The fabulous Italoboyz deliver typically infectious beats, rhythms and basslines direct to your sensory cells with this selection of music that invites you to engage, react and return. The haunting information posed via the trippy vocal lines of the title track has Midnight Summer Dream expand your mind and thought process with a teasing, tempting array of sonic possibilities reaching out towards fifteen minutes of finely tuned ecstasy. Yulia Niko’s brilliant remix follows suit yet alters the mood with an almost deeper, more intense succession of smoky drums cumulating in a rush of pulsating emotion around mid-point. Then, alongside Blind Minded, things take a turn for exhilaration in the shape of the Acid infused 5.05 which employs illuminating atmospheres together with taught, squelchy basslines reimagining a positive future past.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Marco and Federico. Let’s start with your new single: Midnight Summer Dream for Crosstown Rebels. How did your relationship with the Crosstown come about? And how important for you is it to have your music released on such a significant label?
Hi guys, it’s a pleasure to be here! We have known Damian for many, many years, and doing something together was just a matter of time, really… We have endless respect for him and his music, and for what Crosstown Rebels represents. It’s great to be able to finally have found something special that fits with the label.
Talk us through how the track was created, where the original ideas came from and the use of the spoken words?
The spoken words are a little bit of a mystery… the rest of the track was made by arpeggiating a very nice yet simple melody with a Korg Polysix. All the drums are made with the Roland 909 and with a Roland Handsonic, and then there are several other little random sounds that came from…somewhere. It came out spontaneously in a day, there’s no big deal behind this track, it was just one of those moments when things come up naturally and everything flows
Tell us about the choice of the brilliant Yulia Niko to remix Midnight Summer Dream? And how do you feel she has contributed to the track?
She is part of the Crosstown Rebels family and she did a very good job, her remix takes a completely different direction, and is a great addition to the release.
The second track: 5.05 AM was created along with Blind Minded. And reaches an amazing seventeen plus minutes. You also mentioned experimenting with guitars and pedals in that process, which ones appealed to you most? And how did it feel using an organic instrument such as a guitar as opposed to a synthesizer?
We have a quite long history of making music with organic elements and different instruments…. We’ve collaborated with many musicians in the past, including drummers, bass guitarist, guitars, violin players, trumpet players, etc), I could name dozen of songs we did by recordings musical elements and then adding our own twist, our FXs, our “touch”. We always did and we will always continue doing it. Watch out also for March, we are going to release on This and That Label a collaboration we did with a guy who plays Hang.
Listening to your recent mix for bloop. radio you impressively cross a diverse selection of genres and moods. Tell us a little about your personal philosophy when it comes to DJ’ing and your thoughts on breaking rules and boundaries?
Bloop radio is run by an amazing team, they give me total freedom on music selection. I l constantly listen to many music genres, and Bloop is the right place to melt them together. When it comes to being a DJ, the main approach is making sure you know exactly where you are. The idea behind the Bloop show is to deliver on the first part of the show a blend of less clubby oriented music, more suitable for an afternoon and the second part more dancy. Same for Dj gigs in clubs or festivals: a dj-set varies, depending on many factors (type of crowd, time, size of the club, how long we are going to play and few others). Breaking rules, being different and taking risks is something that every DJ j should do, in our opinion. But you must be in control of what you are doing and be able to understand when you and the crowd are on the same page. It’s actually one of the best feelings ever, when you know you own it, you feel you are in control of the situation. The same record/tune can either empty the dance- floor or can make people travel to the moon, it just depends on….you.
Who are your most important influences both within and outside of the world of electronic music? And are there any particular writers or creative artists which most appeal to you?
Martin Margiela is a great artist, not just a designer but a full on an artist (in fact in this days he is a painter). He took everything that was already there, he deconstructed and reconstructed, he never showed his face and at a certain point decided that he said what he has to say and he disappeared completely. Same for Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty better know as THE KLF. They Became number one on UK charts with a record made out of already existing records, they wrote a manual about how to do a number one chart song. On 23 August 1994, The KLF – one of Britain’s most incendiary bands, in more ways than one – burned £1m on a remote Scottish island. They then vowed to put their careers on hold for 23 years. So at 23 seconds past midnight on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 they made their comeback with a book, launch in Liverpool, called 2023: a trilogy.In all this year they were doing lots of fine art pieces, all secretly. The duo were greeted by 500 fans as they arrived at the News From Nowhere book shop in an ice cream van that played their hit What Time Is Love? and O Sole Mio. HOW CRAZY/COOL IS THAT!?! ☺ ALSO, A special mention also must be given to Futurism in general… We’ve been milking from those early 1900 poets and artists so much across the years, and also… the vocal of Midnight Summer Dream – that you were asking me about is also, somehow, related to Futurism
How would you describe Superfiction Recordings and what are your forthcoming plans for the label?
Superfiction always wanted to be something that encapsulates our different taste for electronic music, our own space where we don’t need to await any external filter, but we do exactly what we want. It’s born like that and will always be like that. The plan is to keep releasing our music, but with an eye on other people and eventually, more and more collaborations with other dj/producers who we respect and we are inspired by.
