Donato Dozzy Interview


L-am prins pe Donato Dozzy la o vorba la Artmosferic Festival in Bulgaria, pe varful muntelui, la 5 dimineata, la zero grade, imbracati in haine de toamna timpurie, incalziti de vodca si de setul sau technoid si tripant la maximum.

How does this music go with the nature?

This music goes with the nature, that’s the point. If it depended just on me, I would have made only parties in open air. The music has to take its time. Certain sounds need to be in touch with the sky, with the stars and people need to know that. When you are inside of a club, it can be the best club in the world, but you cannot see the stars, you cannot really put the hands up of your head and just feel the touch with something. Also in some clubs there are a lot of people smoking, I do smoke too, but after 3-4 hours in a club I can not breath properly. It’s also a question of regenerating our body. When we are outside we have a different understanding of the sound, because our brain, whatever we do, it’s still clear, we are breathing good air in a perfect environment. I guess a good sound system it’s all we need.

Why do you hate minimal house?

I hate things without a kind of personality, just made because it is a kind of trend. I’m not angry because of the music, but because of a lazy attitude of some people that just follow some trends instead of using the brain, creating something genuine, pure. You can say that not everybody can do that, but I say that everybody can do that. If they just made their own story, they wouldn’t have so much pressure to get a release and become popular. It’s not all about that; it’s all about the message you spread.

What message do you spread?

Enjoy some sounds and find your own way in this. Nothing special. I know the music it’s a very powerful therapy and instead of talking bullshit around, sometimes it’s better just to stay home and listen to some good music, relax, come down and take things for better aspects. I started smiling to music, while making the music, while listening to music from other people. It was really important, because that gave me good feelings and in that way I was able to transfer my feelings to other people. It’s a kind of chain reaction. When I hear things that don’t give me any feeling, I prefer to do something else. That’s why I hate the trends.

Attak Records 1995

How do you build your sets? They follow a tripy atmosphere thread; is it just my imagination?

No, it’s also mine. I do it basically for the pleasure of giving satisfaction to me as well as to the others. There are so many different influences; I listen from psychedelic rock to classical music. I used to listen to good trance, when it was good trance. In the early ‘90’s in Italy there was a fucking scene it was amazing. But then, suddenly, something stopped it; there was Plastikman that was giving me good feelings. I play Plastikman in my sets; the old tracks give me goose bumps. Another one I play really often is from the same period of magicians and is called Emanuel Top. Especially when is open air I can’t help myself and I need to play Emanuel Top. Like a characteristic he has, there is the time, his tracks are always long, 8-10 minutes and are always up building, going down, then up building again, people just go crazy and I go crazy with it. I 100 percent have a passion for tripy music, it doesn’t matter the BPM and it matters to be tripy.

What other artists do you enjoy?

One that always influenced me, because he is also older then me it’s Mike Parker. He lives alone, he is an art teacher in Buffalo University and he makes crazy analog music that is just timeless. We are good friends. I was just a big fan before 4 years ago when I decided to write him an email, I told him “Hey, there is something going on, you have to know”. He was kind of surprised then he answered me once again and then I sent him some music of mine. And he was excited. So that’s how from a mutual respect started some kind of friendship that now we are still having. Every year he comes to visit me in Italy, he takes holidays from university and comes to make analog experiments with me. I am lucky, because the people I esteem the most as human beings and as musicians are the people I am working with.

What do you think about Italian minimal?

It’s a sort of recipe that Italians use. It’s a direct consequence of the German minimal. But the German minimal was made at the right time. On the other hand there is another scene, which is completely another story, it comes from the experience of Marco Carola. In fact he has nothing to do with the Italian minimal scene, but he is leading a separate music movement which is based in Naples. Other representative names for this scene are Rino Cerrone and Danilo Vigorito. But minimal it’s something that is related to neighbors. There are just them doing this type of sound. I’m not interested in it anymore, but there was a period I was really interested in what they were spreading.

What are you into now?

I make from trance to psychedelic techno; it’s all about the mood. I hear so many different styles and I produce different things, but always in the same mood. At the moment I am crossing new productions that are stimulating me quite a bit, plus a whole stuff that I collect. I have a huge collection like 10.000 records, so I always change, I always like to make an interactions between the old records and the new things, in a way that for you it’s just a trip, but you don’t know what is new, what is old, it doesn’t matter.

Is the old music better than the new one?

No, I think there are just some periods when the people are just more conscious and there is a wave. There is something you can feel, it’s shocking, it’s getting inside of you and it’s a sound you cannot forget. Then it comes a natural period of death. Like there are no ideas, you feel that there is no music that is giving you the right emotions. I had this feeling around 2007, I was looking around for music and I was hearing the same minimal shit and I was going crazy. So also my DJ sets were poor, I couldn’t feel the real touch.

What is the real touch?

It’s when you feel secure. When you open your bag and you know exactly what you have to do. Which is for sure, on one side, an emotional side that depends just on me and on my state of mind. But on the other hand because I also feel power in the records I have, through which I can directly transfer my emotions to the crowd and take them back.


Artmospheric Festival Bulgaria

What music did you grow up with?

