It all starts with a groove, we talk techno with Italy’s Alex Di Stefano

Alex Di Stefano is a name synonymous with transcending techno and trance, his unique sound has been cultivated during an incredible two decades within the music industry. Italian born Alex first found favour and success with his early tracks ‘thinking about you’ and daydream-through the night both of which received great acclaim across Europe in the early nineties.

At the turn of the century Alex forged a different production path sculpting a sound somewhere between the tough industrial elements of techno bridged with the evocative and melodic ensembles of trance culminating in releases such as mizar, volcan and blue waves. Moreover, Alex’s variety of work sees him regularly charting amongst names as diverse as Richie Hawtin through the spectrum through to artists such as JOOF, Max Graham and many more.

With a wealth of releases on labels JOOF Recordings, Outburst Records, Respekt Recordings, Diffused, Yin Yang Recordings, 1605 just to name a few, and regular slots playing on global dancefloors. Decoded Magazine caught up with Alex ahead of his two gigs in the UK at Digital Society and Majefa.

Hi Alex, Many thanks for joining us here at Decoded Magazine, first up how are you today?

Hi guys, thank you for inviting me at Decoded Magazine, everything is going great and I am currently in the studio taking a nice break, answering at your questions.

Being a native of Italy, I have to ask, are you passionate about food and drink? we have a conception in the UK that Italians in general are supremely passionate about cuisine.

We actually are very passionate about food. And I must admit that I’m pretty good in the kitchen.

What recommendations would you make to our readers who may be venturing over to Italy? Any hidden gems you can tell us about?

If some of you were to spend a few days in Italy, especially in summer and at the seaside resort, I highly recommend the fish (spaghetti with clams, risotto with seafood, mussel soup) only to name a few and of course for those who have not yet tasted the authentic Italian pizza, It’s a must to try!

As an incredibly busy touring DJ and producer with time being a precious and limited commodity, what do you do with any spare time you have when you are away from gigs and producing?

When I get some free time I try to keep myself busy with small hobby as playing badminton, shopping and of course cannot miss my time in the kitchen.

Talking of the seaside, we understand you are from the small fishing port of Termoli. what is the nightlife like there, and how did you become to be influenced by a career in electronic music?

Yes, I am a native of Termoli but I experienced little time in this seaside resort due to the transfer of my parents in northern Italy.

My musical influences began in 1989 with Technotronic and Snap. I was very much influenced from these rap rhythms combined with electronic techno of the early 1990s, then continuing with the italo dance music, in 1994 it is released my first vinyl single under the pseudonym ‘DayDream’. I started to develop my sound in 1998/2000 since I started to listen and appreciate the productions made by BXR so I moved myself towards a more techno-trance style.

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In recent years you have developed your style into an area between hard techno and trance, which gives you a versatility and a freedom out of genre restriction, and has allowed you to work on a variety of labels. Was this a deliberate plan or just a natural progression of what you felt?

Being a lover of all kinds of music, but mostly techno and trance. I just tried to combine these two styles with the involvement of the old school sound and it seems to be working well, so far. Music has no rules, so I tried without any clear plan.

You have two events here in the UK this year. Digital Society in Leeds and Majefa in Manchester, with a gig at Avalon in the US in between. How are your experiences of the UK scene in comparison to that of the US and the rest of the world?

I just returned from a lovely past experience at the Digital Society, amazing crowds, awesome venue, I can only love the UK crowds. Comparing the UK and the US, well there are not many differences, both crowds have great energy, who loves music, appreciating everything that the DJ plays during a concert.

You’ve been very busy in the studio recently, can we expect to hear a few of these productions and remixes road tested at the mentioned events in the coming weeks?

I’m definitely still stuck in the studio to finish my new remixes and productions but of course will test out some of my new tunes, as early as next weekend in Argentina.

Speaking of your studio, which is very impressive, what piece of equipment is your go to piece when starting the production process?

My productions basically start simply by creating a groove, looking for interesting fx plugins on the arrangement and then dropping on the breakdown. No scheme no rules, it starts all by itself.

As we mentioned earlier you have a pretty busy schedule, so what plans do you have for the rest of this year?

At the moment I have no plans, just to take two weeks off with my girlfriend, then, as you know already a lot of work in the studio and many upcoming gigs.

The Ibiza and festival seasons are rapidly approaching, any tips on what might be a summer anthem?

I wish I could say one of my productions, who knows, maybe in the future it will happen.

Alex many thanks for your time, it’s been fantastic speaking with you. all the best with your upcoming gigs and all your new material. it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Thanks to you too, It has been a great pleasure to share some fragments of my career. A warm greeting to all of you.