Your EDM featured Chris Inauzzi in our New Artist Spotlight in March for the IDM and experimental synth lovers. His mastery of the Moog was evident on his EP Olga In a Black Hole, which turned out to be a preview of his debut album, Planetaria. The album was originally slotted to release in May but when you’ve got that much tech and that many lines of music going in one place, sometimes engineering takes a little longer so it just released on June 15.
Ianuzzi did, however, release a music video for the track “Hello,” which appears on both Olga and Planetaria. The video was a collaboration with New York-based artist Max Rosenthal and videographer D. Carlton Bright and is an almost perfect visual match to the disjointed and dissonant yet beautifully crafted organized noise that is Ianuzzi’s style.
“Hello” was actually one of the more structured and EDM-adjacent tracks on Olga, with a beat that, at its core, is technically drum & bass, so with that EP some new fans may have assumed that Ianuzzi’s style is more experimental than EDM but now that Planetaria is out, it’s evident that he leans toward the EDM end of the electronica spectrum than we thought. Enter the old standby term for an artist who walks that line: IDM.
The album opens with the title track, which doesn’t just have a discernable beat structure; it has about seven. It opens with a sort of halftime drum & bass beat, then goes to something more 80s synth-pop inspired. Techno, house and even a breakbeat can be gleaned out of the beat-and-synth fray that is the middle of the piece but at that point it’s gotten so much more complex it’s no longer a game of beat structure of tempo (spoiler: Ianuzzi keeps the same tempo across all these multiple beat structures). It’s better to just strap in and listen.
The track following the title track, “Summer Star,” also starts out with a recognizable beat, sort of a techno/house crossbreed, but after that Ianuzzi goes mad with layers of synth sounds that are certainly representative of his reputation as a Moog master. As for the rest of the album, “Olga In a Black Hole” (the namesake of his preview EP), “Transits,” “Fork,” “Park In the Dark” and “Eta Corvi” would all be classed as leaning more experimental in the sense that they don’t have a beat that could fit into a certain genre or any real beat at all. “Eta Corvi” is an incredibly gorgeous, ambient example, where Ianuzzi takes off his chaotic neutral hat for a minute to really just play with sound design.
The more EDM or IDM-leaning tracks aside from the title track are the afore-mentioned “Hello,” the tribal, trip hop-and-jazz-inspired “Flower and Flame” and the stunning album closer, “Wilder.” This deep, dark track will make halftime and leftfield fans want to hear a collab with Ianuzzi and Shades or Ivy Lab. It still has those experimental bits on the top notes, but the deep bass is undeniable. Shades and Ivy Lab, new releases from Noisia’s Thys or any of the artists on Division skirt the experimental edge of bass music anyway, so why not? In terms of combining the science of sound with the heart of bass, all these artists are on the same wavelength, or “sine-wavelength,” at the very least.
With his varied style and mastery of multiple techniques as well as his IDM work being a relatively new endeavor, Chris Ianuzzi could really go in any direction he wants. Every genre in EDM could use a synth master of his caliber but he could also choose to go the way of Venitian Snares and stay on the outskirts. Based on “Hello” and “Wilder,” our vote is of course for him to hook up with Alix Perez, Eprom, Thys or the like, but no matter what avenue he chooses, Chris Ianuzzi has already written multiple chapters in the annals of Moog, so what more could one ask?
Planetaria is out now and can be streamed or purchased on Chris Ianuzzi’s Bandcamp page. Check out his YouTube page as well for a recorded Instagram live stream where Ianuzzi talks about how he put the album together and to hear how the album sounds in his studio.