After the 3 singles, Your Game, Good Reason and Drawers, the electronic duo Golfers has just released Atypical, the first album. In this work, the Irpinia duo has mixed the typical sounds of their music, a journey through genres ranging from math rock to German electronic music, with touches of pop, soul, and rap. The tracks are often characterized by two very distinct parts, a dualism that returns in the whole record as if there were a Side A and a Side B. The first part of the record, more focused on traditional writing, leaves a lot of space to the use of the voice, while the second part is more dedicated to electronic sounds.
Listen to the record here and don’t even miss the playlist that the Golfers, on the occasion of the launch of Atypical, did for us with all the songs that inspired them.
We tried to summarize in 15 tracks some of our listening that has influenced the process of writing and producing “Atypical”. Our music suffers from different contaminations not necessarily related to the electronic world, we love artists like Foals, King Krule and Anderson .Paak, without losing reference to the cornerstones of contemporary electronics. Atypical is all this, listen to this playlist to understand what we had in mind during the days spent in the studio.
In the middle of the tour, which will see him on January 31st at Magazzini Generali in Milan and on February 1st at the Locomotiv Club in Bologna, we had the chance to have a chat with The Bloody Beetroots, also known as Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, or simply Bob. Since 2006, Bob has revolutionized an entire music scene thanks to his style that perfectly blends punk and electronic, hip hop and classical, hard rock and new wave music.
With our chat, we tried to understand who is behind the famous mask, but we also talked about music, the current Italian scene, and future projects.
This is the first time we’ve talked about you on Collater.al. Tell us who is The Bloody Beetroots.
I’m Bob, Bob from The Bloody Beetroots, and I’ve been doing electronic music since the end of 2006, I’ve released three albums, a lot of EP, I’m still releasing stuff and I’ve played at all the festivals in the world: I’ve been at Coachella twice, Lulapaloosa I can’t even remember how many times, Primavera Sound, Sziget, Mad Cool, Fuji Rocks. I mean, I think I did everything I could do. That’s kind of the gist of it.
Tell us where the idea of performing with a mask comes from and what it’s inspired by.
Basically, being popular or famous with my face has never interested me and still doesn’t interest me, so I used the mask as a catalyst to attract attention, and it works, and then to protect my privacy. I take off the mask and live a very normal life and that’s what I love because I have this theory: fame produces alienation and when you’re alienated and you can’t live the social you can’t write songs anymore. If I am self-alienized I have finished working, I no longer have a language and my language belongs to the fibulae. I think this is the key that has led The Bloody Beetroots to be in the music business for 15 years.
The choice of covering the face seems to be more and more common, I remember among the many Myss Keta or even Liberato. How do you explain this phenomenon and in your opinion it is becoming a purely aesthetic choice?
I don’t know, in any case, by now, the mask is cleared through customs, it doesn’t make such a fuss anymore to wear the mask or hide. It’s an artistic choice, I think. Everyone has their own way of identifying with the mask.
It’s been 10 years since Warp. Has anything changed in the way you make music and your style since then? And, at the same time, are there aspects that have remained unchanged?
I think the lowest common denominator of The Bloody Beetroots is the punk soul, that’s what always remains is whether we do techno, house, or other things what you will always find is a very strong presence of punk in everything we do because it’s our attitude.
What has never changed is this attitude of writing, not having barriers in writing music, so The Bloody Beetroots belongs to all genres and nobody. If we take my last three years we compare them, nothing sounds the same as nothing but you find something that resembles but without understanding what it is and that is exactly the punk soul I was talking about before.
This hasn’t changed, just like the way The Bloody Beetroots evolves, always changing and being chameleonic, this also means making courageous choices and sometimes starting from scratch. This is something I love to do because I don’t have to prove anything to anyone but myself. For me creating new musical challenges, sound design, figuring out what to belong and how to belong, how to reconfigure myself is something I love to do and every three years or so I do it and this new era of The Bloody Beetroots is proving that. In 2019 we have become independent, we have increased our streaming on Spotify, we have increased our fanbase and with a new Bloody, formed by both old and new fans we have decided to play The Bloody Beetroots again in places where we had never played before and I have to admit that I am very impressed with the result.
How would you describe the current Italian Electro scene and how would you compare it to that of other countries?
I think Italy suffers a lot from fashions and therefore this precludes the creation of an underground base for new talent to grow. It seems that sometimes there are some isolated things, now the trap and techno go and there’s nothing in between. So it’s very difficult to talk to the general public because they don’t know what’s in between, but that’s where The Bloody Beetroots is. So it’s my job to try to educate the listeners of both sides to this medium, to this scene that exists all over the world, but not in Italy, unfortunately.
Heavy is your last EP. How was it born?