There is the rock music aspect that is very powerful in my experience so I grew up with Who, listening to the Tommy album I don’t know how many times, then of course Pink Floyd. There is also the more electronic aspect, which is Georgio Moroder, my absolute idol. I liked that type of disco that was very electronic, it had a dreamy aspect and it was absolutely catching me. Then I started developing every influence I’ve got, but then I needed to know more about the people that go deep, more underground on this scene, so I became a big fan of the Spaceman 3, this type of electronic psychedelic things made with real instruments, with guitars and feedbacks. I used to eat a lot of trip hop too.

How do you feel about the disco revival?

You said revival and this is the right word. It’s something like let’s bring it to the scene and let’s show it to them. Of course the revival can have a good aspect, but not in all.

Do you DJ for a living?

Now yes, but before I was also studying political science. I’m officially a doctor in this. I had options; I could get into an Embassy and be related to my studies. But in the end things started working well with music because I got in the right club in Rome, Brancaleone, where I have a residency for 11 years now. That gave me a kind of financial stability and the possibility to get to know other DJs and start learning from other artists that had more experience then me.

From who did you learn?

My real teachers were two Italian DJs from Rome that were very known in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s playing disco music. They were brotheres, Peter and Paul Micioni. They just took me inside of a club when I was a kid; he was always protecting me from the dirty things and just giving me the passion for the music. This was while being in school. Also during that time I started playing music in the studios, learning the approach: to stay in the studio, to make the music. I had good people that stayed behind me, good examples to follow. Now I’m 38, it’s about 20 years in the clubs.

How did you hook up with Wagon Repair?

I am a good friend with Mathew Jonson since years. We started being friends for the same reason me and Mike Parker had a friendship: I was fascinated with his music, around 2003-2004 and he got some of my music and he was absolutely enthusiastic about it. So I invited him in Rome, spent one week together, spent some time in the town at the Brancaleone and we just started being friends and we are still friends. So he decided to invite me to perform in some parties he organized with Wagon Repair, plus having some releases with him.


How did you get the residency at Panorama Bar?

I moved to Berlin because I was not satisfied with what I was getting in Rome, where there are good individuals, good producers, but there is no real connection among people. So I was really alone, about 34 years old, I needed some new inputs, experience, new friends and new exchange of information. I stayed in Berlin for three years. I moved in 2004 and I immediately started to be a resident at the Panorama Bar, because they heard a set of mine that was recorded maybe two years before, at another party, in Italy. I found myself… I didn’t even know what the Panorama Bar was. Which was good in fact, because at the first gig I was not nervous because of such a big and good place. I went there with an absolutely normal mood and I had a great thing. From that moment I started playing every month regularly and they never booked me earlier then 7-8 in the morning, I was just playing at after hours, for 6-7 hours.

How many German words did you know after 3 years?

I lived in Kreuzberg, then in Prenzlaurberg with my equipment and some friends. I didn’t learn any German. Maybe “guten abend”. All the community of friends I was in was talking mainly English, because the Germans were just a few numbers. There were Canadians, people from South Africa and every side of the globe. So I improved my Iranian, there were a lot of Iranian people.

How did Berlin change you?

It changed me because I used to meet people and friends that were completely out from the Italian culture, which is a kind of nice and funny culture for some aspects, but it brings people on a lazy attitude a little bit. I needed to meet different cultures. I was speaking another language in a cool way and I was able to interact with other people, I met so many good musicians and so very good human beings. But, as I said, it wasn’t only about the music culture and the club scene, which were there everyday.

Why did you leave Berlin?

I left because it was enough. After three years I said now it’s time to go back to Italy, I know what I have to do, I will keep my friends, I also have friends waiting for me in Italy. I just needed the nature of Italy, I needed to go back to make my music.

Are you as popular in Italy as you are outside?

This is a strange thing, because it says something about the Italian attitude. When I came back from Berlin people felt that I had a kind of added value, which was not true, because it has always been me, I have always been there. But somehow you come from a foreign place and you look more precious. But nothing changed really. I am just getting some offers to play at festivals, nice things, like in July at Electrowave, in Tuscany. I am performing with Marcel Dettmann for I don’t know how many hours, till 8 in the morning. In the other room there is live performance from the Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin. So it’s like wow, I finally get recognized in Italy for my work, which is something that came after 15 years of production.

What are you working on now?

I had stopped working for four moths because I moved all my equipment and I built up a new studio in Rome. This got me completely busy. So now I am working to the final setup of the studio, I have to get used to the sound to be able to make some releases. I just made a release on my Aquaplano label that I share with Manuel Nuel – aquaplano 1111 – so we are now making a limited edition of some vinyl that will be out during the year. Then for sure something is going on Wagon Repair soon. Also coming soon there is a coproduction with Cio D’Or called “Menta”on Time to Express, then another coproduction with Lerosa on Apnea Records, that will happen after the summer. In September will be a new release of the Aguaplano limited series, with a solo from Nuel.

What’s your favorite gear?

Roland TR-808 drum machine. If I were on the top of a tower and I had to throw down the 808 or the 909, I would throw the 909. So my absolutely favorite type of synthesizer is the Roland TB 303. I have two of this. One is original and one it has a small modification, which is something very tricky that helps to build up terrible sounds.

Posted in interviu on June 1st, 2009 by fresh good minimal | 25 Comments

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