Presentation of the new CD & double vinyl
Økapi is Filippo Paolini, an Italian turntablist and sample cutup artist. Filippo has recorded several solo albums, as well as recording in the duo Metaxu and with the trio Dogon. He has performed live for national Italian State radio broadcasts (RAI) with renowned avant-turntablist, Christian Marclay and collaborates with numerous international artists such as Mike Cooper, Peter Brotzmann, Mike Patton, Matt Gustafson, Zu, Damo Suzuki, Andy EX, Kawabata Makoto, Metamkine...
ØKapi's album releases illustrate his unique and edgy use of turntables and computer beyond the hip-hop school of chopped up music, creating music that veers from orchestral to lounge with quirky experimental electronics that maintain a delicate and spacious sound throughout.

His amazing skills at sample mixing are simply outstanding and during Okapi live sets he mixes: techno/broken beat/electro-/8-bit with melodies from Klezmer, polka, children's music, idiot pop and hawaiian classics to name but a few.....

"Alternative promo" Outernational dj set (1h 50min.)

Il Naso nell'orecchio dj set extract (32min.) by ěkapi

Il Naso nell'orecchio dj set extract (29min.) by ěkapi



LOVE HIM - Økapi plays the music of Aldo Kapi

Love Him CD new releases (Illegal Art)

Love Him Vol.1 & Vol.2, a fantastic and original double 12"
vinyl electronic album (180gr.) (KML/Sonic Belligeranza)

In the wild sampling black forest that strange giraffe commonly referred to as Økapi (www.okapi.it) struts about tuning a more than 100 elements orchestra, all of which ruthlessly plundered, to celebrate the notorious Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (1896-1952) in between scratch music, electro-acustic extravaganza e slot-machine soundtracks, break-NOT-core, experimental turntablism and bubble-gum audio are presented in this new release.
Økapi new release - Love Him Vol.1 & Vol.2 RELEASE INFO
Illegal Art
KML/Sonic Invaders
Sonic Belligeranza


Okapi’s latest album, Love Him, is quirky, whimsical and brings a fresh ear and direction to experimental music. While other “artists” like Pitbull are using played out samples from number one hits over the last 10 years, Okapi is reinventing the use of the sample. He picks up where Pizzicato Five left off in the ’90s with the shibuya-kei movement by creating a truly “New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular.”
Okapi is Filippo Paolini, an Italian turntablist and sample cutup artist whose talent could fuel the next three volumes of Scratch documentaries. He combines and transforms samples of techno, glitch, 8-bit, jazz horns and piano to create a soulful landscape of light and airy tones similarly to Kid Koala. Okapi sounds like a mix of samba and bossa nova in 50 years when everything is operated by computers. Low frequency buzzes replace the Chocalho and backwards cymbal hits replace the Tan Tan. To put it plainly, if you like sonically elegant and eccentric music then Okapi will be playing repeatedly on your stereo for the next few weeks; but if you fear the unfamiliar, I warn you now this album isn’t for the faint of heart. (4/5)

Okapi…is the only known mammal to wash out its own ears with its tongue: just to catch the weird melodies of nature! Mashallah!!!!
Are these guys trying to have their way with me? I think so. Either way this is delightful high concept stuff. Alleging to be performing the compositions of early 20th century Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi, Okapi instead appears to be a masterful arrangement of extremely tasteful samples. Among the more than 100 participants listed in the “orchestra” are familiar and unfamiliar names from everywhere. Han Bennink, Lester Bowie, Dick Dale, Eartha Kitt, Knifehandchop,Ikue Mori, and Evan Parker are just a small sampling. Tongue is frequently in cheek, but remarkably, this record never steers itself into kitschy territory. This mix touches ably on jazz, ambient, dub, and a myriad of electro sub-genres I would surely mislabel. Noisy found-sound interludes mingle pleasantly with mellow post-bop as well as water sprinklers, alarm clocks, noisy synths or house beats. Each track has its own vibe, which on its own doesn’t seem too significant. Taken as a whole however, this is a unique, inventive, and surprisingly stimulating listen. Fans of Foetus, Meat Beat Manifesto, and FSOL may as well give this one a try.

ATTENTION to detail is clearly Okapi's thing - as a promising newcomer, he had to e-mail pictures of his 'working out' to his record label suitors to prove that music of such intricacy had been made on his computer, and not simply lifted wholesale from elsewhere.
And rather than just creating a new collection of songs for his latest LP, Okapi has gone the trouble of creating an entirely fictional Kyrgistani composer, Wikipedia entry and all, for him to cover on Okapi Plays The Work Of Aldo Kapi (1914-1982).
This focus is applied brilliantly to an eclectic mix of tracks here, from the childlike plod of Bud Dub to the brassy big bands of Everything Must Change Part 2 to the techno stomp of The Next! - although Okapi never once settles into a groove throughout.
Music of this invention and intricacy, however schizophrenic it may be, surely demands a close look.

