Dj To Dj: Christopher Rau, Simone Gatto & Marieu
When we heard that there was going to be an interview taking place on a boat coasting just off the Italian shore there was commotion in R$N Towers over who would get to go out and take part in this sun-filled venture. Sadly the news broke that none of us would be going as Simone Gatto, Christopher Rau and Marieu had agreed to speak to each other for us instead. While we're all a tad jealous that we were able to go out swimming in the ocean, we were happy to leave the trio the tackle the topics they wanted to talk about – particularly now that the last two have joined forces to become Colours Of Observation and have new music on the way very soon. So tune in as vinyl, culture and crowds all get tossed into the ring as they go DJ to DJ… To DJ;
Simone: Hi guys, it’s a pleasure to have you here, many techno friends and producers have stepped on my boat!
Marieu: My pleasure Simone, everything here is amazing. The sun is just a bit too strong for me but I’ll survive!
S: What’s up with your holiday in Italy? Did you enjoy the gig?
M: I’m enjoying it very much – great hospitality and food over here, definitely.
Christopher: Me too Simone, and bear in mind I might be back soon to give you a surprise!
S: Whenever guys, you know where to find me! Chris is this your first time in Italy?
C: No no, I’ve already been to Italy and I’m loving it. I’ve been in Arezzo, Roma, Milano, Mestre. I’ve played in all these cities. I find the South of Italy completely different from North.
S: And it’s true indeed… Habits, weather, people’s character, everything is diverse. Electronic music scenes develop differently too. In your opinion, where is the electronic music scene going to be in the next year? I think globalisation put a lot of confusion into the music industry.
C: I’m not a big visionary. I don’t know what the future will be like. But I know the vinyl scene is saturated nowadays.
S: Marieu, I remember you and Domenico contributed a lot to keep the vinyl industry alive.
M: In 2007, when we moved to Berlin, the vinyl scene wans’t as busy as it is in 2015. Of course, we were not the only ones releasing and pressing vinyls. Now vinyl has gained a certain charm. Vinyl is in hype and everyone wants to release music in this format. Unfortunately there’s a lot of speculation in this market, let’s just look at how high prices are on Discogs. Speculation…
C: I think there’s a lack of culture of what vinyl actually is. Many people release on vinyl but not everyone makes music meant to sound good on vinyl. My impression is that people need to say “It’s released on vinyl.”
S: So do you think the vinyl industry will be destroyed again?
M: I think vinyl will never ever die any more. But the vinyl market is saturated and obstructed now. There are just a few pressing plants and plenty of small labels, plus a few big labels gaining priority over the smaller ones. It causes delays and annoyances to those in need to press on vinyl.
C: Vinyl is beautiful and traditional but the way it’s used nowadays… It’s bad for the environment.
S: Indeed, I used to work with an Italian pressing plant. The owner sadly got cancer. Material can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions. That’s bad but I think in the future we’ll have only few people still pressing vinyls. The vinyl hype will go down and only passionate people will keep releasing on traditional formats.
C: In my opinion, it shouldn’t be so exclusive. I don’t complain about vinyl saturation because I still buy records, sometimes new ones, sometimes old ones. I think Marieu is more conscious than me about the environment because he buys mostly old records.
M: Personally I buy all kind of records but, you’re right, at the moment I’m mostly digging into old stuff. In two years, let’s see what I like most.
S: You guys have played almost everywhere. What do you think about the Italian scene compared to the German one?
C: In Italy, people are more dressed up and look good.
S: Do you feel Italian audience is more reactive or…?
M: If you play in Veneto, my Italian region, everyone is drunk and they handle the party in a crazy but happy way. Berlin is different from any other place and the Berlin crowd is singular. Crowds from European cities are happier to go partying because once there’s a party in town, everyone supports it and they’re more enthusiastic. For example, UK people are really strong on the floor and I like it. Berlin people looks at DJs as if they’re analysing their personalities, all the moves and expressions…
C: Berlin crowds take everything very serious. Apart from Sysiphos.
S: You’ve both been living in Berlin for a long time. Has the Berlin scene grown in the last few years? Many friends have told me the city and the scene changed.
C: Club culture is growing everywhere, actually.
M: I arrived in 2007 and it was very different to 2015. For example, when I was mentioning I was from Italy people were pleasantly surprised. Nowadays it’s not news any more. There are still good opportunities to go ahead with your career as the market is stronger than seven years ago but now Berlin isn’t the best place to start off.
S: What do you think about social media? I think now people need a sort of promotion to accelerate the process. Some of my friends are timid but on Facebook they seem like lions. It’s like we’re living a double life. For example, Marieu checks Facebook when he wakes up.
M: Today, yes, you got me! But the first thing I do when I wake up in the South of Italy is to swim! (He plunges from Gatto’s boat)
M: (Back from swimming…) I needed that, guys! Getting back to what we were talking about… People are marketing with social media and promotion, constructing images and thoughts through online posts and articles. I mean, it’s an important part of the game and big companies are aware of it.
S: Indeed. They count so much on promotional strategies and online word of mouth. Everyone uses the internet nowadays, companies can reach anyone. Let’s go back to music and let’s put promotion apart: what is the sound you’re closest to now?
M: The sound of Restoration!
S: That’s your label! What’s going on there?
M: We’re about to release an EP on Restoration as Third Side, a project Domenico and I launched with Steffi few years ago. We’ll put out something else as The Analogue Cops too.
S: Do you guys prefer playing live or DJing?
M: I prefer DJing. As The Analogue Cops, we do not have a standard live performance. It’s mostly a jam session. We have a sequencer and a sampler, while all the other sounds are made at that moment. We started working on a new live show which will feature more noisy and dubstep-oriented elements.
S: I am actually preparing my first live performance ever, it will be announced for my debut album. I’ll tell you more once it’s ready. And you Chris?
C: I stopped making live sets a while ago. One day I’ll be back playing live, for now I’m just enjoying DJing… and swimming!
See Christopher Rau and Simone Gatto at Music Fruition In Marketing & Daily Life at this year's Amsterdam Dance Event – find out more here.
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