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Clap! Clap!

Italian musician Cristiano Crisci draws connections between global club styles and African musical traditions with his Clap! Clap! project. His work weaves the influence of Chicago's footwork scene and the U.K. bass continuum into a tapestry of West African percussion samples as well as frequent use of Crisci's own field recordings. His early EPs and 2014 debut album, Tayi Bebba, were supported by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Ninja Tune's Solid Steel, and even Paul Simon, who worked with Clap! Clap! in 2016. Subsequent releases like 2017's A Thousand Skies were heavier on live instrumentation and collaborations than his earlier material. Coming from a background in jazz, where he sometimes worked under the alias Digi G'Alessio, Italian musician Cristiano Crisci made a transition into electronic music with the Clap! Clap! project around the beginning of the 2010s. Clap! Clap!'s 2013 debut EP, Gwidingwi Dema, and several singles were followed by a proper debut in 2014, with the eclectic Tayi Bebba on the Black Acre label. Crisci's profile expanded when he collaborated with iconic folk-rock songwriter Paul Simon on production for several tracks on Simon's 2016 album Stranger to Stranger. Sophomore album A Thousand Skies arrived in early 2017, finding the producer folding live instrumentation into the earthy samples that had come to define his style. Guests on the release included South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, Swiss/Ghanaian singer OY, and Cape Town duo John Wizards. After the album was released, Crisci took time to study mixing and engineering. Putting a stronger focus on sound design and field recording, he returned with third full-length Liquid Portraits in 2020.
© Fred Thomas & Paul Simpson /TiVo
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