“(Why Don’t You Take) The Other Side” is the long awaited new album by Marsmobil. This one is about us. Everyone. About the battles within. The two sides of a coin and how we flip them or hide one of them. About decisions. Day by day. It’s important to understand that when Roberto Di Gioia aka Marsmobil started the recording sessions for his third album “(Why Don’t You Take) The Other Side” the album’s theme was not as evident as it looks now. In fact composing and recording the album was a long process and although the album title (and its question) had been apparent in one form or another for a long time it had to be discovered first. It was the underlying question unintentionally hidden inside the songs composed and recorded over the past years.
This Side – That Side. Who is Roberto Di Gioia?
Fact is, he was born in Milano. Fact is, he lives in Germany. Munich to be precise. Fact is, his team is Munich, not Milano. Red and white, not black and blue. That could raise a doubt, right? He is reeeeally into food – all sorts, but then try his pasta! Fashion too! Best dressed chicken in town! Not a German thing either! His native tongue? Well – that depends on your native tongue. If you are a German or Italian give it a try! Believe me, he’ll be your fellow citizen. But if we really can’t locate the man on one side of the Alps or the other, we know at least he is a musician, right? I mean he has recorded albums. Many albums in fact. With big names and on his own. Musicians love the man. One could say he is a musician’s musician. Live too. He toured the world. Countless concerts. All true. But then you check his moleskines and you see he is a writer to. Almost every single instrument recorded for “The Other Side” was recorded by Roberto himself. From piano (of course) to guitar, to bass, to drums to even a sitar – all played by the man himself!
And now the jazz tag! Almost a curse!? The root of it all. If you ask Roberto himself he would never limit himself to be a jazz musician. An autodidact for most of his life Roberto taught himself to play the organ, continually progressing over the next years. Whilst still under-aged he was invited by local jazz heroes to join them live. He was too good to be true. At just nineteen he joined Art Farmer on tour. Invitations to the States followed the same year. It was too good to be true. Almost too easy. With less than 20 Roberto had joined the ranks of well-established European and American jazz figures. He became a member of Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, a band that almost every outstanding German jazz musician since the 60s had joined at one point or another during their career, like Americans did with Duke Ellington’s big band back in the 40s and 50s. Jazz musicians had found him, raised him and almost kept him hostage for the next twenty years. But jazz was only one flavor to savor and Roberto was not all jazz. Emancipation started as a slow process and increased when he founded his own project Marsmobil in the late 90s. He also worked with other non-jazz musicians more and more. The Notwist, Console, Peter Kruder, Christian Prommer, Henrik Schwarz, Max Herre – these are just a few names. Last year he produced tracks for DJ Hell’s acclaimed album “Teufelswerk”.
So it’s not surprising that the theme of the album developed progressively over the last two years and so too did the musical world of Marsmobil. In fact this theme is more than just the theme of the album, it’s a life theme: a lifelong struggle to free ourselves from external and internal restriction or at least to question them, not just as a musician but also in our private life. We know these feelings all too well, but do we dare to ask this question? “(Why Don’t You Take) The Other Side”