Ever since Girl Talks’ third record dropped, the relatively indie Illegal-Art label has been thrust into the spotlight. Founded in 1998 by a man under the pseudonym of Philo T. Farnsworth, the label is working hard to turn mash-up and glitch music into respectable genres.
With the expansion of this music, more and more talented computer-savvy musicians have moved out of their parents’ basements and into hip flats in Greenwich village. The latest of these artists (coming to an Urban Outfitters near you) is an Italian virtuoso of turntablism. He goes by the name of Okapi, and his eclectic mix of musical genres proves to be the perfect parallel to the half-zebra, half-girrafe hybrid species that he draws his name from.
Barely audible blips and cut-up acoustic drum samples flesh out the majority of the beats throughout “Love Him” (Okapis’ debut record). Thousands of samples spanning from motorcycles starting to German men whispering fill the rest of the voids in the soundscape. Small motifs tend to repeat themselves throughout the record to create a semblance of one calm cohesive piece of music, but every so often the relative calm atmosphere is interrupted by harsh radio static or grainy out-of-tune violin overtures.
It may not be the best music for doing anything active to; however, I have found this album’s niche in its ability to make homework time interesting. A track that is especially condusive to a studious environment is “Love Him,” the title track. The repeated orchestral lick and the seasick backbeat of synthesized chimes perfectly balances a maintained order with the type of attention deficit pop music that we have all come to know and love.
It is easy to tell that Okapi spent the majority of his time fleshing out the tracks in the dead center of the album. Opener “Oh No!” sets the album off as a sort of sonic palette cleanser that falls flat on a cheesy “ocean waves” sample that sounds like it was stolen straight out of a third-rate Wal-mart sleep aid CD. From this point on, the tracks achieve exponential greatness; it almost seems as if a weak opening track was intentionally used to make the rest of the album sound intelligent and catchy.
Exactly midway through the album there is a buildup, one that puts every previous buildup you have heard to shame. Diminished and discordant tones build on top of each other to the point of nausea, and just when you think it’s time to rip the headphones out of your skull a jazzy electronic number comes in with the catchiest sax line since Dave Brubeck dropped “Take Five.” It’s the little places like these–sparsley hidden throughout the album–that make it all worth it. It is a easter-egg hunt for even the most amateur audiophile which is why I hope that Okapi’s efforts won’t go without mainstream recognition.
(There is one such track that has a potential for the type of press he deserves–aptly titled “The Next!” I see it as physically impossible for this out-of-place distorted dance thriller to slip through the cracks of the ever-expanding and engrossing electronic scene, but stranger things have happened.)
It is worth mentioning that this artist––and indeed the majority of Illegal-Arts’ contributors––use a realistic “pay-what-you-want” system. I know, it’s not on Itunes, but it’s time to try expanding your horizons. If you haven’t already inferred, this music is not for everyone (I myself found it a bit strange to put the sound of a man peeing to the beat of a rotary telephone being dialed), but if you are someone who is just on the cusp, someone who wants the bridge between catchy and thought-provoking, straight-laced and experimental, Okapi is your man. Logan McMillen

Okapi, who released their debut EP last year, is now releasing their first full-length album. Unlike most albums that you will hear, this is more of a playful and experimental record; mixing shortened vignette type tracks with regular ones, Love Him is sure to keep anyone entertained.
The highlight of the album is the song "My Scream," which is self explanatory; for most people listening to a scream may not be the most enjoyable idea, but the great lead into the song makes it bearable.
This is followed by "Aldo Kapi," which sounds like Okapi took a bucket of children’s toys and began to play with them while letting a funkier version of the Jeopardy theme song play in the background.
This album is not for everyone, but for anyone willing to give Okapi a chance, it will be a surprising treat. Padraic Maroney

Insanity sure is considered to be a trait related to artistic geniuses. Perhaps one of these geniuses was the composer Aldo Kapi who lost a finger due to his musical experiments and was later forced into a mental asylum. Why am I talking about a classical composer when this is a alternative/indie site you ask? Well, the answer is that Italian sampling artist Okapi mixes some of Aldo Kapi's work with his own to create a unique fusion of electronic and classical music. The result? A very interesting and sometimes beautiful piece of work.
Take track 'Love Him' for example. The small samples and the clicking loops are reminders of the more underground electronic music scene. Combine this with Kapi's beautiful string work and you get a suprising mix that sounds fantastic.
Perhaps, some might consider the electronic factor of Okapi's music to be insane itself. Take the random and scattered loops of 'Aldo Kapi,' the insane robotic vocal samples of 'Secret Tongue' or the ear piercing sounds (in a good way) of 'My Scream.' The samples are unlike anything you will hear of. They get right into you and you think to yourself 'what was that sound?' and then you carry on listening to find out more. Okapi then combines these flawlessly with Aldo Kapi's work. Whether they're only quite background pieces or more apparent parts accompanying the electronic elements, the combination of both artists work make for a diverse sound.
In essence, Aldo Kapi and Okapi certainly are two insane musicians but this insanity is what makes their music so good. The combination of the two makes for a captivating sound. The music is out of this world. (8,5/10) Alex Yau

Preconceived notions aside, this album greatly surprised me. Aldo Okapi was a Kyrgyz composer from Iran, in the late 19th century and endured a quite dramatic life. This album embodies his compositions and is endeavored by the Okapi Orchestra, composed of over 70 different individual musicians. In 1911, Okapi perfected his piano playing and this caused the loss of use of his right ring-finger, he completely dedicated himself to composing music. And now in 2010, we are able to hear his perfections fused into an entirely abstract compilation of songs.
Here are my favorite tracks (although I would recommend listening to the whole album through at least once): 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 (trumpet!), 10, 14, 16
Although I see no true comparisons, it has been noted that this music is in the realm of: Junk Culture, People Like Us, and Dan Deacon.
I give this album a whopping {A-} ---for lack of the actual Okapi :s
*Symphonic, silly, abstract, funky, electronic, foreign, instrumental, avant garde, semi dance, ambient*. Sharevari

Italian turntablist Filippo Paolini, known as Okapi, has released a two-disc album titled Love Him that samples over 150 orchestral compositions from the mentally unstable Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (1896-1952). Kapi was born to a wealthy Iranian industrialist and an Italian mother who sent him to Kyrgyzstan for his education. His interests gravitated towards the realm of music and soon he began composing his first symphonies. His early attempts to break free from structure and form led to recognition by a Tajikistan music conservatory. It was there that his distinguished compositions began garnering acclaim across Central Asia and later the World. Poet Ezra Pound was counted among his loyal supporters. Unfortunately, while composing his sixth symphony Kapi sank into a deep depression and the mental instability that haunted him his entire life overtook him as he was composing his finale. He passed away in 1952. His compositions have been unearthed in 2010 by Okapi, and Kapi’s broad lyrical range of compositions are finally being released to a larger audience via Paolini’s virtuoso sampling.

Great story huh? Completely fabricated. That’s right, the press release, the Wikipedia article, the meticulously researched information regarding French ambassadors to Afghanistan and honorary chairs at esteemed conservatories: lies, lies, lies. Lies that I fully digested until it came time to write this review. Suddenly the incongruities became apparent, aren’t Kapi and Paolini’s moniker Okapi awfully similar? Why was Aldo Kapi’s Wikipedia page removed? All of the references to post-Soviet outposts are obscure enough that they could be accepted at face value. Okapi had me: hook, line, and sinker. Luckily for him the content on “Love Him” makes up for my initial frustration at having to scrap my original review.

