Eraldo Bernocchi is an Italian guitarist, producer, arranger, sound designer, and experimentalist. He has played in over a dozen bands and collaborated with countless artists, including Bill Laswell, Mick Harris, Thomas Fehlmann. Like those artists, his output is eclectic, prolific, and unpredictable. Bernocchi is equally likely to produce drum'n'bass (1997's Overload Lady, with Harris), chaotic free jazz (1999's Charged, with Laswell and Toshinori Kondo), experimental dub-techno (2007's Manual, with Thomas Fehlmann), and icy ambience (2018's Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It), among many other styles and sounds. The main uniting factor between all of his myriad projects seems to be a constant desire to reach towards the unknown. Along with Giacomo Bruzzo, Bernocchi has run the exceptional U.K.-based experimental label RareNoise Records since 2008.
Bernocchi's musical career commenced during the late '70s, when he played guitar for various independent punk bands. By the mid-'80s, he'd co-founded the ongoing conceptual audio art project Sigillum S (with Paolo Bandera and Luca Digiorgio) that evolved into an internationally celebrated cult act; their debut album was 1986's Trance Flexure. Three decades later, they were still releasing studio and live albums and singles. Their catalog includes 25 recordings to date.
In the early '90s, together with his wife Petulia Mattioli, Bernocchi established Verba Corrige Productions as the base for a wealth of notable audio-visual projects and co-operations. A relentless sound explorer, Bernocchi first began with the solo project Ashes, though it later expanded to include bassist Bill Laswell (with whom he has worked on several projects) and vocalist Raiz from Italian group Almamegretta. He also composed music for advertisements and other multimedia projects. Bernocchi is a film composer as well; he's scored works by Academy Award-winner Gabriele Salvatores, and has produced music and designed sound for numerous art installations — alone or in collaboration with Russell Mills, Harold Budd, and more. Bernocchi was invited to perform for and organize several special artistic events for H.H. The Dalai Lama's visit to Italy.
In the 21st century, Bernocchi's collaborative projects were prolific. He worked with Budd and Thomas Fehlmann, and founded and recorded the Dramsam Ensemble (which included Markus Stockhausen). In 2008, Bernocchi and Bruzzo founded RareNoise Records. Its modus operandi has been to showcase a wide array of cutting-edge music. It has become one of the most respected vanguard-music labels on the planet. The label is an important conduit for championing forward-thinking and original artists; it has released some of Bernocchi's own recordings, including his ambient guitar duo Parched (with Davide Tiso from Ephel Duath fame), Somma (with Nils Petter Molvaer, Laswell, Raiz, and Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari), Owls (with Fornasari and Tony Wakeford), Metallic Taste of Blood (with Colin Edwin, Balazs Pandi, and Jamie Saft) and Obake, a doomtronic quartet with Edwin, Fornasari, and Pandi. In 2010, he collaborated with Blackfilm on Along the Corridors. That same year, he was invited to perform at One Thousand Pulses, the esteemed concert series curated by Darren Bergstein in New Jersey. Accompanied by a series of visuals designed by Mattioli, Bernocchi sculpted a two-hour set of intensely layered, immersive ambient music. (The soundtrack of that performance was issued as Omnipresence by Anodize four years later.)
The year 2012 saw the self-titled release by Metallic Taste of Blood. In 2014, Obake's second album, Mutations, was issued to universal critical acclaim. Also that year, Osso, a new band with Morkobot, made its debut. The following year, Metallic Taste of Blood issued their sophomore effort, Doctoring the Dead. Bernocchi also produced 23-12-85-15, the 30th anniversary recording from Sigillum S. The next two years showcased Bernocchi's signature eclectic approach to modern music-making and displayed his intense production and sound design work ethic: in 2016, his duo album with Prakash Sontakke, Invisible Strings, was released on RareNoise; In Praise of Shadows, his dark ambient collaboration with Shinkiro (Manabu Hiramoto), was also issued by SSSM. The following year, Berrnocchi, F.M. Einheit, and Jo Quail released Rosebud through RareNoise, while Himuro, another dark ambient collaboration with Netherworld (aka Alessandro Tedeschi) was issued by Glacial Movements Records. Two ambient releases appeared in 2018: Solitary Universe (with Chihei Hatakeyama) and the occasionally beat-driven solo effort Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It. ~ Thom Jurek