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Amalgamation with Idriss D

Idriss D Press

Amalgamation – The action, process, or result of combining or uniting

What started as a collection of singles for Memento Records’ “Dib 00” series quickly transformed into a full-length album from Idriss D. Starting Memento Records with Italian producer, Fabrizio Maurizi, in 2006, Idriss D has conceived a strong catalog of releases with “Amalgamation” marking his first official album.

From the peak time mysticism of “Transition” to down right techno groovers such as “Casa Baratas”, the album feels appropriate for listening both inside and out of the club. With eight tracks clocking in at just under an hour, “Amalgamation” is a strong release from one of the great techno producers of our time. Read more

Q&A with Marco Faraone – Reaching the “Next Level”

“I know where I am now, but also where I was yesterday. This helps me always; to keep my feet on the ground and be the same person I was before” – Marco Faraone

Appropriately fitting with the title of his new EP on Moon Harbour, Italian producer Marco Faraone has certainly achieved the next level in his artistic career. Since his early influences in Tuscany until now, Marco Faraone has expressed an uncompromising passion for electronic music that has landed him releases on many prestigious labels, as well as world tours at the most respected venues and festivals. As a result, the humble Italian DJ has taken his passion and lifestyle, and turned it into a very special career.

Marco Faraone’s success can be attributed to a multitude of things. He has sculpted and refined his sound with releases on labels such Holic Trax, Get Physical, Sci+Tec, Desolat, Drumcode, and Tenax Recordings, and proves that he is a versatile craftsman in all areas of electronic music. Approaching the music with a remarkable amount of sincerity, it’s only natural that each record label has a special place in the story of Marco’s life. But one label that has had an especially profound impact is Moon Harbour.

His first release on the label came back in 2010, and was a catalyst in the musical momentum that was to follow. “Strange Neighbors was the release that opened the market, and gave me the chance to let the people discover more about me as artist and my music,” states Faraone.

Five years later and we still see the Italian artist releasing fresh and unique tracks for the dance floor. The Next Level EP on Moon Harbour couldn’t represent this statement better. The title track is a chunky slab of tech house goodness with gritty percussions and a resonate lead that entrances the dance floor, while Old But Gold sees Marco Faraone pay homage to the classic house vibes with chopped vocal samples, vinyl spinbacks, and of course a deep percussive workout.

We recently caught up with Marco Faraone to ask about everything from the strange neighbors that influenced his first release on Moon Harbour to his experience and progression in Italy.

Next Level EP is available September 16th on Beatport.

Marco Faraone: Beatport | Soundcloud | Resident Advisor | Facebook 

Q&A with Marco Faraone

Ciao Marco, thanks for taking the time with us! You had your first release on Moon Harbour 5 years ago, correct? Was it the “Strange Neighbors” EP? What was the story behind that? What made your neighbors so strange?!

ahahaha It’s a very funny story. Many people ask me about that title. The track was named that because when I was producing it in my studio at six in the morning, and I was playing the music very loud. I would say VERY, over the limit loud! My neighbors got very mad with me, almost fighting, and from that day they asked me to move my studio somewhere else because they didn’t wanna hear music anymore or jump from the bed during sleep…

Well, they were right, but five years ago I didn’t want to understand that and I just wanted to follow my passion against everything and everybody. So guys, if you have neighbors, be careful if you’re playing music too loud, or they will get mad hehe.

My first Vinyl EP was released in 2008, so two years before. But for sure Strange Neighbors was the release that opened the market, and gave me the chance to let the people discover more about me as artist and my music

How did growing up in Tuscany influence your music?

Well, in Tuscany we always had a nice club scene for many years; clubs that made the history of the Italian club culture such as Tenax in Florence, the club where I’ve been a resident for 3 years. In my opinion, it’s one of the best clubs in the world.

I started DJ-ing when I was very young. I was 14, so since then when I discovered house and techno music, and I was going to the best clubs every week in my area like Tenax, but also KamaKama or FrauMarleen. Clubs like that also created the movement in the past.

I’m curious about your history and experiences in Italy. What were some of the clubs or events you visited early on?

When I started I was visiting all the clubs I just mentioned. I would go to listen and watch the DJs, trying to learn some tricks from them and understand how to do it.

