Selected Press


“[...] Wanke found a way to present his “oxidized” sounds according to a sort of malleable architecture, so to speak, deprived of actual dangers but quite fascinating nonetheless. The music is organized in scenes where the instrumental matter, the environmental enhancement and the listener’s psychology interblend as a single entity. There aren’t veritable dichotomies, in that even apparently remote sources are perceived as pertaining to the closer occurrences. Still, one manages to distil liquids from solids; the cohesion of stasis and pulse inside darkish snapshots of resonant fullness does the rest. Events succeed rather smoothly, yet the clear sensation of ongoing change – in the overall lighting, in the dynamic associations, in the acoustic backgrounds – warrants the stability of an audience’s curiosity. The typical ingredients related to similar releases – droning, absence of definite gradations, noises of uncertain nature, manipulation of echoes from real life – are all there, but our relative familiarity is contrasted by a scarcity of genuine reassurances.” Massimo Ricci. Touching Extremes 03/2016

"Taking a conceptual cue from chemical process of oxidation, through which a given element is made to behave differently according to its state, Wanke’s album is as much a testing lab as a set of songs—a space in which the “tangibility” and mercuriality of sound is measured, gauged, and pushed gently towards its theoretical limits under a studied guiding hand. Each track on States, from the acidic, warbling “Seven Buildings,” to “Obsolete Calls,” whose tectonic groans brush against the edge of audibility, toys with sound’s status as a medium in and of transition, teasing out the possibilities latent in its reactive instability. Wanke grafts a skin onto the proceedings with his sculptural use of texture, and each and every sonic shift is thus felt like a warp or tear in a quivering stretch of surface. States can be nabbed digitally or on CD, and those quick to the draw might land one of a handful of signed and numbered editions; a bundled print of the above artwork by Pedro Tropa only sweetens the pot." The Operative 01/2016


Six tracks differently distributed for electronics, synths, piano, harmonium, organ, prepared guitar, zither, percussions, drums and voice. The third record of RDW is superb, like the preivous ones. But it is certainly quite 'different': more 'pop-style', he says, and it is true in a way. The opening track, the splendid "DUST", is even with singing voice and it is searching a sort of ballad appeal that the percussive pulsations and the streams of synth and keyboards at the end could not recall. The rarefied "LA PUERTA CONDENADA" comes back to the electroacoustic territories. "UNA SONRISA TORCIDA" and "GALLOS BLANCOS" hold some seeds of electronics old waves (though remaining distant, these tracks remind me some pieces of "The Bridge" of Thomas Leer and Robert Rental). Wanke lives since a long time in the fertile musical land of Lisbon and he collaborated with Maranha, Ielasi, Toral and Mota. His personality a little bit melancholic and marked by a sort of 'sonic existentialism' characterized him a more introspetive and intimist character and thus more personal compared with the others. Again a well deserved (8) and a suggestion: that he should continue to use the voice, is the most beautiful and expressive instrument that human beings could use continuing to be human." Stefano I. Bianchi, Blow Up Magazine, 03/2015

So far music by Riccardo Dillon Wanke popped up in Vital Weekly as part of improvising with other, with notable exceptions, the CD "To R.S." (Vital Weekly 629), but I am sure I missed out a few (on such labels as Die Schachtel, Headlights and Apice). Wanke's primary instruments is the guitar, although he also uses voice, keyboards, drums, piano, synth and harmonium in the total of six pieces to be found on this record. Usually his music explores developments over a long period, in a minimal way, but on this record, these are a bit shorter, even when the two piece of side A, last seven and eleven minutes. Moving away from the more improvised settings of his ealier work, it seems like he's been interesting in using the format of a "song" to further develop his minimalist approach. Alsa there seems to be a more rockist attitude; maybe post-rockish would be a better word. Wanke's minimalist approach works quite well, especially in a sort of somewhat dark and intense way. A bit guitar/drone-like creating a few dense layers of sound, such as in "UNA SONRISA TORCIDA (SEMINOTE #1)"; being one such painting in a few limited colors. I am not sure if singing is something he should do, in "DUST", the only track to feature this. I"UNA SONRISA TORCIDA" like the way the instruments are used on this piece, but the singing is perhaps not so much of my liking. There is a great dark atmosphere in these pieces, which I"UNA SONRISA TORCIDA" enjoyed a lot, and most of the time Wanke creates some fine minimalist song structures. Well-rounded and finshed compositions, rather than a free play of instruments and sounds. Quite a step forward and overall it's something that I like a lot". FdW, Vital Weekly 696.


