Luca and Elia have been friends for years since meeting in the and started together as Undercatt shortly after. They have since found natural harmony in the studio and next to DJing and producing they also co-run the Yuma brand and programme nights at Vibe Club back home. Their sound is emotional and well crafted and shown in this new EP for Diynamic. Here we speak to them about this and plenty more. The guys will be playing in London in September for the Diynamic Debut Festival in the City. SIGN UP
“As the Undercatt project started, we felt ready to finally mix our experiences and skills to try to bring the level up.”
How and where and when did you guys first meet? Did you start making music together immediately?
(Luca) We have been friends for many years. We met during a club night in our town, Pisa. We were both djing there. Elia was very young at that time, just 17 years old, and he was just starting to understand how to produce music. I already had some experience back then, so I started to share some first knowledge with him and introduce him to the first steps. In the following years we always shared ideas and stuff, but we had our own separate projects. In the meantime we also shared all kinds of stuff related to clubbing, like promoting local parties in our city or running a small label for a about 3 years together with some friends. We started to produce together as a duo only in 2014. As the Undercatt project started, we felt ready to finally mix our experiences and skills to try to bring the level up.
Did it work? Did you find a nice musical common ground? Do you have similar taste or different?
(Elia) Oh, it worked very well! We have a very similar taste in music. We both like to merge melodies with powerful beats and grooves, and it came out naturally. At the beginning of our new project we just locked ourselves into the studio for some months, dropping ideas after ideas. We don’t know why we didn’t start that earlier, but I believe it was a matter of both of us feeling that the time was right. Looking back now.. it definetely was!
How have you evolved since you first started, what’s changed in your sound, technique or skills in the studio?
(Elia) We evolved a lot. If you as a producer pass most of your time in the studio trying something new, you never stop to learn something new, and push it in your next productions. We become faster everyday. We intensified the sound research, trying our best to create our “signature sound”. From the beginning, we had the goal to make people think “Hey, this is Undecatt!” while listening to our music!
Who does what? Do you each have a certain job, a certain speciality, like keys or bass?
(Luca) Most of the time we work separately on dropping ideas. Then we focus on the best ones to finish them up together. But yes, we coming from two different backgrounds, we have different skills and it’s great, as we always can count on each other to improve any song. I studied Piano when I was a child, played in some bands when I was a teenager, so when it comes up to improve some melodies, it’s easier for me. Elia is the real studio man, taking care of the programming, automations, mixing. He has more patience than me so it’s usually his duty to build together all the elements in a finished and polished track.
And when you DJ, do you play back to back, or half hour each or what? Do you plan and communicate in the dj booth?
(Luca) We always play back to back. And we barely communicate, just with our eyes! We don’t talk, we follow each other in the music. We both have our personal selection of tracks, and we love to go with the flow. Having a similar taste.. it really comes out very naturally. We also like to surprise the other with some fresh new bomb we discovered in our personal digging. We think and we feel that this is the most natural way to be a dj. Every party is different, every country is different, so you must be ready to adapt to all kind of situations.
You are Diynamic artist and have been a while now. How did that come about? Does Solomun get involved with your careers and give feedback etc?
(Elia) Our relationship with Diynamic started up in the most natural way. About 4 years ago, When we were ready with the first bunch of demos, we just tried our luck sending over the package straight to Solomun, with not that much expectations. We didn’t have any shortcuts leading to him, so we just sent our music to the public email address. A couple of weeks later he replied to us that our music was good, and to keep it locked for him and Diynamic. He played and tested the track for all that summer. So definetely yes, Solomun has been always very present in our career, from the beginning. Busy as he is, being one of the top worldwide djs in our scene, he’s still always very humble and totally available to give us feedbacks and precious suggestions on how to step up our game. He’s always the first person that we send over our new tracks to!
You have done the Picture series for the label, What was that like? How did you approach it?
(Luca) Last year we released two EPs in a row with Diynamic: Venus and Futura. We knew that it was time to concentrate on doing something more. As the Picture series concept came out, we immediately knew that it was what we wanted to do next. So we did as usual: making music everyday we were free and not traveling for gigs. It took some time to bring up the best six tracks possible. We didn’t want to release a mini-album with just one or two good tracks, and the other ones to fill the space. We wanted every track to be special and unique. We can’t be more happy with the result!
There is a lot of melody and emotion in your music. Is that fair? Are you formally trained?
(Elia) It’s true, there is, and that’s our main feature. We want to produce music that will last as long as possible, not just tools that have a very short life span. Every track needs to be special in some way. The melodies and the atmosphere need to express some kind of feelings to the people listening or dancing to it. We studied music in early times, but most of our training comes from ourselves. We listen and get inspirations from very different genres, we don’t want to be stuck just in Techno. We try, and then we try again, until we are happy and proud about the result.
What is the knee like in Italy? Is it a good place to play, are there lots fo young talents coming through?
(Luca) Italian people, as you can imagine, are very passionate. You can feel the same while playing in some good clubs. People let you feel their presence! Our genre is still not very popular here as in some other countries, but we had some very good gigs full of energy. Then yes, I believe in the last 5-6 years our country introduced some of the most interesting new acts worldwide. There’s something fresh in the electronic music made by italian producers, something that is connected to our roots. Big names apart that are doing great, there are still a lot of undiscovered gems that probably will pop out in the near future.
What’s the next thing you are working on?
(Elia) After finishing the Picture, we just took a couple of months of break from producing. We needed to clean our minds out. We recently started again, we would like to release some other EP before the year ends. We also received some remix requests, we are still evaluating what to pick up, we are pretty selective about it. We want every release to be special, so we don’t rush in any of it!
Undercatt Present ‘Pictures’ Out now on Diynamic – BUY