Two minds lost in music. Inspired by modern techno Luca and Elia started to produce atmospheric songs that were influenced by melodic and emotional elements. Undercatt was born.
We had the chance to speak with Undercatt as they already released the latest edition of Diynamic’s ‘Picture’ series.
Electronic Groove: Hi Luca and Elia, thanks for your time. Summer is just around the corner – do you make and play happier, warmer music in the hotter months?
Underrcatt: Thanks for the invite. Well, obviously during summer there are more chances to play outdoors and during daytime… So, yes, that leads to a change in feelings and the vibes you get back from people and from the venues. It’s definitely easier to change the mood accordingly to that, and play music that fits better to these conditions.
EG: What was it like going up in Italy, what was your first exposure to dance music? What parties, labels, etc.?
Underrcatt: We have been lucky enough to be born and raised in a region like Tuscany that has always been one of the main areas for house and techno culture. During the 90’s three of the most historical music venues were close to where we live: Insomnia, Jaiss, Imperiale, and many more. Every weekend people were traveling hundreds of kilometers to visit them for all kinds of crazy parties, starting a kind of real club culture for our country for the first time. We were very young at that time, but definitely we have been influenced by this era. Techno and progressive were at the top level at that time, and young people were sharing precious tape recordings of those parties, making the hype even bigger.
EG: What’s the scene like there now? Is it healthy, are new stars always coming through?
Underrcatt: Unfortunately, the clubbing scene has changed a lot in Italy, and for the worse. During the years many clubs closed, you can’t find that kind of enthusiasm from people to be part of a scene anymore. There are obviously some exceptions, like some really good festivals, but they don’t happen very frequently. Most people lost the habit to go to clubs every weekend; they wait for bigger and special events. But on the Dj and producers side, it’s quite the contrary… Italy is living through one of the healthiest periods of its history. Some of the freshest and most interesting acts of the last 5-6 years are Italians, and there are more and more newcomers breaking-through. This brought some kind of fresh air into the techno and house scene, and we are definitely proud to be a part of that.
EG: How did you first hook up with Diynamic – who approached who?
Underrcatt: In the most natural and random way possible. At that time the Undercatt project was born just a few months ago, and we didn’t hit the public yet. As we were ready with the first bunch of tracks, we just sent them over to the general demo email address of Diynamic, Solomun listened and downloaded our tracks, and after a couple of weeks he personally got back to us, telling to reserve the tracks that he was interested to test them around. We were thrilled about that! It was summer of 2014, and shortly after we had the chance to meet him in person, and discuss about what to do with our music. We released our first track ‘Golden Area’ on the Four To The Floor Various Artists, then our first EP in 2015. We got invited to play to our very first Diynamic Showcase in Berlin, and about one year later after the very first sending, we officially joined the Diynamic roster. So…we didn’t have any direct contact before, we believe just being in the right place with the right music in our hands, made the difference!
“Our style is in non-stop evolution”
EG: Does Solomun get involved with your music, give feedback, tips and pointers or anything?
Underrcatt: Surely, he does. As you can easily imagine he’s always very busy traveling and playing all around the world, being such a top artist, but he’s also a very humble and wise human being. As we finish some new tracks, he’s always the first time listener. He gives us feedback and he tests the tracks around, and that’s so important for us to have his opinion back.
EG: What is the sound of the label to you? Do you make music with a certain style in mind so it fits with the family?
Underrcatt: No, we don’t. From the first moment on, we always produced music with the goal to achieve our personal style. We believe it’s the most important and also hard objective that every artist should fight for. You want to be unique in your sound, you want to make people say “Hey, that’s Undercatt!” as they hear a new track. Our style is in non-stop evolution, and we don’t release any music if we feel that we don’t have something really good and really Undercatt in our hands.
EG: And where do you make music? Do you have a nice studio?
Underrcatt: Since one year, we live in 2 different cities: Luca moved to Rome, Elia stayed in Pisa. But the main studio remained Elia’s one. It’s a pretty essential one, we don’t have any special gear, just a very good listening environment, that we think it’s what matters the most. We work separately on dropping ideas, we share the projects when there’s something good. When we feel it’s time to close the projects, we just catch up for some pretty intensive studio sessions together, to give them the proper tweaks.
EG: What are some of the key bits of gear in it? Any you really love?
Underrcatt: As we said before, we don’t have any hardware synth or module, what we did during the years of producing is to better and better learn to use VSTs to reach the level we wanted to. We believe that it doesn’t matter what you use, you can achieve very good results with some expensive hardware but also with pushing VSTs to the limit, along with your skills. We are living in a time where some of the best tracks have been produced with very essential equipment, if you know how to use it. It needs time, a lot of patience, and some good ideas to stick together!
“Some of the freshest and most interesting acts of the last 5-6 years are Italians”
EG: Who does what in the studio – do you each have certain favorite areas to work on, say bass or keys or whatever?
Underrcatt: Both of us work on initial ideas, but Elia is definitely the one who take care the most about the programming and mixing. He has more patience to stay in the studio for several hours. Luca usually takes care of melodies, going more with the flow, we have a very good balance in that. We’ve known each other for a long time and we still argue sometimes when we have different views on a particular production, but luckily we always find a way to compromise!
EG: What have you got coming up/are you working on?
Underrcatt: We are already working on new music, the Picture studio sessions brought us in a very good moment for inspiration, so we are riding that wave. We have the personal goal to finish some more originals before the summer season kicks in, to have the chance to test it properly in the main events we’ll be involved in. We don’t want to cool down the good moment we are having on the production side!
Undercatt’s ‘Picture’ is already available. Grab your copy here.