Live interview at “Noise A Noite”, Radiozero, Lisbon. (podcast here (portuguese speaking))

"By looking at the above list one could be justified in thinking about an extemporaneous proposal by an improvisation orchestra; instead, The Marvellour Transatlantic is a long-distance cooperation instigated by the members of the Mexican group Generación Espontánea. Every participant was left more or less autonomous in altering assemblages antecedently submitted by other allied musicians along this Mexico/Europe axis; the hope was to experience the kind of fevered reaction that typicaly derives from acts of superior improptu creativity. A few of the collective's masterminds edited the final result, the lone exception represented by "Un Riverbero di Grillaia" (a favorite of mine) in which Riccardo Wanke took care o the piece's general organization, turning it into a Stangl/Dupree mix of sorts with precise droplets of steel-string guitar against gently sloping atmosphericsnippets and an assortment of minor disruptions. [...]" Massimo Ricci


"Parliamo un pò di Riccardo Dillon Wanke. E’nato a Genova nel 1977, ha vissuto a Milano dal 1983 al 2004, dal 2005 vive e lavora a Lisbona. Si definisce un compositore e polistrumentista (piano/organ/keyboards, chitarra e sax) che opera nel campo della musica sperimentale dal 2000. E può vantare un serie di collaborazioni con Giuseppe Ielasi, Stefano Pilia, David Maranha, Margarida Garcia, Manuel Mota, Francesco Dillon e Renato Rinaldi. É membro fondatore di Medves e recentemente ha dato vita al trio, Dru, dove suona il Fender Rhodes insieme all'organo di David Maranha e la chitarra di Manuel Mota. Il suo CD del 2008 per Sedimental (USA) "Caves" é stato segnalato da "the Wire" come uno dei migliori debutti dell'anno. In questa recensione ci occupiamo di un suo lavoro, to r.s., datato settembre 2010 che non poteva sfuggire al radar acustico del Blog Chitarra e Dintorni in quanto prevede l’uso di elettronica, chitarra e basso elettrici. Non saprei se definire Dillon Wanke come un minimalista. O un post minimalista. Di sicuro le sue strutture musicali sono essenziali, ridotte al minimo e di natura improvvisativa. L'attenzione sembra essere totalmente concentrata nella dimensione del suono nello spazio con un tecnica che si basa sull'utilizzo di texture e loops utilizzando basso e chitarra come generatori filtrati. I riferimenti sembra no andare dall'ambient di Brian Eno, alle sovrapposizioni di Cage, al minimalismo di La Monte Young e di Terry Riley. Il concetto base è di tipo cinematico, il montaggio delle scene, un viaggio in una geografia basata sull'improvvisazione, alla ricerca di una sensibilità squisita. Lunga vita."

"[...] Wanke and Simões together are the perfect foil for Toral, highlighting the subtle way in which his electronic machines wail, purr and shriek. Furthermore, aside from a brief 15-minute foray into controlled ecstasy in the second third of the performance, the energy on display in Live at Outfest is completely through the roof. This tape is the second best thing to actually witnessing what must have been an utterly mind-blowing show."Medusa, Foxy Digitalis

"[...] On "III.II," Toral, Riccardo Dillon Wanke (Rhodes piano), and César Burago (small percussion) find a fruitful rapport in peppering percolation, and on "III.VII," the trio (this time with Burago on kokiriko) poke through a noir-ish fog. They're as dark and mysterious on the latter as they were pert and peppy on the former, and they prove to be the album's best combo."Adam Strohm, Dusted

"[...] Given the distinctive sound and conceptual structure of the pieces, it's hard to believe this is only Wanke's second full length release.  Carefully balancing complexity and simplicity, his juggling of treated and pure sounds into true, traditional minimalism is exceptionally well done." Creaig Dunton, Brainwashed

"Wanke is a new name to me and his work (both this and his 2006 release Caves) came out nowhere and floored me. His guitar drones are so purely tonal they could easily be mistaken for sine waves and when he incorporates the acoustic or piano, his dense layers take on even more life. The closest comparison I can come up with is an extremely stripped down, exceptionally raw Oren Ambarchi. I can’t get enough of this." Mike Shiflet, 1st, playlist 2010


