Our favorite deep techno producer from Rome – Luigi Tozzi – is coming to play in Vilnius for the first time. We couldn’t resist to ask him a few questions.
Hello Luigi, recently you had gigs in Tbilisi, Johannesburg and London. What are your impressions?
My impression is that I have to get used not to sleep haha!
No every gig had his own particularity, actually very different situations:
In Tbilisi we’ve put up an Hypnus Showcase in a new club/warehouse venue called Khidi. Which is easily one of the best places I’ve ever seen! So we played for quite a big crowd in this amazing place, and we could really feel that something is happening in Georgia.
People there have a pure and genuine hunger for new music and are very enthusiastic and receptive.
In Johannesburg I also found a great crowd, not prepared at all to the sounds I was bringing but absolutely open to discover and dance to a music that is new to them, it was very rewarding.
London was my first experience of playing in the morning, was great to play at Corsica Studios and very interesting to try and bring some deeper sounds in a city that seems to be very focused on the harder side of techno.
You’ve mentioned Depeche Mode and Vangelis as your early inspirations and Basic Channel / DeepChord as artists (Semantica / Prologue as labels) who changed your perception of music. What other musical projects could you distinguish as having significant effect on your sound?
Not much to add from that point of view, lately I am really influenced by discussing with my friends in music here in Rome. It is very fulfilling to have the chance to speak and exchange ideas with young minds that have the same passion.
It’s probably my main source of stimulation and ideas.
I’ve read about you being a cinephile and taking your inspirations in cinema and mythology. You mention Midnight Cowboy (1969), The Searchers (1956), Blade Runner (1982) as your favorites. What about 21st century cinema?
I’ll mention some directors that keep making great movies like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Also a special mention for Xavier Dolan, a very young director but for sure a game changer: if you haven’t you need to watch Mommy!
I hope you would agree that psychedelic music (be it techno or rock) has some pagan/tribal/shamanic roots in it. What qualities (in your opinion) define that such music is having the hypnotic effect of putting people in a trance state?
I absolutely agree. Well for techno it’s mainly about repetition of course, and also about sharing the music with other people all in a same place. When a techno ceremony is well organized by all the points of view, then you can have a proper cathartic ritual!
What do you believe in? If not God then maybe some greater power, or technological progress, or fate?
Prefer not to answer.
This summer you released an album about underwater explorations. Ten years before you the other guy from Italy – Massimo Magrini of Bad Sector fame – released very similar album about underwater field recordings Sinkhole (as Olhon). The main difference is that you dug deeper in terms of meters. Were you influenced by Olhon in some conscious or unconscious ways? Have you heard (about) this album at all?
I actually wasn’t aware of this at all. I am listening to it right now and it could have been interesting to check it before starting my work that’s for sure!
My album is about underwater explorations but in the same time the creative process happened in a very intense and decisive moment of my live.
I tried to link these two aspects using the descent in the abyss as a metaphor for my personal path of that period, and this is the reason of the last two tracks, which reveal that it’s not only about describing the different subaquatic layers, but also about a very personal analysis of myself.
How does the label (for example Hypnus) decide if some tracks deserve vinyl release (Quetzalcóatl) or digital is enough (Wadjet)? Is there any algorithm known to you behind this process?
There is no algorithm behind this process, it happened in a different time for the label.
These days we are pressing all the releases on vinyl (and digital of course).
Have you ever thought about the fact that Italians had always dominated the dance scene? Since Giogrio Moroder and Ricchi e Poveri in seventies; Toto Cutugno and Al Bano & Romina Power in the eighties; Cappella, Datura, Usura in the nineties; and now we have this deep/dark army on top with names like Voices from The Lake, Claudio PRC, Francesco Baudazzi… How would you explain this phenomenon?
(…and I was not even mentioning Madonna and Sabrina)
Hehe I have absolutely no idea! For sure as I said before certain cultural aspects of a country can be very influential in the artistic output coming from it. Italy is a country where life is not frenetic as in other European countries and this is an important factor to have time and space for developing ideas and art.
I’m sure you agree that good sounding stage name is very important. Somehow Arvydas Macijauskas, Marijus Adomaitis or Jacek Sienkiewicz, Andrzej Tuniewicz doesn’t sound so cool like Dino Sabatini, Giorgio Gigli, Donato Dozzy. And it’s not about the shortness of the name. What makes Italian names so special?
Well not really in fact, think of Shxcxchcxsh!
Still Italian is a very musical language and names or words can sound very good.
But in the end what matters is music, if you are proposing some quality output I don’t really see how the sound of your “stage name” would make a difference.
How does your live performances or DJ sets differ from your famous soundcloud vinyl sessions?
Well it’s very different. In my vinyl sessions I can also play records that relate to slightly different genres from what I’d play while performing. And they are focused for a home listening only so the process of mixing tracks is also different.
When I perform live I use the computer to be able to layer many slices of different tracks in order to have a very personal output. It also helps me to be free to create contrasts: to alternate from very long and intricate mixes to faster ones that are also important in order to keep the crowd interested and moving.
Which up and coming and (relatively) unknown young Italian artists would you recommend as worth checking?
For what concerns deep techno I’d recommend to check Feral. I’ve met him in Rome almost two years ago and he is doing great. First record for Hypnus was superb but the best is yet to come for sure from his side.
Another musician I’ve met here in my hometown is Christopher Ledger, he is making a different style but still I appreciate a lot his output and discussing music with him is always very inspiring. A lot of new material will come out from him in the upcoming months.
Let’s all meet up on the dancefloor this Saturday night in Kablys club – Black Wave