Follow Eclat Recordings
Few weeks ago I took the important decision to quit djing. I’m not quite sure if it’s a definitive decision or one day I’ll start spinning “records” again, but for sure it won’t’ be a short break. This decision doesn’t involve my activity as a producer and label manager of Eclat Recordings that will go on… very slowly, but still going.
Whenever I tell someone about my new no-djing life everybody is really surprised and curious about that; I’ve been djing since 2001 and many people is used to think at me as a dj.
For this reason I decided to try to explain all the reasons behind this big change to answer all my friends questions. Maybe it can also lead to some interesting considerations about djing in general and here in Livorno (where I live).
The preface of this story is that everything starts and comes to an end at a certain point: and I welcome this. I know that I could be attached to the image of myself as a dj, but I also know that I will not be a dj forever (for sure) and maybe there’s a moment when it’s important to understand that’s finished. And that “being finished” is not something bad to my eyes, because not djing will also mean to me having more free mental space and more time to do other beautiful things. That’s more an approach to life for me, but it applies to djing as well.
Another important reason is that I’m not (or better… I wasn’t) a professional dj, that means I wasn’t living of that. I’m a web designer at Netseven.it and that’s what gives me bread to eat, water to drink and some satisfaction as well. As you can understand this is a key point.
Also in the last years I’ve been djing mostly only in Livorno, in very small situations (small venues like bars) and after some times this has really changed my perspective: in these kind of situations there’s not really an expectation for the dj and the music. People passes by and music is mostly something that hurts (usually the bar owner ask you to pump the volume to get the club-feeling, but it’s too loud). In my context (Livorno) I never met a bar-owner or promoter who really understand how important the soundsystem is in electronic music, even at low levels: this results in broken speakers, not working subwoofers and rotten mixers as if the sound was the last thing. Even the crowd doesn’t really realize the impact of a good PA but when the sound is good they start enjoying it more. Unfortunately this never happens around here.
In these small situations there is a very strong expectation on how many people “will you bring”, that means that sometimes owners and promoter will ask you this and need and answer to understand your real value as a dj. And that’s a critical point for me :)
I’m not a young dude anymore (38 to be precise) and as you can guess all my friend are more or less the same age: this translates in the fact that the 80% of the people I try to invite will stay home that night, the other 20% will pass by, early, for a short time with really no intention to have a long and dancing night. That’s it, time passes by and people change their habits. Also some people that I call have really high expectations on PA quality and when they hear that broken woofer going “cra-cra” they suddenly think about leaving (I can’t really blame them, I do the same).
You must understand that for many years (with Eclat first and Scary Grant later) I’ve been djing around Italy and Europe, in clubs and festivals where the expectation of the crowd for the dj was high, people knew about my project, they were interested in the set and danced to the next track. Being now in a situation where nobody really seems to care has become frustrating lowering the enthusiasm little by little. I’m used to dj to see people dancing and being in a situation where this rarely happens puts some pressure on me, trying to find the right track to make them shake their asses all the time with no or poor results. In a small area the level of enthusiasm is strictly connected to the personal relation the djs has with the people: if the dj has many friends around and they think “my friend is a cool dj” probably the party is done, but if you’re not very well known or the kind of “cool guy” everybody knows (that I’m not) there won’t be so much enthusiasm around you. You can’t really rely only on music, that doesn’t work. The “hype” thing works also at this level.
Another reason is the fact that I’m not a young kid anymore: when I see other djs of my same age playing in these small venues I don’t really get a good feeling, I see them with their few “old” friends generally surrounded by younger kids and I see a kind of age-wall between them. Even though I’m the same age but I feel younger :) I’m afraid I’m playing the same role and I don’t really feel comfortable with that. This is quite different when we talk about bigger venues (like clubs and festivals) but that’s not the case here.
A few days ago I was contacted by a friend of Red Bull Music Academy to plan a gig in september. I’ve always loved everything connected to RBMA, there are very nice people involved (in Italy and Europe) and sometimes you ask yourself how they can select such nice guys. The Academy in Brasil (back in 2002) was a life changing experience, something that will stay in my top 10 for my whole life. As you can imagine saying “no, I’m not djing anymore” wasn’t an easy task to do. With Red Bull you always play in good situations, well paid, good PA, people having fun. But I did it. I said “no”. And it’s a matter of respect for djing itself, for other djs and for people coming at that night. I like to be serious about things I’m doing and I know that I’m not listening to new releases anymore, I’m not going to record shops and not doing any activity that a dj usually does; I know (as I did it before) that in a couple of weeks I can buy some new releases and build up a decent dj set…. but that’s not the way I like it to be: I’m very demanding when it comes to tracks, I don’t like to just play the last hit and sometimes I listen to 1000 tracks to find one that I like if I’m lucky. And so this is a job you have to do all year round and not two weeks a year. Since I know it’s full of djs out there and since I respect people coming to a RBMA event I prefer not to go, stay true to myself and respect what i consider to be an art.
Also club dynamics has become something I can hardly manage. I know how a club night works, the kids want more :) you start soft but at a certain point you must raise the pressure and make them scream… and it’s a hard task for me now. I’m into more relaxed music, looking for a soft and balearic mood, still 4-on-the-floor but more “tranquilo-style” (cit. Popnebo). Having to keep the pressure high it’s something that is not natural anymore for me and I’ve found myself playing tracks I didn’t really feel to respond to what the crowd was demanding. That’s what djing is all about, I know, but at least I’m free to take my decisions :)
That’s it! As you can see there are a lot of reasons and considerations behind a decision that might sounds easy to take but has a lot behind. Probably there’s also something more but I’m not quitting djing to write a novel:) So hopefully you’ll understand and welcome my decision as I did.
Be true to yourself.
I’m quite happy to annouce that the first release of Alfa Romero Recordings will be out on 15th April 2013.
Alfa Romero Recordings is Marzio Aricò, Andrea Guzzoletti and Lorenzo Bartoletti. I’ve been working with Marzio since our first release al Eclat & Prudo back in 2004 and he’s a talented producer and dj.
Check the first release and follow them… be sure some more hot stuff will keep coming!
More info on Alfa Romero web site.
What is Maago? Maago is a small company working on controllers for dj both hardware and software for Apple iPad and iPhone.
As some of you probably already know I’m directly involved in Maago togher with my friend Marzio Aricò of Alfa Romero.
The Apple Apps 4×4 Virtual and 4×4 Mobile have been launched a couple of months ago and we start receiving good feedbacks from users all over the world.
The hardware version is Maago 4×4 and will be out around late 2012: it’s a unique kind of controller which allows to play easily and simultaneously with 4 decks.
Stay tuned… check the web site!
Here you can listen and download the last mix recorded from Giulio Andreini for Ritmo Radio Show aired on 21st April 2012
2012 has started and here we’re ready to bring you some of the finest house music :)
We’re starting a new residency at Overflow in Pisa, every Thursday starting at 23.00… all the 24hrs SP crew plus some guests.
Also we’re going on at Controcorrente in Livorno, every two Fridays.
So… stay tuned and hit the dancefloor!