Other than the obvious prerequisite bi-weekly trips for gelato cones, followed by rides on a two-person-per-car ferris wheel, what’s the key to maintaining a healthy artistic collaboration? As Bellows, Nicola Ratti and Giuseppe Ielasi have been working together since at least 2007, but even before their minds melded for the sake of minimalism and their own brand of EAI, Ratti testifies in an interview that the two Milanese tinkerers were amicable compatriots. There wasn’t (and hasn’t been) any real pressure to produce music together; and, when they do decide to go forward with a gig or a new Bellows release, it’s usually the simple consequence of somebody the duo is “cool with” requesting as-much. “We produce music when we want to or whenever someone interesting asks us for some new material,” Ratti says. Above all else, keeping things C H I L L seems to be the key.
And I think we can safely assume that Ratti and Ielasi must have kept things superlatively-so recently, because they’ve just announced Strand, their fifth LP as Bellows, out on Shelter Press THIS THURSDAY, June 8. In keeping with all-things-easy-and-casual, the new one was recorded in four days, with the only schematic being the established neural wirings of the two people in question — PLUS a table capable of supporting just a teency bit more equipment (analog and digital) than they’ve utilized in the past. If you’ve got a spare couple minutes, take an easygoing listen to the opening track below for a taste of the obscure fruit that’s been borne, and mosey on over here to purchase the full album. No pressure though. It’s totally your call.