Label Love #13: Bosconi

Bosconi Records have just reached their 5th year in the business and it seemed like perfect timing for The Ransom Note to sit down with them and find out what makes them tick. Over this time they've put together an impressive string of releases from artists both known and unknown, held label showcases in Panorama Bar and generally fought the corner for Italian underground house and techno.
So, we had a chat with label boss Fabio about how they got started, what they'd achieved and the health of the Italian scene;


Firstly – introduce us to Bosconi. Who are you, what do you do and why do you do it? 

Hello guys! I'm Fabio, I'm born and raised in this area of Florence's countryside that's named I Bosconi. It could be reductive to say it's just beautiful, It's surrounded by hills full of olive trees with a far view to the city, it's where I come from and I feel part of..

This kind of makes me who I am.. 

I'm a mechanical engineer but I work and live as a dj. I like to party, but I love the quiet of the countryside. I like living in this frantic world but I like to be far from it sometimes..

I've grown in a dense musical environment, my father has a big passion for music and my brother too. I studied piano for many years and after played the drums in rock bands since I was 18 when I turned to electronic music and djing. It was 1995.

Now I have been djing for almost 20 years. Why do I do it? It's simple. Because djing makes me be myself!


Tell me how Bosconi got started. 

Bosconi Started in 2008 after a long process of spontaneous metabolization. I never had the feeling that I needed to push things to happen, of course I worked to make them happen but everything seemed to have a natural development that just need to be caught. There was ferment in my city, me and my friend Ennio Colaci had already been producing music as Minimono for some years when we got in contact with many labels and discographic realities such as Logistic and we kind of started to understand how this world was working and that our scene might needed something that was coming from us. I was especially bored of the canned format that many labels that were just doing one sound, identical to itself. I wanted to create a label for myself as a dj, that could span from house to techno to disco, dub and broken beats.. and all inbetween, like a dj set that could bring you to different moments with diverse music.


You've been going for 5 years now, how do you think Bosconi has developed over this time? 

I think only now after a longer period, somebody understood we just took our way. We haven't branded a sound idea, we've just been releasing the music we liked, and I hope we're recognized more as a good label that you can expect always surprising and good music from, rather than been recognized from just one style or from the sound of our toms! Of course we've been always trying to improve the quality of our sound, to make ourselves grow as djs and producers. We aim to make our scene grow as well by releasing things from us and foreign artists we like. Like in life, we try to elevate ourselves. Being influenced from what happens around us, far from us and why not sometimes looking at what our predecessors did.


How do you think the music scene has developed over this time? 

I don't know which time you're referring to. I start to get some white hair 😉 I myself started djing before the Cd players were there, so I just saw so many changes. I saw the migration of many djs to Berlin and of many American producers to Europe and still to Berlin. I used to live in Berlin in 2000 and it was very different in those times, more inspiring, very energic, which it still is, but less saturated.

It's much easier nowadays to open a label, but it's also a lot easier go bankrupt and close it 🙂 It seems like there is a lot of hurry in today's world of music. Everything is burned, sucked and squeezed super quickly. We don't even get the time to rest and make the music flow into the body. I must say I'm pretty slow with music so for me it matters relatively what has developed into the scene or not. Technologies, blogs, dj-agents-promoters-organizers-toiletcleaners…

Music is the only thing that counts and that will stay.. right?


How do you generally find the music for the label? Do you trawl through demos or do you approach people whose sound you like? 

Most of the times now I get music from artist that are close to me, sometimes it comes from a demo, sometimes I have the occasion to get to know an artist in a night or a party and it happens that we share music, sometimes we directly approach producers we like for a release or for a remix.

I believe it's also important to relate with artists we like, it would also be good for them to be aware something kindred is happening, or they could just be happy by knowing they have been inspiring people..


How do you think you've been able to stand apart from the crowd in these over saturated times? 

Simply going trough my tastes, not releasing music that's just a temporary fashion or that it's all identical to itself but doing it with the heart and with a vision of something that will remain. This is why it takes me quite some time to listen to the music and make it part of me before deciding if I want to release it.

It's never been a choice to stand apart, if we are doing so well fine, but it's just we do it how we feel like doing it.. 


Are there any of your releases that stand out to you as milestones or particular highpoints?

Last summer we released the Bosconi Stallions complilation on a limited 4×12"+CD Box set for our five years. The release included 16 unreleased tracks from same amount of artists most of them who already had releases on Bosconi. This can be considered from us as a milestone, a piece of (our) history:) also because the biggest part of the artists included are Italian and all pretty much linked to the story and the life of the label.

Other important releases were undoubtedly the recent release from A Guy Called Gerald – How long Is Now, or The Oliverwho Factory – Take Me Away/ Together..


If you had to do anything differently, what would it be?

I wouldn't know, without making mistakes we wouldn't be who we are, so I wouldn't change anything. All is natural and it's just meant to be this way, we can just give it a little help. I thought a lot of times about if I had studied something else but maybe if I didn't study engineering and be going to Berlin for my studying I wouldn't have been a dj today.. So you never know;)


Explain to people who may not be familiar with it what the Italian scene is like. Is there a big underground movement?

We should be speaking about it for a while. After the mid 90's there has been a big generational gap in our scene. I don't mean that anybody hasn't been doing anything in those years, I'm not referring to the single artists, more to the global scene.

Seems like we're speaking about prehistory and about the Dj Dinosaurs that were dominating the Dj world, the Italian one. There was the idea that everything that was good was potentially dangerous for them and had to be eliminated. So no-one among them was helping the scene. 

If you wanted to do it in a different way, in a good way you had to do everything by yourself. Without having anything good anymore to propose or to fill a club with, Italian "promoters" started booking only international artists, paying them a lot cause this was the only way to make big clubs works. Having destroyed what remained about our clubculture.

Agents started this Italian Exclusivity thing (you heard of it right?) having understood that it was a lot easier to make money with international guests rather than building up a roster of local talents and exporting them. This was the beginning of the end for our clubbing except for very few small clubs who fighted in vain because of italian restrictive policies. What remain of our clubculture right now is just showbiz right now, it does not have much to do with music. If you can make the same moves your favorite superstar dj does you're already a step ahead 🙂

Right now Italy still is one of the country that pays the highest fees to international djs, even though something seems to slowly be changing because our poor country doesn't have much more money to spend! We're poor about money but still rich in ideas!! 

We have a lot of young talents in our country although unfortunately there is not a structured movement yet (such as in England or Germany or France right now again big time!!) promoting them or helping them to play inside their own country and abroad. I have to say also foreign press have always been a bit suspicious about what has been happening in Italy. How could we blame them!

Only a few clubs are investing in local djs or helping some to build a quality scene, based on love for music and skill. So we'll be restarting from there, and we'll be back as a scene.. hopefully soon:)

FInally, what are your plans for Bosconi in the next year, three years and ten years.

Wow:) I don't feel like making plans in the very long term, I'm just living day by day and see what's happening around me.

We'll keep on trying to release good music, such as the upcoming eps from Gari Romalis, Life's Track, Riccio, Dukwa and hopefully in ten years we still be there doing this for joy and living maybe with couple more white hair in the head! 


For more information and Bosconi updates, see their official website.