Obscura marks Plaster’s fifth full-length studio album, excluding collaborative, live and split albums. Written between 2019 and 2022, Obscura is the result of very deep research by Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri both in the world of composition and sound design. The fifteen tracks that make up the album are divided into two parts, A and 𝝮.
According to Gianclaudio, the concept of the compositions is based on the female world, on its darker and brighter side, on its power and delicacy, but also refers to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran and the subsequent Iranian protests. The tracks are filled with elements of protest messages, words of hope, stories of femicide, snippets, and homages to Gianclaudio’s imaginary female world.
The sound is clearly a step forward in Plaster’s production, we can hear a lot of new entries, like poetry, distorted guitars, vocals used as lead instrument, but on the other hand, Obscura brings back memories of early works. There is a lot of passion and cohesion between the tracks and this is not an album that is aimed at quick listens or streaming skips.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?
Hi, I’m Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri. Born in Rome but i’m half Iranian and half Italian. I’m 37 years old, married and the father of 2 kids. I started to study guitar at the age of 7 for 3 years, then stopped and reprised at the age of 16, but I turned into electronic music quickly after I bought my first computer (early 2000). I’ve studied electronic music composition, midi programming and sound engineering at Saint Louis College Of Music in Rome.
It seems that the underground scene continues to persist. Do you think “normal” events and festivals will return?
I hope so, underground scene here in Rome is missed for a long time. The only problem i’m facing is that there’s no more the sense of community which is a big part of underground culture. I don’t know if its only for the COVID period, but i see that the “culture” specially on Millennials is not present as it was for my generation or the generation before mine.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
I don’t do Djing but as an electronic musician, my sound is evolving in a direction that i’ve never expected until this new album. I finally feel that my language is more natural and shaped to me instead of following a trend.
How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?
I believe I can make them in a state of creating images in their minds and abstract them from reality.
What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?
At the moment I’m working on the live performance for Obscura, especially on the video part. Over my music career i’ve always collaborated with visual artists for the live visuals, but I feel that the moment to take care of this part myself. I have to say that it is very challenging, but stimulating at the same time.
That bothers you?
Losing my time for stupid things or people, the Italian politic and this unfair capitalism system.
What makes you happy?
My kids when they are happy, having sex, biking, gym, good wine, good friends.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Yes, probably to be as true as possible, especially in art.
Written by: Alejandro Serrano