Interview with La Mansarda
A conversation with Andrea Murgia, founder of the microlabel from Sulcis
La Mansarda is a little record label that was recently born in Carbonia, and heartily wanted by Andrea Murgia and Barbara Piras’s musical passion, who are also a couple in life. Andrea is still well-known in this scenas musical journalist. He writes for several national headlines like Rockerilla, SentireAscoltare, Ondarock, AllAboutJazz, Mumble, working on with Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz and he is one of the Summer Is Mine’s main founders, an independent Augustus-music-festival that happens on the Sulcis, a Sardinian area in the southwestern coast of the island.
On their production have two interesting groups, like Sabbia and The Singer is Dead, which works are achieving good critical results, La Mansarda is an interesting label that worthof being followed by all the music lovers, but particularly by who like post-rock and similar ones.
Here is my conversation with them.
First of all, who are you? Tell me a little bit about you.
We are Andrea and Barbara, music lovers and couple in life. I’m dealing with music on several national headlines and portals. Barbara is always into music, long time before our engagement. She is a very curious person with an incredible ear, much more refined than mine! Our friend Veronica Mulas, who is a good designer and artist, then, has realized the logo, for us.
What was the main idea on creating the Do-it-yourself independent label?
It was something we wanted to do years ago and together. The chance happened with Sabbia and it seemed silly not helping a very talented group like them to promotetheir work. The name’s choice La Mansarda, then, has been one of the easiest thing to do: La Mansarda is, actually, the studio room where I live, I listen to and I collect all my records.
Is there still any space for new kind of music, particularly in the rock field, and especially in one of the narrower world’s corners such as the islander one?
We believe that there is a lot of spaces and ideas, the most important thing to dois t never losing the curiosity and the desire to discover always-new things.When there’s no desire, it’s like something is going wrong.
How were you ever thrown into difficult musical genres like post, stoner and math rock? Niche genres, in short.
We have always loved these musical genres. We have grown up listening to groups like BarkPsychosis, Slint, Tortoise and I have a huge veneration for Talk Talk’s second stage. That of Spirit of Eden e Laughing Stock, to understand. It was a natural aspect dealing with things like them.
What is the idea on your do-it-yourself motto?
Actually, a little bit for now. We are only helping bands printing and selling their records on the land. We would like to do more than now in the future, maybe realizing some band concerts in the island.
What are the current difficulties to create an independent label? As long as there are real difficulties in this sector, being aware that the niches and saturations make this difficult to trade commercially, then I can be wrong.
We could not consider ourselves as a label: We liked the idea to help the music bands to create their music.
What do you see in the greatest world of musical islander scene? I mean on levels like production, concerts and idea.
There is a lot of high-quality stuffs. Most of them coming from our Sardinian area, (some hours ago Don Leone has won the Italian Blues Challenge competition and they’re 100% Sardinians from the Sulcis coast) but there is still a very high-quality formation and it is demonstrated by many concerts our regional musicians make on national and international places. We could do a great job!
Coming back to La Mansarda, what are your ideas for the near future? Anything to see or may something be coming down on the pike?
On October 6th, has come out, with I Dischi Del Minollo, Vollmer Industries, Backwater Transmission and Edison Box’s collaborations and the Audioglobe’s distribution, the Singer isDead’s second album, a band from Milan that, as the name says, that makes instrumental music. People like it so muchand reviews are great for now. Sabbia’s new record, coming out some months ago, is still achieving interesting and beautiful approvals. Even Battiti (a show hosted among others by Pino Saulo and Antonia Tessitore) on Radio3,is becoming aware about this, choosing Armonici Elettrici as a playlist for one of their episodes. Things like these make us very proud! We always hope for the best!
Do you have some musical advice to give us because of your experience?
Big Thief, Alex Cameron, Curtis Harding, e John Maus, some of the records we are listening to on this period. They totally deserve it. Then, as labels, we like a lot the productions realized by 42 Records, Record Kicks, Subsound and Wallace. Abroad I would say you that we look very much at Merge’s work (one of our favorites), Light in The Attic, Brainfeeder, Strut, Hyperdub and, particularly, Sub Pop.
Translated by Daniela Schirru