You've entered a state of emotional turbulence, languishing one moment and inexplicably blithe the next. But before you call up your shrink,
try reaching for the volume. This isn't your Bi-Polar disorder flaring up - this is Modwheelmood.
Modwheelmood is led by Alessandro Cortini, currently a member of Nine Inch Nails and by guitarist Pelle Hillström. The two have performed together
for nearly six years. Their sound is best described as alternative pop electronica, yet a stimulating departure from the typical laptop based bands
who label themselves as electronica.
And what else could you expect from a duo whose backgrounds are so different you wonder how they find any common ground at all. Yet a brilliant
balance is achieved somewhere in the chasm separating their diverse elements - between despair and hope, narcotic and elevated, pain and pleasure.
You don't know where you're going next, but the hypnotic lure is inescapable.
Modwheelmood is the product of impeccable composition, incorporating Cortini's carefully structured analog synths and loops with Hillström's raw,
riffing guitars and sometimes sparkling, ambient guitars - depending on the mood. The experienced duo exercises restraint, never allowing the guitars
to overpower the synths, and offering provocative vocal melodies that add just enough depth to create well rounded, richly textured arrangements.
Born and raised in Italy, Cortini's family encouraged his interest in music from an early age. Cortini's father played guitar, and his mother often
listened to bands such as the Beatles, who Cortini agrees had an influence on his songwriting. Other songwriting influences include Cat Stevens,
Francesco De Gregori, and Depeche Mode. From a programming perspective, Cortini recognizes Alva Noto and Brian Eno as influential in his development.
In addition to his songwriting prowess, Cortini is a well seasoned live musician, having toured with such bands as The Mayfield Four, and is currently
lending his talents as a keyboardist to Nine Inch Nails.
Hillström grew up in a small village in Sweden. His pursuit of music began early, playing saxophone in jazz orchestras in the afternoon and learning
Iron Maiden riffs in the evening. Eventually, his desire to play music for a living led him to the U.S., where he met Cortini. Hillström is the former
guitarist of Abandoned Pools and has also worked with famed producer Patrick Leonard. Hillströoms guitar playing is often described as intellectual
and evocative, reminiscent of Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood.
Modwheelmood's second EP, Enemies & Immigrants is scheduled for release in April 2006 on Buddyhead Records. Although they have many influences, both
Cortini and Hillström agree that Enemies & Immigrants doesn't necessarily reflect those influences. Hillström notes that there are decidedly more
acoustics on this EP than the first, to give the tracks more of a lush, earthy, percussive sound. He adds that the material on the new EP took shape
just from sitting in a room full of gear with open minds and the objective of "making music that meant something to us."
With Enemies & Immigrants, Cortini and Hillström have carved a complex landscape that is evocative and deeply personal, making Enemies & Immigrants an
EP that will surely keep your psychiatrist on speed dial.