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Life And Death - Catalogue Number: LAD005
Vinyl and Digital
A1 – Make It Good (Original Mix)
A2 – Monocraft (Your Love Is Alright)
B1 – Make It Good (Larry Heard Vocal Dub)
B2 – Make It Good (Ryan Elliott Remix)
Make It Good (Larry Heard Vocal Remix)
Make It Good (Tale Of Us Remix)
Release Date: 23rd of April 2012 on Vinyl & Digital
Tennis – Make It Good EP
36 hours in. The lights are flickering and the sweat is pouring out of you like the thoughts that you're trying to write down, to get down the words, to put down the message, to translate all the ideas that keep appearing in your head. Ideas, like uninvited guests, that keep showing up and refusing to leave. Somewhere though, there's some truth in there. You know it because you saw it. You know it because you felt it. Because when you knew that - even though there were ten million reasons why you should go to bed now, why you should go to bed straight away - that you should put these silly things down, stop trying to create and just get some sleep already. That you should stop trying to wrestle the ideas in your subconscious down to the ground so you can actually capture and express them to others.
But you persist. Because anything else would feel worse than failure. It would be a disappointment to the voice behind the voice inside your head. The voice that is you but that is not you at the same time. The voice hears you thinking and comments on it and injects some other crazy ideas and - by the way - where the hell did that come from? You keep pushing. You keep working, sweating, straining, everything you can to get it all out. To get that idea across. To do that thing that in your soul you know that you specifically, you alone in the universe, are uniquely equipped and qualified to do. You can make that message heard if you can just figure out the right way to get this to work. To make it express that thing that you know in your head but could never say with your words. Make it make people understand what's inside there. That thing you know that can maybe make someone else's life better, even if for a moment. You will stay and work. You won't stop pushing. You don't stop working. People are really depending on you. Keep going. Work harder. Make it happen. Make it good.
This debut EP from Life and Death founder and co-conspirator Tennis is a testament to the hard working ethos and dedicated artistic force that is behind everything done in the Life and Death name. Deceptively simple is one of the hardest heights a song can aspire to and yet this ep sounds as if it was almost sliced ready-made from the fabric of reality, so deep and so clear is its message. A lovesong sung to an idea, a serenade to an intangible concept that comes out sounding as simple as a mantra but clearly contains much more than just a quick listen reveals…
While this is a debut release from Tennis he is far from an actual debutante. With a wide and storied background in music production, his past has had him creating soundtracks for stage plays and orchestrating both movements of music and movements of musicians for the last 15 years. But typical to his style, he's waited until all the pieces were in place and the work was ready to be started. Until the work was ready to be begun and the music was ready to be heard. Waiting until it was possible to make it work. To, ‘make it good’.
DJ Tennis is Manfredi Romano, born in the 70's and raised between New Jersey, Sicily and Parma in a family who paid just a passing attention to music. No relatives played any musical instruments, nor were there any around the home - music was never given any special amount of love in the Romano household. But despite this, and perhaps as a direct result of this, Romano's creative and artistic attitude has always centred around music: singing, creating and collecting weird and noisy musical instruments at every turn.
In 1988 before embarking on computer science studies at the University of Pisa to please his grandfather, he was already playing and singing in college bands and had an indie rock radio show on a local radio station in Palermo.
Recording with bands, organising events and DJing at the local tennis club where he used to play semi-professionally (his DJ moniker comes from his passion for the sport) became his way to support the costs of his studies, though when he graduated he never imagined he would turn that hobby into his fully-fledged career. Whilst starting out as a DJ he began focusing on promoting new underground music in his country, founding and developing some of the most important Italian underground musical events such as the Elita festival in Milan and the Dissonanze festival in Rome - at the same time creating forward-thinking new promotional concepts around the Italian clubbing scene.
In the early 90s Romano also started producing music for theatre, movie soundtracks and TV commercials, his production skills always taking inspiration from the psychedelic, dark and melancholic sounds of the 60’s, thru to early 2000’s IDM. The range of influences paint a picture of his musical worldview: The Beach Boys, The Who, Talk Talk, Ultravox, XTC, Fugazi, June of 44, Suicide, Radiohead, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Plastikman – into every musical project he poured elements, sounds & feelings from all of these artists and many more.
In 2010, after growing tired of the the more overtly generic output of the contemporary scene he decided to collect all of his musical works and, along with Thugfucker’s Greg Oreck, started a new techno and pop label called Life and Death. The name of the label has a specific meaning, inspired by the socratic method of the maieutic process to turn ‘dead’ elements into a new life, and referring to the hypnotic power of music used in the mesmeric processes for brain therapy. Life And Death was alive.
Romano bases himself in Berlin where he also shares the label experience and a studio with the innovative deep electronic duo Tale of Us, whilst he working hard to create a crew of young and inspired musicians like Clockwork and Esperanza, amongst others. On top of all of this he still maintains his main job is still being a Promoter and a Booking agent in 2012. He may go by the name Tennis, but Manfredi Romano continues to be a hugely talented all-rounder.
Charlotte Carter-Allen for the voice-over,
Jamie Fry for the Teats
and to Carmine, Matteo and Fink.