Nicole Palazzo, New York - United States - on 21/9/12
Hi Luca, What have you been up to recently? Summer gigs around Europe and especially new projects, I have a lot of music that I'm working on and particularly my new label ENDLESS which kicks-of at the end of October and is keeping me very busy. Have you heard the new stuff?? It’s a time of new projects and challenges - very exciting.
Your career has brought your around the world – How does playing in New York stand up to some of the faraway clubbing mecca's you've had the opportunity to play in? Are you ready to give Cielo's Funktion One a serious workout? New York is maybe one of the cities that I most love. As an artist I grew up with music that came from there, so for me it has a special meaning. I remember the first time I went there I asked the taxi driver to take me immediately to 125th in Harlem, I absolutely wanted to see the place where the major African American socio-political changes played out and especially where the history of black music developed. I have played in various NYC clubs, and this is my third time at Cielo, which is perhaps the most historic club, an intimate space, a receptive audience and a really good sound system. I feel at ease there and that’s why I asked to play an extended set!
How do you manage your time between constantly touring, running your label and producing music? It 's very difficult for me as for many of my colleagues in this line of work and is not something that just takes-up just eight hours a day; but your whole life. Maybe this is one of my faults: my life is my work. As you’ll appreciate there are no pauses, the creative mind is always on.
We understand you’ve moved to Barcelona - what prompted you to make the move? You recently said, “Barcelona is in tune with my essence” – could you elaborate a little bit about your thoughts on the city some have called "Berlin with a beach?" I moved there three years ago... Barcelona is very sunny, in some respects it's a doorway to South America, and then there's the sea! What I like about Barcelona is the sunny spirit and its rough simplicity. To be able to immerse myself in this vibe is very stimulating creatively. Berlin is fantastic but totally different colors, I'd like to think of Barcelona as a "Berlin with a beach" but the professionalism and degree of organization of the Germans is unbeatable: two days ago I played at Panorama Bar and in a place like that you can really express yourself to the best.. and it’s this kind of experience I look for in the clubs where I want to play. Although Barcelona is fun it’s still far from these standards.
Spain is known for its tapas, what are some of your favorites to eat? We Italians are very spoiled with regard to food but in Spain this isn’t a problem as there are some incredible places! Their version of the Tuna Tataki is a pure delight. I advise El Lomo de atún en escabeche and ligero and La Croqueta de calamar.
Did growing up in Lucca, Italy have an impact on you musically? In an indirect way, that is to say the fact that the place where I grew up did not really have a music scene of it’s own allowed me to develop a very special relationship with music, if I had grown-up in Milan or Rome I would probably have had more of a chance to grow quicker, but at the same time I would have been too conditioned by what was around me. I used my imagination, it wouldn’t have made sense to stick simply to my town or country, music after all is this, you can go anywhere with it.
How did your collaboration with Guti come about? Who else can we look forward to seeing work from you with? When we first met, we hit it off musically and Guti is Latin in the true sense of the word. We soon said, “let's do something together”, and when he came to Barcelona we locked ourselves in my studio and pretty soon we did what we set-out to do. We’ve still got a project that we have to release. For me a collaboration is not politics, it always comes about when I feel in tune and if the spirit with which it’s done is genuine, real: with Guti that’s been the case. Who knows for the future- I'd like to work with interesting voices.
So your first love affair with music was with hip-hop – which artists resonated the most with you? Despite this early influence from hip hop you seem not to have subscribed to some of the hip house records that have gained prevalence in recent months-do any of these records have a place in your sets or not so much? At the end of the 80s hip-hop was the new energy, even though I was surrounded by friends who were metal fans, my faith was black. Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys were the bands that formed me, I’m tied to the old school, sometimes even today you happen to hear interesting things, but for me the best things were those from ‘87 to 2000. Even these days I can sometimes be playing hip hop .. why not? maybe vinyl set?
What inspired you when creating your track that’s to be released at the end of this month, “A Night in Nassau?” I was looking for something new that I had never done before, at that time I was listening to a lot of 80's music like Sade and stuff related to my Trip Hop period. I tried to merge the two things through a “disco” spirit. This business of producing releases which are often very different from one another comes from the way I love my music and depends very strongly on my musical background which is really varied. For me, it’s all about challenge and continually testing myself. This rapport with music, contrary to most, makes me feel free, complete, and satisfied.
Your forthcoming release for CULPRIT is a sexy almost disco influenced slow house workout. It's awesome but it feels like a departure from the sound that you've made a name for yourself playing. Is it nice to step outside of the norm and play around with different styles? This business of producing releases which are often very different from one another comes from the way I live my music and depends very strongly on my musical background which is really varied: for me it’s all about challenge and continually testing myself. Novelty fascinates me, and this rapport with music, contrary to most, makes me feel free, complete and satisfied.
Did anything specific motivate this vibe and will we be hearing more stuff like this from you in the future? Clearly, the will to bring more melody and musicality to the dancefloor. The sound I’m working on is sunnier and more emotional, as in the case of "El Maravilloso Mundo De Xilitla" which will come out in October on my new label, ENDLESS. I’ve got several projects on the go at the moment, all very different from one another. In the pipeline there’s something else which draws inspiration from the same source as "Bahamas EP", which will also be released on ENDLESS, probably mid March 2013.
Are you excited to play CULPRIT Sessions on September 23rd with Droog and Subb-an? What do you have in store for the crowd?" Every time Los Angeles inspires me and I always try to stop over for a couple of days: the West, the last frontier, has always signified something to me. Just think of the music which has come out of the West Coast over the years. In the same way I really believe that electronic music and entities like Culprit feed-off the same energy, driven by the same dreams and vision, you can hear it in the sound wave they are creating. Playing with Droog and Subb-an will doubtless be stimulating and fun. It’ll be on me to bring something special, and this is exciting for me!
Do you have a favorite festival between Sonar Off vs. Official Sonar? Both Sonar and Sonar Off represent the current state of electronic music, organized in very different ways, but it’s always about the music, the question is not whether it’s official or not, for me there are only two kinds of music, high and low quality, and it seems to me that both these festivals are able to offer a lot in terms of quality.
If you weren’t a successful DJ – what might we find you doing? Perhaps an architect, but only if I could do it with the same passion that I put into this work. Then OK .. only on that condition.
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