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Luzee and the magic of sampling. The second record will be a collection of lo-fi beats

Data di pubblicazione 09/11/2018

Hi Davide, finally an interview as the music producer Luzee. When was the Luzee project born?

I would say in 2015, the same year my daughter was born. Good things always come together!

I've been playing electric bass since 2000 and I've always played in bands. I started from blues and then moved on to jazz but the situation in which I invested more energy was definitely the project Invivo Faia. We made two records with an "indie rock" imprint even if indie had only the fact that it was all self-produced and, as rock, the heavy touch of the drummer ahahaha

The thing for computer music, on the other hand, has always been present. Then in 2015 I finally decided to approach beatmaking, starting from the sampling of records. I discovered sampling which opened up a fantastic world for me and from there everything changed, especially the way of seeing music.

After a few months of work, the guys from Miraloop heard the first demos and proposed to me to finish and release the songs, so we got to work and in the summer of 2016 came out Waterdrops, which is actually the first album of this music project.

What do you throw away from your indie rock past and what do you keep in your heart?

Good question. What I am is the sum of everything I've been, even the mistakes I've made.

As I said before it's not that we were part of an indie rock scene and so I don't feel very attached to the genre. More than anything else, I link the past a lot to the experiences in bands. Here's the one in my heart: I keep the high volumes on stage, the strong bond with the other musicians, the first concerts after months in the cellar.

You enter the world of electronic music from rock, as a bass player, and as soon as you start your journey with electronic music you immediately create a connection with the hip hop world, what was the connection?

Actually there is a very strong connection, more than with rock maybe. I approached rock during my adolescence, my friends listened to a lot of it and it was with rock that I got closer to the bass, but then starting from blues, through jazz and funk, I acquired a deep sensitivity and love for black music! Hip Hop is the natural consequence. I started listening to it many years ago with Common, J Dilla's productions and especially the Roots that were for me the connection between the Rap and a band that plays.

It's thanks to the beatmakers' sampling technique that I started making electronic music. It fascinated me right away.

And then there's the groove, as a bass player I really appreciate the groove because it's your role, you have to play the song and in all these genres the groove is central.

Your proximity to the hip hop scene has made you the founder of a well-known event in the Bolognese underground, Spit On It Open Mic. What is it?

Spit On It is a cool one! ahahah In fact it's an open mic dedicated to singers and mc in which there's a band playing beats instead of the DJ.

After I broke up with the band I had already started to produce my first beats, but with Antonio (keyboar player) and Gio' (drummer) we wanted to play together and I got this idea, without any pretension. The aim was to meet new people and play together without the fuss of a project to create.

And so it was! In a short time we realized that it had a good response and we proposed it in the clubs.

It worked and the Binario69 hosted us for an entire season. Thanks to Spit, many musicians/producers/mc sharing the same artistic sensibility got to know one another and I think this was the most important thing. Now we are in standby but we hope to propose it again soon.

The indie rock period is also marked by your commitment to your work as a programmer, when you were employed by a computer company. Then the rumours are that you quickly took over the company from your boss and at the same time started throwing your talent into programming music sequencers: is it true?

Yes it's true. I am a web developer and I met Gianni in 2008 when I started working for him. Then in 2014 he decided to leave this sector to devote himself to visual art and together with my colleague we took over the company.

But your boss Gianni left just to devote himself to art and with you. Give us some details of this new collaboration!

Well, this thing is incredible, it's one of those things you can't explain. In fact he took this path and when after a few years I published Waterdrops I asked him if he wanted to follow me live with the visual part. The result was very impressive.

Yeah, your live shows, you've just started but you've already had some successes. A little while ago you gave a concert with GodBlessComputers, another great producer from Bologna, did you find a connection with him?

Oh yes, a great one! We met a while ago at a beatmaking workshop here in Bologna. Lorenzo is one of the talents of the Italian electronic scene and I have to say that it's also thanks to his records that I got closer to electronic music. I remember listening to his tracks for the first time in an unbelievable time in Bertallot's RaiTunes program on Radio2 and being impressed by that sound. Actually that program opened me up to this world if I think about it!

Tell us a bit about the Bolognese music scene, describe to those who would like to come here and make some music, or maybe just those who want to approach this scene as a listener.

In the last few years, even if it seems that everything seems to be a bit still, I have the impression that something is moving underneath. I met Miraloop and many interesting artists. Then there's Labàs which is a fabulous place able to give voice to many projects, Binario69 which opened 2 years ago and has already established itself as a live club, there they jam a lot and in fact it's always full of musicians. A nice place to meet new artists. Recently they opened Granata that is positioning itself on experimental electronics music and beatmaking. So if you have an idea the space to develop it is there.

