This Sunday will see one of Summer’s last outbursts, and Horizon and Kaap A’dam are making sure that it can be enjoyed in the best way possible, by featuring three superbly selected acts for Horizon & Kaap A’dam @ The Beach, including revered Trouw resident Job Jobse, all-round selector Mr. Ties and disco/italo fanatics duo Discodromo.
For the occasion we shot some questions in the way of Mr. Ties. Born Francesco de Nittis, Mr. Ties has been the secret on many dance music connoisseurs’ lips. He’s one of those few individuals who has a reputation for letting people find something extra out of his sets. It’s because of his capability to blend seemlessly disparate musical styles and genre for hours on, where he turns the rules for most DJs, who follow a distinct common thread or theme during a gig, completely upside down.
That is also why he does not see himself as a DJ, because playing a set revolves just as much around Mr. Ties as the people in front of him, never making any concessions to please or appease a tough crowd. For the interview we ask him where this outspokenness and no-holds-barred approach comes from, some of his latest record purchases, his favourite places to find these records and more.
Before we jump into the music, I first wanted to ask you a question of a more psychological nature: do you think there is something in your personality that explains, in some part, the fact that you are one of the most distinctive and peculiar artists out there? And if so, what personality traits are they?
You really think I am? i feel blushed somehow. I still think I’m just a poor artist or sometimes a fartist… but this does not mean that I don’t tend to aim for perfection. I’m definitely a maniac about sound and how sound waves respond in the real physical from any source, it could be a fridge in the kitchen or a huge soundsystem in a warehouse. It’s a constant analysis and mind synthesis. I mean…John Cage is everywhere.
When you go to a record store, what is your approach to digging? Is there a structure you maintain while looking for the right records?
When I go digging I just go with the flow, the records are going to pop along while I scroll my finger in the record box. I often find something I like but i also have a wide range of different grooves that I listen to. There is some sort of structure for sure, based on the composition of the pieces; tempo, key, tonality and how records sound and if the record is going to sound the same on the soundsystem, I’m going to play it and a lot of variable sounds. Last but not least I have to love the track or I have to love the mix I create with the tracks i pick, this is also really important.
“You have to feel it in your spine, the groove taking control over your body, this means dancing. If not, it’s best you stay home and make some iPhone pics of your dog”
What are some of your favourite places to buy all these obscure records that you hold dear?
It is too hard as I know too many records shops – from A1 New York to Pigeon Nagoya, Red Light Records in Amsterdam to Record Loft, Power Park, Space Hall and Audio-In in Berlin. Jörg in Vienna, Jerry S in Pittsburg, the Lighthouse & Technique in Tokyo. Too many record shops and too many good. I don´t have an absolute favourite, they are all my favourite and they deserve the same support as they are pushing the last left real quality in music.
In your “Sole Selectors” interview for Dekmantel you explain your individualistic approach to DJing. If this is the case, then how would you respond to a crowd that isn’t reacting or dancing to the music you’re playing?
I mean if nobody is reacting I would not be there asking the question so someone is interested and the people they love that they can dance and they can feel the music and I actually play for them, the “dancers” and “the real listener”. If you move your body totally off beat pretending you are dancing it does not mean that you are really listening or really dancing. I’m watching the crowd all the time while I mix which lets me develop a sharp analysis.
I love dancers, I wanna play more for them and you can see them in a full crowd of thousands of people. The rest are somehow there to post their iPhone picture to fill their empty life less than it already is…you have to feel it in your spine, the groove taking control over your body, this means dancing. If not its best you stay home and make some iPhone pics of your dog and leave space to real dancers on the floor. Don´t stand like a potato bag…let your body free…let yourself go from it and feel free.
How will you be preparing your record collection to bring along to your gig at Horizon x Oostkaap @ The Beach this Sunday?
Preparing some stuff day by day from one swim to another in my hometown Giovinazzo at the moment.
In your experience, what are some of the biggest misconceptions that people have of DJs?
The list is so long, that is why I said previously that I’m not a DJ. I’m an artist of the mix. Everybody is a DJ nowadays, everybody wants this spotlight and to be able to make some selfie doing nothing on a stage in front of thousands and thousands of people. Even the stage for the DJ is the most useless thing in the world, and is also the misconception of [dance events being like] theatre. If people can see me or not it should not make a difference because I do nothing apart from move my arms while I’m mixing…and also you should have more ear to what you listen to rather than what you see. But there are so many other misconceptions in this profession.
What are the three best records you bought in the last few months?
Sophia Loren – Mambo Bacan – 50’s Italian golden age, you just image some full Italian club throwing drinks up in the air and Sophia Loren singing around. If this is not party, I mean?
Stelvio Cipriani and Grace Jones – if this were a soundtrack then please bring me back to a 70’s movie.
They repressed Piero Umiliani’s To-day´s Sound. This is such an impressive album, every attempt to describe such beautifulness in words is just useless.
Job Jobse | Mr. Ties | Discodromo |