Published Mar 26, 2018Yakamoto Kotzuga describes himself as a composer and sound designer. That latter reference is not a conceit — there is a sophistication about this young Italian's work that has, in the past, earned him a spot in reports from Vogue Fashion Week in Paris.
Originally known as Giacomo Mazzucato, Kotzuga was born in Venice in 1994. He's worked with a number of the country's rap artists as both a collaborator and producer. This sophomore full-length began as an audio-visual work commissioned by the Venice Biennale. Working with visual artist Furio Ganz, the album is in two parts: "Fading" and "Faded." Ganz directed the album's first video for "Until We Fade," along with Matilde Sambo.
Like the rest of the album, the single is about the progression of time and the emotional effect that has on all of us. Sure enough, these 11 tracks are passionate and moving. Its pace is laid back enough to put the listener in a reflective frame of mind. But abrupt changes — from beats to keys to treated vocals — add a sense of energy and tension.
Kotzuga has an extraordinary production sense. His ability to juxtapose gentle, easy synths with aggressively distorted beats and other noise elements makes it difficult not to drop whatever you're doing and focus on the work.
"Emotional Complexity" is just one example where we're presented the kind of grating electronics usually found on industrial or pure noise recordings. In Kotzuga's hands though, they are transformed into one more surprising ingredient in a wonder-filled recipe. (La Tempesta International)