Populous is the nom de musique of Lecce, Italy’s Andrea Mangia, a multi-instrumentalist / programmer whose work ranges from cerebral pieces to shoegaze-tinged pop.
His 2002 debut, Quipo, introduced — via the Berlin-based label Morr Music, which would then go on to release his two subsequent recordings — showcased his meticulous approach to layering sounds and his fondness for vintage electronics, elements that he embellished with soul and jazz influences on 2005’s Queue for Love. His most accessible work yet, 2008’s dream pop-influenced Drawn in Basic, featured the vocals of New York-based MC Short Stories. Mangia then spent a few years focusing on LIFE & LIMB, another collaboration with McGuire. He returned as Populous in 2014 with Night Safari, on new label Bad Panda, incorporated such globetrotting sounds as African chants, Brazilian music, Krautrock, and was also followed by a remix collection, Night Safari Remixed (2015). All the while, Mangia enjoyed a parallel career as a TV-jingle composer and sound designer for websites, museums and fashion shows – with clients as Vogue, IKEA, Vivienne Westwood, Carhartt, RedBull, TAG Heuer, Elie Saab, Nissan, Wired, Skoda – as well as a wide array of collaborations: Teebs, Clap! Clap!, Dj Khalab, Blue Hawaii, Lukid, John Wizards, Simon Scott/Slowdive, Sun Glitters, Larry Gus. On June 9th 2017, Populous released "Azulejos", his new full-length album, out via Wonderwheel Recordings (New York) / La Tempesta (Italy).