DJ, producer, re-mixer, dance floor lover, Federico lives between Italy and Ibiza always “jumping” club to club around the world. Federico prefers long DJ sets where he moves between house and techno melting with his everlasting passion: funk. He has been playing in the most relevant clubs worldwide, from Womb in Tokyo to Cielo in NY, from Watergate in Berlin to Fabric in London, from Tenax in Florence to the best clubs in Ibiza. His residencies in Cocoricò (Riccione), The Zooproject and Unusual Suspects (Ibiza) makes him one of the most prolific Italian artists. The friendship and the studio partnership with Planet Funk leading him to a live experience with the band, touring around Europe and playing in events like Liberty Parade and MTV Day sharing the stage with artists like Moby. His productions appear on different labels, included Sci +Tec, Tenax Recordings, Defected ITH, Viva Music and many more. Travelling with a carefully selected armour of vinyl, born in 1980 Tuscany and part of the Unusual Suspects team he is on his way to Bali!
As we all know, Ibiza scene is different. You’ve played at the recent Space final closure. What were the thoughts and emotions you had during the vinyl selection for this historical night? And which was the vinyl that immediately, without any doubt, you put in your suitcase?
The thing that absolutely had to be done was to pay tribute to the club’s history. While selecting the tracks that have excited me most in my various experiences in there, first as customer then as Dj, I filled the first suitcase in an instant. Then the second, and then I realized that I could move on until for good… too much music to be compressed in one set.
At that point I stopped thinking and started entrusting to the emotions of the moment. When you do this job for a long time certain things come alone, there isn’t a defined schedule and there aren’t precise mechanics movements. The first vinyl that jumped out was Octave One “Black Water”.
I remember the moment when I heard it for the first time, the point where I was in the main room, the bar where I was queuing, I remember leaving because dragged from the music of that track back to the dance floor. It could have been many other discs, but it happened to be him. In this case at the end I didn’t even played it during my set, I wonder if subconsciously I was wishing to preserve that moment in my memory.
In your biography you declare yourself a dance floor lover, I assume that after playing at Space closing party you remained on the dance floor. As Dj we could say that you’re over-qualified to answer this question, but I’m now asking Federico the clubber: how was the energy on the dancefloor there?
For sure!!! I wouldn’t leave for any reason, neither did my friends with whom I decided already months ago to stay until the morning, and so we did. The atmosphere was the one of the big events, I have seen tears in the eyes of those who worked there for a lifetime, those amazed of who lived it for the first time, the closed ones of those who were enjoying the music and those enchanted of participating in something it was felt would be unrepeatable.
My opinion is that the success of a party depends also by the heterogeneity of the audience, more experiences you can bring together, the more energy it produces. Never before so many generations, ethnicities, genders and so on and so forth have been in such a thight contact, a melting pot ever seen and experienced: truly memorable.
Much has been said about your talent in mixing the softness of funk in your sets. I’m surprised to discover that in many years of productions, this sound style is way less present then in your sets. For example I’m refering to the composition of “Tokyo” in which you were able to marry a Chicago house beat with a Detroit techno redundance, dividing them with interferences of acid sounds ending on a breakbeat base.
It seems that in the productions you express a predilection for the old school electronic, am I wrong?
Hmm… interesting question but I don’t agree completely, I’ll explain why. Starting assuming that Funk is such a broad concept, which makes the demarcation difficult. It’s a style that has always passionated me as a listener and in my early musical projects, especially in the productions done with the alias Etnogrooveorchestra, it was defnitely more present. Then evolving, I found my own personal dimension in studio.
For example in my EP Mister Funk on Tenax Recordings, there are samples from an old funk vinyl soundtrack from ’60 movies. The same “taste” is present in Untouchable, done for the Defected compilation mixed by Loco Dice. Also the snare that characterizes Tokyo for the whole duration of the piece, has much in common with the black rhythmics, and many other details in other works.
Certainly it’s true, there’s a step in direction old school electronic, which is one of my other passions. Mostly because I consider that a track has to be functional to its destination. As many colleagues I do music directed to the dance floor, and more often to huge dance floors. Let’s say that I enjoy to make people dance: it seems to be obvious for a Dj, but what I’m talking about is a visceral, adrenalinic pleasure not easy to describe. I don’t want to lose the thread of the question which is about my sets where it’s easier to catch the moments of pure funk.
But it’s a matter of time, a set last at least a couple of hours. This frees you from the metric of the single disc and gives you the ability to create different atmospheres during the evening, thing that you can do only partially in a production.
As you may notice I remarkably like this topic 🙂
You have residences in different countries and hand out your musical culture to people all over the world.
What do you think is the reason that pushes a constantly wider audience to approach the electronic music movement?
The internet and the new media have certainley definitely reduced distances between countries and markets that previously were more isolated. So electronic music has broken the patterns being universally recognized as real music and not as a sound assigned exclusively to the old concept of disco music.
Its been said that the Space closure is the beginning of a new era for Ibiza. I like to believe that this event has allowed to formalize the passing of a legacy between old school and new school. Do you think that this last one will be able to preserve the spirit of the first?
The phrase I heard most of all about the island, mostly from the tourists is: “Aaaaah, Ibiza has changed.” Basically human beings are afraid of change, but this is not able to stop the flowing of time. What will happen will be told us only the next season, when whatever happens there will be something interesting to do.
Everyone can do his predictions but, without going too far back in the years, there have already been many important developments: the roof tops on the discos, the autopista, the end of the afterhours. All changes that still have not killed the spirit that has always characterized this place.
I might venture to say it’s not an island but a way of life. Next stop I’ll be sharing decks with Frank Storm, begging of a monthly residency “UNUSUAL SUSPECTS” in Opivm Club Bali.