Release Date 10/23/2020
(Track Number Records)
23 year old queer, nonbinary ambient artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Andy Schiaffino combines rich textures, the nostalgic hiss of tape, and field recordings into loop-based glimpses of songs on their first full-length release as body / negative. Fragments is due October 2020 on Track Number Records.
Schiaffino’s upbringing lent a hand to the music they’d make in their adulthood. Raised in a Catholic, Spanish-speaking immigrant family, they grew up on classical music and opera, even practicing classical piano as a child, which fostered an undying love for all things paradisiacal. Becoming bored by the confines of classical piano in their adolescence, Schiaffino began writing short, field recording-based ambient works, often recorded in lo-fi capacities and living as unfinished, perfectly imperfect pieces. Schiaffino would continue to write and record privately until the creation of their pseudonym body / negative in late 2018.
Today they release the new single and share the new video for album opener "Figure 8", a cover of a cover that was originally a children’s song on the educational cartoon Schoolhouse Rock, made popular by Elliott Smith’s cover. Schiaffino creates a new life for the song, inspired by electronic luminaries The Caretaker and William Basinski. “Figure 8" is a hauntingly fragile track, reminiscent of what would emit from your record player as you play a dusty and scratched record. The video is directed by Bailey Kobelin, and frames up an honest insight into the humanity of the sex work profession. Watch it on YouTube.
Schiaffino provides context to the video: "As a former sex worker, I’ve noticed a lot of artists borrowing from the SW aesthetic without crediting those they’ve been inspired by. This music video touches on the many forms of sex work i’ve been involved in, primarily dancing. Also featuring fellow dancer and pole instructor Miranda Angeline, this video serves as a dedication to current and former sex workers of all kinds, everywhere. You are seen, you are loved and you are perfect. The song itself is a cover of a Schoolhouse Rock song, popularized by Elliott Smith. I always found the melody to be eerie and haunting, a lot like the themes I touch on in the video. Living as a sex worker can sometimes be like being a ghost - you hide yourself away, develop a new identity, constantly have to watch others, and in too many instances, things can become deadly. I want Figure 8 to be a reminder that SW isn’t all glitz and glam, nor is it seedy and underground.. It lives somewhere in the middle of those two worlds, full of humans who deserve to be respected and valued. Not to mention decriminalized."
After playing their first live show opening up for post-punk group Cold Showers and shoegaze artist Tamaryn in January of 2019, they’d go on to release an EP and play a handful of shows, sharing the stage with acts such as Seefeel and Street Sects. Live shows are an intimate experience for body / negative - every show consists of them sitting on the stage, cross-legged behind a suitcase full of gear, with improvised visuals designed by San Diego-based multimedia artist Xavier Vasquez further masking Schiaffino with shadows. Their live sets visually and sonically transport listeners to new horizons situated beneath the stars.
The upcoming full-length release Fragments is an in-depth exploration of the concepts first introduced on their debut EP Epoche, released in March 2019 on Dune Altar Records. Fragments lives between two worlds - an eerie, decaying world of disintegrated vocals with plinky toy pianos, and an ethereal world of reverb-laden guitar. The polarity of the record’s sonic components reflect the same polarity found in Fragments’ lyrical themes; light and darkness, death and life.
Fragments is predominantly produced by Schiaffino, who prefers to work within constraints with a negligible amount of gear and unconventional tunings which allow for optimal creative freedom.
The album moves forward into gradually lighter territory, with celestial guitar and vocals in “Letterhead,” minimalist piano and spoken word in “Catholic Guilt,” eventually making its way into the dream pop inspired closing track “The Big Sleep.” One of only two tracks on the album featuring another artist (in this case, LA-based Void Of Course, the solo project of Numb.er and Froth’s Nick Ventura), the song is deeply personal. Despite being the least gloomy song of all the record, “The Big Sleep” is a reflection on the artist’s struggle with suicidal ideation following a severance of ties with a loved one. The track is warm and inviting as body / negative ruminates on the uncertainty of the afterlife, as they sing “black is finite / in the lace / outside.”
Inspired by tumultuous events in the artist’s life, Fragments explores some of the deepest crevices of their most profound losses.