Based in Amsterdam and Italian born, 1979 is an artist who combines the melancholy of post rock with the enrgy of rave and bass of Techno to maximal effect.
With a star on the ascent after well received releases on the likes of Klangwelt and Addicted Music, it is his affiliation with HOSH‘s fryhide imprint that has really sent the sound of 1979 into the stratosphere. His “Once I Saw The Sky” EP included the festival dominating ‘Space Cake’ set the tone for what was to come. Now with a new two track “Metro/Distanza“, the classically trained lover of analogue continues musical journey that started over 10 years ago.
With “Metro/Distanza” now available, we caught up with 1979 here in Amsterdam to discuss his move to the city, fryhide, HOSH, and more.
“…if I’m not touring, I try to go to listen to as many interesting artists as I can – it’s like going to church.”
Your latest release on fryhide, Metro / Distanza, came out last Friday. What can you tell us about this EP and the concept behind it?
Yes, ‘Metro / Distanza’ is my latest release and it’s quite fresh – I’m already pretty happy about how people are receiving it. The concept behind this EP is around travel, relocating and distance: how it can influence our lives, feelings, and create moments of pure melancholy. It’s quite obvious that I took a lot of inspiration from my back and forth trips between Amsterdam and Venice. I also used some field recordings I took during my journeys for making ‘Distanza’, I think you might also recognize from where they were recorded! I worked with a friend of mine to create a video trailer for it and I’m pretty happy with that, hope people enjoy it!
As you got your start in electronic music in your home country of Italy, you have since decided to make the move to Amsterdam and base your career out of this city. Why did you choose to come to Amsterdam? What did you see this city offer you that, say a Berlin or London did not?
I grew up in a small town called Schio between the Alps and the Venice’ lagoon. It’s a gorgeous place to live in, but when it comes to musical events, it’s a desert. Fortunately there is a community working on sharing more international musical experiences, creating a local scene. Me and my friends, we even started our own boutique festival (Line) in Schio. But at some point I felt like this was not enough and if I would have wanted to play music for a living, I needed to build my career in the music industry.
So obviously I had to move. Berlin and London was in my radar too, but the first time I’ve been in Amsterdam two years ago for ADE i literally fell in love with the city and the calm life here. Living by the canals and the beautiful houses, brings out my romantic side. Also it’s very compact, I like riding my bike and being able to reach everything everywhere – I find this very good for the environment and also for staying fit. But then for the not calm side of me, there is the Amsterdam Nightlife. And the vibe of it is something special. Every weekend is full of quality events and i always find a good spot to enjoy myself, listen to new stuff and get inspired. Berlin and London are for sure very nice cities, full of electronic music as well but Amsterdam is catching up 😉
Now that you are in Amsterdam, what have been some standout events or nights out that you have experienced simply as a fan of the scene?
I have to be honest, I’m quite an obsessed clubber. If you live in Amsterdam and you go to clubs you might probably have seen my thick mustache in the first line of the dancefloor pretty often ahaha. Really. Every weekend, if I’m not touring, I try to go to listen to as many interesting artists as I can – it’s like going to church. I know that probably this is going to be harder in the future so I’m trying to exploit this moment a lot. And don’t get me wrong I don’t do drugs or alcohol, so maybe that’s what gives me so much energy to do so.
My favorite clubs so far are Shelter, Claire and De Marktkantine where I spent some really intense and unforgettable moments. One of this was Patrice Baumel b2b Miss Melera at De Marktkantine, where Patrice dropped one of my tracks at the very last part of his set and to see the local crowd lifting their arms and going crazy and I was, as we say in Italian, stupendo which translates to just wow.
What was your introduction to electronic music when you were in Italy?
When I was 16 I was really into Big Beat and post-rock so my CD bag would look something like this: Prodigy, Moby, Faithless, Royksopp but also Mogway, Sigur Ros and Bark Psychosis. But I think the moment when I really dove into electronic music was going to a rave in the mountains near the city of Venice when finishing high school. The DJs were playing some hard techno and this was the first time I heard it. As soon as I saw the reaction of the crowd and the DJ leading people on a journey, I felt overwhelmed and inspired to do the same. I knew I want to guide people through my journey with music. So literally the day after the festival, I scored myself a copy of FL Studio and started producing from there…and the rest is history!
What was the scene like in the north of the country where you grew up?
In my region, Veneto (Northern East Italy), four years ago there was a pretty good scene. I was resident DJ with a friend of mine at a cool event in Vicenza where we got the chance to play with some international acts, like Fairmont, Hunter/Games, &Me.. But the biggest highlight was playing at Altavoz. This was a monthly big event near Venezia so everytime me and my friends got really happy when this was happening, cause it meant that we got the chance to attend a really nice party.
Unfortunately, recently the scene calmed down a bit; there are still some good parties but not like few years ago. I am sure it’s going to be better soon!
Since moving, one of your most notable achievements has been signing with HOSH’s fryhide imprint. Can you tell us how your affiliation with fryhide came to be?
With HOSH, our relationship came very organically. I released some music on KLANGWELT and ADDICTED MUSIC and he liked some of those releases., especially my track “Prototipo” that he used to play quite a lot around. He reached out and I sent him what I was working on at the moment. He really liked the tracks and from there everything went from 0 to 100!
I first released the “Once I Saw The Sky” EP on fryhide, actually a funny story… when I first moved to Amsterdam, it was raining continuously, almost every day for 2 weeks. And I come from Italy and you know how southerners are about weather. I really wanted to enjoy the new city that I moved to, but because of the rain, I needed to stay inside and work on some new music. I woke up every day looking for the sun to no avail. One day, I looked up and finally the dark clouds subsided and there I saw the sky above this city! That is why I called the EP “Once I Saw The Sky”. It was almost like a breakthrough moment for me to see the sun and know that everything was going to be OK.
What is it about fryhide that you feel complements your own sound and style of electronic music?
fryhide actually means “freedom” in German. This was a key proponent for me signing on the label as I really felt I needed some musical freedom if I were to sign with a label. Every artist on the imprint has a unique sound and I think I fit in because of the organic and raw elements in my records. All of us focus on making sure the kick is tight, the melodies are deep and the records tell a story. A lot of tracks today are overproduced and mechanical and don’t give you that nice dose of goosebumps.
How do you see HOSH as a mentor and guide? As a veteran of the international scene, I would imagine he is able to provide unique insight into production technique and the scene in general.
HOSH has been a part of the DIYNAMIC imprint since its inception back in 2006. He has the ear of a strong label A&R and his advice has been very helpful in the completion of my records. His mixes, productions, and arrangements are very on-point. I have also been traveling with him on his tours recently, learning a lot about the art of DJing. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. It’s an honor.
What do you have planned, musically, for the near future?
All I can say is that 2019 will be an interesting year for my releases, be ready!
Would you say there is an integral piece of equipment or software you use in your productions? If so, why?
I used to have much more things in my studio in Italy and I had to decide what was really essential for my productions before moving here. This was very inspiring for me and also helped me go deeper on sculpting my personal sound.
But yes, an essential piece of gear in my studio is the Mopho X4 from DSI (Dave Smith Instruments). It’s very important for me as I use it to create 95% of synths’ arpeggios and it’s key for building some very lush pads. My studio and my work wouldn’t be the same without it!
“Metro / Distanza” is NOW AVAILABLE on fryhide BUY