An Italian techno artist on the rise.
Marco Sartorelli is an Italian artist who produces dark, abstract techno. Sound familiar? While it's true that Italian techno is often rich with these qualities, it's been surprising how much range this loose formula has had. Sartorelli, who comes from the city of Treviso and now lives in London, has always been drawn to overcast shades, although the way this has been applied has always differed greatly. He started out making club tracks with a focus on percussion and groove, but over the years his sound developed an expansive quality, something best exemplified by 2011's "The Vox Attitude," a creeping broken-beat number that subtly subverted Ecstasy Passion & Pain's "Touch & Go." There were echoes of the track in "Sing Like A Bird," the excellent RA Recommended single Sartorelli released earlier this year, but by then he was in a different creative space. His Eerie label had built catalogue of exquisitely hypnotic techno, and it came as no surprise when the label recently announced a collaboration between Sartorelli and Donato Dozzy, the artist who is, of course, the leading figure for this sound. Dozzy makes an appearance on the first track of Visione, Sartorelli's upcoming debut album, and it sets the tone for 53 minutes of impossibly deep leftfield electronics.
Sartorelli's DJ career has also been making strides, with gigs at Corsica Studios, Berghain and Studio 80 in recent months. Listening to RA.441, it's easy to hear why. "I believe techno is a not a genre, but a point of view," he tells us below, a statement that would sound pretentious if it weren't so well backed up by the range of music he plays.
What have you been up to recently?
I have been busy with setting things up for the album. Not musically, as the tracks were ready early this year, but artwork, communication, interviews, features. I am not a very promotions orientated person, but with an album you have to do it a little bit. I was really quite surprised actually to see how much more extra work there is behind an album than on an EP.
But I have also been working on new sounds and experimenting new techniques with some new machines I got, very much in a free and fun way, studying the sound and coming up with new interesting way of modulating it. I feel that after an album you need to take a little bit of a break and prepare your new musical chapter by discovering new ways.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at my house in Hackney (London), which is also my studio. Precisely in my bedroom where all the gear and also my old beloved Technics decks are (I know this might sound a bit student, but unfortunately that is not the case as I passed that age quite a few years ago). It's mainly all vinyl apart from some unreleased stuff and the tracks from my upcoming album, as I didn't have test pressings at the time.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I always take podcasts very seriously. It takes me a good while to put them together the way I do and I get really quite stressed about it. I don't enjoy the process but normally I'm very happy about the result. To me it's not just about picking 20 records that flow well together and mixing them in the right order—it's about a narrative, a path diverse in the genres but homogeneous in the sounds, and especially in the mood. Electronic, house, techno, jazz, dub, noise, industrial, kraut, psychedelic etc. can all be different landscapes of the same journey. I believe techno is a not a genre, but a point of view—and that's what I always try to do with a mix.
You told us that during the recording of your album, you often initially set the tempo of the track very high or very slow. How do you think this affected the end results?
I think the result is that the rhythms are more layered and somehow unexpected than in previous works I've done. It allowed me to create more space between the sounds I used and different dynamics in the development of the arrangement. Overall a more abstract approach.
How did you and Donato Dozzy first link up?
We met for the first time at Labyrinth last year. Funny enough, we have known each other personally only since and we've been in touch all along. The same goes for Neel, the other half of Voices From The Lake, who I also met at Labyrinth and that also mastered my album and the Anxur release.
What are you up to next?
I would like to go to Mongolia.