A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo, Italian DJs and producers recently released their first mini-album called ‘King Hippo’. The DJs live on opposite coasts of central Italy, with A-Tweed based in Rome, where he creates eclectic beats and is a resident DJ at some clubs. Oltrefuturo is based in Vasto, on the Adriatic coast, where he has his special place, Le Pianole Studio.
In the interview, the two DJs discuss their new mini-album, the inspiration behind the title track ‘King Hippo’, and their artistic vision.
Hi guys! Welcome to EG. It’s great to have you here. How have you been? Where are you located at the moment?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: We both live in central Italy but on opposite coasts. A-Tweed is based in Rome where he produces eclectic beats in his home studio and is a resident DJ at some clubs in the capital. Oltrefuturo is based in Vasto, a small city on the Adriatic coast, and creates music with vintage synths in his own studio, Le Pianole Studio, where he also provides professional mixing and mastering services.
EG: Congratulations on the release of your first mini-album, ‘King Hippo’! How has the reception been so far?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: We’ve received great feedback from the promo list and from friends and producers who listened to the pre-release. But the best feedback has been from the people who have already been dancing to these tracks in our DJ sets over the past 6-7 months. Crowds enjoying and asking about the tracks are always the best.
EG: What is ‘King Hippo’ all about? Is there a connecting theme or concept behind these 6 tracks?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: The name ‘King Hippo’ comes from a video game character, a large and overweight boxer in the classic video game series ‘Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!’. ‘King Hippo’ symbolizes a larger-than-life obstacle that must be overcome in the game, as well as the idea of appearance vs. reality, as he appears to be a formidable opponent, but his vulnerability lies in his exposed belly. This concept can be related to the contemporary electronic music scene and the idea of “exposure” on social media.
EG: How long has ‘King Hippo’ been in the making? What can fans expect from this release musically?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: The title track, ‘King Hippo’, was one of our first collaborative tracks. We started working on it in the summer of 2021 and after creating several tracks that we were both satisfied with, we decided to collaborate on more music. The entire album took more than a year to create and we evolved as artists during the process.
Fans can expect to hear a mix of strange and tribal tunes, downtempo robotic and acid tracks, as well as glitchy and intense peak time tracks like ‘Jaipur Kuundan Ring’ and ‘Ushuaia Botellon’.
“‘King Hippo’ symbolizes a larger-than-life obstacle that must be overcome in the game, as well as the idea of appearance vs. reality, as he appears to be a formidable opponent, but his vulnerability lies in his exposed belly.”
EG: How did you guys connect? When and why did you decide to collaborate as A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: We’ve known each other for many years and first met at a festival in Vasto (Siren Festival 2014), where we collaborated on various projects. We also saw each other at live and DJ events throughout the years. After the pandemic hit and most live events were canceled, we had a phone call in 2021 and agreed to work on music together, with a focus on creating eclectic and experimental sounds.
EG: ‘King Hippo’ is out on Multi-Culti. Why did you choose this label for this release? Did you have a previous relationship with the label?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: First and foremost, we’re big fans of Multi-Culti and feel aligned with their cult concept. They have released works from inspiring artists like Red Axes, Sascha Funke, Donato Dozzy, and Nicola Cruz, among others. Our connection with the label was made through Balam, with whom A-Tweed has a long-standing collaboration, and also releases on Multi-Culti.
EG: How would you describe your sound to someone unfamiliar with it? What’s the message behind it?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: Our sound is Trance Origin Italia. We were thrilled when Thomas (Von Party) described our release that way as it perfectly captures the feeling we want to evoke in our listeners. We aim to create an immersive experience, inducing a trance-like state where genre and boundaries don’t matter. Our goal is to offer an alternative approach to dance music, prioritizing atmosphere and rhythm over conventional song structures and sounds. We have a passion for all things related to the concepts of “outsider,” “underdog,” and “minority.” We’re not interested in playing in posh clubs or appearing on glitzy Spotify playlists.
EG: Can you share something about yourself that only a few people know?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: People are often surprised to learn that A-Tweed doesn’t take drugs and prefers to produce at home in his robe, surrounded by his analog synths and imagining otherworldly landscapes. Oltrefuturo’s secret passion is making mashed potatoes.
“We aim to create an immersive experience, inducing a trance-like state where genre and boundaries don’t matter.”
EG: What do you do for fun outside of the studio? Any movie, series, book, or album recommendations?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: When not in the studio, we enjoy traveling and exploring new places. Oltrefuturo likes to delve into more music, books, and contemporary art exhibitions around the world. For music, he recommends Tolouse Low Trax (you can’t go wrong with any album, single, or remix from him). For a book, he suggests ‘Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work’ by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams. A-Tweed is a big fan of Napoli football and lights a cigarette at the start of each game for good luck. He also enjoys making weird memes and listening to Tom Waits’ music and reading Joe R. Lansdale’s books.
EG: What’s in store for A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo in 2023? Where can fans catch you next?
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: We have several more releases lined up for this year, including a V.A. in the coming months and a 12″ on Haus Of Beats in April, complete with a killer remix by Tolouse Low Trax. Fans can catch us playing both inside and outside of Italy.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, guys! We wish you all the best for the future.
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo: Thanks for having us! Trance Origin Italia.
A-Tweed X Oltrefuturo’s ‘King Hippo’ is out now via Multi-Culti. Purchase your copy here.