Thu, 24 Mar 2011  /  Post a comment
We don’t need to remind you that we’re talking about Marco Donato and Federico Marton who, after moving to London, gave life to the “Italoboyz”. We can divide people into who danced on their sets and who did not yet. It was when they left the “Pizza and mandolino” country, that they received the influence of genres like electro, NagNagNag sound and achived the career that took them where they are today. The production starts in 2006 with “The Titty Twister EP” on Einmaleins Musik and than it carrys on with succesfull records on Mothership such as “Victor Casanova” or “Bahia” (a record that you can’t avoid to have). They are great no only because of their classy sets but for the energy and connection they acquired with the crowd (I remember the last time I saw them performing: I handed them an empty glass and they filled it up with vodka drink for me, as if nothing was). The Italoboyz are a never-ending development, that inspire themselves to genres from Jazz to Funk to create Techno-house sounds.
Hi and welcome on Soundwall!
Let’s start with a classic: We know that London has been essential for your growth. How was the first impact with the city?
M: My first impact occurred in 1995. I have been in London between work and study for 2 months: I took an English course in july and I worked in a restaurant in August. The impact was immediatly great. I still remember: I arrived on a GO flight (now called easyjet), then by train to Liverpool, Street Station. Black cabs, 2 levels busses, the architecture of the city… I remained fascinated. I caught a taxi and I went to Brixton where I stayed for the month of July. During the trip I was completely speechless, I looked out of the window: everything was crazy. I did not speak a word of English (I had only studied German at school). Then after arriving home and putting down the suitcase, I took the underground and I went to Piccadilly. I dare anybody, especially an Italian, on a first visit to London, to manage to restrain from going to Piccadilly Circus and have a picture taken under the TDK neon sign! To this day I remember clearly the sensation of immediately feeling at home. I have always had a very strong and special bond with this city.
F: The impact with the city is always cool. I remember I could buy a lot of interesting records. At that time (and I’m speaking about early 2000) there were a lot of shops that unfortunately are closed now. Another aspect is we went out almost every night, every time something new!
London was crucial for you, but was it also essential?
M: Who knows? But I would not change nothing about my past experiences, good and bad experiences. Obviously it was not always all roses and flowers, there were, as I think for anyone, unpleasant moments. Personally, a couple of times I’m been at the end of the barrel; but from there, I always found motivations extra to continue to do what I love.
F: Moving to London was crucial. In Italy there was no hopes, you had to be a good PR, and I am not a good PR!
How did you meet? How was Italoboyz born?
M: The project was born because Fede and I have right away understood to be complementary. We are the day and the night: this is why we create music that we could not create without this cooperation.
F: We met at a party where I was playing, I think it was around ’92. We can say from then we played together most of the time. The project is officially born 10 years later.
Did you chose the name “Italoboyz” or was it a nickname you had in London?
M: The first reale booking was at the 333 club: we distributed flyers for the club. One day we saw, written on the calendar, among the other artists names, “Italoboyz”… and from there the rest is history
F: An english promoter gave it us…
I think it is unnecessary to ask you if there is a job, right now, that could be better than Djing. But before you set up the chance to live in this way, what were your plans and objectives for your lifes?
M: When I was a kid, I remember my father asked me “What would you like to be?” and I said “I’d like to be a DJ and producer” and he said “Yeah okay, it’s like saying you’d like to be a football player..”. Obviously It was not the answer I was looking for … But I’m here right now, and I’m a Dj and producer!
F: Djing, always!
What about your musical influences?
M: I was struck with acid house of the late 80’s and with the house/techno movement that has evolved in all its forms.
F: Personally, I am influenced by many genres. For me, the musical research is very important, I listen to a lot of kinds of music and I love to buy lots of used records. This is one of the fundamental aspect of living in London: there are a lot of used record shops!
We can say that you saw the difficulties of our country from the outside, but what do you think about the current italian music scene?
M: I think Italian music scene is not so innovative, there is not music research, although there are many great producers, especially in the last years.
F: I think the music scene is saved; there are a lot of new artists who became internationally recognized.
“Viktor Casanova” and “Bahia” are two of the biggest hits of Italoboyz. Both contain samples taken from the past. What is there behind Viktor casanova and Bahia? How were they born? What about the title: “Viktor casanova”?
M: First I want to dispel a “myth” that I have seen and read around on blogs, etc… All voices used in Viktor Casanova come from the film Casablanca. Then, the singing is taken from that film when, in the legendary Ric bar, there’s this beautiful solo singing of Corinna Mura, who sings a beautiful spanish reinterpretation of the “Tango delle Rose”.