"So far I thought of the Sedimental label as a home for atmospherical music from an improvised nature, but these two new releases may proof me wrong. Pleasantly wrong. Wanke, originally from Italy, now in Lisbon, already had a CD on Sedimental, 'Caves' (see Vital Weekly 629) and the new one, 'To R.S.', continues where the previous left of. Not by adding more layers of sound, but rather a bit less and reducing the sound. Four lengthy parts here, fity-three minutes, which seem to flow into eachother. At first a drone of resonating guitar like sound which slowly develops and then slowly other elements are added. Well into the third piece we detect an acoustic guitar being strummed, electronics and maybe a piano being slammed every now and then. It may sound like a harsh thing, but its not. Wanke controls his music to a great extend. The fourth part starts out as a separate entity , it seems, with acoustic sounds being scraped over a surface and some piano, but then moves up an elegant drone piece too. The previous record was a  "very nice record, this one", this one is great!" FdW, Vital Weekly 758

"It was difficult to follow up the gem that was "Caves", debut of this italian guitarist/composer living in Lisbon. We met him many times (for example within the superlatives Dru together with David Maranha and Manuel Mota), but his own releases are always those where emerges his more private sensibility. That is intimate, delicate, melodious and romantic (it is not accident that the cd is dedicated to Robert Schumann), poetic, meditative and extremely introspective. Electric and acoustic guitar, piano, objects and natural sounds: these four parts of the CD move like a unique piece with a minimalistic structure, designed with short and vanishing loops that self-generate into dispersed and weak flows till the waiving. This static universe captures and seduces until the daze. Nevertheless everything is moving like the thought that gurgles, bubbles and feels the coming of an event that starts to take shape and life, to compose and in the last part of the CD move to the piano -here is Schumann- suddenly preserved by noises that grows (the present?) to affirm again the need of a recovery of humanism. Brilliant (8)" Stefano I. Bianchi, BlowUp Magazine, 11/10

"[...]Perhaps it is the simplicity of an orchestra-less concerto that inspires the minimalism of to r.s. or, simply, the ability of natural tones to emphasize elements of Schumann's piece. Either way, Dillon Wanke succeeds in turning classical composition and improvisational wit into accessible music without the pretenses of any particular school.[...]", Darius Sabbaghzadeh,, 09/2010

"[...] the music of Francesco Dillon and Riccardo Dillon Wanke is far from improvised, it embraces the sort of instrumentation common in improvisational settings. [...] It opens with a dialogue between a down-tuned guitar and eerie cello plucking in the first track, "mind the gap, pt. 2." Following this comes one of the most powerful pieces of the album on the second track, "final del juego," where field recordings become taken over with anxious cello strumming and an intense, droning guitar's reverb, which comes to dominate the track by it's close.[...]", Darius Sabbaghzadeh,, 09/2010

"[...]Listening to the cello and electric guitar duo Amuleto, you hear texturally oriented pieces, flavoured with field recordings that open up like memory spaces within the duo's droning atmospheres.[...]", Julian Cowley, The Wire #319/sept10, 09/2010

(David Maranha - Antarctica - LP Roaratorio) [...] Subtle variations are present on both tracks of the album: the drums propagates a slow and mournful 4/4, a bubbling sailing organ, a dissonant violin that draws, extends and expands repeated cycles; a sound that surrounds and deceives the senses reaching the heart with movements of hopeless nostalgia (splendid work on bass and guitar by Pilia and Dillon Wanke on side B, a true masterpiece) that outline scenarios of static ice, loneliness - bright white. Hurry up, it's an edition of only 300 copies!. (8)" Stefano I. Bianchi, BlowUp Magazine, 05/10


"[...] David Maranha (organ), Manuel Mota (electric guitar), Riccardo Dillon Wanke (fender rhodes) are the musicians involved in Dru. The first two, portuguese by birth, the third by adoption. Their music is silent, improvised, with some jazz reminiscences. "L'Aiguille" could be misinterpreted as cold and cerebral, unnarrative, the result of a series of encounters, but approaching its seven tracks in the right mood (I would dare to say "religious") we will discover that these are seven of the infinite possible combinations of a divine whims craps game. Seven configurations of notes, among infinite possibilities, saved from silence catastrophe by these musicians that are not afraid to face it." Vincenzo Santarcangelo, rockerilla magazine 02/2009

"Creating an after-the-fact transition between early electric jazz and contemporary electronic washes, Dru is made up of David Maranha (organ), Manuel Mota (electric guitar) and Riccardo Dillon Wanke (electric piano). Initial impressions are something like a slowed-down, percussionless (and trumptetless!) version of Bitches Brew. The keyboards create slow-changing washes of texture while Mota's clean-and-warm-sounding guitar interjects chords and thoughtful melodic fragments. Each sound created has the impression of being examined from every angle before the next element is introduced. When the guitar drops out, the extended organ drones and electric piano colourations have something in common with Fennesz's droning but melodic compositions. The Mota's guitar, adding the more tightly-focussed sense of a pick or finger impacting on a string to the more diffuse sounds created by the other two musicians, pulls the ear towards hearing this music as a real-time group improvisation rather than electronic boffinery. Despite one or two moments that stray close to jazz-cliché territory, this subtle, multi-layered music deserves attention." Nick Illot,

