| slow wave sleep | is a surreal act by Emilio Larocca Conte that aims to reproduce the third phase of sleep through music. It started in 2015 as a literary project: a diary in which Emilio used to transcribe dreams and thoughts to keep his balance by projecting reality into a world of fiction. Once he got confident with electronic music production, the whole concept with its stories and characters flowed into music.
Phase I: the first two albums | Biography
The official debut L’Ultimo Uomo – published on January 23, 2018 – has been produced in a single room in Berlin after a period of instrumental demos and experiments of all kinds. In this record, Emilio’s background of classical, rock and electronic music are fused into an eclectic style with lyrics in Italian. Its promotion has been boosted by the music videos of Parresìa and Ragnarök.
A few months later the second album Chroma is out, together with the music video of Elogio della Follia produced thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Meanwhile, a band is born to bring SWS’ music on stage. They started to play in clubs, festivals and competitions throughout Italy.
Phase II: The Band | Biography
Emilio, his brother Gabriele, Gilberto and Stella entered the studio in February 2019 to record Spiro nell’Ecosistema, a collection of mostly old songs re-arranged to fit the new acoustic style. It was a one-day raw session, all recorded live with a retro taste given by avoiding the use of samples and the metronome. The album has been released on March 25th together with the music videos of Fiore di Loto, Garuda (interactive, with three different endings) and Valzer Nero.
Phase III – alone again | Biography
Just before the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, the band broke up. Emilio then isolated himself in his hometown to finish new upcoming music. This includes Points – released on February 27th, 2021 – Spiro nell’Egosistema – the fifth album released on July 14th, 2021 – and two new volumes of Hypnagogic.
SWS aims to tell stories through a “liquid” style of music because sounds, like water, adapt the idea to any container and generate life. Although each release is a concept album, the songs have no explicit reference to the whole story. Likewise, all the music videos are linked together like a series despite having their unique plot.
The whole concept is about Rèfles, a fictional character who lives in the world of Archetypes. He’s the keeper of repressed emotions that become part of him under the form of black plasma, the matter of which he’s made. But there was too much to carry on, so he lately incarnates in Spiro, a lonely fisherman. He now has the mission of giving back emotions to humans. The left part of his body is made of black blood, which he uses to paint three stripes on people’s faces during sleep to fulfill his duties.
Spiro can travel between Planet Earth and Planet Vena, a place where there’s no air, no money, and no death. So far, only the city of Vemetown is known in this parallel dimension.