I was still playing hip-hop and drum and bass, then after a while I fell in love with house and techno. I said to myself, “this is the style of music I want to do and to produce in the future”.

I’ll tell you something – at the beginning I was not even thinking about playing outside of my small hometown. It was a dream even to have a chance to play in one of the area’s clubs. I know where I am now, but also where I was yesterday. This helps me always; to keep my feet on the ground and be the same person I was before. Imagine a 14 year old boy, that after more than 10 years realized his dream and started to do what he lives for…music.

I hear that there was a very large progressive/techno community in the early 90’s. Can you tell me a bit about the dance community in the early to mid 90’s in Italy?  

The scene in Italy was very big in the 90’s as I heard. I’m 27 so I’m from ’88, and of course I didn’t have the chance to live and enjoy those years. But from what I heard from some older colleagues the movement was huge! Parties everyday, seven days a week, good vibes and great people. The atmosphere was totally different than it is now, and people were going to LISTEN to the music and not WATCH the DJ! This is the most important thing that is missing. Everyone was playing just vinyl, the only way to play music, so the music research was absolutely more difficult, but at the same time unique for every DJ. Not just downloading the weekly Top 10 and playing it.

Who were some of your musical influences?

For sure Laurent Garnier. He’s for me THE DJ; an artist that is able to play everything with very high class.
What are your thoughts on the house/techno scene in Italy today?

The scene is still one of the best ones in the world. Every week artists from all over the world are coming to play in my country, and are super satisfied. We have so many amazing clubs so we don’t have to envy others very much. The crowd is one of the warmest ever, and I’m very proud of our club scene. The only thing is that we must learn is to collaborate and be more united, and appreciate all the amazing talents we have at home. Unity is strength.

How did your history begin with Moon Harbour?

My history with Moon Harbour became super natural.

Like many unknown producers, I was sending my demos to labels trying to find someone to trust me and my sound. I say that because I also get demos everyday from people and I remember myself when I was doing the same, so I always try to answer everybody.

It’s not amazing when nobody cares or answers you. Me and my friend Arado sent Matthias the track Broken Keyboard released on the Strange Neighbors EP. That was my first step when Matthias told me that he loved the track. Straight after that I was sending him many other demos trying to create a full EP. After a while that happened, and this is how “step by step” we started to collaborate and also be friends.

MAtthias TanzamanHowever it goes, I’ll always say thanks to Matthias for the big opportunity to release that EP. He was one of the first people who supported me and gave me the chance that so many people are dreaming of today. That’s why I’m still working and supporting the label continuously with admiration and respect.

What is your approach when recording a track or EP? Does your method change when you record for various labels?   

Well I don’t really have a scheme in my mind when I start to produce something. It depends on the day – if I’m happy or sad for something. I just get involved with the flow. I go to the studio and do what I feel in that moment.  Every time the result is different and then I collect all the tracks and decide the correct label that can appreciate them.

I’ve been releasing on many different labels such as Moon Harbour, but also Desolat, Drumcode, Be as One, Get Physical, and of course with different kinds of tracks.

When I started I liked to listen to everything and different styles of music, that is how I grew up. So this is also reflected into my sets and my music productions. I love to produce in different ways, and always have different results. Music must always surprise the audience and those who support me.

Do you have a favorite piece of studio gear at the moment?

For sure my new 303.

We’re really enjoying the “Next Level EP”! Can you tell me a little about the title track and Old But Gold?

After five years of work and still having a good relationship with a label and getting supported from the beginning – that for me is reaching the “Next Level”. This is what’s happening with Moon Harbour and all the amazing artists and friends that work together with the label as a family. I’m proud to be part of it.  The EP is coming out with remixes by my friends Matthias Kaden and Santé. I can’t wait!

Old But Gold really has a nice vintage house feel with some driving energy. I love the vinyl spinback samples and the broken vocals. Have you been playing this one?

Yes, the idea was to create something that reminds me of the old school house sound from the 90’s with jam recorded breaks and dirty analog drums. The first time I played it the reaction was crazy, and I decided to send it to Matthias because I thought that Moon Harbour was the perfect platform to release it.

How was XL Day with Marco Carola, Dixon, Philipp, Cole, Tale of Us, and Alex Neri?

