VOLTAGE Podcast 33 - Alarico
- Ntogn - 023
- Talismann - Unreleased
- Museum - 2 dB
- Ben Klock & Fadi Mohem - Prefix
- Radial - Smoking Kills
- Funk Assault - Unreleased
- Rkay - Unreleased
- Clotur - Unreleased
- Roma Zuckermann - Frequency Hole 4
- K.S.P. - Battery
- Setaoc Mass - M1
- Egotot x David Lohlein - Unreleased
- DJ Plant Texture - Respira
- Temudo - Kurla
- Audio Injection - Toggle
- Alarico x CRAVO - Unreleased
- Kobosil - Backmask N
- Torul - Narezanek
- Museum - She was asking for it
- Oscar Mulero -Sangre 1
- Hitam - Emerald Curse
- Alarico x Arthur Robert - Unreleased
- Rove Ranger - Voodoo
- Mike Storm - Power Distance
- Randomer - Bring
- CRAVO - Evo.01
- Egotot x David Lohlein - Unreleased
- Zisko & Gabe - Unreleased
- Ben Klock - Before One
- Havik - Unreleased
- Alarico - Unreleased
Hailing originally from Milan, Italy, the young Alarico has been popping up left and right internationally on various flyers and record releases, both of them hinting at a great career in the making. Part of a new freshman class of artists working on raw, deep, and quick techno, his productions often result in psychotic effect. Fast, swinging hats chase a rolling synth line made only more erratic by confronting stabs.
In an era where emulating vintage sound is the trend, Alarico takes the best of the past and extracts the cheapness before looking forward, creating records of very reliable effect that have been employed by the world’s top selectors. Taking all of this into account, it would only make sense to have him release on HAYES collective, do a 14-track mental breakdown of a record on Diffuse Reality, do his first contribution to Token, or deliver probably his most successful release yet on Amsterdam’s OOM Records.
These projects, among a small collection of others, are enough of a reason to have him as a center of attention in our scene. His sets are an extension of this energy, which he skillfully delivers across the continent for the underground crowds who want just that - him alongside other pushers of the genre.
You say that your sound was shaped by the raw, forward thinking techno of the 90s - do you have any specific records that helped shape your sound? What makes them so special to you?
The list of records I can mention is endless, there is just too much good music released back then that it’s so hard to mention the ones that helped me shape my sound but I’m gonna try and mention 6 in no specific order.
1# DJ Shufflemaster - Into The Groove
This record has just one of the most cheeky vibes I found so far. The filtered drums and the synth sequences are just incredible. Since I discovered this tune I love the most cheeky and clappy side of techno.
#2 Adam Beyer - A1 [Compressed EP]
This record is just the perfect peak time tune to throw in. Rough drums and an ever ending baseline. I’d say it definitely helped me understand the most tool side of techno.
#3 DJ Shufflemaster - Slip Inside you
Another timeless tooly record that shaped my love for swing.
Another record that’s special to me as it made me understand the power and difficulty of simplicity. It’s so hard to make simple but timeless music and this record has it all: just kick and hi hat + a very catchy bassline all over and some modulation on the synth. That’s it and it slaps.
One of the strongest and most powerful tracks out there. It definitely shaped my love for rough saturated drums and cheeky basslines.
#6 Robert Hood - Detroit : One Circle
Probably my favorite record by Robert Hood. This made me love sensual vocals and synth sequences with a melancholy touch.
What was it like growing up and DJing in Milan? What’s the music like and how did it help you (or not) evolve into the artist you are today?
Growing up and DJing here is a bit weird and non DJ friendly. The lack of a proper techno culture is quite an issue and most clubs here prefer to go for the easy way and book hyped festival-like headliners over and over again instead of doing smaller bookings in order to push something more underground and fresh.
As a result of this I grew up as a 16 years old guy attending major events and acts without even knowing where this music came from or realizing that this was only the top of the iceberg.
