You’d think with music like this coming out of Rome, the city would have a great afterhours culture, but not so, according to Dozzy: “Who stays up until eleven in the morning in Rome? No one. Well, there are some afterhours, let’s say “official” afterhours, but they are really trashy, with trashy music, with trashy people. Really bad conditions.” Dozzy first realised he was suited to Sunday mornings (and afternoons for that matter) in – surprise surprise – Berlin, a city he lived in from 2004 to 2006. “All the time I was in Berlin, I was the afterhours DJ, which is really funny,” says Dozzy. “You go to sleep and wake up at six or seven in the morning, have breakfast and then go and play. And in Berlin, I found out that I was made for that.”
Dozzy was resident at Panoramabar, the refitted power station that pretty much defines Berlin afterhours clubbing, opening at midnight and not closing until Sunday evening. “You have the best soundsystem in Berlin, the best atmosphere, and you have all the time you want for playing. That had never happened to me before in my life, playing six or seven hours. It’s so long!” Dozzy laughs. “I still have my resident night in Panoramabar, but it’s a Dozzy Records night with artists from the label playing, so I can’t just play afterhours by myself. Since I’ve come back to Italy, I really miss that kind of feeling.”
These days Dozzy has traded Prenzlauerberg for San Felice, a beach town located one hour south of Rome. “It’s very nice – only six thousand people. I rented a truck, put all my equipment inside and built up a studio here.” One reason for the move home was to concentrate on production for his new label Dozzy Records, releasing the likes of Modern Heads, Brando Lupi and Dozzy himself. “We decided to do the label directly from Italy since most of the people we are producing are from Rome.” Did you notice any changes in the Italian sound when you came back? “The scene has grown,” says Dozzy. “But I have to say that most of the productions I hear, especially from the new generation, are very, very similar to the Berlin minimal house scene, which is an overloaded scene. There is just too much minimal house! Nothing against Berlin and the producers, but the trend is really disturbing me.”
Dozzy’s home in Rome is Brancaleone, a club he has held a residency at for eight – count ‘em – years. “Yeah, it’s been a long time. But I can’t do without really. It’s like my second home. It’s really a kind of laboratory. I know every single corner of the DJ desk of that place. I get requests to play out of town, but to have a resident’s night in my own city and to be able to build up relations with my crowd is really something.” But don’t expect Dozzy to be spinning afterhours at Brancaleone; ever the gracious host, he’ll be spinning the warmup.
And if you lean over the decks, you might spot one of these ten spinning:
Robert Henke – Layering Buddha [Imbalance Computer Music]
Dozzy: “This is my record of the year. I listen to it a lot – it’s an ambient album that gives me a really peaceful feeling. I also love Henke’s other stuff. I invited him to perform in Rome last year so I got so know him up close. For me, he is my favourite German producer. One hundred percent. He’s so deep. I’ve been listening to him for many years, but in the beginning it was not so easy to get his material in Italy because the scene was somewhere else. I think I first heard Henke in 2001. And I was pretty shocked! The man has a good mind, not only because he’s a great producer, but because he’s a genius when it comes to sound dynamics. You have a warm feeling listening to his music. There are so many producers in Germany, but for me he is totally on another level.”
Jesse Somfay – Small Pebbled Forest [Archipel]
Dozzy: “I’ve played this really often over the last year. What can I say? It’s just a never-ending melody. The kind you can’t forget. It creates a real kind of ceremony inside of the club. As a producer, I very much like powerful rhythms and abstract soundscapes, but when I put melody in a track, it has to be something a bit subliminal – not the label – and at the same time it has to loop. You have to be careful because it could quite easily be boring, but when I find records that have special melodies which are loopy and freak me out, then I will play these records forever. Really.”