While Aldo Kapi may be fake, Okapi is the real deal. While he doesn’t have the pre-recorded oeuvre of a Kyrgyz composer to plunder, he does the sum of the recorded 20th century to freely sample from. Okapi extracts moments of sweeping orchestral swells and passages to underpin his avant-garde sample-based compositions. The recurrence of these snippets of classical music is one of the few constants in Okapi’s shifting-sand soundscapes, a checkpoint to catch the listener up after his most scatter-shot noise collages. When confronting his subject head-on Okapi emerges with flashes of lucidity: bowed strings over a frantic break-beat or plucked violins and horns put through a blender. At its most abstract, however, Love Him turns into somewhat of a gimmick, a contest of Okapi against himself to see how many anachronous and forgotten genres he can cram into a 4-minute song. Balkan punk, 20’s commercial jingles, homemade sound effects, kitsch vocal samples, sweeping ballroom pieces, and 8-bit glitch breaks all compete for top-billing during their brief moment of arrival before they depart back into the ether.

Love Him, for all of its overreaching aims and fraudulent claims, still has songs, real songs that are tightly structured and incredibly enjoyable experiments. “Ti Chiamero ’10” is one of those songs. Starting with a glitchy microhouse beat that broods under a sea of squiggly pitch-shifted horn-blasts and a recurring piano-line, sort of like an absurdist Pantha Du Prince, a gypsy violin sweeps in, stopping the piece dead in it tracks with a swirling air of Arabian Nights sensuality. For all of the coherency of tracks like “Ti Chiamero” there is an album full of tracks like “The Next!” that are simply thrilling genre mash-ups for the sake of thrilling genre mash-ups. “The Next!” starts with a wound-down orchestral swell that breaks into a post-industrial rave up. The title track “Love Him” is another song-song that imbeds itself deep in your subconscious. Swelling strings, electronic blips and bloops, and skittering electronics swirl and build into a teetering crescendo before an auditory cue pops the tension and the sound drops out only to slowly build back up again.

In many ways Love Him retains this “false summit” approach album-wide, building giant monuments to melody and rhythm only to dash them to pieces and run off with some wild hair of a new musical idea. Few musicians could withstand this haphazard race from genre to genre without relegating them to the “sound collage artist” dungeon. Okapi, on the other hand, engages his material enough to allow his pillaged pieces to make definite musical statements before being bulldozed beneath a million voices clamoring to be heard. Okapi also has a strong sense of when to let songs be songs, and when to let his proclivities for madcap sound effects and avant-turntablism reign supreme. Ryan Hall

If you only associate the word okapi, with the blue-tongued zebra-striped cousin of the giraffe, let me reintroduce you to Filippo Paolini - the Italian turntablist and recent Illegal Art signee. Paolini, also known as Økapi, utilizes his turntables and laptop to create atmospheres that range from orchestral pauses, breakbeat nostalgia, 8-bit melodies and the occasional Hawaiian soundscape.
Økapi is set to drop his Illegal Art debut, Love Him, on February 23rd. The record, which celebrates notorious Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (with over a 100 musical elements), delicately maintains a balance of elemental turntablism with quirky innovation. Tristen Gacoscos

"Love Him" is Italian turntablist/producer Okapi's tribute to eccentric Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (1896-1952). The album is released on plunderphonic label Illegal Art, and reconstructs the composer's works through hundreds of samples. Like Illegal Art's most well-known release, Girl Talk's "Night Ripper", this album contains an alphabetized list of all the artists sampled. Obviously, instead of chart-topping pop and hip-hop acts, this album reads like a who's-who of easy listening (Les Baxter, Bert Kaempfert, Enoch Light), avant-garde (Zeena Parkins, Edgard Varese, Ryoji Ikeda), netlabel (several Bedroom Research and Cock Rock Disco artists), and plenty of similar plunderphonic/cut-up artists (Satanicpornocultshop, Tape Beatles). Despite being a huge fan of several of the artists listed (especially Dev/Null, Knifehandchop, People Like Us, Hellfish, and the lone contemporary pop group listed, Outkast), I can't place any of the individual samples.
In other words, despite being composed of samples, this is not some sort of guessing game puzzle for trainspotters. It's also not some sort of completely humorless academic work; among the dialogue sounds used are a young girl demonstrating her scream over the telephone, a Speak-N-Spell, and a woman at a concert who's so excited she can't stop crying. The shorter tracks generally tend to work as musique concrete interludes, with the longer tracks being more rhythmic. A lot of the beats seem to be quite minimal, using sinewave clicks'n'cuts as the foundation for the samples. The tracks around the five minute length are afforded some time for repetition and building, with the shorter tracks being more ADD.
Oddly enough, somehow I wasn't quite as overwhelmed by this album as I thought I was going to be, but that's mainly because I've heard so much glitchy short-attention-span plunderphonic stuff already. I definitely don't mean to discredit Okapi, who's created a seamlessly arranged, fascinating work in tribute to a unique composer. 8/10 -- Paul Simpson (2 June, 2010)

In the grand tradition of Girl Talk, Italian sampling artist Filippo Paolini (a.k.a Okapi) enlists Illegal Arts as the patron of his, 21st-century strain of studio turntablism on Love Him. Unlike labelmate Girl Talk, who simply cuts up pastiches of the mundane and is constantly under attack from those who question the validity/legality of his art, Okapi chooses to pay a modern homage to one of the early 20th century experimental composers Aldo Kapi. Paolini reworks Kapi’s Dadaist source material into micro loops, and he further refines it into IDM-influenced buzzes and blips putting the artist in the ranks of contemporary Warp artists like Autechre. He also stays true to Illegal Art’s manifesto of mash-up legitimacy by sketching guide maps to more legit cultural experimentalists like Reich or even Gurdjieff as reference points. He also manages to make the studio turntablist/mash-up concept more interesting and sophisticated than it has been to date.

