If you are a lover of Techno, then Enrico Sangiuliano is surely a name you have heard (or seen). When we heard he was heading to Australia for his tour, we just had to ask him a few questions and sneak in an exclusive guest mix (not easy whilst touring and in and out of airports but he did it). For someone who recently hit #1 on the Beatport Techno Charts, he remains elusive to anyone but his die hard fans, but his biography tells a tale hard work, persistence and someone who carefull hones his craft.
As a Producer, Performer & Sound Designer born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, the exact period is not quite known to experts. Little Enrico spent his childhood manifesting a particular adoration for percussion, creating real performances on pots and pans, school benches, traffic signs and the drums. After hitting any kind of existing material he realized that computers could create sounds on surfaces unknown to reality and make them reverberate in virtual non-existent spaces.
He began performing through DJing at illegal rave parties, playing at the most important raves held in Italy since 2003 and earning space thanks to his numerous unreleased productions that became the rave anthems. In recent years, Enrico released his tracks on world’s leading labels like Drumcode, Truesoul, Alleanza, Gem Records, Octopus Recordings, Driving Forces and Rhythm Converted becoming one of the 100 most selling Techno producers in 2014. International recognition followed in the Techno scene due to his distinctive tracks that are big, multi layered and mind blowing. Gaining respect and support from the top notch artists like: Sven Väth, Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati, Karotte, Gregor Tresher, Alan Fitzpatrick, Pan-Pot, Stephan Bodzin, Sam Paganini, Secret Cinema, Tom Hades and many more.
Collaborations and remixes have been made with various music legends such as Armand van Helden, Mauro Picotto and Secret Cinema. Next to his studio production work, Enrico’s national DJ career is constantly increasing. In addition to his residency at TECH Club in Parma, crowds have been proving the growing demand for his sound globally.
Hi Enrico, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. How has the European summer of 2015 been for you?
Hey guys, my European summer was very productive in the studio. I also had some breaks from music making and I did a couple of gigs in the Netherlands (I feel it like my second home actually), in Tunisia and in Italy. Then it summer ended up with a number one on Beatport – and it’s still there!
I see you began your move into electronic music in the 90’s through raves. Can you tell our readers more of about and what the scene was like in Italy back then?
At the end of the 90’s and first 00’s we had a pretty big rave scene in Italy, especially in the north. During summer they were mostly open-air, in the woods, next to rivers, through fields, on the beach, under the stars… infos about dates, type of event and line up were posted on websites quite unknown from police, and few days before the party (even the same day) a geographic meeting point was shared. You had to get to that point with your car to get the map from one of the partymakers in order to reach the rave.
I started going at those parties to dance, meanwhile I was DJing and producing my first tracks at home with a Playstation X plus a turntable (in order to put some samples on in real-time) and a Roland drum machine, everything live recorded. One day a friend of mine listened to a set and wanted a partymaker crew to listen. They called me at their “home/base”, asking to play a set in front of them. There was a consolle and big speakers of course… I started the thing and after 10 minutes they stopped me and said: “you’re in!” From that moment, I passed more than 10 years playing all around my country, from little venues to the biggest events so far. A lot of my productions became party hits, 100% unreleased material (still), so if you wanted to listen to that shit, you had to catch me :) My typical set time was around 6 – 8 in the morning. Of course I always slept before my sets…. You trust me right? haha!
Italy has come on leaps and bounds with regard to the amount of quality producers coming out of there. Is the techno scene constantly growing do you feel it’s peaked?
I think the scene is still growing in Italy, there are many Techno lovers growing up showing their good skills as producers.
You are from Reggio in the north of Italy. Aside from Cocorico’s, is there many festivals and clubs to keep clubbers and DJs busy throughout the year?
Apart from Cocorico we have several interesting clubs, Tenax in Florence is great for example, Dude and Amnesia in Milan, Goa and Spazio 900 in Rome, Guendalina in Lecce and more littler but super good situations. About festivals there are hot things like Club To Club in Turin, Elita in Milan, Dancity in Foligno, roBot in Bologna. My favourite one as clubber (who I still am of course) at the moment is Terraforma in Milan. Check this pearl out.
What would you say were your biggest influences that led you to become a producer?