Newworldaquarium - Twyst This [Delsin]
Dozzy: There are five tracks on this record. Newworldaquarium is a producer I really love. He’s all about the analogue. He is very good at giving you the feeling that the techno is pulsating somehow, if you know what I mean. This is very good music to listen to at home, but at the same time, it’s good to play in clubs. It has a real Detroit feeling.” MySpace: Newworldaquarium - The Twenty EP [Delsin]
Ben Klock – Czeslawa [Ostgut Tonträger]
Dozzy: “This is really oriented for dancefloors and maybe for afterhours. It has a special feeling to it. It’s very, very loopy, and the kick goes in and out exactly in the way I like. And then at the end, it takes on a very hypnotising sound, which really freaks me out. I don’t like all of Ben Klock’s productions, but this one is great. Ostgut is the Panoramabar label. As I mentioned, that’s where I did the first afterhours of my life.” MySpace: Ben Klock – Czeslawa
Matt Xavier – Quazy [Railyard Recordings]
Dozzy: This is a record from the United States. I know Matt personally. Well, not personally because we just chat on the Internet. But I’m going to meet him physically in Berlin soon. I have to say this track is really, really nice. It has a trancey bassline which has a filter that never opens up - it always stays closed. That gives it a very trancey feeling, but it has broken beats. There’s three minutes of intro just of the bassline and some kicks and then – bam! – comes the funk. Every time I tested this track on a soundsystem, it sounded excellent. Listen: Matt Xavier – Quazy
Ø – Lasi [Sähkö Recordings]
Dozzy: This is off a double vinyl that was recently remastered. The album was originally released in ’93. ‘Lasi’ is unique because it’s more melodic than the usual Sähkö stuff. It’s one track that just killed my brain. It’s also very much burned into my memory. I had the chance to play it two years ago afterhours at the Panoramabar and I remember everything about that feeling. That moment really had a big influence on me. When I did the ‘Dimensions’ EP and I recorded ‘Gol’, I was thinking of ‘Lasi’. I mean I don’t want to say I made an imitation, but I wanted to create the same kind of feeling that this track gives you.
Fumiya Tanaka – Floor People Tension EP [Torema]
Dozzy: This is the most loopy of my picks. Also it has dynamics. You can feel the analogue approach. It’s a collection of tools that Fumiya Tanaka released which are really very good for constructing bridges between records. I like to use tracks as tools. Sometimes I play with three turntables – and this record I think is made to stay on the third deck. But you know, ninety-five percent of clubs don’t have three turntables. And if there are three turntables, there isn’t a good monitoring system, which is a problem because you have to listen very carefully or you’re going to make a big fuckup!
Mike Parker – Hiss [Geophone Records]
Dozzy: Mike Parker is one of my favourite producers. He does Geophone Records out of Buffalo, New York. He’s been on the scene since ’94, I guess. I like that he really makes everything by himself. I like the way he produces, the way that he creates a full spectrum of sound with very few elements. That’s very important for me. This track is really minimal – not minimal house but real minimal music. It’s really great stuff. I’ve collected almost all of his releases because I like him very much as a producer. I also like his paintings – he paints all of his record sleeves. When I go record shopping – which is really something I like – I always look out for records which have nice covers. Well, I look for the whole package. If you see a beautiful cover, it’s quite upsetting if the record is a piece of shit. So I collect records by their sleeve also, because the cover tells you something about the producer. MySpace: Mike Parker – Hiss
Heiko Laux – Fundament [Kanzleramt]
Dozzy: This is an all-time classic. It's a production from three or four years ago - it's one of the best tracks from this artist. I really like him, the way he produces, the way he makes the record sound, the way he uses the melody. It’s really great. Some Heiko Laux tracks are really hard but some tracks are deep, like deep house. He’s pretty eclectic. That’s what I like about him – he can really mutate.
Dasha Rush – Son R [Fullpanda]
Dozzy: I want to mention Dasha Rush – she’s from Moscow and Fullpanda is her own label. She hasn’t put out many releases yet, but she’s really an independent island. She’s connected only to herself really. I like almost all of the work she’s done. You look at her and she’s so sweet, so nice, so beautiful, and you’d never expect that such as person would be a good producer. Let’s put it this way – a lot of ladies, and especially in Italy, appear onstage just because they’re beautiful, and some of them really use and abuse that. I like it when women are good at producing without any fakeness to it. Of course I’m really happy when I find their music. Listen: Dasha Rush – Son R