Italian producer and DJ Nick Anthony Simoncino has been steadily releasing records on labels like L.I.E.S., Crme Organization and Mathematics amongst others for the last 11 years and, by all accounts boasts a record collection of over 10,000 records. Still based in his hometown of Perugia in Italy, Simoncino has maintained a vibrant international career working with everyone from Legowelt to Gene Hunt, Larry Heard, Julian Jonah, Robert Owens, Chez Damier as well as founding his own label HotMix. We caught up with him ahead of his DJ set this Saturday at Dance Tunnel to find out all about how he discovered house music in his hometown and, hating the Internet and record labels that feel like home
How does someone from a small city in Italy get into Chicago house and amass such a vast vinyl collection?
Yes Perugia is very small, this is true, but since the early 90s it has been a major centre for house music in Italy. There has always been a large influx of people who buy huge stocks of music, and resell them illegally in their garage and at home.
Because of this it was easy buy, learn about, and collect records, because I grew up in the midst of this “music traffic”.
You’ve stuck it out in your hometown where many of your contemporaries have moved to Berlin or elsewhere- what knock on effect do you think this has had on your musical output and DJing schedule?
To be honest I’m fine in Italy. I’m too lazy to drop everything and move abroad haha.
I do not think that a city affects the quality of the music; if one makes good music then you make good music wherever you are, regardless of location.
Of course, living abroad, for example, in a big city like Berlin or London, I would be more in touch with great reality of clubbing and it be easier for me to move around for concerts but it is not my objective to live with more music or increase my gigs.
You’re playing for the Kristina Records party Dream States… As well as being a great store, Kristina is an integral part of the East London scene- do you have any record stores that serve the same local function for you?
No unfortunately. There is a historic shop that opened in the early 90s called DJ News but sadly it now sells only DJ equipment.
It’s interesting that so many luminaries have remixed your work, as opposed to the other way round, from Larry Heard to Chez Damier to even Dream 2 Science… how did it work out that way?
Yes, I have tried to involve those who are among my biggest sources of inspiration.
And I must say that all of them have been humble and simple; it was a pleasure and honour to work with them.
You’ve collaborated with A LOT of interesting artists too- does one in particular stand out for any reason?
I dont think anyone stands out over another. Ive established friendships with all of them, especially with Larry Heard. I was really impressed by his spirit and his total and true approach towards music.
Perugia is well known globally for the Umbria Jazz Festival- how much influence does that have on you or is it all down to the nightclub Red Zone?
Umbria Jazz festival is very famous, although in recent years now has become very “commercial”, in a nutshell, a fucking business! Although thank to God, it continues to bring great guests as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, George Benson, and many others.
But in reality I owe all my influences to the Red Zone Club and to the two historic resident DJs, Sauro Cosimetti and Ricky El, still my great friends today. I was lucky enough to have them as teachers. It was amazing to hear records like You Should Have Known Better from TC Curtis or Music Is The Keys by JM Silk on a mega sound system and on a big dark room… I started listening to these at 15/16 years and for me it is almost normal now to include them in my DJ set.
You’ve been quite prolific in terms of releases over the last few years, with two albums and over 20 EPs… what’s due for this year?
Next I have my new EP on LIES, which I think will be released for the beginning of May, and my single with Robert Owens called Some People on Traveller Records.
Then there will be a new EP of four tracks on Crme Organization. In addition I have many remixes coming, two of which in particular are closely linked: the remix of Pay Me from Boyz Cellar (A track made by Ben Cenaz at the end of the 80s and released last year on Thug Records) and a remix of an unreleased track by Casey Tucker.
In addition I’m currently working on my new album, which will be released in September on Crme Organization.
Your distaste for the Internet is quite well documented- how do you balance this with maintaining enough of an online presence necessary for your career?
True, I do not love the Internet. Although I admit that its very useful, but its not for me. I don’t manage my RA, and I don’t manage my Soundcloud- Ive only been on it a few times. And I only have my personal Facebook page and my personal email.
Maybe it would be better to handle everything personally, have a fan page etc etc, but frankly I do not care, I’m okay.
You release on quite a variety of labels from L.I.E.S. to Creme and your own HotMix- where feels like home?
I feel at home on Mathematics, maybe because it was my first label. But I have a special relationship also with Thug, Crme and L.I.E.S.
Where does the name Simoncino come from?
Simoncino is a name that my parents and friends have called me since I was very small. Nick Anthony instead comes from Nick Anthony Fiorucci, boss of legendary Hi-Bias records and one of my favourite producers.
Simoncino plays Dream States at Dance Tunnel on Saturday 29th March 10pm to late.
Joining The Circus
What to do for British politics?
Solidarity with Ukraine
URL vs. IRL
Do DJs Today Need Social Media to Be Heard?
I Hear (Borusiade Remix)
Mother of MarsShop Now
Hologram TeenShop Now