"the "dru" are David Maranha (organ), Manuel Mota (electric guitar) and Riccardo Dillon Wanke (electric piano); once, due to the relevance of the three protagonists, we would define "L'aiguille du dru" as a work of a "supergroup", but today, looking at the market's situation and at the extremely reduced public to whom the CD is addressed (200 copies); we could welcome it as a nice occasion to listen to three of our favorite musicians playing together. Seven tracks with similar structure, identical inspiration. That is close to a sort of "jazz feeling" that it possible to found in Mota's releases: a slow fluidic and yearning of guitar's notes and picks in "slow-motion" around to which some precious organ backgrounds and piano counterbalanced sounds are filled in and mixed together. These disguised piano sounds -always discrete but insisting, gloomy, seething- do never seem as accompaniment, but are an essential base for a structure otherwise so docile to become pure spirit. Victim of suggestion, I feel something Christmassy wafting in these spread sounds (tracks 4 and 6), something that exists (and resists) as in a edge and a abduction (5); it is a music that has a unique possible parallelism with that of Loren Mazzacane Connors, same in ecstatic nature, "human" in a more noble sense: moral, rational, so dry, so sentimental. I don't know why my thoughts go to Clint Eastwood and his movies. (8)" Stefano I. Bianchi, BlowUp Magazine, 01/09


"Riccardo Dillon Wanke's sole outing prior to Caves was the 2004 album by Medves, a quintet with Giuseppe Ielasi, Renato Rinaldi, Andrea Belfi and Stefano Pilia - all of them key members of a floating nexus of Italian musician blurring the borders between electroacustic, minimalism, electronics and avant rock, either solo of in group like 3/4HadBeenEliminated, Oreledigneur and Christa Pfangen. Caves unhurriedly introduces its costituent parts - ondulating drones, folk- and blues- hinting acoustic guitar, gentle loops, saxophone hum - before working with them into thoughtful arrangements, implying links between each of them and idioms they represent. Gentle surprises pop up at serendipitous moments: scribbled sibilant texture, a whispered vocal on "E", the unexpected abradings of the concluding track. Wanke's patient craft and superb use of space make Caves one of the year's stongest debuts." Nick Cain, The Wire #295/sept08, 09/2008

"Più che improvvisazione tra queste note c'è parecchia composizione, e non si tratta solo di quella composizione scritta su carta, ma di quel tipo di lavoro che implica molta spazialità e parecchia libertà di risonanza e di movimento, così come una certa regolarità nel far uscire dai suoni solo l'aspetto asciutto e necessario, andando in una direzione precisa. C'è memoria e solitudine: più si va avanti e più il disco è attraversato da foschie, nebbie e rumori quasi sussurrati che in brevi pennellate si fanno materia immaginaria e vista trasognata. [...] Si tratta di un esordio importante e di un disco importante (e crudele)... il suo autore è da tenere d'occhio e se ne aspettano le prossime mosse." Salvatore Borrelli,, 09/2008

"[...] It's apparent throughout just how beautifully made and directly affecting these pieces are, and what a significant contribution Caves makes to experimental music of a minimalist bent." Max Schaefer,, 08/2008.

[...] Italy's Riccardo Dillon Wanke also works with acoustic instruments -- guitar, saxophone -- and field recordings to create his spare, evocative, distinctly folk-tinged drones. Susanna Bolle,, 08/2008.

"Caves hovers between discord and beauty, between drone and improvised to build a collection of pieces that swings between hypnotic, poignant, emotional pulling and strange [...] He also often adds in cut-up improvised instrumental elements, or textural sound settles fuzzed over the top of the drones which really heightens the music's strange, tragic and often beautiful charm [...] The simplistic yet wonderful cover artwork of a pedestrian area taken through a heavy cracked mirrored surface that really mirrors the music's feeling of finding wonder in monotony, discord and ultimately the normality and drudgery of every day life. Caves is an exceptional work of honesty, pain and beauty which will have you seeing wonder and magic in every crack, chip and dis-colourment that surrounds your existence- simply spellbinding stuff." Roger Batty,, 06/2008

