Synthesis and Specialivery

For this blog post i will be looking at an artist who has inspired me personally as well as pushed me to make and do more with music; someone who is not only a personal favourite of mine but also someone who i believe demonstrates the art of putting musicality back into music via  synthesis.
Today i will be looking at Carlo Bernasconi, aka: Specialivery. I will primarily be looking at how he uses synthesis in his own work and how it expresses his ideas.

Firstly some background on Carlo.
“Swiss Armed Forces Militia Lieutenant Carlo Bernasconi first approached musicianship as a turntablist, circa 2000 (under the pseudonym G.BIZ). By 2006 he had achieved renown in his field, reaching 2nd place at the Swiss DMC DJ Championships. Despite his classical training, he didn’t take a shine to actually making music until 2011’s Specialivery revelation.
Under the guise of Specialivery, Carlo found himself channeling the rigor of his military training and his fondness for primeval mysticism and ancient civilizations, delivering highly polished assault of religiously frenetic percussion and brooding, primordial musical progression, drawing comparisons to dark techno luminaries such as Prurient and Perc.” [1]
As well as this he is joint label head at Kinesen Recordings. and has had successful releases on New York label ‘Safer at Night’ and ‘Raar’.

Carlo’s approach to synth work is intriguing. Trained classically at the Conservatory for several years in piano and solfeggio, he has translated this hands on approach into his own music. In his own words “I do not use presets normally. That means I mostly make my own sound from nothing.” with this in mind it means that using analog equipment is crucial. A good example of his work is the latest release he has put out on Raar.

It’s a multi layered track that makes great use of multiple synths and sequencers.
As well as just the use of synthesisers for musical effect some have been used to add ambient backing sounds to the track. In his own words, “When you’re producing with an analog synthesizer without any preset[s] and digital memory you are sure about not being influenced in any way and you are totally free to express yourself uniquely.” This is true of any of Carlo’s works. they are indeed different and you can hear that it isn’t just composed of midi notes. There’s a definite human touch to it all.

Another important aspect of how he uses synths and synthesis is why he works the way he does. “Synthesisers are for people that love researching new sounds and doing experiments into not only-one-genre of music. Digital synths plugins sounds also [sic] good but “house music is a spiritual thing, a body thing a soul thing” (Eddie Amador) I can’t extern[alise] emotions only through a computer, I definitaly need the physical – electrical side of it.”
This desire to express himself to his fullest and explore the depths of synthesis as well as to push the envelope of his genre means he utilises synthesis in ways which are different to others within the techno scene. It makes his music, (in my opinion), special.

C A T H N O #specialiverystudio

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A post shared by SPECIALIVERY (@specialivery) on

N.B: I’d like to take a moment to thank Carlo for responding to my message asking for his own words on how he uses synthesis which greatly helped with writing this.

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One thought on “Synthesis and Specialivery

  1. Interesting to hear you got in touch directly with the artist for info! Make sure you reference where you got your information from, for example the bio you’ve included here.

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