Can Bologna become a creative hub like Berlin?

Yes, and I hope so, I feel it boiling a lot, I haven't felt it in Bologna for a while. This city has always been a hotbed of novelty, it's its history! Maybe the comparison with Berlin is risky, but only for a matter of "critical mass", for the rest has all the cards to pull on a scene.

Of course, more space would be needed than instead of opening they close or are cleared, this is perhaps a thing of Bologna that I have not yet understood. As much as you love it, I have to say that sometimes it seems annoyed by creativity and the desire to do. People wanto to do things, create moments of sharing, genuine spaces for culture and I would say fundamental and then at a certain point they clear them out.

Your beginning as a producer, your project, matches with the collaboration with Miraloop, which today is your reference record company: can Miraloop be considered a music scene in your opinion?

In a way, yes, it's a virtual scene because many artists are scattered throughout Italy. Miraloop has four divisions with different attitudes and in each there is a closeness between the artists. There are also useful exchanges for the growth of each one.

In Miraloop Rec. there are four record labels, and you of course, for taste, background and culture operate in the experimental electronic division beat and downtempo, Spades. One with clear ideas like you sees the other three labels of Miraloop Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds, so different from your world?

Look, the great thing is that beyond my personal taste, in all four labels there is the freedom to express one's talent. I think this is the most important value.

So an artistic philosophy can give rise to a music scene. What is technical and what is artistic in the moments of the production of a record?

This one is interesting. Well things get a bit mixed up but I'd answer you this way: the artistic choices (the sound, the groove, the writing, etc.) of a technician are definitely how to transform all this into something that sounds at a certain level.

But, well, I think the question needs a more accurate answer.

You use a way of sampling, of doing sampling, which seemed almost close to the sound design of cinema. I recreate the Far East with household objects, it's fantastic! What do you know about this whole world?

Of the sound design of cinema very little ahahah, even if it has always fascinated me. In fact, I like to sample even real situations like a day at the park for example. When I insert these samples into an electronic track, a contrast is created between the abstract element of the electronics and the real element of the sample. It's as if at a certain point the song took me to a realistic situation, to a place.

Is there a secret "instrument" that samples your records that you want to talk about?

If it's a secret, I can't say it! Jokes aside for example for Waterdrops I sampled some of my daughter's toys and some of my father's work tools.

I was in Abruzzo with my parents in the countryside and I remember spending an afternoon with the zoom to sample a variety of objects in my father's tool shed.

Waterdrops is included in the Ethnotronica section of Spades, the "world tour in a world without borders", of which there is also the radio program on Radio Miraloop at 9 am and 4 pm ..., the second album will follow in these footsteps?

Here's about the label, to make understand the madness of Gerolamo, they also have a radio where they broadcast all the music that in ten years of activity have produced. There's a lot of stuff!

Yes, the first record Waterdrops is part of the rotation of Ethnotronica, which in addition to the radio program will perhaps become a compilation. I'm already working on a new record with tracks on this style, which in a way will be the evolution of Waterdrops. But first there will be a second record that will have a more lo-fi beats approach: samples, grooves and a bit of "dirt". In fact it will be a beat-tape. I needed to get this part of me out too!

So the second album is hip hop / beats, but in parallel you're already working on the third...

Let's just say there's some stuff boiling in the pot.

What will the next album be called?

I don't know this yet, but it'll have a nice cover :D

This second record contains the Around You beats, that we heard in the single in original version and remix, with Giulio Campaniello: which was your first live? Will you do something else with him?

Sure, in winter we have another nice single with Giulio, with a song taken from one of the beats of the record, but I don't anticipate anything.

The meeting with Giulio was accidental, like all the good things. We met on the label, because he worked at Miraloop as a graphic designer and we immediately understood that we had the same tastes. One day I created a beat and sent it to him. After two days he had the melody, that's how Around You was born.

The first live was at the Sofa Session in Miraloop. After the release of Waterdrops we thought with Gerolamo to make a live Facebook of 3 songs played live. On the same day, an hour before the live show, I ask him if he wants to do two vocals (a sucker punch). He improvised everything, but it was great and we had a lot of positive feedback. Now Giulio is an integral part of the live show.

We were also guests of the Radio Città Fujiko's Low Profile show together to present the release of Around You.

Now it's time to say goodbye, what do you wish for the music world of 2018?

I hope that good records will come out (there is Paak who is working with Dr.Dre for example) but above all that the scene will grow in Italy and that there will be more and more places where you can play and share music because more than a passion is a gift.

Thanks Davide and break a leg!

Thanks to you ;)

Go here to listen to Luzee's music released by Miraloop



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