Interview: Pressure Point
It’s no exaggeration to say that Italy as a nation is totally consumed by electronic music.
Although the country has been responsible for a host of ‘superstar’ DJs to emerge in recent years, it still boasts a enviable cast of discerning DJs and individuals who lie just under the surface. Emerging producer Pressure Point is one such individual. A man who boasts an astute touch when it comes to both making and signing music, he runs the fledgling Telharmonic Texture, a ‘microhouse vinyl label’ that’s been turning heads of late courtesy of one of the work of one of the genre’s key protagonists, Akufen.
We reached out to Pressure Point recently, as he talked us through his relationship with the Canadian producer, his plans for the label and his thoughts on the modern-day Italian scene…
“One thing that motivates me very much is that I appreciate every little thing that is present in my path.”
Lets start by talking a bit about Telharmonic Texture. What’s the idea behind the label and what motivated you to set it up in the first place?
It a pleasure for me to start talking about the label as ‘what’ it is is something that really represents who I am. I decided to start the label a few years ago, but it was always missing something that linked the present with a certain past that I was trying to connect. And it wasn’t until 2016 that I finally found what I needed.
What musicians and labels inspired the label exactly? And is there a particular sound or ethos that you feel defines what the label stands for?
Telharmonic is a collection of music cultivated over time that, as I was saying before, contains different styles of music and sounds. However, it’s always mixed on a solid base of micro house. As if it were a telharmonic house funky jazz disco dance!
I don’t want to focus on one genre but would rather be varied so really, all I want it to stand for is quality music. So it’s more just a lot of labels and artists that have influenced me and consequently there would be too many to list here.
You’re from Italy but lived in Berlin for some time, right? How do you look back on your experience in Berlin? Was it a great place to network and meet people?
Yes, I spent a lot of time in Berlin. Musically and socially it was a great place to be. I can’t offer much new here in terms of my opinion on the city, but as anyone who follows electronic music knows, it’s a great place to be. You can get established there as a musician but it’s also easy to get a bit lost in it all too. I also made a lot of beloved friends there, so a great experience all-round.
Speaking of, we wanted to talk about some of the great producers you’ve worked with, guys like TC80 and Akufen. How did you get to know these guys and end up either remixing their stuff or have tjhem remixing your stuff?
TC80 is a friend whose music I really like and when I released the first EP, Fragments expressed my preference for him on the remix as they wanted something a lot different to what I do. I must say, I was delighted with the results too.
As for Akufen, well, a series of things brought us to this point and the remix that he did on my track of my next EP on All Off Tape has developed a great working relationship between us. Honestly, I couldn’t want for a better one…
Is there one remix that someone has done of your work where you had to stand back and think, ‘wow, they’ve really done an amazing job there!’
Akufen did a sensational remix of one of my tracks. I remember listening to it and just thinking, ‘wow, that’s incredible!’. He’s without doubt one of the best producers in the microhouse scene and I immediately appreciated his experience and his clear ideas when I heard it. Amazing!
On a similar note, when was the last time you heard a piece of music that really excited you? And what was it?
I always categorize things between what I feel during the day and what I feel at a party.
The Rurals – ‘Messages’ was one of the last songs I saw performed that really blew me away. From an electronic music standpoint, I’ll go for Horror Inc’s ‘I Can’t Look at You’. Also, Bernard Badie’s ‘Smiley’ is a song I’ll never tire of hearing.
Can you talk us through your production process a bit? How do you find inspiration, for example?
I’m inspired by various different things every day. The time of the day, travelling, holidays, a film, a picture; I am always capturing inspiration. And of course, they all effect what I write in the studio every day. That may seem a bit silly, but in the subconscious it has its meaning.
Obviously I’m fond of hardware and taking the time to put all that together has definitely made the whole production process a bit easier. But my thinking remains the same: music is made by the head, not by the machines. There’s no big secret to what I do; just a bunch of handy tricks and many hours of trying things out.
Just to mention some hardware with which I work with. The Octa track is my favorite machine as it gives me the possibility to do some sampling, one of the things I do best and work with different drum samples. Then there’s the Cirklon, the Prophet 6 Waldorf XT and finally several modular systems that I have been passionate about for years.
How does where you’re located influence your music? For example, is the music you make in Berlin different than it is in Italy?
Finding myself in different places affects my music and my mind, but I never made music in Berlin except occasionally some sessions with my dear friend Julie Marghilano who lives there. My studio has always stayed at my house in Italy, but when I return from any trip I carry the influence of the place I was in before. I’ve had the place for about 10 years and don’t think I’ll ever find somewhere better.
And back to Italy, what do you think of the scene in your home country right now? What’s good, what’s bad and what DJs and producers should we be watching out for?
To be honest, I don’t really live much of a worldly life these days. That may seem like a joke, but when I’m at home in Italy I rarely go out and prefer to spend my time with family or friends in different ways.
In Italy the scene is full of highs and lows and there are a lot of restrictions in place. Unfortunately, these restrictions don’t always give me free rein to clubbing either. That said, it’s always tempting but I keep them quite bottled but certainly there are several small and large businesses that work well that allow you to do your own thing. I think the scene is expanding year after year and I hope that everything always continues improving.
Well of course Italy ultimately has a lot of talent in both cases I have several friends, in fact including my childhood friend Modbox owner of Castanea Records whose first release is coming up soon, my friend Christopher Ledger and SIMI; owner of Club Vision Records currently and those guys are who I’d pay special attention to.
Aside from the Akufen EP, what more should we be watching out for from you and the label?
We will be releasing an EP from another master of microhouse; Paradroid, for which I remixed a track. This summer there will be a release on my label with a remix of the French duo KOD (Cabanne & Lowris) and I would say that in the coming months I will make further plans for the future of Telharmonic. An ongoing collaboration with my dear friend Julie Marghilano, and in 2019 a Iive set that for the moment is still under construction.
And where did the idea for the artwork for the label come about?
I love robots and I’ve collected many different types since I was a child, obviously small toys, and it was the first idea that came to mind even before giving the label its name, and together with my dear graphic designer friend, David from Spacebar who conceived and developed this idea.
Music aside, what else is keeping you motivated in 2018?
Everything revolves around the music. LOL just a joke. Well apart from continuing to play piano which is one of the things I love to do most, I think I will continue to travel a lot and as a result new experiences will come. I really love the peace and quiet of being in the middle of nature, so I’m going to stay away from the city. Then I can do what I want. One thing that motivates me very much is that I appreciate every little thing that is present in my path. Obviously, my family is the biggest point of strength and motivation, without them I’d be lost.
And can you tell us 5 tracks that you’re playing a lot recently?
Black Baxter – When We Used To Play
Cajmere – Tee Dum
Eric Kupper – Katerpillar
Boo Williams – TC2000
I:Cube – Cryptoporticus
Akufen’s ‘Music 2 Wiggle 2’ is out soon on Pressure Point’s Telharmonic Texture