Italian songstress/graphic designer Mushy is the latest signing to release on the label with layered guitars and soft vocals
Mannequin Records' latest release is the first vinyl album by Mushy entitled 'Faded Heart', which is a lo-fi synth-ridden experiment in psychedelic soul. Mushy, real name Valentina F. is a 26-year-old musician, architect and graphic designer from Rome, who originally designed album artwork for the label and has been featured in exhibitions around the world. Her first album takes the listener into a charmed world of drum loops, acoustic guitars and ethereal voice effects for a bluesy and highly personal ride. We speak to Alessandro Adriani from the label, who produced the album.
Dazed Digital: How do you find and/or pick your artists? Like for example the recent signing of Mushy?
Alessandro Adriani: I personally listen to every demo we receive, but sometimes it could be that a friend is bringing something to my attention, or from the internet… I do think that every media is absolutely necessary to have a proper vision of the good things that are coming out. And an advice from a friend counts more than one thousand reviews on Pitchfork. Mushy aka Valentina F. is our graphic designer, she was doing music since the year 2003 on many labels, I do think that with 'Faded Heart' she reached a kind of sound quality maturity that was a bit missing before. Her album is so far one of our 2011 jewels.
DD: Is there something in common that runs through all your signings or a sound you’re looking for?
Alessandro Adriani: I do think that in every release we did there's a mechanical obscurity, but with a human touch. Emotions are the life blood of Mannequin.
DD: Why did you start Mannequin and what was the reasoning behind the name?
Alessandro Adriani: The name of Mannequin comes from a real mannequin head (I suppose it's from the 70s, I found in a old perfumery) that I have in my recording studio, where I usually put my headphones on. The logo itself is a vectorialization of a picture of the mannequin head taken in the studio. Only some time later i was able to reconnect many similarities with the music we are proposing. In fact ‘Mannequin’ was the name of a Canadian label who produced bands like Ceramic Hello and Kinetic Ideals, ‘Mannequin’ is the name of a track from Experimental Products and from The Wire and so on…
DD: How do you feel your sound has changed or progressed over time?
Alessandro Adriani: For 2011 our focus will switch more on contemporary bands, the true present and future of our scene. It is a mistake to concentrate only on re-releases.
DD: What's next?
Alessandro Adriani: For the upcoming releases, there's the 12'' EP "Escape" from the early EBM Houston duo //TENSE//, the debut LP of Violet Tremors, a female minimal synth duo from Los Angeles, the 12'' EP "Back For A Day" from the amazing synthwave duo Sixth June, a co-production with CTRL label for the new Octavius album ‘Laws’, The Present Moment new album and finally the second volume of Danza Meccanica.