Andrea Belfi is a drummer, composer, and experimental musician based in Berlin. As a teenager in Verona, Belfi started drumming and playing in punk bands. He later studied contemporary art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, a trajectory that has informed his varied and virtuosic sound. Within Belfi’s oeuvre, electronic, acoustic, rock and experimental elements converge and disperse fluidly.
Between 2000 and 2008, Belfi played drums as part of the instrumental rock trio Rosolina Mar, and from 2002, he began to develop a solo drum set combining percussive techniques, electro-acoustic devices, and synthesizers. Belfi’s debut record, Ned no.2 (2001), was released under independent label Chocolateguns. In 2017, Belfi signed to London-based label FLOAT and announced a new album, Ore. Ore emerged from dense, raw studio recordings, driven by improvisational, drum-based and electronic patterns, which the artist then layered with a variety of textures, themes, and song structures. A driving pulse animates Ore’s five tracks and lends them a live feel; beginnings and endings are less pronounced in favor of a full, uninhibited listening experience. In an interview with Wire in 2017, Belfi remarked, “I try to steer away from the cerebral approach people ascribe to experimental musicians… When I play and even when I compose, I want to induce this rush of hormones and endorphins in the audience.” Both improvisation and play hold court across the album, and afford it a unique sensibility of precise abandon.
Belfi has described his early-career residency at New York’s Harlem Studio in 2009 as formative. Demonstrating his interest in collaboration, Belfi also used some of his time in the US to connect and record music with legendary American composer, guitarist, pianist, and vocalist David Grubbs. He toured extensively in the US with Mike Watt, co-founder of the canonic punk band Minutemen. Belfi was invited to play with Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich and Tarik Barri, and joined their 2019 tour across Europe and the United States.
Belfi’s range of collaborators includes Nils Frahm, Mouse on Mars, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and founding member of Callie’s sound studio, Miles Cooper Seaton. In 2020, Belfi created and performed a site-specific composition for artist Monica Bonvicini’s installation As Walls Keep Shifting (2020) at OGR in Turin. The work’s saturated and highly evocative sound extended the bold minimalism of Bonvicini’s monumental timber installation.
During his residency at Callie’s, Andrea Belfi developed a series of new works for the tuba, trombone, and french horn. He also completed a solo album, Eternally Frozen, for which his departure point was the mythic Deprong Mori, a South American bat with the alleged ability to fly through solid matter using echolocation. According to legend, a researcher studying Deprong Mori caught a bat by suspending it within a solid lead wall. This fantastical narrative is exhibited in a display at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, where it inspired Belfi to explore adjacent themes through his music, such as immortality, illusion, and the physical potential of sound. The resulting hybrid composition dives into experimental and avant-garde pop, foregrounding loud, rich sounds against drones and minimal undertones.
On March 26th, 2022, Callie’s hosted the world premiere of Eternally Frozen.