It was for sure one of the best parties of the summer. It was amazing to share the stage with these amazing artists on my birthday and with all my best friends. The stage was something incredible, comparable with a super big festival. The people’s vibe was super and Tenax did an amazing production, like always.

What have been some highlights of your summer?

Oh, I had so many good parties this summer. For sure the Drumcode Showcase at the Extrema Outdoor Festival in Belgium, Tenax – Xl Day, El Row in Barcelona, Watergate in Berlin, my first North American Tour visiting Verboten, Stereo Montreal, and Treehouse Miami, the Russia tour, and for sure my event “Marco Faraone & Friends” on August 29 where we played 11 hours on the beach in Catania with 3000 people.

Marco Faraone Open Air

Do you have any plans and projects for the future?

I’ll keep working with the labels who supported me and my music. I’ll also debut my new label in October called “UNCAGE” – a project where I can express my idea of music without limits and restrictions and maybe give a chance to support some new undiscovered talents.

The first released planned is a new EP by myself including two amazing remixes by Radio Slave and Markus Suckut. Keep your ears open for it! 🙂

uncage

Open Air in Florence: A Recap of the Sunflower 2015 Opening

Sunflower Confetti

Each May in Florence, Italy there is an event that is held in the highest esteem amongst the musical community. After the iconic Florentine nightclub, Tenax, celebrates it’s closing party at the beginning of the month, the visionaries at Fragola prepare for their flagship event…Sunflower. What started as an open-air villa party in 2009 has evolved into one of the most anticipated parties of the summer season, and for good reason.

Taking place at Manduca, an open air venue just five miles north of the city center, Sunflower is the complete embodiment of the warm and radiant atmosphere that is often associated to Italian culture. Every year at this time, Manduca completely transforms to fulfill the vision of what Sunflower is; a vibrant celebration of life and music. The 2015 Sunflower Opening exceed any and all expectations, and there couldn’t be a more appropriate way to start the summer season.With approximately 1,500 in attendance, Sunflower 2015 was by far their largest turnout to date.

[Video Courtesy of Fragola è Federico Lanzini]

Read more

Music Profile: Italian Record Labels

record store

As music develops and evolves, certain sounds can come to define a country. Many variables are responsible for sculpting a recognizable sound, with record labels being one of the primary influences in a country’s musical landscape. In 6AM’s new feature series, we dive in and take a look at some of the record labels making waves in a country’s scene. Our first stop…Italia.

Bosconi Records

Bosconi Records

When discussing record labels in Italy, it’s impossible to bypass Bosconi Records. Based in the beautiful hills of Fiesole, just north east of Florence, Bosconi is responsible for delivering house, disco, and techno with the upmost craftsmanship. With founders Fabio della Torre and Ennio Colaci at the helm, Bosconi revived the Italian house scene with releases from Italian artists such as: Mass Prod, Minimono, The Clover, and Alex Picone while also bringing in foreign guests such as A Guy Called Gerald and Paul Johnson. The music of Bosconi Records is as beautiful as the city they reside in, and it’s easy to see where they draw their influences. Bosconi Records is and will always be at the forefront of electronic music in Italy. With consistent new releases and a back-catalog to keep you more than engaged, there’s much to look forward to from the hills of Fiesole.

Bosconi Records: Official Site | Soundcloud | Juno | Beatport

Kina Music

Venice ITaly

Venture to the north of Italy about 40 miles north of Venice and you’ll find yourself at the headquarters of Kina Music, one of the country’s burgeoning minimal labels. Kina Music sticks to what they know best…deep low slung minimal best suited for powerful club systems. Run by the Venetian duo, Re-Up, Kina Music has a distinct ear for dance floor music and pays close attention to the subtle textures that make minimal an excellent genre. When analyzing their success, look no further than Marco Carola’s infamous Music On events in which he employs Re-Up to open the party with proper minimal grooves. With support from the Italian tech house don, it’s safe to say that minimal, and Kina Music, will have a place in the club world.

