When Amato and Adriani joined forces for a B2B set, they never imagined this would develop into a full force studio session and live project. In June of this year the like-minded producers, who individually operate as The Hacker and Alessandro Adriani, released their debut EP ‘Pr.sence Du Futurʼ on Adriani's own Mannequin Records imprint, blending their combined influences of EBM, industrial, electro and wave.
Their live show followed, with the pair re-imagining their hazy studio sessions through stripped-back muscular sounds and pulsating workouts, and has seen them play at Barcelona's Razzmatazz and Dekmantel's Sao Paulo edition, and pen future dates in Moscow, Brussels, Paris and more.
We asked them to quiz eachother on whatever they pleased, which in this case was their Italian roots, their favourite industrial and wave bands and their inherent love of food...
Adriani: We both share Italian origins and we are both doing electronic music. Do you think that our music creativity is somehow hidden inside our genes? While asking, I can't stop thinking of Moroder for example…
Amato: I think that my Italian roots, coming from my father, can maybe explain my love for Italo disco. I live in Grenoble and there’s a strong Italian immigration, and I remember that in the 80s there were a lot of local radio playing Italo. Outside of this, I don’t think that my Italian roots play such an important role in my music taste.
Adriani: How was growing up and living in Grenoble? When we prepared our live show, I witnessed a big Italian community.
Amato: As said above, I was surrounded by Italo disco when I was a kid and I think it played an important role in building my love for electronic music. New wave was also very important for me but it came a bit later.
Adriani: I was like 21 in 2001 and I remember buying the 'First Album' in a local DJ shop in Roma.. I'd never thought we would be making music together! What does the word 'Electroclash' nowadays means for you? How do you feel about it?
Amato: I have no problem with the word electroclash; it really was an exciting period when electronic music became fun and sexy again. Before that the electronic scene was mostly composed of boring techno / minimal. Also people forget that thanks to electroclash, a lot of musical genres came in the spotlight, like Italo, minimal wave, EBM etc.
Adriani: Do you remember when we got in contact the first time?
Amato: Yes I do. I ordered a record at Mannequin and it was late arriving so I contacted you and that’s how it started haha
Adriani: For me it was very natural since we started messing around in the studio with the machines. It felt like working with myself; easy and smooth. What did you like from this experience?
Amato: Same for me, everything was flawless. Sharing so much influences definitely helped, we instantly knew where to go musically without overthinking it.
Adriani: I already know your favourite machines in your studio. So I will ask you what is a machine you hated immediately after trying it?
Amato: I’m not a big fan of FM synthesis, too complicated and too much thinking before getting anything out of the machine.
Adriani: Who is your favourite music producer you would like to work with? And, if he's alive, why we don't contact him to produce our next record? Could be fun...
Amato: Chrislo Haas, the musical genius of Liaison Dangereuse, but sadly he’s not with us anymore.
Adriani: Seems we both love great food. I mean it's a stereotype for Italians but I'm quiet happy to stick with it. Do you have a food horror story?
Amato: When we were touring with Kittin, especially in the US, people were bringing us to « fancy » restaurants, where the music was super loud, eating nearly in the dark and with coriander on every dish. Basically everything we dislike with Carolina.
Adriani: What would be the most spectacular live show you have attended?
Amato: Depeche Mode, Arenes de Nimes, 2013.
Adriani: And what was the worst live show you have attended?
Amato: Me, DJing at my birthday party last year.
Amato: when did you start mannequin and why?
Adriani: Mannequin started first as a distribution in 2006 and later turned into a "record label" in 2008. The first release was a CD-r pressed with my parents printer... Honestly it was never my intention to start the label as a main job. At that time I was studying Psychology. Life seems to work in mysterious and unpredictable ways. The intention was to unearth obscure synth wave and industrial music from all over the world and make them available for everybody.
Amato: You repress a lot of obscure music from the 80s, what would be your ultimate reissue dream?
Adriani: Vanity Records releases from Japan are for sure something I would love to reissue, but of course it seems somebody is already on it. The market turned nuts in the last four or five years with many people starting their own labels and putting out almost everything. I think that turned into a market inflation. I see at least 50-80 new releases coming every week.
Amato: Do you think that I’m good with the MS20?
Adriani: I'm sure that you have a distant relative who was working at Korg during the period they made it! (laugh) You know way too many tricks, it's suspicious...
Amato: What do you think of the current Italian techno scene?
Adriani: We keep copying what comes from foreign countries instead of being creative and pushing the limits like Lory D or Leo Anibaldi were doing back then. But that's something you can relate with many media like cinema or art. We lost our magic touch, I hope not forever.
Amato: At the time I’m writing those questions, we already played our Live once, what did you think about it?
Adriani: Razzmatazz was the start but I think in Dekmantel we did something magic. I would love to see the video from that performance, hopefully they will release it soon...
Amato: In which legendary venue would you like to play?
Adriani: No doubts: the Haçienda, FAC 51 in Manchester. The name comes from a slogan of the Situationist International: "The Hacienda Must Be Built". Opened in 1982, the club was mainly supported by record sales from New Order. Apart from the fact that the venue is largely associated with the rise of acid house and rave music, I'm more interested in the early years, there were bands like Liaisons Dangereuses playing.
Amato: For you, who is the most important band in industrial music?
Adriani: Throbbing Gristle or Cabaret Voltaire. I know that for you is Cabaret Voltaire so I will answer Throbbing Gristle, even if SPK always triggered me more.
Amato: You have a very nice studio, what’s you fav machine and why?
Adriani: Clearly my favourite machine is the Roland TR-808, I never start a track without it. Maybe I should actually. It's just perfection, the look, the colours, the weight. You can make the perfect electronic beat or transform it into a piece of avant-garde art museum.
Amato: What’s your favorite new wave/industrial French act from the 70/80s?
Adriani: The early Die Form are absolutely going to the top of my list. For the wave side I would say Trisomie 21 and Martin Dupont, while in the industrial area I pick Ptose and Geins't Naït.
Amato: You stayed a few days in my hometown, do you remember Fabio and his bar, the 1900?
Adriani: Rain of chartreuse all over us with an Italian classic hospitality touch. Grande Fabio!
Buy ‘Pr.sence Du Futurʼ HERE.