Listen to 'Primo,' the Debut Album by Matteo Vallicelli from The Soft Moon

Vallicelli is the first Italian to have an album published on Captured Tracks and 'Primo' is his electronic debut after a lifetime of punk, hardcore, garage, and post-punk.

Jan 31 2017, 4:37pm

This article originally appeared on Noisey Italy and is translated from Italian.

We all have, for better or worse, ever-changing musical tastes—just think about how at 16 you said you'd never listen to pop music and then at 25 you're doing renditions of Justin Bieber's "Sorry." There's nothing wrong with this at all: it's a sign of growth and open-mindedness. Here, Matteo Vallicelli—who you know for his role in post-punk project The Soft Moon—is a person who has spent his career evolving just like you and me, and listening to those insights is how he came to write an album like Primo, which Noisey is streaming below.

He found his beginnings in screamo, punk, and hardcore with cult Italian bands such as Endless Inertia, Revolution Summer, and Smart Cops. Then, he took a stab at garage with Wildmen and turned in some post-punk in The Soft Moon and Death Index. Now, he moved to Berlin and found out about electronica. "First," his solo debut, is the first album by an Italian to be published on Captured Tracks. It has an 80s atmosphere, focuses on huge arpeggios and, surprisingly for a drummer, does not focus too much on percussion. You can stream the album below. We also have a short interview with Matteo just after the stream.

Noisey: How does it feel to tackle a project on a solo level?
Matteo Vallicelli: I like the idea of being the only person responsible for a project. Somehow it makes me feel more mature as a musician and prouder than ever. The one thing that has weirded me out the most is probably doing interviews—which, being a drummer, I always dodged in the past. 

What is it that made you say, "Fuck Rome, I'll go to Berlin"? Has music been a primary or secondary motivation? 
It was about the desire to live in a modern city. Rome is beautiful and I will always love it because it taught me so much, but it is a city that loves its glorious past. Berlin, on the contrary, is an ugly and grim city (let's face it!), but it is a place where everything is in flux. I would not say that I moved there specifically to make music, but the city turned out to be absolutely functional to my path. Both for its music scene, which was definitely a great inspiration, and because of more practical things ... like the synthesizers shops: there is one on every street corner. 

Photo by Margot Pandone.

Through all the changes of your career, how'd you settle on electronic?  
It was not a premeditated move. After dissolving Wildmen in 2013, I have not put out more music. I can understand that it seems strange for me to have switched to electronica now, but I've actually been producing for the past three years. "Primo" is the product of a long period of research, discoveries, and experiments. 

Specifically how did you meet the Captured Tracks guys? 
I met Mike (the label boss) and Pam (the label manager) in 2009 when they played with Blank Dogs. Then over the years we kept in touch throughout the various tours I did in the States with Smart Cops and The Soft Moon. They both used to work for a living in record stores, so they are used to listening to tons of music. Mike is a crazy record collector. They're super passionate with what they do.