Kina Music: Official Site | Soundcloud | Beatport

Tenax Recordings

Tenax 1

As the record label associated with the iconic Florentine club, Tenax, Tenax Recordings continues the legacy with quality house and techno. Located in the heart of Florence, Tenax Recordings fosters a predominant roster of Italian artists, and elevates house and techno to a level that defines what a proper club night can, and should be. Over the years they have released EP’s from Alex Neri, Ilario Alicante, Philipp, Valentino Kanzyani, and Federico Grazzini, with each release taking the listener on a unique sonic journey. Listening to the music of Tenax Recordings takes you right into the center of the dance floor at the famed Italian nightclub, with each record being a piece to the gigantic musical puzzle.

Tenax Recordings: Soundcloud | Beatport

 Hell Ya Recordings

Hell Ya Recordings

With their 2006 inception in Ferrara, Italy, Hell Ya Recordings has covered a wide range of the musical spectrum.  You’re just as likely to hear smooth cerebral dance floor cuts as you are obscure synthetic techno, even some tropical Balearic rhythms at times just for the hell of it. Label chief, Marco Gallerani, and the rest of the team at Hell Ya Recordings strike a perfect balance with electronic compositions. The label has a healthy understanding of what good music is, and not just for the dance floor. With the amount of music in an almost saturated global market, Hell Ya Recordings stands out as one of the leading labels, and certainly has it’s place in the Italian scene.

Hell Ya Recordings: Official Site | Soundcloud | Beatport

Deeperfect Records

deeperfectrecords

Now in their 11th year, the Scarperia based label has established a reputation for releasing top-notch tech house and techno. Over it’s 11-year tenure Deeperfect has released artists such as Pig & Dan, Stefano Noferini, and Nick Olivetti, and has received support from DJ’s like Pan Pot, Monika Kruse, Marco Bailey, Umek, and Cristian Varela. Deeperfect has the formula down for serving up peak time tech house to the masses and is a go-to label for many artists around the world when they need to elevate the energy in their sets. In a country where there is no shortage of quality music, Deeperfect proves that it will continue to be a major contender and influence the musical environment around the globe.

Deeperfect: Official Site | Soundcloud | Beatport

MOAN Recordings

MOAN

Located near Naples in the town of Caserta you’ll find the tech house label, MOAN Recordings. If you’ve been to a club night in the past year there’s a high probability that you’ve heard a release from MOAN. With an expansive roster and releases designed to make a heavy impact on dance floors, MOAN is at the forefront of the Italian tech house movement. While MOAN adheres to a very groove oriented music policy, there are moments where we see the label dabble in techno with tracks such as the Marco Faraone remix of Floating Point. MOAN may only be three years in the making, but don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon. With incredible support from Italy and artists worldwide, MOAN will continue to be a label to watch over the coming years.

MOAN: Soundcloud | Beatport

Event Previews: 6AM Takes on Italy

Florence Panorama
When one thinks of Italy several things immediately come to mind: Wine, feasts, and world-class dance music. Throughout the country there are incredible nightlife establishments each with their own charm, characteristics, and musical programming. Starting this Thursday we’ll be diving in head first taking a techno field trip to Florence to bask in all the musical wonder that this Renaissance city has to offer. Read more

Freebie Friday: Ruben Mandolini – My Mind

Garage Rising body

With releases on Snatch!, Terminal M, and Defected, Ruben Mandolini has a knack for releasing massive dance floor certified groove tracks. Back in November he released “Your Love”, a solid two track EP for Snatch Records, and also included an exclusive free download of a third original track.

My Mind has an infectious groove loaded with different drum rhythms and a chugging bassline sure to make an impact on the dance floor. With the addition of a guitar-ish sounding stab on the break, the arrangement feels complete and ready for action.

Snatch Records had another groove filled year with releasing artists such as Kaiserdisco, Pirupa, and Santos; expect more great releases from the crew this year. Also keep an eye out for Ruben Mandolini who is sure to have another great year representing Italian tech-house.

My Mind is available for free download via the Snatch Records Soundcloud.

Ruben Mandolini on Facebook | Soundcloud

Field Trip Series 03 – Halloween at Cocorico

Cocorico-0

Cocorico in Riccione, Italy is a very special destination for any nightlife enthusiast. Between five rooms of music, and a pyramid like main room, Cocorico consistently hosts some of the most respected names in dance music. This Halloween they held nothing back, which is why this Friday’s party with Ricardo Villalobos, Onur Özer, Camea, and others is the highlight of our Field Trip Series this week.

