Italian duo, Alessandro Parlatore and Marcello Giordani AKA Marvin & Guy have been rocking the underground dance music scene since their inception in 2011. Despite coming from two different musical generations, the two share the same passion for disco influenced music by legends like Ron Hardy, Larry Levan and Tee Scott.
It was their synth heavy and deeply melodic, four-track vinyl release, Estacy that defined their sound. The duo’s 2013 Egoísta EP on John Talabot's Hivern Discs also help put them on the map with a lot of rave reviews from fans and industry folk.
The guys spared some time to talk about their new residency in Barcelona, the current state of Italy’s dance music scene and the weirdest thing they’ve witnessed in one of the world’s most celebrated dance music institutions.
How has 2018 treated you guys so far?
The beginning of this year was quite smooth because we had some time off in order to start some special things. But the most important point so far has been the very first Equation night at Nitsa in Barcelona with DJ Miki. That was a hell of a night!
Can you tell us more about your new monthly party at Nitsa in Barcelona?
Our monthly residency at Nitsa is called Equation and the name comes from the series of vinyl we made in 2017. We actually started a party in Parma (our hometown) called Apartment back in 2011 and now we are happy to be promoters again.
The very big difference between our residency and regular club nights is that we get to express ourselves by choosing the guests for their skills and not just looking at the hyped up names. Let’s just say that it’s going be a 100% quality oriented night.
We are also the hosts and we want to leave a free expression to the guests. We’ve booked very cool artists for the first four dates in Nitsa. They are considered our favourite acts in the real electronic underground scene.
We also read that you’re going to be working on a Marvin & Guy album. In an era where singles are more in demand, how do you plan to make that album stand out?
Yes, that’s true but we don’t want to say too much about it. Let’s just say that the album will be similar to how we’ve progressed as DJs in terms of the style of music. We will combining elements from the different genres that have influenced us in the past years. Rock, disco, boogie, new wave and more. The album will reveal the true identity of Marvin & Guy.
“Cowboys from paradise”, can you elaborate how this term came about?
This is funny. We don't really remember actually. It was either a club or a magazine that gave us that nickname three years ago. It all started when we started wearing hats at our shows. Marcello in particular, used to wear a real cowboy hat. So we decided to claim it as our own.
You guys come from different music generations, aside from similar music passion, what are the things that makes you great music collaborators?
The fact that we were both in a small city like Parma where there’s basically nothing to do and at the time we were the only two DJs around playing disco and boogie. That was how we started working together, not as Marvin & Guy but as Marcello and Alessandro.
We decided to join forces to start a private parties every two weeks on Saturday night for 200 hundred people. It turned out to be one of the best party series in Parma. The final night of the first season we packed the only club in the city with more than a thousand people dancing to disco and house. Unfortunately that’s something that will hardly ever happen again there.
Right after that we decided to give the project more vitamins to see if something interesting could come out from it, and we were apparently we right. But we are still humble and grateful as we were back in those golden days, even more right now.
How would you rate the underground music scene in Italy right now?
Italy used to have a huge club culture back in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays we must split this question between the Italian artists and the club scene. When it comes to the artists, Italy can be proud of the DJs and live acts that have are internationally famous. People like Marco Carola, Tale of Us, Joseph Capriati and many others are especially huge in the techno scene.
The club scene is a bit more complicated. We play the least gigs in Italy, except for Milan where the scene is big and the promoters really know how to throw special parties.
There are of course other clubs and also festivals from North to South of Italy that have good programming. They do work hard to spread the love of good electronic music but there is so few of them that you count them with all your fingers.
You can find something in big cities like Naples, Rome, Florence, and Turin, but it’s not a ‘real’ scene. They are mostly promoters trying to build up something very good in terms of taste. We can name some clubs of our favourites like Serendipity in Foligno, Club to Club in Turin, Ortigia Sound System in Sicily, and L’Ektrica in Rome.
Which Italian electronic artists did you look up to when you first started out?
When we talk about Italy and electronic music, one of the first few names that will pop up is Giorgio Moroder, but there are many others too. People like Maurizio Sangineto former of Armed Gang, Mauro Malavasi from Change and Maurizio Cavalieri AKA Charlie who started out with disco and Italo disco. All these artists are inspirational to us.
What was the first dance record that continues to inspire you til today?
Dinosaur L - Go Bang by Arthur Russell. We think it will inspire dance music until 5018.
As producers, you would have to work while on tour. What are your basic production gear while touring?
We prefer to keep studio work separate with our DJ touring schedule. That’s why we rarely bring our laptops on tour unless there is an urgent piece that we have to complete during our travels. It actually happened this one time when we were on a plane with our laptop plus a TR 606 and JP-08. We really needed to finish something that had to be ready on that particular weekend.
What is the weirdest place/situation you’ve ever had to work at?
There are a few but probably the weirdest one (in a good way of course) was at Panorama Bar in Berlin. Last time we played there we were drinking a beer at the bar after our set and at some point a totally naked girl came to us giving hugs and saying how she enjoyed the set.
If it were at a regular club space this would totally be seen as a very sexual thing but two minutes later she introduced to us her boyfriend and he was naked as well. But it happened in Berghain, and it’s not seen as something sexual, and that’s pure magic in many ways.
What are you looking forward to the most with your debut in Southeast Asia?
A lot of obvious things but mostly to try to understand the differences between the crowd from all other countries we’ve been in the past. That’s is something we like to do everywhere like it’s a scientific study.
Complete this sentence: The world needs more…