Italian turntablist and sampling artist Okapi answers the question what would happen if you threw a thousand records into a Slap Chop, chopped them up, and then attempted to reassemble them back together. Using more records, samples, scratching, editing and just plain craziness than you can think of Okapi has become the Don of slicing and dicing sounds together to get all sorts of new sounds that sound like their own sub-genre of music. I'm not exactly sure how he does what he does, but it's impressive that he can construct sound collages as convincingly good as he does and he does it repeatedly on his album Love Him Okapi Plays the Music of Aldo Kapi.
Love Him is a heady mix of samples that assault your hearing from every angle. It's like chopped, diced, and pureed into a series of blips, bleeps, beats, found sounds, and more all to the tune of something approaching a real song. He doesn't always get there but it's truly fascinating to hear just how weird Okapi gets on each song. It's not like much of what you're hearing on Love Him makes much sense, but my guess is that it's not supposed to and that's the point. Chaotic and literally all over the place, this is the soundtrack to the inner workings of a tornado. Love Him has it all, from animal sounds to car crashes to lounge music, it's all in there and finds a home next to thirty other sounds that don't really belong.
Okapi might scare a few people with his disorganized and atonal approach to making music. Thankfully for everyone's sanity he manages not to get lost in his ocean of samples, but he does rearrange stuff to the point where you can't really hear what songs he's sampled, chopped, or rearranged. It's insane stuff that's a tribute to his editing, turtablism, and creative skills. Love Him isn't music in the conventional sense but that's what makes it entertaining. I thouroughly enjoyed listening to the inner workings of Okapi's mind throughout Love Him, he's a fascinating "songwriter," and his "songs," are pretty ingenious and mini-marvels.

If you’re into Italian turntablists and obscure Kyrgyz composers, then Okapi’s Love Him (out today) is the record for you. He riffs on Aldo Kapi’s symphonies using over 100 different elements, making a sometimes jarring, always intriguing lineup of 16 tracks. I found it a tad difficult to listen to while tapping my keyboard at work, but it did make a nice soundtrack for my morning run. The minimalist samples provided just enough rhythm without feeling like I should be in a black-lit room with a fog machine.
So what exactly is an Okapi, you ask? And what does it have to do with music? Here it is, straight from the artist:
One of its strangest characteristics is that it is the only known mammal to wash out its own ears with its tongue: just to catch the weird melodies of nature. He adores those ferocious and vindictive chants that make him sway...and he fights relentlessly for the domination and hegemony of incorrect and unlistenable music...

This stuff's tingly fun. From your squeaky bathtub rubber duck to the ballroom dancefloor to Disney and beyond, Filippo Paolini aka Økapi (like the giraffe-zebra hybrid rainforest mammal), directs an engaging journey through bits and pieces of audio masterfully spliced together, perfectly rhythmic with not a second of lagtime in Aldo Kapi.
Økapi's Love Him celebrates Aldo Kapi, a mentally unstable, fictitious Kyrgyz composer dreamed up by Paolini. Elaborate? Perhaps. Worth it? Certainly. The album's out 2/23/2010 in two volumes brought to us (on vinyl or digital download) by Illegal Art. Listen to clips of each of the 23 songs here and here. Sounds like an Adult Swim adventure. Sweet.

Illegal Art is a label known for it's sample-tastic roster (Girl Talk, Steinski, etc.), so that should give you a good idea of what to expect from the label's latest release, Økapi's "Love Him." The album has a street date of February 23rd, and despite Økapi's heavy sampling of Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi, the sound he makes is like something you've never heard before. In fact, if you want to check out that sound, check out the MP3 above. It's an exclusive premiere here at The End of Irony. More information on Økapi from Illegal Art after the jump.
On Love Him, Italian turntablist and sampling artist, Økapi (Filippo Paolini), masterfully conducts a plundered symphony of more than 100 elements to celebrate the notorious Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (1896-1952). Somewhere in between record digging, electro-acoustic tomfoolerly and slot-machine soundcards, lies the break-NOT-core, bubble-gum experimentalism of this new full-length from Italy's own "Daft Giraffe."
Making his music entirely from pre-existing recordings, Filippo is very open about his sources and even attempts to contact every living artist he samples. He recently commented that, with only one exception, he has always received positive praise and encouragement, with many of the artists not even recognizing their own work within the Økapi mixes.
The previous Økapi full-length, Where's The Beef?, was released in 2003, on the at-the-time buzzed Inflatabl label run by Matt Haines (aka the Rip-Off Artist). Oddly, both the label and Haines disappeared completely from the electronic music scene shortly after the Økapi release (you can still find the occasional used copy on Amazon). Other notable Økapi material includes a remix for Caprezzo (on EMI), one of the biggest Italian hip-hop artists.
In addition to his solo work, Filippo has recorded in the duo Metaxu and with the trio Dogno. He has performed live for national Italian State radio broadcasts (RAI) with renowned avant-turntablist, Christian Marclay and collaborates with numerous international artist such as Mike Cooper, Peter Brotzmann, Mike Patton, Matt Gustafson, Zu, Damo Suzuki, Andy EX, and Metamkine.
For the CD/digital release of Love Him, Illegal Art compiled tracks from two separate European vinyl releases (on the labels Belligeranza and KLM last year), each focused on different years of Aldo Kapi's compostional output (Vol. 1 from 1927-1952 and Vol. 2 from 1914-1926). With this release, Økapi officially joins the Illegal Art label alongside other sampling-obssessed artists such as Girl Talk, Junk Culture, The Bran Flakes, Steinski, Oh Astro, People Like Us, Wobbly, etc.

If you only associate the word okapi, with the blue-tongued zebra-striped cousin of the giraffe, let me reintroduce you to Filippo Paolini - the Italian turntablist and recent Illegal Art signee.  Paolini, also known as Økapi, utilizes his turntables and laptop to create atmospheres that range from orchestral pauses, breakbeat nostalgia, 8-bit melodies and the occasional Hawaiian soundscape.
Økapi is set to drop his Illegal Art debut, Love Him, on February 23rd.  The record, which celebrates notorious Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (with over a 100 musical elements), delicately maintains a balance of elemental turntablism with quirky innovation. 

