Artist To Artist – Tempelhof & Gigi Masin


We fell in love with Tempelhof a while back. The name drew us in, then we listened to the sounds that emanated from minds. We were hooked. We chatted to them earlier in the year. You can read that here.

For their next album, the pair have teamed up with legendary producer Gigi Masin, who played a key role in Italy's music scene from the 1970s. He's worked on radio, on television and in theatre with his directorial work. The likes of Bjork and To Rococo Rot have sampled Masin’s work no less. 

Together, then, Masin and Tempelhof make perfect sense as their musical partnership proves across the course of the 10 elegant tracks on the album Hoshi. 

An exploration of peaceful ambience, organic musical textures and brain soothing soundscapes. We're big fans of this. Have a listen to it below and part with your hard earned cash for a copy.  

Aaaanyway. To celebrate this album what we thought would be nice is if Gigi were to interview the Tempelhof duo and then they switched around and Tempelhof asked Gig… these were the results. 

Gigi Masin Interviews Tempelhof 

Gigi: You guys live in a blessed place where the food is incredible, but an old Irish tale tells that food is inversely proportional to the ability of a poet to write a love poem. Well, taking into account that the most part of the music we usually listen to comes from countries where the food is not exactly, magnificient… How can you explain that your music is so good? 

Tempelhof: Ehmm… Alright, not bad as a start… well, when I read your question I immediatly thought about a friend of mine that has recently visited Iceland and tried their typical food. I’ve been really shocked to know that one of their favorite dishes is putrefied shark… then, I thought of how much I've loved the first Sigur Ros albums and, I was about to give up with no reply. But, you should know that here, in Mantova, we are used to eating everything from the pig, when we kill him… and everything means everything: intestine, ears, eyes, blood, tail, muzzle, brain, stomach, bones… so, that’s probably the reason why our music is so fuckin’ good!

G: Attending your live set is a deep emotional experience. Does it make you angry to see that the most part of the musical journalists pay attention to copies of copies of the usual names? Have you ever thought about pretending to be Icelander? 

T: I told you about the putrified shark… how could we desire to be Icelanders?

G: Ususally, in a musical duo,  one member complements the other. Looking at you, it seems like that the one multiplies the other, defeating the math…

T: So kind… too much I guess… We are used to work stratifying the sound, adding parts on parts, it’s a kind of 3D show! There’s a great feeling between me and Luciano when we are on stage, we are usually able to take some risks, doing something a bit different from a show to another… we need only one glance to realize that everything is ok or, conversely, that we are in a big trouble…

G: I’m really jealous of your energy on stage. Is it only creative power or is there something wrong with your diet?

T: It’s because of the beer… It’s always the same old story. When I was a kid, before leaving for holidays by car, my mother used to tell me: “Pee now, because I won’t stop on the way”, but I was that kind of little bastard that never listened to his parents. Now, many years later, I always forget to pee before the show… that’s because I can’t stand still on stage. And, what about Luciano who looks like possessed by the devil while he’s playing guitar?!

G: Someone says that your manager is a kind of ogre that keep you slaves to make you obey his orders… The doubt comes from the fact that you usually play live with chains on your ankles… So, are the videos a way to hide it? 

T: Yes Gigi, it is, we are living a very cruel and obscure slavery… but if you pay attention to our videos, during the show, you’ll see that we have seeded clues everywhere, in the hope that someone help us. In particular, there’s a series of subliminal messages that say: “don’t buy Tempelhof vinyls”, “Boycott the Hell Yeah Recordings”, “PeeDoo is Charles Manson”… basically, we are undermining the business of the enemy!

G: Rooting for different football teams can put together or divide musicians like us, and one of you has choosen the wrong part of the stadium… I wanna be honest: if we’ll do a second album together, the cover should be Black and Blue… How can you think to solve the problem?

T: Do you know the famous “mexican standout” in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Obviously yes… They were on three people with a gun pointed at each other. Well, we’re going to be on four: Me, you, Luciano and Marco “the ogre”… will be an epic fight, more dramatic than what Sergio Leone could ever imagine!

Tempelhof Interviews Gigi Masin

Tempelhof: What do you expect from this interview? 

G: A lot of fun and those 2,000 € you've promised me..

T: Where are you now and what are you doing?

