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After a groundbreaking release on Partisan earlier in 2017, Giammarco Orsini releases a new staggering EP on John Dimas’ label Elephant Moon, to be out on January 8th. We caught up with ‘Giamma’. An insightful chat with a unique character and one of the most creative artist on the scene.
Electronic Groove: Hey Giammarco, thanks for your time. You are releasing a new EP on Elephant Moon, John Dimas’ label. Can you tell us more about it?
Giammarco Orsini: Thanks guys, I think the music speaks for itself. It’s an EP I did for John, one of my favorite artists and my dear friend. After the previous Elephant Moon VA where I was featured, and my release on Partisan, I wanted to do a proper EP for him. Of course, it’s also one of my favorite labels too. These tracks fit what the label embodies and its artistic direction. That’s how it happened.
EG: How would you say this EP evolves from your last release on Partisan?
Giammarco Orsini: I wouldn’t say an evolution. Every release I do happens after maturing some tracks when I’ve been working on them for some time. If it’s not for my label, I try to see that my productions are somewhere between my own style and the label I’m releasing on. For Partisan, the tracks are different than other things I’ve done. Anthea from Partisan has always liked my music. She requested me some tracks. One day we met up and I made her listen to stuff I wouldn’t normally release. That’s how the EP came about. I just tried to express myself as I normally do. The difference was this time was a bit less of the usual housey sound, but something a bit darker. It was an interesting exercise.
EG: For our readers who don’t necessarily know you, could you tell us about your life? Where are you from?
Giammarco Orsini: I’m from a small town in Italy, Pescara. That’s all about it (laughs).
EG: What were your first experiences with music?
Giammarco Orsini: Nothing particular until the age of 14, when I started buying records. I didn’t have any particular goal in mind. I was playing soccer and on my way home. I passed by a record shop. I saw the turntable playing some music and thought: “I want to do that, I want to play records”. That’s how it started. Other than that a bit of piano at school as a kid but that didn’t go further. I wouldn’t call myself a musician as playing a particular instrument, just an electronic music artist.
EG: How did you get your first gigs?
Giammarco Orsini: My first time DJing was for some guy on his 18th birthday, I was 14. I actually played hip hop. Then it all became more serious when I started playing house and became a resident at Zu Bar.
“Music it’s linked to our culture, our history. Everywhere in Italy, there is music”
EG: That residency allowed you to spend quite a while touring across Italy. How was that?
Giammarco Orsini: For a few years, I played a lot in Italy. That lasted for about 6 years. It allowed me to play alongside many big names on the underground scene. That opened me the doors to a lot of clubs all around the country. That is how everything started for me.
EG: Since the 80’s, Italy has been – and still is – the provider for some of the most important talents in electronic music. How would you explain it? (or how would you describe the Italian touch?)
Giammarco Orsini: In my opinion, it’s not something related to the electronic scene. Music it’s linked to our culture, our history. Everywhere in Italy, there is music. And the evolution from classical to this electronic sound is very natural, very organic. During the early 90’s, there was a lot going on in Italy. There were many many talents that built this sound. We owe it to them. Flavio Vecchi, Ricky Montanari, Francesco Farfa, Enrico Mantini, MBG and many others. They were touring a lot back then. And yes, they all had a big influence on my sound.
EG: It’s rare to find artists who excel both at DJing and Producing. How do you approach DJing versus being a Producer?
Giammarco Orsini: They are two completely different things of course, but they are related because of my own path. I use my experience as a DJ in the studio on how I structure my productions, how I make the arrangements. I really enjoy producing now, because I can use using my experience as a DJ but also because I learn a lot every day from artists around me. Pancratio, Enrico Mantini, and John Dimas have taught me a lot on production techniques, how to work with synthesizers, etc. Now I’m not doing only electronic dance music, I try to do a bit of everything just to mess around and experiment. One day I’d like to do a side project to express another side of my creativity. Maybe something more experimental, not necessarily dance related.
“Now I’m not doing only electronic dance music, I try to do a bit of everything just to mess around and experiment”
EG: How do you approach your work in the studio? What do you have on your mind when making a track?
Giammarco Orsini: It really depends on my mood of course. If I’m in more emotional states, there will be more pads and melodies. If I want to do something for the dancefloor, I start building the drums. It really changes every day. I open my machine without planning, without knowing what will happen. Of course, you can have a general idea of what you are aiming for, but you never know for sure what the outcome will be. The day I did this track, ‘Signal Flow’, I was looking for a specific kind of bass, and ended up doing something completely different.
EG: What is your pace in the studio? Is it more a one-time jamming thing or a long time work?
Giammarco Orsini: It takes me quite a long time to make a track, it’s not in a single take. First I’m going to build the loop. Then I do the arrangement. Sometimes I do finish a track fast, and in those cases, it’s always a track I’m happy with because it’s more natural, spontaneous. For example on my next EP, this track called ‘Moon Light’, I did it like in 3 hours. On that day, I was in an emotive mood, and with the morning I had in the studio I really thought I would never make anything with it. Then in the afternoon, it all happened. 3 hours and I didn’t touch it at all since.
EG: What are your weapons of choice in the studio?
Giammarco Orsini: There isn’t really anything I would mention right now. If I have a new machine, I don’t let it dictate the sound I make. I would instead go and try to make a specific sound that I already have in mind with that machine. Of course, I would know that a specific instrument would be suitable.
EG: You are also the artistic director of Heko Records. What is the idea behind the label?
Giammarco Orsini: I’m the A&R. Rino Leonio and Mattia Ronchi work with me running the label that was created by Alessio Bettoli. As you can imagine we want to release music we like, create something from people who were all involved in different projects. We each bring our different life experiences together into this label. That’s our idea behind it.
EG: What are your plans for this Winter? Anything particular you are looking forward to?
Giammarco Orsini: Apart from the EP, I’m looking forward to my next release on Double R. Then a remix for Denis Kaznatcheev on Only 300 records. A few upcoming gigs too, looking forward to playing with Praslesh at Goa on December 9th.
Giammarco Orsini’s ‘Wider Perspective’ EP will be out January 8th. Grab your copy here.
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