Allegedly, Aldo Kapi was a Kyrgyz composer whose imperfections on piano led him to experiment and buck classical convention.
For as interesting as his story seems, however, it appears all too fake, particularly in this age of digital duplicity.  Perhaps tellingly, the only information on Kapi comes from Økapi, an Italian cutup artist named Filippo Paolini, and the information on Kapi’s Wikipedia entry is exactly the same.  No other photos of Kapi can be found, nor can information on his supposedly famous parents.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t particularly matter, and it wouldn’t be the first time that an elaborate story was made to publicize an album.  The bottom line is that the first of these two themed albums by Paolini is great.
A semi-IDM affair with glitch elements and chopped vocal cuts, Love Him is a cut-and-paste musician’s dream, recalling artists such as End and Tipsy.  Samples of soothing, sweeping strings and woodwinds paint a pretty backdrop that wavers between classical and lounge, before cutting into short upbeat bursts, frequently calling upon snare rolls and clattering bits.

BOOMKAT (Vinyls)
A genre-crossing journey into virtuoso turntablism with Okapi, aka Italian cutup artist Filippo Paolini, who has previously released work as one half of duo Metaxu and one third of trio Dogon, collaborating along the way with that elder statesman of the turntable, Christian Marclay. These sample-hopping narratives have a strongly humourous streak running through them, inevitably inviting Negativland comparisons, yet the music here tends to be less of a blur, instead forming beautifully produced fragmentary tracts that incorporate snatches of playful abstract electronics, old easy listening records and passages of dialogue. The overall effect is an absorbing musical narrative that's full of wit and sleight of hand.

Compiling tracks from both volumes of his Love Him records on KML Sonic Invaders, this Illegal Art CD is the work of Italian cutup artist Filippo Paolini, who has previously released work as one half of duo Metaxu and one third of trio Dogon, collaborating along the way with that elder statesman of the turntable, Christian Marclay. These sample-hopping narratives have a strongly humourous streak running through them, inevitably inviting Negativland comparisons, yet the music here tends to be less of a blur, instead forming beautifully produced fragmentary tracts that incorporate snatches of playful abstract electronics, old easy listening records and passages of dialogue. The overall effect is an absorbing musical narrative that's full of wit and sleight of hand. "On Love Him, Italian turntablist and sampling artist, ěkapi (Filippo Paolini), masterfully conducts a plundered symphony of more than 100 elements to celebrate the notorious Kyrgyz composer Aldo Kapi (1896-1952). Somewhere in between record digging, electro-acoustic tomfoolerly and slot-machine soundcards, lies the break-NOT-core, bubble-gum experimentalism of this new full-length from Italy's own "Daft Giraffe.""


Filippo Paolini in arte Okapi è uno dei più grandi prestigiatori nell’arte sublime del cut up sonoro. Conosce a menadito decine e decine di tecniche per il mixaggio ed oltre ad avere un naturale portamento per la produzione sopra le righe, si distingue come tra i più atipici - e funambolici - dj in circolazione. Ispirandosi all’opera del fantomatico compositore Aldo Kapi, il nostro mette insieme un tributo che più delle rime fa tesoro delle innumerevoli fonti sonore cui attinge, in un continuo gioco di specchi e rifrazioni. Attraversando le stanze della musica contemporanea come i paradisiaci scenari dell’easy listening, Love Him viene fuori come un sussidiario di scelte surreali ed avanguardiste, in cui piccole orchestrine in riva al mare vengono spazzate via dal vento di qualche brutista del white noise. L’avremmo chiamato break beat fosse stata una musica rigorosamente attenta al ritmo ed alle etichette di comodo, l’avremmo battezzata plunderphonia se gli unici depositari del sapere fossero stati Negativeland e Bob Ostertag, l’avremmo chiamato hip-hop fossimo rimasti ad ammirare le superbe doti dell’ennesimo turntablist.
In realtà ci sono diversi elementi complenatari in questo disco: una costruzione che più che ragionata sembra il frutto di un’alchimista, non solo un mago della consolle, ma anche uno di quei crate digger dalla discografia invidiabile...
C’è un grande senso dell’azione nella musica di Okapi, con vere e proprie porzioni cinematiche. Un senso della misura nell’eccesso, questo il paradosso da cui scaturiscono le magie di Love Him, un lavoro che finisce con lo stupire, grazie alla sua puntualità nel rincorrere mille e più oggetti del desiderio (musicale). Una forma che tradotta diventa poi composita, stupendo per il lavoro di edting finale. Dopo numerose apparizioni al fianco di nomi tutelari della scena avant mondiale - Mike Cooper, Peter Brotzmann, Mike Patton, Matt Gustafson, Zu, Damo Suzuki, Andy EX e Metamkine – Okapi riparte autonomamente per un viaggio che sa di folklore spaziale

Anni fa girovagavo su un lercio blog che recava il nome di "Dothemongoloid", mi appassionai, e cominciai a leggere avidamente tutto, post e risposte, che nella maggior parte dei casi finivano a bestemmie ed insulti vari. Era un po' il paese dei balocchi, pieno di cose, argomenti che andavano dalla lotta al drum and bass ai papaboys o ancora a strani racconti su oscuri bar romani dove veniva servito nettare allucinogeno.
Non la faccio lunga, il blog chiuse, con una cermonia a suon di birra in un pub di San Lorenzo, e se l'ho citato, oltre ad esser sopraffatto dalla nostalgia, è perché è lì che ho conosciuto il nome di Økapi.
All'epoca stava per pubblicare il suo primo album solista, "Where's the beef?" per la statunitense Inflatabl, attesi un po  per averlo, ma questo tempo f¨ ripagato da una delle musiche pi¨ fresche ed articolate che ricordassi da tempo.
Seguì una ricerca spasmodica che portò alla luce tutto un microcosmo fatto di strani personaggi, colori stravaganti ed estetica retrò dal gusto inarrivabile. Questa sfera di luce aveva un luogo d'ascolto pubblico che si chiama Radio DD, una piccola radio online nata sul tetto dell' Half Die Festival, dove una serie di artisti distribuivano deliziosi dolcetti elettronici in bilico perfetto tra ironia e sperimentazione.
Anche lì ci fù un punto di contatto che segnò l'apice del movimento, questo è senza ombra di dubbio lo show pomeridiano nell'edizione 2005 di Dissonanze, una delle esperienze più innovative che, l'ormai galattico festival, abbia messo in produzione.
La radio Ŕ ancora online con tutto il suo archivio storico, vi conviene fare un salto per capire bene di cosa parlo.
Tornando ad ěkapi, venni a conoscenza del suo progetto dal nome Metaxu, diviso con un genio assoluto della sperimentazione italiana come Maurizio Martusciello, che diede vita a 3 album tra il 2000 ed il 2004.
Poi Filippo Paolini, questo il suo nome all'anagrafe, ha proseguito per la sua strada, facendo evolvere un personale concetto legato al taglia e cuci.
Ora arrivano questi due nuovi vinili pubblicati dalla -Belligeranza (costola downbeat di Sonic Belligeranza) che ci consegnano Økapi in una forma a dir poco smagliante, e subito veniamo sommersi da questo mondo fantastico dove la provenienza del suono è l'unica cosa che non oseremmo mai chiedere, per paura di doverci addentrare in un meccanismo più grande di noi.
In questa musica c'è semplicemente tutto, dalla fanfara dei bersaglieri alle registrazioni di poppate e musiche per tv di chissà quale anno.
Ok il solito minestrone spacciato per musica sperimentale penserà qualcuno, no, assolutamente, l'artista crea estetica per mezzo di frammenti, è tutto un percorso che ha a che fare col lusso, con l'istruzione e con le cose belle viste da occhi che non sono stati protagonisti, gli occhi di chi avrebbe tanto voluto.
E' una musica che può avere un'interpretazione politica, raccontando sfarzi, stili e costumi associabili alle varie decadi della bella Italia, utilizzando un atteggiamento introspettivo, melodico e sognante, con una forma che per assurdo è pop.
Non vi dico altro, due dischi imprescindibili.