The pyramid, or “il Piramide” in Italian, is captivating and unique. When the sun goes down, the club becomes naturally dark due to the glass ceiling allowing the array of visuals to project onto the dance floor. But when it becomes truly special is when the sun begins to come up and the sunrise over the water is visible to everyone in the Pyramid. Between Villalobos, Onur Özer, and Camea, we can be sure that everyone inside the Pyramid is in for more than their fair share of treats. But who knows, maybe Villalobos has a few tricks up his sleeve as well for the occasion.

Onur Özer and Camea also are perfect compliments to a night like this. Özer delivers minimal techno at it’s finest, and Camea has an eclectic style that is sure to establish a perfect vibe on the dance floor. However, as mentioned before, Cocorico has plenty of rooms to keep you occupied.

The Titilla room is a much smaller room that packs just as much punch. For Cocorico’s Halloween party they’ve brought in Riccione’s own Bartolomeo and Soul Clap. If you need a break from the madness, Titilla would be the room. Although, on Halloween at Cocorico I doubt anyone will show restraint in their sets. Regardless of what room you’re in, the music will be on point here. Personally though, it would be pretty difficult to get me out of that main room.

Halloween is one of those holidays that calls out all the people who appreciate a good party. This year at Cocorico would be quite the treat, and worth the experience without a doubt. With wild costumes to accompany some wild music, those Italian clubbers are about to have a night to remember. If we were taking a field trip, this is where you’d find us.

 

Cocorico Halloween on Resident Advisor

 

Field Trip Series: Halloween at Cocorico

Cocorico-0

Cocorico in Riccione, Italy is a very special destination for any nightlife enthusiast. Between five rooms of music, and a pyramid like main room, Cocorico consistently hosts some of the most respected names in dance music. This Halloween they held nothing back, which is why this Friday’s party with Ricardo Villalobos, Onur Özer, Camea, and others is the highlight of our Field Trip Series this week.

The pyramid, or “il Piramide” in Italian, is captivating and unique. When the sun goes down, the club becomes naturally dark due to the glass ceiling allowing the array of visuals to project onto the dance floor. But when it becomes truly special is when the sun begins to come up and the sunrise over the water is visible to everyone in the Pyramid. Between Villalobos, Onur Özer, and Camea, we can be sure that everyone inside the Pyramid is in for more than their fair share of treats. But who knows, maybe Villalobos has a few tricks up his sleeve as well for the occasion.

Onur Özer and Camea also are perfect compliments to a night like this. Özer delivers minimal techno at it’s finest, and Camea has an eclectic style that is sure to establish a perfect vibe on the dance floor. However, as mentioned before, Cocorico has plenty of rooms to keep you occupied.

The Titilla room is a much smaller room that packs just as much punch. For Cocorico’s Halloween party they’ve brought in Riccione’s own Bartolomeo and Soul Clap. If you need a break from the madness, Titilla would be the room. Although, on Halloween at Cocorico I doubt anyone will show restraint in their sets. Regardless of what room you’re in, the music will be on point here. Personally though, it would be pretty difficult to get me out of that main room.

Halloween is one of those holidays that calls out all the people who appreciate a good party. This year at Cocorico would be quite the treat, and worth the experience without a doubt. With wild costumes to accompany some wild music, those Italian clubbers are about to have a night to remember. If we were taking a field trip, this is where you’d find us.

 

Cocorico Halloween on Resident Advisor

 

Umberto Pagliaroli – Parallel EP

umberto yep

For almost 15 years, Italian native Umberto Pagliaroli has been smashing it up, making his mark on dance floors all over the world.  Equally impressive (if not more) is his studio output, with over 15 releases on Beatport releases in the past couple years. Pagliaroli has established a unique sound that has stood the test of time, solidified and reinforced by his Parallel EP.  He is finally starting to get the credit he deserves, as the parallel has been on Beatport’s top 100 releases chart, slowly rising since its release in early october. Parallel EP starts with the title track, featuring dark chord stabs and a rolling with some dope hats and shakers. Next up is Beat Me, a slightly more uptempo track with a tenaciously driving rhythm, psychedelic renegade snares and the occasional splash of noise. The record ends with Act, a dubby techno track with a groovy rolling bassline and some synth plucks. Preview the EP below, and if you like it, then click here to buy on Beatport.