The process of learning about the underground and pure side of techno came through 2-3 years since I started attending those events and started mostly by shazaming tunes that I really enjoyed and caught my attention.
A key moment in my evolution happened when I started attending club nights at Tempio Del Futuro Perduto as it was one of the very first realities in Milano booking proper techno acts and breaking the mainstream codes of the scene in Italy. I was totally blown away by how rough and strong that place felt and I heard such banging and fast techno for the first time, it was special.
They did an amazing job in creating a culture surrounding the sound we love and I’m extremely grateful to have my own night there now, which I run with some of my best friends.
Moving on to how DJing in Milano was for me, it wasn’t easy at all. The main issue we have is the way promoters see and perceive techno events. As a newcomer I was trying to get gigs In the clubs I was normally attending and be part of the crews hosting those parties. I immediately realized how money focused the scene was and the fact that they really didn’t want to invest energy into growing resident DJs.
I had situations where I wasn’t allowed to play if I wasn’t selling a set threshold of tickets for the night. I was feeling more of a promoter than a DJ to be honest.
Thinking back about that time, one of the only positive sides of it it’s meeting Daniele (a.k.a. ‘No.name’, I’m sure many people reading this know him) who was also part of one of those crews and after a few talks we decided to quit and seek the sound that we really loved, he then became one of my best friends and we started djing and making music together, pushing each others since 4 years now.
You recently released a track on Token’s 3rd Fuga compilation. How did this record come about and what does it mean to you?
I produced that track roughly 1.5 years ago and it’s one of my favorites. It was post lockdown and I dropped university for a few months and at that time I was producing something like 3 tracks per day and ‘Spit’ is one of those.
I might disappoint you but there’s not much to say on how it came to life, it’s just a flash of what happened during that day. In the making I wasn’t paying too much attention to how I wanted the track to sound or what my mind was telling me to do. I didn’t have an idea before starting to write the loop, I was just having fun adding elements on top of each other, bouncing on my chair and it just happened spontaneously, I liked it so I then put it in the demo folder when Kr!z asked me for demos and he liked it too.
It’s a special tune for me because of the label it has been released on as Token is one of my all time favorites out there and I’m very happy I made my contribution.
Besides music, do you have any other interests and passions? How do you blow off steam and disconnect?
Even though music takes away most of my time (and I’m glad it’s this way) I do have other interests and passions that help clear my mind a bit when it gets too saturated.
First thing is training and exercising. I played basketball for 12 years and then switched to weight-lifting. I also love cooking and eating good food in general therefore exercising regularly helps me with that lol.
Lastly, I just love chilling at home with my girlfriend and watching Anime, that’s what I do most of the nights to really disconnect and relax.
What does your studio look like and how do you use what you have to build tracks?
My studio looks exactly like my bedroom and guess what it’s actually my bedroom :D
Most of my tracks are done in the box, using Ableton Live. I do have hardware equipment but it’s mostly to jam with friends or to give me a fresh feeling if I lack inspiration or I’m saturated with my workflow.
I come from a very strong old school hip hop background where hip hop producers work just with samples and drum machines and I adopted this workflow to my vision of techno music. The key is how you process the samples.
What can we expect from you in the future? Are there any projects coming up for you?
There’s definitely music to expect from me in the near future, I’m just not the type of artist that teases people on social media, I like to work in the shadows, act more and talk less. I believe showing the results of your work is much more effective than getting short term Instagram dopamine with ‘info soon’ captions followed by a fire emoji lol.
Hence I’ll just say music will always come, sooner or later.
Project wise the most exciting one for me is the birth of ‘Funk Assault’, a duo alias in collaboration with one of my best friends: Charles ( a.k.a. Chlär ). I very rarely experienced such synergy in the studio as I had with him, same goes for when we play together as duo, not to mention he is one of the nicest and realest artists out there.
Our first vinyl is on the way as well as a few gigs lined up following this project and I couldn’t be more excited.
I guess that’s it, thank you so much for having me and hope you enjoy the mix! :D