Love Him figura come tributo a un compositore (inesistente) kirghizo di nome Aldo Kapi suonato da Okapi assieme alla (altrettanto inesistente) Aldo Kapi Orchestra. Okapi è uno dei più grandi dj barra compositori italiani, uno di quegli atipici personaggi del giro Roma che vivono più dentro la loro testa di quanto lo facciano nello spazio fisico. Uno di quelli che quando hanno un’idea la realizzano a prescindere dalla sua appetibilità e/o vendibilità. Questa caratteristica, unita ovviamente al fatto che la musica di Okapi spacca pesantemente, lo ha portato a collaborare con (più o meno) tutti quelli con cui ci si aspetta, ivi compresi (e soprattutto) Zu ed amici. Parlando del disco, potreste immaginarvi a musica se riuscite ad unire il Morricone della raccolta su Ipecac a certe cose nu-jazz, tagliati con generose dosi di lounge e momenti di follia vera (tipo un theremin rumorosissimo che parta a buffo su un sottofondo d’archi) e un mood a metà tra situazionismo e LOAL. Un discone. Francesco Farabegoli

C’è stato un periodo, nei Novanta, in cui l’ars combinatoria della Plunderfonia pareva la forma sonora più idonea a rappresentare la zeitgeist della nascente cultura globalizzata. Oswald e Negativland a parte, il genere ha stentato però a produrre opere durature. Ci prova con eccellenti risultati Okapi (animale un po’ zebra e un po’ giraffa, alias Filippo Paolini da Roma, autore nel 2005 dell’apprezzato Where’s the Beef?), mescolando dosi eguali di certosino “plagiarismo” su fonti vintage pop-exotiche (con dovizia di orchestre easy) e prelievi da numi avantgarde e ritmata electronica. Il tutto è ingegnosamente plasmato con complice ironia e polso saldo nell’originale e spesso sontuosa architettura dei brani, ciascuno con una sua precisa identità che rispecchia in toto la cifra stilistica dell’autore: strambo ma sempre godibile, dall’audio design attuale e spontaneo eppure rigorosissimo. Suddiviso in due lp 12” di spesso vinile, sottotitolati Vol.1 Recent (1927-1952) e Vol. 2 Early (1914-1926), Love Him (sarà ristampato in cd a gennaio su Illegal Art, etichetta storica dell’attivismo plunderfonico) ha come cornice concettuale il rinvenimento dell’opera di un oscuro compositore italo-iraniano, tal Aldo Kapi (1896-1952): provate un po’ a cercarlo su Wikipedia. (9/10) Vittore Baroni

