Leicester born techno-enthusiast Roberto began his journey into dance music like many teenagers at the turn of the century did; at a semi legal drum n bass rave. Since then, he has drifted into the more sophisticated realms of techno, inspired by elements of both Dutch and Detroit branches of techno which he fuses to create his own, unique brand. Over the years he has been responisble for running uber popular Kai Zen parties and will soon be releasing an EP on Shlomi Aber’s Be As One imprint, as well as fair few remix projects, too. Oh, and what’s more, he has provided us with an exclusive mix. Chloe Warnock spoke to him before his set at Be@t TV (check it here)
When you were starting out can you tell us about some of the early crew you were involved with that first got you into dance music, DJing and eventually production. Are any of them still about? When I was 15 I started going to Drum n Bass events such as Sonic Boom, which was one of the best parties in Leicester around at that time. I used to go to a shop called 5HQ in the centre of Leicester which specialised in D&B, and I eventually got to know the guys that worked there and met more people involved in the scene. I also would listen to tapes recorded from raves, and that in turn inspired me to buy my first pair of turntables and start collecting records.
Your forthcoming track is due to be released on Shlomi Aber’s Be As One imprint. He seems like a good person to be involved with in terms of his close associations to the likes of Cocoon, winning a Worldwide award, and so on. Are you able to tell us a little bit about how this all came about? As a fan since its early days, I feel honoured to be a part of the Be As One label. Shlomi is also a fantastic producer in his own right and I have a lot to thank him for; the hookup came when I started sending him tracks a few years ago, and over time he helped me push my production skills further- giving me feedback and sending me away to work on it until he felt like I was ready to release an EP.
How do you feel when someone remixes your tracks, like Samuel L Session and Steve Rachmad did last year? Do you sometimes wish you’d done it that way yourself, or does it perhaps provide inspiration for your next track? It's an amazing feeling when a respected producer remixes your track, that feeling of anticipation right before the first listen is second to none. For me, having Steve and Samuel remix my tracks was an honour because they have both had a huge influence on my productions. They both delivered fantastic mixes of each of the tracks and took them into different directions which I could have never envisaged.
Are there any producers you'd care to share with us, that you're predicting big things for? I'm really into a French producer called Voiski at the minute, and my fellow label mate on Affin Chris Page who is from London is coming with his own cool style. There’s also Phase who is continuing to do some great stuff on Token. Watch out for a guy called Jay Clarke, too!
So, how was it to play Fabric last year? I hear you had a good time? For me Fabric is one of the best clubs in the world and the people who run it are very passionate about what they do and that really shows. The music policy for each room is spot on and the line ups are always second to none. If I have a weekend off from DJ'ing I like to go down and hang out- I always come away with lots of fresh ideas for when I go back in the studio.
Obviously, Fabric is great for the old CV, but it is pretty different to Public Life, which has on the sly played host to A Guy Called Gerald among others. What began your affinity for the former toilet? It was always pretty crazy to think you were raving away in a former toilet! I found out about Public Life through an old friend. She recommended I go and check it out because they were doing these crazy daytime techno party's at the time, and we did a few dates there with my Kai-Zen parties. It was always great fun and really suited the techno vibe.
I've heard you're influenced by Detroit groove… Are you a fan of C2, Planet E and so on? Who else from Detroit's influenced you? Of course I'm a big fan of Carl Craig and the whole Detroit Techno sound- I love the soul in those records. I also love Robert Hood and Jeff Mills. For me, Robert Hood is a true pioneer
After the release on BAO, What's the plan? What else do you have in store? The first Ep on Be As One will feature a number of tracks by myself as well as some remixes by Blawan amongst others. I also have an Ep forthcoming on Affin at the end of May called 'First Principles' which features a remix by a very talented Russian producer called Unbalance, and another Ep on Jamie Anderson's Artform label called 'Stepping Stone' featuring fantastic remixes by Rod (Benny Rodrigues) and Greg Gow. I've also recently remixed Jamie Anderson's classic 'Inova' as well which will be out on Artform later in the year.
Sounds good! Is there an underlying theme to the mix you have provided us with? It features a number of my own forthcoming tracks and generally shows what I’m into at the moment. It’s just pretty representative of what I am about, really. I hope you enjoy it!
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