SSIEGE – Looking for the Infinite Loop

Foto: © Ssiege
Densely packed with details, the sound of SSIEGE strolls along the transitions of the seasons and during the process blurs ultra-saturated pictures with cravings yet unfulfilled. With them, the Italian producer manages to tell dream tales that recur endlessly.

»A sofa with the lights off« may be the best place, »the moment of calmness after a trauma« the best time to let his music sink in. Listening to the milky shimmering tracks on SSIEGE’s debut album »Fading Summer«, a setting like this seems almost obligatory for dwelling in a style with which the young producer shined already on his early releases for YOUTH and UN.T.O. – yet the sun-drenched vastness of his first album offers plenty of space to complement with one’s own emotions.

Whether you think tracks like the emotional »Regina« or »Boxe« are rather melancholic or delighted, is up to you and your inner disposition. »It may sound trivial but what I am looking for is a loop that I can listen to for hours without ever getting tired. I often find myself hearing four chords in a row for hours and I like music that makes me travel, that leaves me the space to imagine things above it – as if I could leave something unresolved and give freedom to the listeners to add something more« he stresses during the interview.

For years SSIEGE lived in England, then moved back to Italy in 2020 due to the pandemic and translated his experiences in London’s DIY-scene into a production signature that, although spanning only two EPs and one album so far, is already very much his own. Meanwhile he cultivated a certain frugality when it comes to his gear and the overall sound design of his productions, which more often than not are inspired by the people around him, the little things in everyday life. Taking elements from ambient trance to downtempo, from Italian prog electronics to N64 game scores his tracks purr away in a warm breeze and often times stop abruptly. A slow fade-in and fade-out would suck fascination out of the organic sketchiness of his music anyway – instead it operates like a kaleidoscope of far away memories, which one can only truly trace and fathom with a proper pair of headphones.

»It may sound trivial but what I am looking for is a loop that I can listen to for hours without ever getting tired.« (Ssiege)

Initially a bass player, SSIEGE summons glimpses of a past that may be not one’s own or was forgotten for far too long, usually with not much more than a laptop, a Roland SH101, a 606 and a Vermona drum machine. It is a dreamy sound that can become a memory in and of itself. »I think I was influenced by growing up in the countryside where the colors are very strong between the seasons. Especially during spring and autumn it seems as if one was living in two different places«. Since he crafted a thoroughly refined approach to opaque outsider house with his first EP »Turbe in Sviluppo« (2016) as well as with obscure side project Giesse (an anagram of SSIEGE), this feeling of two different places is reflected in the work of the astute Soundcloud and Bandcamp digger.

After »Fading Summer« was achieving semi cult status from the get-go, at least among dedicated crate and tape diggers, notorious gem-detector Mark Knekelhuis got involved. »Mark wrote me a couple of months after Fading Summer was released on Youth. Knowing and admiring Knekelhuis for years, I was naturally very happy when I saw his mail«. Shortly after, the deal for »Meteora« was home and dry, which was released in April via Knekelhuis Slightly less lo-fi than previous releases, tracks like »Nebbia Spugna« or »Il Peso« substantiate the claim that SSIEGEis about to fan out his sound spectrum while still playing with the fleeting scents of summer – subtle reminiscences of Boards Of Canada, Dalhous or early works by Daniel Lopatin included.

Yet to transport the bedroom charm of his music onto the stage is an ambition the rather shy sound molder follows as well. »I’m working on several projects at the moment and I’m trying to collaborate as much as possible with other musicians. I would like to be able to perform my music live with a band in the future, yet I don’t know if I will continue with this naturalistic aesthetic because it evolved rather spontaneous«. Further studio collaborations are in the making. Not much is known about them, except that besides other artists there will be new production techniques involved as well – so the quest for the infinite loop continues either way.

Knekelhuis • 2021 • from 23.99€