Thanks so much for taking some time out to speak with us, this will be your first time playing for us and in Manchester so we’re very hyped for it!
You describe your style as hand-crafted music, although it might seem obvious – we would love to hear what that truly means to you and why you’ve chosen it as your description.
Hey! Thanks for having me! I am also really hyped to play in the UK for the first time and especially for an honored event like Meat Free! The reason why I decided to use the term “hand-crafted” to describe my work is that, for me, it’s important to always feel the human touch in electronic music. Even though this style of music is generated by machines, it’s important to have a hands-on approach to fully express our ideas and personality and not let technology dictate the sound of our music. After all, even though we can’t physically touch the sound, we can still infuse it with our own internal thoughts!
It’s no secret that you have a lot of love, and take a lot of influence from techno and house heritage – how do these sounds impact your sets and productions whilst also looking towards the future?
Besides the fact that these styles of music are pure magic to my ears, I believe that techno and house have the power to unite people with similar interests, lifestyles, and tastes in music, creating a strong sense of community. I find this so precious!
I love the challenge of blending techno and house music as a DJ! It’s an exciting experience because techno can feel dark and house is often bright. I am always careful when switching between the two styles because I want to keep the mood consistent and always respect the dance floor.
When producing music, I’m always seeking the sweet spot where a house atmosphere can sit on a techno beat or vice versa. My track ‘Polymath’ is an example of how I achieved this balance. Looking towards the future, I believe that house music will become even more popular, and I’m excited to continue exploring new possibilities. Personally, over the past year, I have produced quite a few tracks with a housey feeling. I am super happy with the results and I believe that they offer a unique listening experience! However, I’m still working on creating a story and concept for these tracks, but I hope to release them soon.
Can you tell us about your personal music history – how did you first get into music, and the electronic scene?
When I was a kid, my mom and dad really wanted me to play the piano, so I started taking piano lessons when I was five years old. I continued with the lessons until I was thirteen, but to be honest, I wasn’t very motivated to learn music theory. I just liked to play with notes and sounds, so I mostly played by memory during those years. Eventually, I struck a deal with my mom that I would play the drums for one year, and then I could stop playing music altogether. Looking back at it now, I’m really thankful that they made this choice for me because that really helped develop my musicality.
A few years later, I discovered my love for DJing, especially for its social aspect. I wanted to bring my friends together to have a good time and escape our routine lives. So, with two close friends of mine, I started organizing parties in my hometown in Italy, and they were quite successful!
Eventually, I realized that playing music for people was my passion, so I decided to pursue a university education in music. I began my studies in music composition at the conservatory in Rome, and after completing my bachelor’s degree, I went for a master’s degree in electronic music from the conservatory in Amsterdam.
While I was not the best student because my background was in beats and repetitive music, which was not always accepted in academic and classical contexts, I stayed true to my DJ roots rather than conforming to academic standards. Now that I have finished my studies, I find the years I spent learning about music history, theory, and philosophy to be extremely valuable.
Everyone always loves to know the studio secrets, what does your current production setup and process look like?
In recent years, I have been building up my studio to find the best equipment for creating the sound that I have in mind. I was really inspired by the early sounds of Jeff Mills and Marco Carola’s music, and I spent some time researching the instruments and techniques that were used in their recordings in the 90s.
My goal was to create a setup that was as close to theirs as possible while also integrating modern technology to help my music stand out in today’s industry. I discovered that routing the sound through specific pieces of equipment makes a real difference. For example, there is a noticeable difference in sound between routing a kick into a digital or analogue compressor. In my studio I usually rely on various dBx 166XL units to control the dynamics of my sounds and it’s always been working properly!
Technically, I use a Mac computer to control everything, and my synth setup is made up mostly of vintage modules like the Waldorf Pulse, Xtreme Lead1, and Roland JV880. For drums, I’m using an Analog Rytm from Elektron, but lately, I have found digital VSTs more helpful because of their clarity in the low end. My approach is to route all separate sounds to a Mackie console, which gives the sound that extra dimension I’m looking for. I also find that sampling is one of the most inspiring techniques: it’s really exciting to take pieces of existing music and give them a new life.