I would say the biggest influence was a radio called Base, I was 9 and they were streaming techno, trance electronica and hardcore everyday at 2pm and live from clubs during the weekends. They made me discover this world! I got a lot of selected tracks recorded on cassettes with an old Sony deck, divided by genre.
We wanted to say congratulations for recently charting no. 1 on the Beatport Techno Charts with ‘Can You Hear Me’. In light of this what is your greatest achievement music-wise so far?
Thanks! Well, luckily my tracks are always strongly supported from the scene ambassadors and lately even from big stars with a different background. See “Trrbulence” on Drumcode for example: Released on June 1st, still in the Techno top 100 and still played from Carl Cox, Sven Vath, Adam Beyer, Pan-Pot, but also from Armin Van Buuren (yes, him!). While looking at the charts “Can You Hear Me” is def the greatest peak result. More than a month at number one (yet there) and number 7 in the Beatport MAIN top 10. How many Techno tracks reach this results? Not so often! I’m so proud.
Everyone gets advice throughout their career, but what is the best piece of advice you ever received and would like to have known when you started to produce and DJ?
In recent years I received the same great advice (which also contains a nice compliment) from 3 idols: “You’re good, your quality is high, keep it up and you’ll see the results will come” Chronologically: Mauro Picotto, Secret Cinema and Sam Paganini. I got the goosebumps everytime :)
For aspiring producers out there what are your top three tips?
1. If u wanna start producing use synths (virtual and real) and some samples if you like, but don’t use loops, you lose an important stage.
2. Try to find YOUR sound.
3. Do it if for the love of music, If your aspiration is just to be famous or rich please leave, this thing will backfire on you and you will not be happy in your life.
In the studio what are your go too bits of hard and software when producing?
During the creative process I usually work with Ableton as DAW, but I also used Reason, Max, ProTools. As hardware I use a Juno 106, sometimes an 808, sometimes I rent some hardware synth and I records samples. As software I use a lot of stuff: Native Instruments, Lennar Digital, Voxengo, UAD, Waves, more and more. And I then I mix and master my works on Logic. Some people ask me: is yours the best setup? I feel good with this but I can’t say it’s the best one, I mean there’s no right or wrong in music. Everyone should choose the way and the instruments he prefer, related to his style. Everyone of us is different.
You have quite a number of collaborations with people like Frankyeffe. How do you feel working like this or do you prefer to produce alone?
I like both. Translating my emotions in music is what I love to do, sharing my ideas with someone I have the feeling with is great and let us create different sound situations and inspirations. There’s a brand new super collaboration running out, still top secret ;)
As we come to close out 2015 we noticed you are off to Melbourne Australia for the Unfold – Spring edition and then off to Brisbane in Queensland in November. Is this your first time to Australia?
Yes, first time! can’t wait.
Our Editor is Australian and always winding us up with stories of sharks, spiders and snakes everywhere. What is some of the horror stories you have heard and is there anything you are looking forward to whilst out there?
I heard that the animals there make Australia a fucking deathtrap, but I’m ready to ride the crocodiles, swim with the sharks and cuddle the spiders before falling asleep!
Finally, I would to say thank you for taking the time out to chat to us here at Decoded.
Thanks for the interview, it was a pleasure. See you at the party!
1 The Scarlet – Taster Peter – Extravaganza
2 Hard Drive (Original Mix) – Boris – Transmit
3 The Naked Truth 2 (Original Mix) – Cari Lekebusch – H-Productions
4 Consolidate – Enrico Sangiuliano and Frankyeffe – Break New Soil
5 Transmission – Benjamin Damage – 50Weapons
6 Holographic – wAFF – Drumcode
7 Rhetoric of Words (Original Mix) – Mowree – Dootrecords
8 Trust Me – Luigi Madonna – Drumcode
9 Celebration – Enrico Sangiuliano and Frankyeffe – Break New Soil
10 Hideland (Original Mix) – Mowree – Dootrecords
11 The Acid – Enrico Sangiuliano and Frankyeffe – Break New Soil
12 Hermano (Gabriel D’Or & Bordoy Remix) – The YellowHeads – Reload Black Label
13 Lidya Birkett – Ryan James Ford – Marcel Dettmann Records