Take off and Learning” is the first solo release of TNKS’s guitarist Michele Di Leonardo under his MiDiLe pseudonym. The album is conceived as a three-part cosmic trip including a take-off, learning and final landing. Drawing from his deep and prolonged listening of composers like Krzysztof Penderecki, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jonny Greenwood, Brian Eno e John Cage, MiDiLe creates and assembles sonic landscapes of different nature, from the cavity-deep, disturbing, voice-haunted, quasi-free-form opening track, “Born Now”, to the soothing guitar arpeggios of An Echoing Spring.
The spacecraft, whatever it may be, is in orbit now and almost marvels at the sight of the multicoloured marbles that are the planets suspended in the cosmic blackness of space. The atmosphere is rarefied here and the sparse synth sounds counterpointing the guitar arpeggios all but highlight the weightlessness of this track.
The third étape in the trip is “Ground Substance”, and almost concrete, tri-dimensional affair in which experimental sounds come and go like brief apparitions of alien beings in an alien jungle. “First Impressions” features clean guitars succumbing to the all-engulfing power of synths that seize the field like swarms of mechanical bees. No rhythm is allowed in this trip, and when the guitar steps in again, creating a semblance of ear-soothing chords, the synths seem to rebel against such normalcy with their cries and hisses.
A subdued, crickety, atmosphere heralds “Time 12.54”, for the first time we have an idea of percussion, as a contrast with the eerie, sparse sounds the track is made up of. Picture yourselves in a gorge on one of the exoplanets MiDile’s trip wants to take us, and you’ll get a fairly accurate idea of what this minimalist piece of music is all about. “Euro Odyssey” has a sort of Zeit-era Tangerine Dream feel to it. No form nor shape for this, the longest track in the album. Just sounds collected and processed during this interstellar trip with a sort of miniaturist feel. The track evolves then into a comet-of-the-mind coda in which prolonged sounds merge and shine, bright and hot, lighting up a new passage or a new universe.
Michele Di Leonardo approaches the world of music in early life, studying classical music, theory and solfeggio, and playing flute.
He learns on his own the basis of classical guitar, improving them with a teacher some year later.
He listens to different genres, beginning with jazz, blues and classical music and then - during an unceasing sound research - finds out rock music, punk, grunge, noise and various subgenres.
He takes up playing bass, as self-taught, in his first punk-rock band, making covers and home recording on compact cassettes birthing some compositions and unpublished songs.
It’s a short step from bass to electric guitar.
This brings him to a period in which he improves his style and techniques; he studies musical composition and plunges into pedalboards, drum machines, synthesizers and digital recording-software world.
The landing, in recent years, to electronic, ambient and experimental music improved the research of new sounds and new effect units. He joins the band “TNKS” and then takes up his first work as a solo artist: “Take-off and learning”.