Segnatevi il nome: Økapi. Segnatevelo, perché il suo Love Him è una delle faccende più deliziose e divertenti che vi possano capitare in mano. E riesce ad esserlo senza perdere nulla in nobiltà artistica e voglia di giocare con stilemi alti. Una quadratura del cerchio davvero molto rara. Segnatevelo, perché pur essendo italiano (Filippo Paolini, recita l’anagrafe) qua dalle nostre parti di
Økapi si parla ancora davvero troppo poco. Lui ci scherza su: “Ma infatti! Mi ignorano! Questa negligenza da parte dei media è imperdonabile. Purtroppo neanche la diffusione della notizia del giugno 2006 del ritrovamento di tracce dell’okapi (animale davvero esistente, date un occhio su Wikipedia, NdI), dato per estinto, nel Parco Nazionale Virunga in Congo è servita a qualcosa. Evidentemente mi diveo inventare qualche altra leggenda...”. Già, perché il figliolo ha il gusto dell’invenzione. Love Him è accreditato infatti a lui e alla fantomatica Aldo Kapi Orchestra, lì dove Aldo Kapi è un, ehm, compositore nato nel Kirghizistan alla fine del diciannovesimo secolo. “E’ che mi serviva un’orchestra, un capro espiatorio e un alter ego su cui riversare tutta la mia evidente megalomania. Semplice, no? Se sbaglio qualcosa o sbaglierò qualcosa in futuro, la colpa sarà sempre di Aldo, chiaro? Comodo!”. Dici che qualcuno ci casca? “Beh, la voce su Wikipedia c’è. Ma non diciamo troppo forte, ché i poliziotti wikipediani potrebbero avere qualcosa da ridere sulla pubblicazione della biografia e rimuoverla. Lì sta benissimo”.
Sta benissimo anche Love Him nei nostri player. Un album che è un fuoco d’artificio continuo spalmato su una ventina abbondante di tracce. Una quantità di idee e di spunti mostruosa. Generosità creativa è un eufemismo. “Ho impiegato in effetti più di un anno per completare il disco. In alcuni casi e per alcuni pezzi, sono passati dei mesi dalla concezione iniziale fino alla chiusura definitiva, quella da fare quando davvero tutto è stato rifinito. Il mio è un lungo e meticoloso lavoro di ricamo sonico su cui esercito poi un controllo di qualità ben preciso: faccio scorrere sempre tempo abbondante e vari cambi di umore prima di riascoltare il tutto. Voglio infatti maturare il necessario distacco prima di applicare le ultime modifiche, quelle definitive”. Devi destreggiarti fra una quantità incredibile di stimoli sonori; “Ascolto musica tutto il giorno, senza distinzioni e limitazione di generi. Di solito mi segno su un’agenda ciò che mi colpisce di più, memorizzando così singoli suoni, timbri, melodie e cambi armonici che poi riciclerò. Alcune volte, per pura sfida, posso anche lavorare su frammenti sonori provenienti da tracce decisamente brutte, giusto per vedere se anche lì c’è qualcosa da salvare. Anzi, prima o poi mi piacerebbe lavorare su un progetto campionando solo tutto ciò che trovo di più inascoltabile. Chissà, potrebbe diventare il mio capolavoro definitivo!”.
Ciò che abbiamo veramente amato in questo album è stata la capacità di essere coraggioso ed ingegnoso, sperimentale proprio fino a lambire i confini della musique concrete, senza però perdere nulla in fruibilità: scorre infatti che è un piacere. “La vita è troppo breve per continuare a proporre ad un ascoltatore ormai sazio certe sperimentazioni musicali fini a se stesse. La noia è palpabile, soprattutto in certi contesti di ricerca. Sono convinto che oggi la vera chiave da seguire sia quella di porre comunque attenzione al proprio pubblico, ricordando che anch’esso va divertito, non è solo questione di soddisfare se stessi”. Insomma, l’atipicità di Økapi sta nel fatto che usa metodologie da sperimentatore colto per costruire architettare che potrebbero andare bene nei ben più nazionalpopolari dancefloor... qual è il rapporto di Filippo con la club culture? “Premetto che non sono un nottambulo; almeno, non più. Non frequento spesso i club, se non ci suono. Sicuramente visto che i miei set sono piuttosto ballerini devo continuamente fare i conti con quella realtà, ma preferisco suonare in prima serata, o meglio ancora di giorno nei festival estivi. In quei contesti, ho la sensazione di avere di fronte un pubblico meno distratto e forse più reattive. Anche se il meglio per me resta spiazzare: suonare musica per bambini ad un rave, o hardtekno in auditorium; Le musiche dei dancefloor notturni sono comunque sempre fonte di ispirazione, soprattutto per i suoni”.

Ci si addentra nel territorio del nonsense col nuovo di Okapi. Non pago di flirtare con generi (dalla plunderfonia al break-core) e artisti (da Zu a Peter Brotzmann, passando per Damo Suzuki e Mike Patton) tra i più diversi, in Love Him Filippo Paolini in arte Okapi va di apologia dell’inesistente.
Love Him è infatti un doveroso omaggio al fantomatico compositore kirghiso Aldo Kapi in doppio volume vinilico (pubblicano KML e Sonic Belligeranza, produce Scarrymonster, mentre il cd è targato Illegal Art), suddiviso filologicamente in Vol. 1: Recent (1927-1952) e Vol. 2: Early (1914-1926). Tra sampling estremo e gusto per la frammentazione/ricomposizione di input sonori tra i più diversi, Love Him si avvale di una sensibilità – quella di Okapi/Aldo Kapi – fuori dalla norma. Surreale, dada, astratta. In grado cioè di fagocitare contemporanea e easy listening, funk deragliante e ghiribizzi sonici, white noise e plagiarismo oltre che plastici riferimenti al pop più asincrono, al breakcore più gretto, alla plunderphonia più radicale in nome di un djing funambolico e deviato. Ne esce una pastosa musica delle musiche che in un tutt’uno banalmente definiremmo blob metamusicale. Roba che si respira addosso, che si annusa prima di assaggiarsi e rivomitarsi fuori in forse sempre accattivanti, mobili, cangianti.
Certo, le premesse del suono plundephonico al passaggio tra i due millenni erano altre, così il portato militante e di rottura del plagiarismo quando ancora il timore per il saccheggio sonoro era reale (chiedere ai Negativland); ma ad oggi resta questa, forse, l’unica forma di musica in grado di rappresentare l’imbastardimento contemporaneo. E Okapi resta maestro nell’evocare paesaggi sonori strambi e sfaccettati in microsuite intelligibili, oltre che una militanza off, sul crinale tra situazionismo e protesta, che ormai sembra archeologia (post)industriale. (7,2/10) Stefano Pifferi

Geniale manipolatore di suoni che ama reinventarsi con ogni sua release, ecco arrivare la nuova prova su lunga distanza di Okapi, questa volta addirittura su due vinili venduti separatamente. Il nuovo progetto presenta un’idea decisamente estemporanea, quella di suonare le opere di un fantomatico Aldo Kapi, vissuto nella prima metà del secolo scorso e di cui è anche rinvenibile una breve biografia su Wikipedia. Un’operazione di depistaggio che, tralasciando l’interessante trovata mediatica, convince al 100% nella sua proposta musicale. Il primo volume presenta un rimescolamento ritmico decisamente vario e coinvolgente, in cui violini si combinano a melodie provenienti da un’altra epoca e loop irresistibili si alternano a intromissioni vocali e intermezzi stranianti. Con il secondo volume la musica non cambia, ma si spinge ancor più avventurosamente in visioni lisergiche fatte di jazz anni 40, elementi mediterranei, cut-up che segue l’esempio della scena di San Francisco e invenzioni degne di DJ Me DJ You. Con questa nuova prova viene naturale affiancare il lavoro di Okapi all’eccellente produzione di Daedelus, forse l’unico nome a cui sembra riconducibile una verve così fresca e un’immaginazione così fervida nella contaminazione di suoni. Sarà anche merito delle numerose ed eccellenti collaborazioni che lo hanno visto al fianco di personaggi come Mike Patton, Zu e Dalek (il video qui a fianco ne è un esempio). Erano anni che aspettavamo uno sperimentatore italiano che sapesse mischiare ironia musicale e capacità di sperimentale, ma con questo doppio vinile sembra ormai certo che Okapi possa fare da portabandiera della nuova generazione di iconoclasti nostrani. A cura di Michele Casella

