1979 is an Italian artist who has had great success with his productions on the likes of fryhide, Armada Electronic Elements, & Radikon. Now with a new track “Vulcano” on Kompakt, we caught up with him to find out how we gets inspired for his sound, and what’s more to come in 2022…
Hey! How are you, what’s good and bad in your world?
Hey! Hi guys, I’m honestly pretty good. The bad could be that the last two years were quite a roller coaster, but I guess not only for me, right?
The good is that the world is finally opening up again and I’m really grateful to have the chance to do my job in a proper way, traveling and playing around the world. During the peak time of the pandemic, I had to move back to Italy that also felt a bit sad, but now I’m enjoying my home country a lot and taking advantage of being around my home studio and my family and friends…
Tell us about your 1979 moniker, what inspires and inflcuences it?
When I chose this name 5 years ago, I wanted to pick a number for it. And eventually, there was this number that was following me, hasn’t ever happened to you as well? I was obsessed with Smashing Pumpkins as a teenager, my first synthesizer was designed also in 1979 and many other things were related to that number… funny eh?
What gear do you use currently, does that matter to you? Does it define your sound?
Of course, I think the gear I use defines my sound, but also the way I use it. I made a lot of tracks with my Mopho X4 from Dave Smith and my Moog Minitaur, just both of them. Plus, I use some guitar pedals routed to my mixer, as I want my sound always a bit dirty. I make a genre that is usually super clean, and I like to make my own a bit more particular if I can. At the moment I’m also experimenting a bit with the Mono/Poly from Behringer, and I have to be honest, it’s an absolutely fun piece of gear.
What inspired the new one on Komkpakt? How did you hook up with that label?
I was playing around a Nord Lead X4 since a friend of mine (Tsubasa) wanted to get rid of it, and at some point, this glided melody came up. I added a rolling Italo-ish bassline and then I started to have fun with the arpeggiator of the Nord Lead. Basically, these three elements made the track stands on its own, but something was missing… The sound of the song was making me think about Nature, like a nice walk in the Amazon forest… I asked my girlfriend at that time to send me some vocals in Spanish through Whatsapp and they sounded dope! I used them for the break…. and that was it 🙂
I’ve been a huge fan of Kompakt for many years, and Michael Mayer somehow was diggin’ into some of the demos I was sending him. When he heard Vulcano, he was like… ‘Hey Gio, wanna make a Speicher with this song?’… I was like, F*** Yeah!!
Does its history and sound influence you when making music for the label? Are you thinking about that or just doing you?
I had periods in the past when I was trying to reproduce some labels’ sounds but that didn’t work out much. The best results I had myself in the studio were those tracks made by just having fun making music and trying to be myself 100%.
Of course, then influences make a big role in it, but I think it’s mostly a subconscious thing.
Where is your best environment as a dj? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc etc?
I enjoy a lot a dark environment, like let’s say a club in Berlin, the waterfloor of Watergate, RitterButzke… But I think my music fits much more into a big open-air festival stage. My sets work better with a huge sound system, also maybe because when I make music I get very inspired by that kind of imagery… summer, day-time, lot of people celebrating life and music together 🙂 And honestly, I prefer to play where the energy is already there and bring it to the next level, rather than build everything from the beginning… that, don’t get me wrong, is also super cool, but if I have to choose, I go for the peak-time!
How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?
I usually go into my studio and just try to have fun. It happens of course that I have some ideas to bring in with me, but many times that is just something that changes so many times afterward that eventually, the idea doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s also my mood, and the emotions I’m feeling in that particular period that influence my sessions and my work.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I’m working on some new material, like always, and I have to see where it’s gonna bring me. It might be an album, later this year. let’s see 🙂 I’m also looking forward to playing shows this summer and getting inspired by them in the studio.
It usually works very well for me.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
I think that one of the best lessons I learned in this business is that if you want to be consistent, you have to surround yourself with the right people, dudes that truly believe in you and in your work. It can be a tough business and if you are only by yourself it can be hard to manage all the tasks required by the music industry nowadays.
What is next for you after this interview?
I was asked by an electronic music school in Sicily to teach a class about my production techniques and so I’m preparing for it. It’s a long time since I didn’t talk in front of an audience, I’m much more comfortable with just playing and making people dance honestly 🙂
And later I’m gonna play Tennis, it’s my favorite sport at the moment and I love playing a few balls after I’m done with my work.
Thanks for the chat! Hope you’ll enjoy my latest release ‘Vulcano’, and if you get the chance, try it on your djset! Cheers 🙂