G: I'm still living in Venice. But dreaming to move away from here… Without boring you with family, kids and job in this period I'm going to prepare me and my music for concerts in Europe. Unluckily I did an album with an Italian duo, a sort of mix from Cajun ambient music and Maori love songs, so it's likely to have more requests to play around becouse that strange Italian duo is so famous worldwide not only for the great music but also for their catfish risotto..

T: How would you define your own sound? 

G: The worse italian plague is the need to determine italian musicians' style.. and it's always something like a knife into your back. So I started to define my music like 'human' also if I must confess it's a sort of a joke. Music often change in our mind, and I'm proud to try to move in new territories and do not stop to learn, listen and discover…

T: What's your main instrument and what kind of relationship have you with it? 

G: I try to explain you my feelings.. I'm sure that the main instrument for all those lovely musicians I admire and also for myself is "to fall in love with". It means a sound, a dream, a girl, a book, a movie.. The spark that is going to move your mind and conquer your heart with emotions, hope and makes your blood runs fast. Then you have to translate all this stuff into music, and isn't often a easy challenge, but always is worth it..

T: Talking about your music, how often do you happen to hear people say: "I can’t believe you’re Italian"? How does it make you feel?

G: To be true I heard italians told me that.. and it wasn't a kindness of course. Outside my country I had always, at the minimum, respect and a smile. This kind of cultural exile I had in the past, and today however, made the man and the musician I am. A repeated injustice makes you crazy or stronger…

T: Taking a step back, what kind of country was Italy in the ’80s?

G:  Just a little more relaxed but nothing more than that… To do things you could call 'art' or trying to organize a concert or a recording session was an unquestionable mad challenge that only the wicked minds of musicians could think of… Some changes? Living with your musical skill? Survive with the copyrights? Receive your copyrights on time? Italy is lost in a sort of Fellini's movie, nothig really change while everything seems to move very fast…

T: Your music has been recently rediscover, becoming a big source of inspiration for several young international artists. Who was your personal Gigi Masin when you began producing music?

G: A disappointed guy… Just finished my career as a professional radio dj and without a job. Laws in Italy often change, and what the day before was a salary became suddenly a voluntary pastime. I had wrote songs from my childhood, most of them love songs. But the wish to create my own music was a sort of a feedback, a reaction, an attempt to do not die old and dry too soon.

T: If you could have ever been an Inter football player, who would you'd like to be? Why?

G: You're killing me… Ok! You know about Luis Suarez Miramontes? Best known in Italy as Luisito Suarez, a spanish former footballer with the Internazionale (Inter you said..) between 1961 and 1970. They called him the 'architect' for his elegant style of play. He got both elegance and an explosive shot… Unforgettable. Viva Inter!

T: When crabs grow up, they leave their old carapace on the way remaining naked and with no defense. Am I talking about the struggle of being a musician or, maybe, I just want you to explain how to cook the recipe of "Moeche"?

G: You wrote some kind of poetry talking about crabs and 'moeche' (a magnificent venetian food) noone did like you in the past. True! The struggle to be a musician is the same for all that people that try to create something with their own languages, or living and trying to do that. Nothing in this planet goes on a straight line, things move like waves or clouds or heartbeats.. So it's in the nature of the game. Like me many others that wrote about love (love is the perfect provider of ups/downs worldwide…) I am in the number of the "Crabs of The Lost Ark" you noticed before…

T: Is slow down a way to see things clearly?

G: The question sounds to me like "..if you find your girlfriend in bed with your butcher do you consider to become a vegan?". I'm one that believe that we have no way in life to see things clearly. We want to believe it, we need it too.. but life (and also music and art sometimes) is a kind of eggs' explosion in a pastry shop, fortune and confusion in the same time, mistakes and some little miracles in the wrong day. There are some of my tracks that are deep in my heart, but most of them showed up with no apparent reasons or meanings..

T: If I say Bjork, what's your first thought, apart from "shut the fuck up you idiot!"?

G: Stardom is not starshine, you know… In this case I must admitt that the relations with Bjork's label (Little Indian Records) was pretty nice instead. A sort of master in copyrights marketing for me at that time… There's nothing like acrimony in me, I still feel something as undone but it's on the 'human behavior' side of the story. And music in the hidden rooms is everything but human you've noticed jet, but sometime it's a trick to conceal that there not real 'stars' up there, but just a bunch of bored accountants with jeans and leather jackets.

The above interview will also be published in a little label fanzine called Expected The Unexpected next month. 

Buy Tempelhof & Gigi's Hoshi right here

Find out more about Tempelhof here and Gigi Masin here.