Hailing from the picturesque Tuscan port of Livorno, Marco Effe first dipped his toe into production in 2007, aged 22, and released his first EP, ‘Wet June’, on SK Supreme in the November of the following year. His talent and drive soon brought him to the attention of Gregor Treshor, and in 2010 he signed Effe’s ‘Malaysia/Muar’ EP to his Break New Soil label, and provided a point of access to the crucial German scene. To consolidate this, Marco relocated to Berlin in 2011 and has since released over 40 tracks, supplementing his prolific work rate in the studio by applying equal dedication to his touring schedule.
Thanks for chatting to us, Marco. Livorno isn’t a name that rolls off the tongue when we talk about techno, so a move to Berlin had something of an inevitability about it. However, were there any venues in your birthplace that allowed you to cut your DJing teeth and hone your skills?
Hi guys, my pleasure! Livorno is a beautiful city and it’s the city where I was born but certainly it can not be compared to institutions that control the movement of the music in the world although many great artists come from these areas.. Berlin has given me a lot, both as a man and as an artist and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to live there and to learn from its culture. The step of approach to the German scene, arrived at a time where I already had partially enriched my experience as an artist and developed my first contacts since some of the local clubs, including the old Reflex in Ponsacco, allowed me to confront with high-level artists and mature my identity.
Is there anyone who you regard as being of great help to you as you settled into Berlin and established yourself on the scene?
I think the biggest help I received and the one on which I could always rely on, is the result of the union and collaboration of my close friends that shared with me each achievement. The awareness of having people who believe in me, is the big boost in a world that reflects any artist in a unique way.
Germany’s importance and legacy in the history of electronic music is renowned, but was it German artists who influenced you as a youth, or perhaps it was your compatriot, the legendary Giorgio Moroder, who loomed large, or were there any other acts who had a formative effect on you?
Well, Giorgio Moroder is definitely an icon to which every artist should pay attention. I personally believe that the inspirations are not obtained only by other artists. Of course that it is clear that the Berlin techno scene has an incredible power over each of us. Its main musical institutions in recent years have played a key role in the development of my sound but the desire to create and develop something new is the biggest source of inspiration that teaches to receive sensations and take inspiration from everything that surrounds us.
Italo Disco seems to be making something of a comeback, though retrospective sounds don’t ever really seem to fall too far beneath the surface in dance music. Do you feel a sense of pride in this?
Not exactly specifically proud because I think that every country is part of a continued global musical evolution, but I can be glad of having a background of great artists of every genre that has always made Italy a high-level musical country.
In contrast, techno never does seem to suffer a dip in popularity, and is consistently associated with cutting edge DJs, producers and passionate audiences. What do think is the reason for this is, in comparison to other genres?
This is very interesting to analyze. Technically speaking, I think this happens because Techno contains only essential elements that can be also considered unnoticed in a certain sense and this allows the music genre to remain the most innovative and popular despite it representing the history of electronic music for many years. The music is in continuous evolution of changes and it is clear to understand how the other genres containing more elements, can suffer certain consequences and disappear and come back at different times.
Things really seem to be taking off on the South American scene. Is there something particular about the cultural and geographical diversity that sets that continent apart?
Perhaps the size of South America allows to not inflate a specific musical-cultural movement. Sometimes, unfortunately, in Europe the people are never satisfied and the overload can lead to a high rate of evolution leaving in the background what is the primary objective: the desire to have fun, that certainly is not lacking in the countries of South America.
What are your favourite pieces of studio kit, and do you have any plans on expanding your toolbox?
The expansion of the studio equipment is the dream and the habit of every artist but I think that this may not help in the outcome of the work. It’s only necessary to be reflected in some elements that can better meet each own needs. That’s why I don’t want to have a spaceship, but I prefer to valorize as best my resources. Personally the great synth of Sh-101 roland is the musical instrument that reflects me most..
What labels do you see as the most prolific just now, and have you ever given any consideration to establishing your own label?
I deeply respect the labels that are not influenced by the musical movement and its evolution. This is the reason why I like to follow the entities that always keep their own line by releasing high quality music but never changing its identity. This is my inspiration concept for a future project with a new own label that will come not too late.
Your event brand ‘Impress‘ is currently on a March tour of Italy, Switzerland and back to where the parties begun at Watergate Berlin. Can you tell us how the parties have grown since they first started, and the concept you deliver so well?
This is an important moment for me and for my project impress. Since that night of 2014 in Berlin when the project came to life, a new and positive energy has enriched my artistic path. This concept expresses as best the love I have for music and what it can express. An idea born and developed among friends that connects art and music together expressed in all its forms. Our events have been developed by following our passions surrounded by the beautiful frame of Waterfloor at Watergate Club in Berlin which is the local residence of the project, and it has always been part of our inspirations. Musicians, DJs, Painters, and other forms of Artists, have filled our emotions by offering a new concept of clubbing and they are still giving their artistic contribution for many Impress events all around Europe.
Do you have any ambitions that as yet are unfulfilled?
I consider myself often unsatisfied in everything I do. This has always been my strong point that gives me the energy to keep on doing and work to improve. I believe that any goal in the discography, parties or anything else, can be explored as a new starting point, from which you can raise and to start again every day towards new developments. Growth and improving day by day, falls always in my artistic point of view.
What’s in store for Marco Effe for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
I am very happy about this positive moment of my career, because many things are moving in the right direction, and this is giving me great satisfaction. I’m looking forward to see my new music coming out in the next few months. A new EP on the techno label Planet Rhythm, will anticipate another important release on Inmotion LTD with the remix of Eduardo De La Calle for a very classic old Techno track, followed by another EP on an Italian label AdMaiora with a remix from 2000 And One. Waiting for my return to Australia in April and for a new tour in Asia, I’m focusing now all my attention to my neighbour and long-awaited event Impress in one of my favorites club of all time: Watergate in Berlin.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Marco. Good luck with everything!!
Marco’s ‘Impress’ party is next at Watergate Berlin on 22nd March – https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?936993