We’d especially like to hear about how your latest EP “Encounter” came about. Every track feels like an instant dancefloor classic, can you talk to us about how you’re inspired to create your productions?
I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying my latest EP, thank you!
I believe that the best works come to us in a specific moment, and it’s important to capture that moment as quickly as possible. The more we work on a project, the more there is a possibility to change the original idea and feeling of the track…
To be honest, I find that a lot of my inspiration comes from isolation. I believe it’s necessary for me to disconnect from society in order to fully tap into my musical creativity and bring my ideas to life. Typically, it’s a continuous flow of ideas, a stream of consciousness of sounds that must not be interrupted. I believe that some Music is a gift from external entities and forces, and as musicians, we are just mediums for the materialization of it.
Sometimes, I’ll isolate myself for a few days and dedicate my mind and soul solely to creating music. I’ve found that it’s really productive for me to put my phone in another room and just focus 100% on the music. This way, I’m not distracted, and I can really work on the idea until it takes shape. However, I’m not entirely sure if this is a sustainable way of working since it’s also important to always be available and reachable by phone or email in case an opportunity comes up.
Usually, it takes me a maximum of 2 or 3 days to complete a track, then I store it on my hard drive and come back to it after a few weeks to make any necessary adjustments or cuts. Afterwards, I work with the record label to decide which tracks are worth releasing or not. I’m also flirting with the idea of opening a personal platform where I could share my work with more freedom… so keep an eye out for it!
DJing schedule, playing in some amazing clubs and cities across Europe – what have been some of your most special dancefloor moments as a DJ? And as a dancer! 🙂
My upcoming schedule is very exciting. I’m glad for that! In the next few months, we have managed to organize gigs in great clubs and festivals all over Europe.
One of my recent highlights was just a few weeks ago at Radion Amsterdam. I had to play in between Raffaele Attanasio and Cleric in the main room on a big night. I have always admired these two artists, so it was an incredible feeling to be standing between them! I felt the pressure to deliver a great performance and match the high musical intensity, but it all worked out well and the audience really enjoyed it. It was also the first time for me to play with my new hybrid DJ setup.
As a dancer, one of my great memories in the last couple of years was attending the “God Rave The Queen” event in Manchester… I felt right at home! The people during the event were so friendly and welcoming, and the music was over the top! Also, I had the chance to visit Berghain last month, which was a very unique experience.
You say you do it for the dancers, what’s your view on the European music scene right now? What are your expectations for the UK?
As a DJ, one of my priorities is to make sure that the people are having a good time. I always do my best to give everyone on the dance floor the chance to enjoy themselves as much as possible.
Nowadays, the scene looks very solid and fresh because many new people have joined, including myself, and looking at the future, there is a big palette of talent that is establishing themselves and pushing the boundaries of the scene forward. It’s fantastic to see how reactive and supportive the scene has been in the last few years.
On the other hand, the electronic music scene in Europe has gone through some changes. I remember that several years ago, the “underground” culture was more prevalent, but during the pandemic, we started showcasing ourselves more on social media, which had an impact. As a result, I don’t think the term “underground techno” is as relevant as it used to be.
I have high expectations for my upcoming debut in the UK. From what I saw when I visited last year, The White Hotel is an amazing location where anything can happen. The people are very open-minded and ready to party properly! I’m looking forward to having a great time and sharing music and smiles on the dance floor!
Finally, it’s what we ask everyone! What can Salford expect from the debut set on May 12th?
I’m really excited about the upcoming event on the 12th, and I have a feeling it’s going to be amazing! I’m currently going through my music collection to find the best tunes for it. I’ve found some hard house and tribal techno classics that will definitely match the vibe, as well as many unreleased tracks that I’m excited to play. See you at The White Hotel – can’t wait!!!