EPs, giving the listener a feel for the full range of their output. "Tetsub,” an example of some of their recent work, begins the album with snippets of hip-hop-infused vocal samples spilling through the deep, gurgling sub bass and dry, slicing percussion. "Uranio” is a highlight, with its creepy ambience of blistery, gusting wind and chirpy percussion, and a chopped up, funky, slapping bass line breakdown. "Tren Ri Cosi,” a soundtrack for a video done by Claudio Sinatti in 2005, gives way to somewhat sterile psychedelia but quickly warms with a layer of synth-y ambience. Composed uniquely using a variety of analog drum machines and synths, improvising a performance that’s digitally recorded then transferred to the computer for tweeking and final editing, Retina.IT’s work is chock full of groovy beats that linger and develop into steady, poignant rhythms. (Hefty)