Yulia’s imaginative use of sounds which appear at just the right moments lift this way beyond the usual repeating rhythm tracks. Yes, the rolling bass and raw drums all produce that addictive sense of wanting more, but it’s actually the introduction of simmering Acid lines alongside an unexpected, yet resolutely stunning, breakdown which set Cheap Story cleverly apart. The equally fiery, Not For Everyone follows again playing with acceptable notions while letting creative fever run free via more hot Acid this time complimented by the rush of emotive chords, which only heighten the levels of intrigue. Either way a great release.
Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Yulia. Let’s start by asking how living in and then moving between Russia, America, and Berlin has informed what you do in terms of sound and also your approach to life?
Hello Sixty, and thank you so much for having me. Always cool when a DJ can talk to people instead of just sharing music.
My favorite approach is thinking, “If you want be creative, you need to forget about all fears.” Meaning, fears about moving from place to place, or not being supported by people, or that your art is just not good enough. Just forget about all of it and try to do something. Sometimes it actually might not be good, but there is always time to improve, study, and learn from mistakes.
I’m girl from a very small town in the South of Russia, and somehow I was born with the brain of an international traveler. When I was seven years old and went to school, we had French class, and I loved it when the teacher would call me Juli, because I knew I’d become an adult and go travel around the world someday.
Anyway, music became a lever for my traveling and I made the decision to leave Russia after five years of DJ experience there. With very bad English and almost no savings in my account, I traveled across the ocean to New York, where I started to make serious changes in my life. I went to music production school and met the best artists and people from the industry. Now I’m in Berlin and all of it is hitting me more and more. I always keep my funky housey sound, but I’m improving it with every move I make from country to country, because each has its own music history, which I study and learn a lot from.
Your excellent new single: Casa en el Agua for Rebellion (Crosstown Rebels) feels like an amalgamation of creative processes. Can you talk us through where the initial ideas came from and about how you then produced them as music, including any favourite pieces of software / hardware you like to refer to?
“Casa en el Agua” is actually a real place that exists in the middle of the Caribbean off of Colombia. It’s an incredibly unique place. I had the chance to be part of an evening with Archie Hamilton, Niklas Stadler, Serdal and many more DJs. We had to travel for three days to get there. I just recorded some sounds of birds during the night on my phone. I record a lot of stuff on my phone that I can sample afterwards and use as inspiration in my music. After almost a year I found this recording and was just playing around with it and some other samples I recorded from machines. It was all super quick. Maybe two hours and the track was finished. I’ve learned that if you sit down and make something quickly, it’s always the best idea. If you spend a lot of time and go back to process again and again, the track will never sound good or be released.
I’m very happy now about the new Ableton 10, still using a lot of Minilogue by Korg, Electron MKII, along with the perfect work of the Apollo interface — it all makes it sound very nice.
Who are your main influences both within and outside of the world of electronic music? Any particular writers, musicians, painters you admire?
I can’t mention artists like Michael Jackson or Madonna, actually inspiration for all the last tracks I’ve made for Crosstown and Hottrax. I really like to read Paulo Coelho, I do like modern, trippy art, but I can’t point to anyone in particular.
Listening to you DJ, you touch upon many different styles. Can you choose three tracks which highlight that variation for us?
Absolutely. These are three tracks I play all the time. You can see the transaction between disco, techno, and acid minimal. How about that?
Nick Minieri – Heat Index (Original Mix) [Soul Clap Records]
How important do you think it is for a DJ to keep moving forward with new sounds? And how would you describe the way in which instrumentation is so prevalent now (and how people react to rhythms), as opposed to the song-based sets of the past?
Creating something new has always been important. Our ears react right away to new sounds. I think right now this is the main purpose of the DJ/producer. Before, we were only focused on new records, and making a perfect transition during the set. Now, we’re spending days at the studio trying to create something unique that will make us different from all the others and give us our own sound. Just now a Ukrainian producer, iO (Mulen), comes to mind. I’m so proud of Eastern European artists, and how many quality projects have been released in the last few years. This guy created his own sound and I’m sure everyone can recognize him right away.
You also have a track: Cheap Story forthcoming on Jamie Jones’ Hottrax. How important has it been for you to have music released on such prestigious labels? And can you tell us about how the track came to be signed, and about the Acid influence in there?
It was made together with “Casa en el Agua.” I had a break in January from everything and was just making a little album. Honestly, I sat down and asked myself who I wanted to send tracks to first, after I was done with it all. I was focused on Jamie and his sound, so in the end it was easy. I sent tracks to him and he picked two of them right away. I guess the key is to always focus on something and believe you can get it, no matter what.
I think now’s a time of a new wave of Acid basslines on tracks. I’m really enjoying it and just trying to use it as much as I can.
And finally, besides your busy touring schedule, what are you looking forward to for the remainder of this year and into next?
I’m excited for the little tour with Damian Lazarus for the Spirits 2 album on Crosstown Rebels in November. It will be my debut at Watergate and couple of places around Europe. Very nice EP “Acid Meow” on Get Physical by the end of the year. And I’m just going to spend most of my time at the studio in Berlin after a very intense summer season at Ibiza. Let’s see what happens for me and where my destiny brings me in the end.