Fact Mix 894: Katatonic Silentio

Katatonic Silentio embarks on a tripped out crawl through “a combination of shadowy, ethereal and intricate ambiences,” a glimpse of the sounds and textures she draws from for her latest album, Les Chemins De L’inconnu.

Mariachiara Troianiello is a sound artist, live performer, DJ and independent researcher, though she prefers the title ‘sonic sculptor’. The Milanese artist has developed a singular sound practice through experiments with the form and function of radio, a topic she began to explore as part of her undergraduate thesis and continues to explore with residencies at EOS Radio and LYL Radio, as well as her ongoing project Expanded Radio Research Unit, which she describes as an “independent radio art platform for innovative works at the intersection of music, spoken word, performance and sound.” Her focus for Expanded Radio Research Unit varies wildly, from speculative soundtracks for David Cronenberg’s Crash, Videodrome and Naked Lunch, to a 40-year retrospective of Polish Experimental Radio from Studio Warsaw, to her own mixes, which see her moving between sonic abstraction and lethal precision aimed squarely at the club. Active as a DJ for over 15 years, Troianiello is just as comfortable winding between musique concrète, spoken word and outsider music as she is techno, dub and drum & bass, displaying an omnivorous appetite for sound that is just as clearly reflected in her own productions. Since 2018 she has been releasing projects as Katatonic Silentio, finding kindred spirits at CyberspeakMusic, Bristol Normcore, Youth and, most recently, Ilian Tape.

Back in 2021 she released Tabula Rasa, a six-track excavation of foreboding atmospheres and ornately crafted bass, serving a heady concoction of razor-sharp sound design and blunt force pressure. The following year she followed up with an album proper, Les Chemins De L’inconnu, a return to the depths with a renewed clarity and a more delicate approach, balancing cavernous, sub-aquatic low end with viscous, organic textures and eerie soundscapes, described by the label as “a psychedelic trip to wake up the warrior” and the kind of record that could out smoke even the likes Skee Mask and the Zenker Brothers. For her Fact Mix, which Troianiello describes as “a combination of shadowy, ethereal and intricate ambiences underpinned by broken beats, alternating between urgent and gentle rhythms,” we’re shown a glimpse of the kinds of sounds the artist draws from to transport us to the world of Les Chemins De L’inconnu. Embarking on a tripped out crawl through heady haze and visceral sludge, Katatonic Silentio drags us through a hallucinogenic swamp of ambient, dub and chug before eventually swimming up through sporadic breaks and d&b, the paranoid scramble of Source Direct’s ‘Stonekiller’ serving as a dim beacon in the darkness, a surge of propulsion into the celestial skip of nthng’s ‘1 2 Butterfly’.

You can find Katatonic Silentio on Instagram, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and at her website.


Alter Ego – ‘Telekinetik’
Marconi Union – ‘Stationary’
Interactive Music – ‘Dynamic Link’
Hampar Soum – ‘Dsub I’
Christian Coiffure – ‘Unreleased’
Synth Sense – ‘The SRV Experiment’
Indigo – ‘Symbol #7.4’
Konsudd – ‘Schwebende’
Varuna – ‘Unreleased’
San, サン & さん – ‘Cleanse’
La Serpiente – ‘Man Is Both Animal And Plant’
Source Direct – ‘Stonekiller’
Hysee – ‘Transmission Shaft’
DB1 – ‘Feld’
nthng – ‘1 2 Butterfly’ 

Listen next: Fact Mix 893 – KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky