Sonitus Eco is a project by Maltese electronic music producer, DJ, synthesizer collector and sound design enthusiast Justin Meli. His sound can be described as dark, dub, ethereal, analogue techno. He is influenced by early electronic musicians such as the BBC Radiophonic workshop artists, musique concrète and early industrial acts, among them Throbbing Gristle and Coil. Meli has released music on various international labels, the first one being It Is Loneliness That Makes The Loudest Noise in 2012 via the Silent Season record label.
The Pinkpube days
Between 2005 and 2011 Justin Meli was involved in the Maltese netlabel Pinkpube together with Fabio D'Aamato and Kris Agius. Apart from releasing electronic music by Maltese artists, they also hosted label nights featuring label acts and other international guests artists. Meli's first releases, under the aliases ipconfig and May We Ask You All For Silence (alongside Christopher Buhagiar) appeared on this netlabel, as did his first EP as Sonitus Eco, Steel Plateau, in 2011. It was this EP that essentially launched Sonitus Eco internationally, with his music attracting a lot of attention from the Dub Techno community. That same year, Meli was also involved in the DLAM collective, who also released their only EP via Pinkpube.
May We Ask You All For Silence and CV/Gate
Around 2008, Justin Meli met Christopher Buhagiar while playing live in an illegal experimental noise event at an abandoned factory. The two artists later rented a garage and started to build a studio together, comprising of vintage synthesizers, drum machines, guitars and amps. At the time they were both heavily influenced by post rock, noise and metal, and this led to the birth a project by the name of May We Ask You All For Silence and the release of the Lucid Dream EP via Pinkpube, as well as a string of live performances.
Techno was also a big influence and this led to the formation of a separate project by the name of Cv/Gate, which was essentially a live jamming project where music was recorded using live jam cuts during sessions. In 2010, two EP's were released under the CV/Gate alias, the self-titled debut and a sophomore release called Analogue Summer. The duo also played several local gigs, a good number of which took place at Liquid Club in San Gwann, a haven for underground electronic music events.
Silence Of Space
Justin Meli's solo releases always had a deep, ambient dub feel, and eventually he started to experiment with more in-your-face modern styles of techno suitable for mature audiences. This led to the formation of a new side-project called Silence Of Space, which reflected the artist's love of sci-fi movies. In 2012, he released the Destruction Of Choam EP via the Italian label Trivmvirate. This EP was influenced by the 1984 sci-fi movie Dune. The following year, Meli released another Silence Of Space EP titled Morphing Shaft, via the Portuguese label Reaktivate. A split EP with N.D was also released that same year on Trivmvirate.
In 2016 Justin, along with his long-time friend and collaborator infinitedub started HAAR Records, a vinyl and digital record label to release their music on and also invited various friends and artists. The label started off with a compilation of tracks dedicated to the sound and vision of the label. In 2018, a compilation of 29 tracks by Maltese electronic artists was released in memory of Rhys Celeste aka Microlith, the proceeds of which went to the Maltese music NGO Electronic Music Malta.
Sonitus Eco has played DJ sets and live performances in various local and European clubs and festivals. In 2018 he was invited to play at the legendary techno club Tresor in Berlin. That same year he also performed with Austrian visual artist Virgil Widrich in the Valletta 2018 - European Capital of Culture event, Icon Island.
- It Is Loneliness That Makes The Loudest Noise (Silent Season) 2012 Listen
- The Past That Was Embraced By Sorrow (Rohs! Records) 2013 Listen
- Sonitus Eco - Steel Plateau (Pinkpube Netlabel) 2011
- Sonitus Eco - 500 Years Of Struggle (Deepindub) 2011
- Sonitus Eco - Eku Neolitiku (Sound Source Netlabel) 2011
- Sonitus Eco - The Glacier Series (Kosmo Netlabel) 2011
- Sonitus Eco & Emanuele Pertoldi - Techno For Breakfast (Evasion Room Digital) 2012
- Sonitus Eco - Drowned In Dub (Evasion Room Digital) 2013
- Sonitus Eco - Power Plant EP (Subself) 2014
- Sonitus Eco - The light between oceans (Silent Season) 2015 Listen
- Sonitus Eco & Seraphim Rytm - Edit Select Remixes (Silent Season) 2016
- Sonitus Eco - Her Hands Were Cold EP (HAAR Records) 2016
- Sonitus Eco & Aos - Rate of expansion (Verdant Recordings) 2018
- Times of Malta - Sonitus Eco to launch album (January 2012)
- Dub Monitor - Interview with Sonitus Eco (January 2013)
- Times of Malta - New mini-album from Sonitus Eco (July 2013)
- Dub Techno Blog - Power Plant EP Feature (June 2014)