So, in 2019 we started asking ourselves “what are we doing this year?”, we do The Bloody Beetroots DJ set, we said to ourselves. Heavy was born from the need to present music to support the DJ set, it has only and exclusively that purpose there. I tried a little bit to expand the genres I wanted to touch so a little bit of electro, house and a little bit of techno and this Heavy came out. In addition to that,we did releases with Zhu, this American artist, of techno pieces totally different from what we are used to doing and we also did a mix for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes which was another experiment to touch the rock scene and see if there could be a sense. So all experiments to fill this DJ set. This year we plan to release at least ten new tracks, so club tracks, we have an official remix of Green Day which is another experiment to see what happens if I turn Green Day. All these experiments represent what you’ll find coming to The Bloody Beetroots DJ set: a multitude of genres related to the punk spirit in a pretty unique way.
Next January 31 you will be in Milan, at Magazzini Generali and then on February 1 at the Locomotiv Club in Bologna. What to expect from these two dates?
Chaos, so much chaos. High volume, total madness, stage diving, mosh pit, people walking on top of other people. An anarchist playground where you celebrate nothing and make a mess of the madonna. It’s The Bloody Beetroots, you call The Bloody Beetroots to make a shitload of shit.
MAGAZZINI GENERALI, MILAN
FRI, JAN 31
LOCOMOTIV CLUB, BOLOGNA
SAT, FEB 1
In addition to The Bloody Beetroots,I’m working on my photography project that will see the light on March 5th in Milan in an exhibition, where you will see the people who are part of The Bloody Beetroots project, the places we visited and the memories I bring. Then there will be my training and CrossFit activities that sometimes also involve my fanbase, then we have some activities in parallel with the motor world. Last year we did the Gymkhana GRiD with the guys from Hyperdrive who have a show on Netflix and we also released a bike last year so we’re going to ride in the Dolomites and Los Angeles. So a lot of activities, just like music a lot of chaos.
Inspired by the Beastie Boys Book, director Spike Jonze has made Beastie Boys Story, a documentary that tells the story of the American group and that will be premiered on April 3 and then broadcast on Apple TV+ from April 24.
The documentary further strengthens the bond between Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond and the director, who had already directed the video clip of the timeless “Sabotage” in 1994.
The first reviews define Beastie Boys Story as a brilliant and original documentary that offers a new point of view on the entire career of the group and its members and both Spike Jonze and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond were enthusiastic about the collaboration.
Ten days after the 2020 Oscars ceremony, it’s time to listen to all the nominated songs again, without getting out of balance or making predictions, also because never as this year there is a balance within the Best Original Song category.
I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away – Toy Story 4
If there is one person who is used to being nominated for an Oscar (in addition to Meryl Streep), it is Randy Newman, who since 1982 has obtained 17 nominations and two victories, the last of which with Toy Story 3‘s We Belong Together. It’s with Toy Story 4 and in particular for I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,light and cheerful song but not a strong message, that the 17th nomination arrives.
(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman
Signed by Elton John and his inseparable Bernie Taupin, (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, the song surprises-both because it contains all the style, sound, and rhythm of the inimitable British singer, because unexpectedly the young Taron Egerton proved to be up to the challenge, and because the official video clip alternates scenes from the film Rocketman with archive images, making it a real tribute to Elton John’s ten-year career.
Turn the volume up and be ready to dance!
I’m Standing With You – Breakthrough
In the background of the touching story told by Breakthrough, we find the notes of I’m Standing With You written by Diane Warren, the amazing author of cinematic songs like Pearl Harbour’s There You’ll Be or Armageddon’s unforgettable I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.
Diane’s song is played by Chrissy Metz, the protagonist of the film and internationally known thanks to her role in the series This Is Us, in which we met her impressive singing skills.
“We all got time’s when we can’t be strong When it feels like, like all hope is gone”
Into the Unknown – Frozen II
After the success of Frozen I, for which he won the Oscar in this category, Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez reconfirmed the authors of the soundtracks of the sequel Frozen II.
Even if you haven’t seen the film or never listened to the track from beginning to end, you certainly know the refrain because since the film was released the web people haven’t wasted themselves in the creation of funny memes and cartoons accompanied by the inscription “Into the unknown“.
Stand Up – Harriet
In addition to getting an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet, Cynthia Erivo also won a nomination for Stand Up.
Her voice of the young English actress and singer, capable of embracing both high and scratchy notes, as well as low and deep, is how she accompanied us in our discovery of this song, a hymn to freedom.
CTM Festival 2020 celebrated and evolved the concept of liminality, hybridization and transgression comprehensively considering all of them as are not enough in and of themself. The Festival drew inspiration from music and contemporary art and offered several inputs to expand the considerations beyond the disciplines and the meaning of boundaries – in their acceptance of multifaceted spiritual practices and social rituals as well as aesthetic, psychedelic, and other transformative experiences.
