Hailing from the city of Naples, Carola is an exponent of Italy's robust minimal and techno scene. Throughout the '90s he honed his skills as a hard-hitting club DJ, spinning blistering sets with three turntables and a sequencer, while at the same time putting out records on regional imprints. In the '00s he landed on Richie Hawtin's Plus 8 imprint, and not long after became a member of the M-nus stable. Over the past few years he's enjoyed top-tier status as a techno DJ, playing massive gigs like Time Warp in Germany and Creamfields in South America, plus a string of dates in Ibiza each summer.
Play It Loud! will be Carola's first full-length in eight years. It comes fully mixed by the man himself, and consists of 18 previously unreleased tracks. Chatting via email earlier this week, Carola gave us his own perspective on the record:
Earlier in your career, you did four albums over a pretty short period, but Play it Loud! is your first since 2003. Why did you stop making them for so long, and what made you do a new one now?
I think in a way, with the albums before, at the end of the day I wasn't really happy, you know? I don't think the concept was there—there were different tracks, different styles that I put together. And I didn't do something until now because I wasn't really ready to do it, to do something I really believed in. It's not easy when you do something like this, to put all your experience into an hour CD, it's really tough. Especially today with so much music around, to do something special, it's not easy. But I arrived at a point where I thought I could do it and be happy with what I did. It took me a couple of years—last year I started working on it and I wasn't ready. This year I tried again, and it did work.
For you, are techno and DJing inseparable art forms?
Yes, I'm a DJ, I was born as a DJ and my music is made to be played by a DJ. So it doesn't really make sense if you're not a DJ to listen to the single tracks. So that's why I wanted to make this a mixed version, because this is the way the tracks should be used. I was not born as a musician—I was born as a DJ, then I started making music. I can't really play an instrument or make "songs," you know? So what I produce is to be mixed. Some producers can leave the tracks on their own, without being mixed and it will still make sense. I would say people should do it when it comes to loopy tracks, that's the reason why they're doing music, to be played by a DJ. It's a DJ tool.
You said you called the album Play It Loud! because it sounds best on a big system. Would you ever make something that sounded good on cheap earbuds? Or maybe something to relax to?
Yes, it's kind of like an instruction for how to use the album. My music is basically groovy, and a really important thing in my tracks is the bassline—it won't really make sense otherwise. That's why I named it this way, it's the way I think you should listen to it. It has to be listened to on something with good bass!
It's the first time I wanted to do a "dance" album with my music—I didn't want to go far from what I'm already doing. I didn't want to do what many people do: when they make an album they say "let's do something different." But that was not my idea: I'm good at what I'm doing, if I do something different on the album, it wouldn't be as good as what I'm good at.
What was the best party you played last year?
I always love playing at Amnesia in Ibiza—it's one of the only places where I get excited about playing a long time in advance. And I was very impressed by the Rhythmatic warehouse party I played in London in November.
What's next for you?
The new EP with remixes from Martin Buttrich is out at end of January, then the world tour for the album release begins. It starts at home in Naples at Orbeat, and then there's a lot of dates across Europe, including album launch parties at Watergate in Berlin and Fabric in London. There's also more dates in North and South America and Asia that will be announced soon.
02. The Jingle
03. Magic Tribe
05. Light House
06. Black Box
07. The Tool
09. One Man Show
10. Freak On
11. Groove Catcher
13. The Method
15. Pop Up
16. Play It Loud!
17. Over Love
18. Question of Time
Minus will release Play It Loud! on February 7th, 2011.