Okapi & Aldo Kapi Orchestra
La figura di Aldo Kapi, compositore nato in Kyrgyzstan nel 1896 da padre iraniano e madre italiana attorno al quale si sviluppa tutta la storia di quest’album, è lo strumento ideale utilizzato da Okapi per collocare la propria musica in un luogo immaginario, generato dalla fantasia e da un irresistibile spirito ludico. La sua Aldo Kapi’s orchestra non è altro che un esemble di ologrammi che di volta in volta assumono il volto di Les Baxter, Han Bennink, Biota, Alan Lomax, Temptations, Die Form, Ryoji Ikeda, Paul Lovens, Ikue Mori, Paola & Chiara, Jon Rose, Arnold Schomberg e mille altri artisti che appaiono e scompaiono secondo la volontà del direttore, in base alle diverse inflessioni che assume il flusso sonoro.
Si spazia dall’esotismo di "Ti chiamerò 10" alla sofferta spiritualità “black” di “Everything Must Change II”, dal nonsense dada di “Death of Henry II” ai beats liquidi a metà fra Kubin e F.X.Randomiz della title-track, senza soluzione di continuità. Il materiale è così vario e ricco da sessere contenuto su due diversi albums che possono essere venduti separatamente e illustrano i due diversi periodi ("Early 1914-1926" e "Recent 1927-1952") del fantomatico musicista kirghiso a cui è dedicato questo lavoro, sebbene la musica contenuta al loro interno mantenga sempre un forte senso di omogeneità, contraddistinta da una chirurgica opera di montaggio sonoro in cui la lezione plunderphonica viene rielaborata secondo lo spiccato senso armonico e la notevole vena umoristica dell’autore. E a dicembre tutti a Bishkek per la prima mondiale di “Love Him”!
(7/8) Massimiliano Busti (BLOW UP)

Jeśli macie jakiś namacalny dowód istnienia Aldo Kapiego, to bardzo o taki proszę, bo z punktu widzenia wyszukiwarki internetowej wydaje się, że istnienie tego Kirgiza jest po prostu wątpliwe, a w moim egzemplarzu “Encyklopedii Muzycznej” nic na jego temat nie piszą. A w zasadzie to jestem nawet przekonany, że włoski turntablista występujący jako Okapi po prostu stwierdził, że wymyślony kirgiski kompozytor awangardowy z początków XX wieku (1914-1952) będzie ściemą tak trudną do udowodnienia, że wręcz idealną. Jedyny słaby punkt tej ściemy to fakt, że nazwisko Aldo Kapi zawiera w sobie nazwę projektu – Okapi. Tu już widać jak na dłoni ścieg krzyżykowy. Natomiast biogram, który publikuje autor we wkładce swojej płyty – kolejnej we Włoszech, ale na świecie pierwszej, wydanej w barwach świetnego Illegal Artu – jest lekturą bardzo, ale to bardzo wiarygodną. Prawdę mówiąc bardziej mi się chce w to wierzyć niż we wszystko, co widzę za oknem.

Tak się zdarzyło, że właśnie płyta Okapi jest moim soundtrackiem do podróży po Warszawie w tych smutnych – ale i dziwnych – dniach. Muzyka zszyta z filigranowych sampli, lekko zabawkowa w charakterze dobieranych dźwięków, ale nie nazbyt zabawowa jako całość, bo mimo gęstych rytmów nie jest to album do tańca. Nie jest to niczym nie skrępowana plądrofoniczna prywatka, jak u Girl Talk. “Love Him” ma chwilami charakter muzyki klasycznej, filmowej, eksperymentalnej, momentami egzotycznej. Z elementami jazzu. Tylko w paru momentach pojawia się rytmika microhouse’u, a raz hard techno. Tak, aż tak różnorodna to płyta! Filippo Paolini (tak się nazywa Okapi prywatnie) wylicza na końcu listę swoich źródeł (czym już zupełnie pogrąża koncept kirgiskiego kompozytora). Od Johna Adamsa i Aksak Maboul, przez Ryoji Ikedę i Alana Lomaxa, po Arnolda Schönberga i The Temptations, Edgarda Varèse’a. Niewiele znajdziecie tu fragmentów oczywistych, wszystko to razem, sklejone samplerskim klejem Rzymianina prezentuje się jak najzupełniej spójne autorskie nagranie.

Na stronie Illegal Artu jak zwykle mp3 za friko i płyta za cenę regulowaną. Z wydanym nieco wcześniej Junk Culture trochę przydołowali, ale dopóki będą trzymali taki poziom jak na Okapi, nie przestanę ich tu promować. Na koniec w najgłębszym sekrecie fragment tej płyty: (7/10)

Os anos vão passando e o mundo imenso do sampling e da colagem continua tão atraente como nos dias em que uma tesoura e cola eram as ferramentas do cut & paste. Agora, citando os velhos, é tudo mais fácil e acessível, e qualquer um pode roubar a música de toda a gente e torná-la sua. Sim, é verdade, mas isso apenas faz com que apenas as árvores mais altas recebam o Sol de que tanto precisam. Filippo Paolini é um conhecido turntablist italiano que já ajudou Zu, Mike Patton, Dalek, entre outros, e que com a ajuda do computador decidiu homenagear Aldo Kapi (compositor da Kirguízia, 1896-1952) com pedaços da música de Ikue Mori, John Adams, Les Baxter, Peter Kowald, Eartha Kitt, Zeena Parkins, John Tejada, Lester Bowie, Alan Lomax ou Temptations, entre muitos, muitos outros nomes. A recomposição é alucinante, feita com muito amor e devoção pela continuidade, sem nunca querer mostrar as costuras ou a cola. Mais deslumbrante ainda é o modo como tudo acaba por soar a uma riquíssima banda sonora imaginária, vinda de um tempo passado que sonhava com o futuro, ora parecendo nascida da hard-drive de Herbert, ora criada por um Raymond Scott em estado adiantado de alucinação. O termo plunderphonics ganha aqui um inesperado e valioso aliado. John Oswald estará, decerto, contente com este novo membro da família. E nós também.


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