The Italian duo of Alex Bohemien and Ilary Montanari recently linked up for a new single on Berlin´s Mother Recordings, covering “Respect”, a 90´s House classic by Roger Sanchez & Judy Cheeks.

We got to speak to them to discuss how they linked up and worked on this stunning new collaborative release.

Hey guys! How are you, how has 2022 started for you?

Alex: Hey there! I’m good, thanks for asking. 2022 got off to a great start, first of all with this amazing release with the Berlin friends of Mother recordings with my talented friend Ilary. I am super excited for the many new things to come that I can’t wait to share, but above all I am very positive because I will be back to play in clubs soon with a tour, after 2 difficult years for club culture and nightlife. I really want to listen “Respect” on a big sound system!

Ilary: Hey Guys, I’m really fine. You know the last 2 years have been complicated for everyone, especially the club and music industry but I am positive and I hope this 2022 is the year of the restart. Personally I am very happy because my year starts with a really important release on Mother Recording with Alex, an amazing artist and, first of all, a very good friend.

When did you guys first meet, and where?

Alex: I met Ilary in Bologna, she invited me as a guest to her party 051, I also met her husband Alessandro and all his staff, fantastic people, I felt at home. I immediately thought that a super collab could be born, and here we are.

Ilary: I met Alex for the first time in 2019. I invited him to my 051 party in Italy, here in Bologna, as a guest, because I love his style and attitude. He plays an incredible set for two hours.

How long was it until you started making music together and why did you?

Alex: A few months after the party, Ilary sent me a draft of the project, I knew the original vocal and I thought it could be a great idea, I replied “Cool, I’m down for it, let’s do it”. I love house music, I grew up listening to it, that classic needed new life, more groove!

Ilary: at the beginning of 2020 I called Alex and told him: I want to let you listen to a project. I had made a new version of the hit Respect. It was a draft … few sounds, two chords, a bass line and the incredible voice of Judy Cheeks. I love 90’s house classics and I love the masters of house music of that period … Roger Sanchez, Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles are my references.

How did it go? Was it a hit from the off?

Alex: It took a while, we often exchanged ideas, messages, and changes to the project, because we worked remotely, but we immediately found the direction we wanted to give to the track. The annoying part was getting the vocal to re-sing and make it sound very powerful similar to the original voice. I’m not here to tell you about clearance, long waits, a bit of anxiety and difficulty, but in the end it all went great.

Ilary: It was a difficult job especially because I live in Bologna and Alex lives in Naples. we exchanged hundreds of messages, emails and drafts. I let Alex express his talent and I tried my best to make this track. when we finished, we immediately knew we did a good job. the track sounds good and is very powerful.

Who does what, do you each have your own roles in the collaboration?

Alex: There were no specific roles, for me music is sharing and creativity, giving a specific task would have limited our art, we have merged our worlds, giving each his own personal touch.

Ilary: we have no defined roles. Alex is very good from a technical point of view; I did my best at all stages of the creative process to give the track a personal and feminine touch.

Is it a case of opposites attract or are you very similar in your tastes and styles?

Alex: We are different in the approach and also in the music we offer, I think I am a little more House and Ilary more percussive, but you can feel we have common roots, and this has allowed us to merge our characteristics.

Ilary: We are very different and for this reason we are complementary. Alex’s style is much more “House”. I am very influenced in my works by a South American taste. I love south american percussions, sounds and voices. On stage I try to be very communicative and to convey my emotions to the audience that is listening to me.

What inspired the new one on Mother Recordings?

Alex: Personally, the passion and respect I feel for this genre always pushes me to listen to many classics, and sometimes to revisit them in a modern way. I believe that currently we need to review the concept of producer, I notice many young guys who all offer the same music following the trend and not offering something innovative, there are tracks released many years ago that sound much more “fresh” than the current trend. I think house music is an incredible journey and like everything, it evolves over time. Mother pioneered this, when the track was finished the first person I sent the demo to was Nhan from Mother Recordings, the track couldn’t find a more suitable home

Ilary: I felt the need to go back to house music origins, starting from the records that were important in my artistic journey. I’ve listened to a lot of old records from the 90s and got inspired. Mother is the perfect label for this track.

What gear did you use, does that matter?

Alex: I use Ableton as Daw, and a bunch of cool vst like Pigments, Sub Boom, Serum, Monark to name a few. As for the audio and the mix part I like to use some ITB plug-ins and some cool external analog gears that give that paste that is always good.

Ilary: I use Ableton … it’s the best DAW for me.

What’s next, what else are you working on or have you got moving up?

Alex: I have many news, some releases on big labels with which I have already released and to date a real working relationship has been created. This year I will launch a new label associated with a party here in my city, the project will be called ADUNANZA, the label will release both digitally and on vinyl and I am really happy with the team I have created. With Ilary there is another track in the pipeline, it will be called “Soledad” has very South American references and will probably be released by an Ibizan label before the summer, I can’t tell you more!

Ilary: in this 2022 I want to dedicate myself to the things I love: my son, my family and music. these are my priorities. I’ll try to grow as an artist and I’ll try to spend my time in the place I much love: on stage. As a professional goal I’d like to release an other track with Alex; we are working on a South American style track. I don’t know the future but I know one thing: the best is yet to com


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