The idea came from the fact that Federico’s father gave him the “Casablanca” DVD. Watching it there was this “shock”: using the voice to make a tool able to be used during the sets. And so it was! In fact, at the beginning, we didn’t think of making a real track, we liked to use the vocal here and there. Then, when we finished it, we decided to give it to a gentleman who likes these things… This gentleman was Ricardo Villalobos and The track made him crazy so he began to play it anytime, anywhere and in any case …
About Bahia, I think we were at the promoter’s home, who called us to play in Warsaw. Before dinner, in the living room, he put on this Coltrane’s record . We were there on the couch listening to this record while the promoter was in his bedroom. We liked it … Afterwards, we returned home and we immediately started to work on Bahia!
F: The projects were born from the desire to create something new. Something cool that we’d like to listen to in the clubs or we’d like to buy in record stores!
Why did you choose “Bahia” in the unconfined Coltrane discography and not a classic from “A Love Supreme”? And above all, why John Coltrane?
M: More details about the whys and wherefores are explained in the last answer
F: I have an extensive collection of Coltrane’s records. I really like him and Bahia is simply a stunning piece. Let’s say it was Bahia that chose us
I think the playful aspect is crucial in your music and this is evident, for example, in titles like “Oh mio dio” (Oh my god), “Accendiamo l’ascensore”(turn on the elevator) and “pornazzy”. How does this aspect influence your productions and your sets?
M: Yes absolutely, there is always a kind of self-mockery in everything we do, so in our music too. To take things too seriously is not good… Then this does not mean that we don’t work seriously on our stuff, in fact, we really put our souls in our tracks.
F: I think the irony behind things and to not take itself too seriously is the key to give birth to the things in the most spontaneous way.
Again referring back to the particular vocal speech: there is a track that I heard several times during your sets. Talk about a thing, “ the same thing” and people who “want to buy the same thing “. What is it? What can you tell about it?
M: We often use this tool, and many people ask us what is it? Where is it? Why ? In these days we are finally working on it and I promise that when it will be completed Soundwall will know first
F: It’s a secret
Every time I go to London, I realize the public react to the beats in a different way (then of course it varies from club to club). What are the differences between the English and the Italian public that you notice most?
M: First of all, London is full of Italians, so when you go to dance, especially at Fabric, whether you like it or not our fellow citizens are always the hard core… However, I disagree: the warmth and enthusiasm of the people are a bit everywhere. For example, in Japan they are warm and expansive… Also in South America for example… What really matters is the vibe, the energy that is created, so basically what matters is partying.
F: Not many, I think the tradition of the clubbers are similar. But in London the age of the clubbers is higher!
About your sets: do you prefer a studied approach or do you usually make choices during the performance?
M: Nooo, you always do all at the moment, is the best thing: start playing, starting easy and than make it stronger. It happened just a couple of times, playing at festivals in which the time set was limitated, we gave us a guide of twenty tracks. In one hour you can’t make any build up, you have to play immediatly a power set.
F: Directly on the consolle: you open the bag and see what to do…
Where did you take the voice of Salvador Dalì used in “L’anagramme”? Why did you choose Dalì?
M: Because I liked to play with his voice during the set, and so I automatically started to work on the track!
F: Professional secrecy
I’ve always wondered one thing: when you become famous and successful DJ and have a lot of live, you’re always in touch with your own music, own production and your own sets … So, tell me if I’m wrong, every time you have a night off from work, i think you don’t spend a night in a club as a listener, isn’it? Tell me I’m wrong!
M: You’re definetly wrong! obviously there is the desire to do something else, like go skiing, staying with your family or go out somewhere to get your own business… but when you know there is an artist that you want listen to and it happens that he plays in your own town on the day that you are off… then the call of the dancefloor is irresistible!
F: As I said, personally I listen to lots of other DJs and music producers.
I do not know why but when I think of Italoboyz I immediately think of Fiabeschi and Zanardi, two Andrea Pazienza’s comic characters. There was some comics has marked your childhood?
M: I read Diabolik when I was a child and then Dylan Dog but it bored me very soon…
F: I remember I was in love with Cattivik!
I really like your “Where is London”. Is there an Italoboyz production you particularly like?
M: Yes, for me there is a special one, it’s on our album, it is called “Oh mio dio”.
F: Behind our productions there is a lot of work so I love all of our produtions. Anyway I’m according with you: Bahia rocks!
Can you give us some real news about your future! Collaborations, productions, event… What are you planning?
M: We decided to create our label so we’ll release our particular stuff on it . It will take a little while, but it is coming..
F: We are working on lots of things, always searching for something new and fun… You’ll see!
Thanks guys, good luck and sorry about the question about comics
M: Thank you for the good words and for the interview, very different from the usual!! See you at the next performance for another round of drinks
F: Hugs, see you!