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Actualizado: 21 mar 2023

Obscura marks Plaster's fifth full-length studio album, excluding collaborative, live and split albums. Written between 2019 and 2022, Obscura is the result of very deep research by Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri both in the world of composition and sound design. The fifteen tracks that make up the album are divided into two parts, A and 𝝮.

According to Gianclaudio, the concept of the compositions is based on the female world, on its darker and brighter side, on its power and delicacy, but also refers to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran and the subsequent Iranian protests. The tracks are filled with elements of protest messages, words of hope, stories of femicide, snippets, and homages to Gianclaudio's imaginary female world.

The sound is clearly a step forward in Plaster's production, we can hear a lot of new entries, like poetry, distorted guitars, vocals used as lead instrument, but on the other hand, Obscura brings back memories of early works. There is a lot of passion and cohesion between the tracks and this is not an album that is aimed at quick listens or streaming skips.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.

Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from and how did you get into music?

Hi, I’m Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri. Born in Rome but I'm half Iranian and half Italian. I’m 37 years old, married and the father of 2 kids. I started to study guitar at the age of 7 for 3 years, then stopped and reprised at the age of 16, but I turned into electronic music quickly after I bought my first computer (early 2000). I’ve studied electronic music composition, midi programming and sound engineering at Saint Louis College Of Music in Rome.

How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?

I don’t do Djing but as an electronic musician, my sound is evolving in a direction that i’ve never expected until this new album. I finally feel that my language is more natural and shaped to me instead of following a trend.

How do you feel that your music influences or impacts its listeners?

I believe I can make them in a state of creating images in their minds and abstract them from reality.

What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?

At the moment I'm working on the live performance for Obscura, especially on the video part. Over my music career i’ve always collaborated with visual artists for the live visuals, but i feel that is arrived the moment to take care of this part myself. I have to say that it is very challenging, but stimulating at the same time.

Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria in your last job?

Definitely yes, the gap between poor and mainstream production is now huge. If you listen to a pop song which is well produced and mixed, you can hear a great 3d sound field, and this is because the whole music has been produced with top notch criteria. I believe that independent artists like me, have to study a lot to achieve a real professional sound. That’s what makes the difference between today’s albums. On my new album I’ve spent a lot of time on post production and I think that I've done a good job compared to my past works.

We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but do you think it has affected creativity?

Partly yes, the endless possibilities make people lost in their projects if they don’t have a clear vision of their music. In my opinion it is always good to limit the equipment both in the digital and hardware domain.

Can you tell us about your present and future projects?

I’m planning to re-release part of my past discography with new contents, mixing and mastering. Probably the first choice of this project would be my album Mainframe, which was supposed to be released last year through an Australian label, but the owner disappeared.

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