Obscura marks Plaster’s fifth full-length studio album, excluding collaborative, live and split albums. Written between 2019 and 2022, Obscura is the result of very deep research by Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri both in the world of composition and sound design. The fifteen tracks that make up the album are divided into two parts, A and ?.
According to Gianclaudio, the concept of the compositions is based on the female world, on its darker and brighter side, on its power and delicacy, but also refers to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran and the subsequent Iranian protests. The tracks are filled with elements of protest messages, words of hope, stories of femicide, snippets, and homages to Gianclaudio’s imaginary female world.
The sound is clearly a step forward in Plaster’s production, we can hear a lot of new entries, like poetry, distorted guitars, vocals used as lead instrument, but on the other hand, Obscura brings back memories of early works. There is a lot of passion and cohesion between the tracks and this is not an album that is aimed at quick listens or streaming skips.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Hello! Where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
Hello : ) Right now you can find me in the dubbing studio where I work in Rome, with free time to answer these questions. Today i had a very nice breakfast and then biked to work, no rain, so it started nicely.
When did the idea of launching a project like yours begin to form? Has it always been something you wanted to do?
I formed Plaster in 2008 along with Giuseppe Carlini. We merged our personal projects. At that time making experimental stuff was very cool and digital art was at its Zenith. We’ve been a duo for 5 years then Plaster became my solo project. I don’t know if having a music project was something that i’ve always wanted to do, but for sure is something that now i can’t leave.
How would you define the sound of your latest work?
Obscura is a massive release, it’s dark, complex, rough but well defined at the same time. Probably a masterpiece.
What artists are you interested in these days?
I like the music of Frank Vigroux, Abul Mogard, indie music from Uk and Ireland, Sleaford Mods (even if the latest album doesn’t seem so interesting) and Robert Del Naja with his incredible transversal art.
How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
Luckily I love many genres and I’m not only focused on electronic music. I play electric guitar and I formed my listening tastes on music which is played and not programmed. With this new album, Obscura, I wanted to include most of the influences that I had over the years.
How would you define your sound?
Metallic, textured, complex, heavily distorted but defined at the same time. It can also be delicate and intimate sometimes.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
At the moment I’m working on the live performance for Obscura, and a Re-release of one of my past albums (Mainframe) which was supposed to be released last year through an Australian label, but at the end the label manager disappeared. So I’ll be releasing it through my label Textvra.
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