Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono helped trail-blaze a budding electronic scene in southern Italy during the first part of the 1990s. They first met as respective DJs at a Neapolitan club and after finding that they had similar tastes and aspirations, promptly began collaborating. Performing as the Qmen, along with a third member, Rino Cerrone, their early music was defined by heavy rhythms and minimal electronica elements. After a string of 12-inches released with various Italian and foreign labels, Lino and Nicola became interested in making more experimental recordings. They changed their name to Retina.IT and for the next four years, they devoted themselves to the research and development of uncharted sound solutions while seeking to retain the energy and essence of their previous work.
In 2001, the fruits of their labour surfaced on wax -as the fourth installment in Hefty Record’s Immediate Action series and their premiere LP, entitled Volcano Waves 1-8 soon followed. It is on this release that Retina fine-tuned their rhythmic vibrations, warm / full production and keen sense of classic melodies, hooks, structures, and samples. Their sound is a perfect hybrid of stripped techno and modern electronics, yet never forgets to remain funky and deep.
Retina.IT continues to explore the boundaries of digital music and propose alternative perspectives in sound. They strive to change the angles and directions from which it becomes possible to examine electronic matter. Their unique analog/digital process consists of performing and improvising all of their material to DAT, which is later transferred to the computer and re-edited. Their live sets, often entirely improvised, are not to be missed. The duo has performed at numerous festivals, including 2001’s Sintesi Festival (from the cathedral of St. Severo al Pendino), the Neapolis Festival in 2005, where they opened for Kraftwerk, and most recently, in Barcelona as part of the Hefty Records showcase at Sonar, 2006.
Retina.IT's studio exists beside the ancient city of Pompeii, the city that was buried under the ash of the Vesuvio volcano 2000 years ago. Both men work daily in family shops where Mt. Vesuvius and the intense energy that resonates within the people living in the shadows of the legendary volcano consistently inspires them. Lino explains that the people there have great energy, but because of the poor economic situation and cultural struggles, they can't turn it into positive activity. He elaborates that he has a great fascination in the historic area, which is a big influence on all of the group’s avant-experimental noise pursuits.