Droning techno from an Italian duo.
Italians do it darker. Or so we put it last year in a feature centered around the amount (and type) of techno emanating from the Mediterranean country. Giorgio Gigli and Obtane's Zooloft label is one of its main proponents. Each have released for other labels throughout the years—Gigli for Mental Groove, Dumb Unit and Prologue; Obtane for Sonic Groove, Synewave and Stroboscopic Artefacts—but Zooloft is their baby. On the imprint the duo have explored a palate that resides somewhere between modern classical, dark ambient and droning 4/4 rhythms. They also have a knack for an EP title: Their latest was called Analysis of a Nihilist Who Wants to Be Famous.
Why so serious? Because, as they put to us, "this mix is the output of our lives, our hopes, our fears, our dreams." You'll begin to understand just what they mean when you dive into this enveloping soundworld crafted by the self-proclaimed "Zooloft researchers."
What have you been up to recently?
We're trying to do a step forward, a further development of our proper drone-techno concept, taking advantage of innovative and interesting remixers who are suitable to rework our specific stories. We propose an advanced sound-vision of every shade of high-quality techno: we had a smooth transition from the tight and industrial rhythmics of Smear to the decadent and apocalyptic atmospheres of Milton Bradley, from the obsessive analog sequences of Mike Parker to reach the submarine dub-techno of Tin Man. Remixer choice is very accurate because every artist must have the right requirements for every single release. Behind every record we tell our story, who we are, what we do and where we want to go. The matrix is the same, we get lost in time and, sometimes, someone is there to tell us what time it is...
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded in Rome, at the studio. We did it in a hybrid way, using vinyl and a laptop to play some promotional tracks.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
A deep scan of our vinyl collection, loads of listening… Then, finally, the choice of these tracks that fit perfectly with our Zooloft concept, also if in a different way. In the podcasts and during our gigs, we put some of our tracks as well but almost all of the records we play are from external artists. Because every time we see a vinyl artwork and we listen to a vinyl, it's like we would read the story behind that record. So every vinyl is telling us something new, bringing us new emotions… It would be a monotone affair if we would focus on our own material only.
Can you tell us about some of the newer developments you've seen in the Italian techno since we spoke to you both for the Italians Do It Darker piece in July of last year?
Apart from cities such as Rome and Turin—which have an informed and careful audience regarding the electronic music scene—the rest is still in a training phase. Paradoxically, there are more advanced producers than clubs with an experimental/innovative attitude. The true clubs, following the European standards, are hard to find in Italy, except for some little situations. We have closing-hours restrictions, some clubs are closing earlier and people are moving to clubs later… This is a very negative issue for Italian clubbing. Of course it may be a momentary thing, since a lot of dynamics are changing and evolving, exactly like the club concept does. It has developed an international circuit of spaces and locations, from contemporary-art museums to theaters, to industrial floors. Every artistic location can become a good and useful place where you can express yourself at 100%. We like all of them because it gives us the opportunity of doing good clubbing and express every Zooloft-related sound, from modern classical to ambient and drone-techno.
What are you up to next?
We're very focused on our next Zooloft releases. Since our label is "homemade," we pay a lot of attention to create the tale, the graphic subject and the vinyl manufacturing, from sleeves to artwork. We thought making an album right now would be satisfying for our egos only. To deliver special and unique stuff, we would need to take a break and stop listening to any music, like a total reset of ourselves to set a "zero-point." In a parallel way, we're setting up a new exclusive project for dark ambient, modern classical and vintage/retro experimental electronic music; beatless, for vinyl collectors and not oriented to dance floor usage. The idea of composing soundtracks has been always stimulating for us.