Liminal spaces are zones and abstract ideas whose limits and goals remain uncertain: what does it really mean to enjoy music performances in their peeks and limits? What does it mean to interpret arbitrarily arts? What does it really mean a 360° clubbing experience? Could it be exhaustive to examine carefully in advance all the performers and gigs or live an immersive music experience means to let yourself go into a deep and naive journey without preconceptions?
Based on these reflections, it started our experience at CTM 2020, in Berlin.
The acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl is also known for its remarkable soundtrack. The sounds of this work are captured from an actual power plant (Ignalina – Lituania), including pumps, reactors, and turbines which created a constant sense of anxiety – performed in a stunning location (Bethonalle – Silent Garden), earlier used as a former crematorium that operated for only six months before the crematorium was finally closed down. The overall experience was enriched by acoustic instrumentations and field recordings combined with astonishing changing-lights and smoke-effects.
It has already been written almost everything about Berghain: from the absurd theories about bouncers’ selection strategies to the club’s descriptions as an enchanted black universe full of stairs, corners, dark spots, and hidden places. You can pretty much do whatever you want in this place, and moreover nobody will ever know – if it’s your concern. Anyway – Thursday night was a soft-clubbing night. I found interesting the perception that all the people in these ambiguous spaces find ourselves more clearly; it seems that somewhere precarious between a past that is no longer present and an ever-becoming future could help to stimulate both imaginations and freedom – that’s liminality, maybe.
The proposed artistic perspectives in this exhibition open up interpretations of in-betweens and thus, at the same time, question their opposite: the places that are supposedly “real” and concrete. It is thus revealed that unambiguity is arbitrarily produced through coexistence. The Interstitial Spaces exhibition takes the questions of CTM 2020’s theme beyond the margins of music through an accurate selection of different atmospheres and immersive rooms.
In the catastrophic theories on technology and control, the artists Louis-Philippe Demers and Bill Vorn introduce “Inferno,” a participatory robotic performance enacting an experience of hell and punishment. Addressing many persistent anxieties around the relationships between humans and technologies, and the shifting boundaries between them, “Inferno” envisions infinite punishment as endless automation and subordination to the machine, as participants are drawn to the spectacles and thrills of submission. Participants are divided and split allowed only partial control over their own bodies. In this liminal experience of purgatory, the ambiguous possibility of salvation hangs overhead beguiled audience members, who submit to a spectacle of suffering.
The 2nd night at Berghain was characterized by a lineup full of nu-gabberisms, drum’n’bass evolutions, between anxiety and ecstasy, panic and after-hours enhanced by explosive multi-disciplinary connections – it’s quite rare to become involved in “a unique commission between Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Festival and CTM, Gabber Modus Operandi are joined by Wahono (of Uwalmassa, a Jakarta-based project that explores connections between contemporary electronics and traditional Indonesian sounds), and Uganda’s Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe, one of the few remaining groups that perform on the embaire—an extremely rare and gigantic indigenous wooden xylophone that is simultaneously played by eight musicians.”
You Will Go Away One Day But I Will Not
Through this immersive installation in the tropical greenhouse, Alves and Dalt attempt to open a space for the multifarious voices of the forest—organic and inorganic, human and non-human, speculative and lived—while also pointing to their silencing and erasure by European colonists. The political impact and the role of communities are quite prominent and create such experiences and practices affect political and cultural impact. Is it enough to practice forms of experimental politics in a liminal space that has to make do without tangible utopias?
Transmediale – The Eternal Network
The Eternal Network is a group exhibition about the persistence of networks, with a focus on their potentials and limits in response to current social and technological changes. In times of environmental and political turmoil, networks have lost their mass appeal and are the subject of widespread backlash: blackouts, propaganda, hate speech, addiction, and a human desire to disintermediate from the platforms of surveillance capitalism. Still, networks are ubiquitous, and thus both the poison and cure for the act of organizing within activism and politics alike. With the now more tangible limits of networks in mind, the exhibition asks how effectively they respond to future models of sociality, technology, and politics. By connecting “The Eternal Network,” critical net cultures, and contemporary artworks, the exhibition closes the loop between the pre- and post-internet moments. With the backlash against networks in mind, it re-examines the legacies of critical net cultures, asking if and how they will continue to have an emancipatory relevance in the future.
CTM 2020 – as they used to highlight – throws itself into limbo in hopes of stimulating a critical discussion of our present and possible futures. They thrust us into the grey zone between the two sides of a supposedly clear demarcation.
At the end of this all-embracing days in Berlin, we feel like we’re in between. Within ambivalence and perpetual evolution, we float on air without assurance nor sureness – a bit dazed. How and in what shape will we emerge? What/who will we encounter along the way? Is there anything else beyond this liminal zone? At Berlin-Tegel gate, we feel like we were fluctuating forms, minds, and bodies both regenerated and deflagrated.