"[...] In this calm and dilated sea the sound grow and extend as an hypnosis, evoking sometimes minimalistic backgrounds speckled of bluesy notes (and) or raga-folk mutation (the beautiful Jest), exploring ways where the (ec)static formula of minimalism pervades in the improvisation and in the folk memories, leaving the droning of a sax kept on the puff-sound boundary dissolve itself in a modulation of bewildered beauty (Old Man). Wanke is, in fact, the nicest monthly surprise in the electro-acoustic field; moving close to David Maranha, Manuel Mota, Giuseppe Ielasi [...] resulting in a bright and peculiar personality, a clear and conscious sound, a never banal composing ability." Stefano I. Bianchi, blowup magazine #122/123, 07/2008.

"There's a whole lot going on in these five tracks. Their short, simple names disguise their complexities and depth. [...] Wanke makes full use of binaural beats and experiments with a range of sounds to create unusual and unexpected landscapes. The long long tracks become more interesting and reveal more depth with each and every listen. The bold start in 'E' entices you in and leaves anticipation, the long tones and long tracks test your ability to remain attentive and then you are rewarded with fine, wandering melodies on guitar in 'Jest' and 'Old man'. The familiar and unexpected sounds combine to evoke emotional recoil and response. I find it overly experimental at times and the mood is sometimes interrupted by oddness but I find something new with every play. The last two tracks bring to mind the music from a couple of films, but they are great films so I'm certainly not complaining." Anna Johnston,, 07/2008.

"[...] his album is less scattered over the place and makes a much more homogenous impression on the listener. Wanke layers sound upon sound, starting with a few simple disparate sounds and then goes on and on to layers them until a somewhat (not to) dense mass of sound arrives. [...] Very nice record, this one, with solid improvised drone music." FdW,, 05/2008.

"Riccardo Dillon Wanke's Caves was composed and recorded in 2006 in Alfama (historical district of Lisbon, Portugal) using acoustic and electric guitars, saxophones and natural sound elements starting from pure radical improvisation evolving into the investigation of drones and static and looped music related to minimalism. At the center of these works are the binaural beats in musical composition, the results lying between classical composition, minimalistic improvisation and a avant-folk sensitivity. The five tracks of Caves explore this in various ways. Its music plays with the relation between different geometries: expanded drones and concrete sounds, acoustic melodies and looped music. The project is music with a sort of irrational tension within a composed piece, built as a musical space made with few elements. On the surface, its aura seems immediately knowable and known yet Wanke has delivered a much more complex, nearly radical gesture. [...]" (


"The music of italian quintet Medves for the most part drifts untethered, floating in its own rarefied space. But if the initial impression is one of tasteful abstraction, a gentle unravelling of elements, these guitar-led compositions occasionally touch on a surprising intensity brought on by gradual increased and sustained noise levels. Opening with a hesitant round of seemingly random guitar notes, punctuated by muffled bass booms and stray crackles, the music stumbles into semi-cohesion with overlapping guitar chimes before gently fading out. The following piece - all tracks are untitled - again marks out its territory with the plucking of guitar strings in Ambient space, but gradually grows into an atonal surge, a wave of sound within wich individual elements are sharply drawn but are then absorbed into a mass of abstract noise. What follows is a short interlude of jazzy, twanging guitar and stark piano before the drawn out climax of the album's fourth and final track. This begin with a muffled clunk of percussion accompanying raga-like guitar and a burgeoning acoustic drone. Clearer guitar sounds make tracks through the embedded noise with muted volleys of notes and short bursts of feedback. Frequently the group skirt around melodic themes with a teasing sense of semiengagement as the gitars' clarity wavers then fades back into the murky backdrop of noise. The way it finally peters out is in keeping with the disc's generalimpression of sketchy elusiveness that's intriguing if not terribly substantial."Tom Ridge, The Wire/apr06, 04/2006

"In the Medves group, Andrea Belfi, Riccardo Wanke, Stefano Pilia join Rinaldi e Ielasi.Their self-titled album, the first in a projected series of limited vinyl missives, is relaxed and social, with the quintet essaying a becalmed improvised music. An opening study for quivering guitars captures the same downtrodden blues as Loren Connors.Subsequent pieces are denser, filled with tape loop detail, as gentle six string interplay hovers over a steamy scrum of low level noise.The acquatic drift of their sound sometimes recalls the American gropu San Augustin, and as with that outfit, Medves' improvvisations suggest the atomisation of traditional rock form." Jon Dale, The Wire/aug05, 08/2005