In The Shell is the new album by Paolo Baldini DubFiles, the Italian producer’s third solo work. Unlike previous albums where the focus was on post-production, in the Jamaican tradition of the dub school, this time the starting point of the beat-making is an original compositional work, ‘a blank sheet of paper’ on which to write and develop each track.

The central nucleus of production and writing is therefore rooted in the construction, in studio, of the core instrumentals. Only later did Baldini push himself outwards to forge collaborations with international artists such as Kabaka Pyramid, Anthony B, Queen Omega, Mellow Mood, Jules I, Supahfly, Lasai, Andrew I, Forelock, KG Man, Minori and Zacky Man.

A common element in all the album’s tracks is the use of a series of ethnic sounds and samples, recorded and archived by Paolo Baldini during his numerous trips to Africa. There, he carried out electronic production and post-production work, the cornerstones of his aesthetic. The personal and emotional bond that led him to visit sub-Saharan Africa, and in particular Senegal, gave Baldini a privileged view of the daily contexts where he recorded the original samples.

In The Shell celebrates this “hybrid” vision – between a 360° exploration of black music, through its electronic components, and beat-making started from the development of these samples. The two narrative strands of the album intertwine, mix and alternate, giving rise to the sonic and rhythmic patterns that are the true backbone of the album.

The soundscape described in the album is a collage of images and colors, where past, present and future coexist and in which nature fits perfectly with scenarios taken from the cinematic imagery of science fiction. In The Shell is therefore a sort of map through which Paolo Baldini makes his journey as a producer, encountering many (if not all) of the declinations, made available by, but not exclusive to, Caribbean black music.

This work arrives eight years after At Song Embassy, Papine, Kingston 6, an album/documentary recorded in Jamaica in 2015. In the meantime, Baldini was engaged in an intense tour which led him to perform throughout Europe, United States and Latin America. In this period, he has also worked as a producer for artists such as Mellow Mood, L.A.B., Forelock, Noiseshaper, Dubblestandart, Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti, Jovanotti, Vasco Brondi and historic reggae music labels such as Pressure Sounds and Echo Beach.

In The Shell is released on the La Tempesta Dub label and is available on vinyl, CD and digital platforms.