Sandro Perri is a musician and producer based in Toronto. He has released over a dozen albums of original vocal, instrumental, acoustic and electronic music and worked on countless other recordings in various creative and technical roles. Perri’s curious ear and love of re-invention have resulted in a strikingly diverse catalogue, exploring intersections of pop, folk, jazz, tropicalia, improv, minimalism, dance and electronic – but unified in their impeccable craftsmanship and unique creative vision.
Although primarily self-taught, Perri has some formal training in guitar, theory and arranging. Between 1999 and 2002, he ran the 12″ label Audi Sensa and began releasing works under various monikers, most notably Polmo Polpo, which explored ambient dance music at its fringes, with drone/noise and dub-inflected production enveloping melodic instruments like lap steel guitar, viola and accordion. These early tracks were compiled and released by Alien8 Recordings as The Science Of Breath. In 2003, he recorded a 28-minute cover of Arthur Russell’s Kiss Me Again, blending his love of disco, drone and durational music. That same year, Constellation released the widely acclaimed Polmo Polpo LP Like Hearts Swelling, a pulsing, meditative and highly original record with “an aural palette far wider than his contemporaries – Perri seems to have discovered the cure for the ills of both ambient and noise musics” (Dusted).
In 2004, Perri began shifting away from mixer-based electronic performance in favour of increasingly live instrumentation, rallying numerous players from Toronto’s fertile avant-improv scene and reshaping his music into organic instrumentals and towards singer-songwriting as well. First signaled with the Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo EP – of which The Wire wrote “the serenity in these songs feels hard-won, their delicate but determined emotional precision constitutes a quiet triumph” – by 2007 Perri had completed Tiny Mirrors, the first full-length release under his own name: a record of mellow, liquefied, often tropicalia-inflected pop songs arranged with some of Toronto’s finest out-music players. Perri also continued to explore experimental dance music, especially with composer/guitarist Craig Dunsmuir in their duo Glissandro 70 – anchored by looped guitars and vocal chants, their eponymous 2006 LP is an unassumingly ecstatic hybrid of trance, mutant disco, Afrobeat, mumblecore and indie jangle.
Perri’s 2011 release Impossible Spaces combined his interests in longform songwriting, progressive rock tropes, post-modern recombination and an electronic production sensibility. The album’s seven-minute single “Changes” was a Pitchfork Best New Track and the album was among their Top 50 Records of 2011; also named one of the Top 50 Toronto Records of All Time by Now Magazine and nominated for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize.
In 2016, Perri introduced the new electronic project Off World. Born out of improvised duets with Lorenz Peter and including a wealth of other collaborators, Off World’s two full-length collections of esoteric instrumental explorations led Boomkat to declare Perri “one of the most singular producers in contemporary music” and Off World’s debut “one of the most original and satisfying albums we’ve heard this year.”
Perri describes his 2018 solo record In Another Life (2018) as the pursuit of ‘infinite’ song: the album is comprised of two side-length tracks, with guest vocal appearances by Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and André Ethier (The Deadly Snakes) on the sublimely poetic 3-part song “Everybody’s Paris”. The album’s 24-minute title track was included in Pitchfork’s Top 100 Of 2018, who also called the album “visionary in both content and form” in their 8.1 review. Among other accolades, Aquarium Drunkard said In Another Life “cements Perri’s place as our space age Arthur Russell” and Exclaim heralded it as “his outsider pop masterpiece”.
Soft Landing, the latest addition to Perri's stellar catalog, features a collection of tracks that have been in the works for the better part of the last decade, taking many forms along the way and recorded sporadically over the past several years. It's Perri's most guitar-based offering since 2007’s Tiny Mirrors, and his smooth and expressive playing serves as the perfect anchor for these impeccably detailed hi-fi gems. Soft Landing was released on 06 September 2019.
As a live performer, Perri has traveled throughout North America, Japan, and Europe, appearing at festivals including Primavera Sound, All Tomorrow’s Parties, MUTEK, Wordless Music Series, MOMA PS/1 Warmup, Suoni Per Il Popolo and Nuit Blanche. He has shared stages with the likes of Philip Glass, Destroyer, Michael Hurley, Andrew Bird, Tortoise, Pan Sonic, Oval and Burnt Friedmann.