Interview: Retina.it [+ Podcast]
TF: There is not many details running about you. You haven’t given much interviews and you remain quite discreet despite of the recognition your productions, your label and your live acts and sets gathered. Do you think that an excessive media exposure tends to cause harm to techno music?
Retina.it: Well, i guess it's all related to the channel in which our music has got some spin. Sometime those channels are like small universes that doesn't communicate with each other.
We started our career almost 25 years ago, and we saw many changes of directory in music. Starting from the labels to the final link of the chain that are the magazines. During the 90's there were not so much information related to the electronic music, most of the productions were reviewed only by underground magazines, mostly rock. In italy we counted few magazines involved in electronic music such Neural for example was one of the first in Italy in this direction. Then 2000 become all more open but slightly a bit confused, lot of blogs, many physical magazines that where covering this new kind of electronic arts, etc. Today seems that all is more definite, but still remain all like many different universes. Each one is growing up but still they remain in their own dimension.
I have always read magazines in all this time to keep me informed about music, but I always choose some underground media, to catch the freshness of uncontaminated music by the market.
Now we are so overloaded by news that we really could miss the chance to discover where the new is.
TF: We heard a lot about Italian artists in the past few years. How would you describe this scene, and how does it stand out from the rest of the techno scene?
Retina.it: Italy is not really new in electronic music, we have a solid tradition in this art. Maybe sampler instrument is a direct inspiration of the Italian Russolo's Intonarumori.
Generation grew up with the tv music experiment called "serial music", done by today’s electronic music grandfathers. One of the most important electronic music studio was build up in italy in 50's, and shared same interests with the other few studios around the world at that time only in Koln and Paris. Maybe in our country we got some part of dna which recognize that.
So despite the common idea that we are only "o sole mio" and "Volare", we got a lot of interesting artists that are in line with most electronic musicians around the world. It's only a question of promotion and well organized infrastructure which could help many italian musicians to be more available around the globe.
TF: How do you see the techno scene today?
Retina.it: Very huge, electronic music is the new language for the young generation.
TF: By the way, could you tell us a bit more about your inspiration and what builds you musical universe ?
Retina.it: We have been always curious to discover new music, so we have done always a research in the underground panorama. During the 70'-80 I was a teen, with a different future vision related to the place where i live. So my curiosity drove me in the search of some unheard tunes, nor highlighted phenomenon, just music done in garage or in the small punk clubs around the world, pressed in few copy or tapes etc. i was so fascinated by all those post punk, industrial, synth and new wave sounds.
For Nicola, who is younger than me, it's a little bit different , he started at the moment when the sampler was been introduced in the world of 90's disco and the acid, but many artists involved in that scene where mostly coming from the post punk music, Atom for example was one of those artists. This has been the hook that has permitted to discover same interests and let start to produce music together. TF: A lot of producers claim to be analog fanatics, defending an analog-only way to create. You declare working on 100% analog gear but that it’s not in opposition to digital stuff. What is your opinion regarding the fight over analog/digital production methods?
Retina.it: We started to make music in the cyberpunk, but I prefer Cheaperpunk, Era. All the most used instruments and drum machine were dismissed for the new technologies. So lot of today’s instruments that are sold for thousand euro's were sold for few at that time. The choices were been done due by the not expensive costs of those old instruments. We found many analogue equipments and started to investigate how to use those in a different way from the past uses. But this sort of electronic paradise soon became a trend. We don't like to define ourselves as analog-purists, we use all the stuff that need to produce and define our sound indifferently, digital or analogue. If you think that most of the recordings are done digitalizing the process of composition, you soon recognize that all these purists are not at least.
TF: You released recently your LP in collaboration with Svreca. Does it mean that you are standing now in an aesthetic position out of the range of this modern techno?
Retina.it: We usually do what we are confortable with. And the collaboration with Enrique drove us in a small different procedure. He is mainly a well known dj that knows exactly what an audience is looking for and what expects from his aesthetics. We appreciate so much his way of spread music and the choice at base of his Semantica concept. So for us it has been natural to share our vision with him. We don't know if the tunes fit exactly the scene or certain techno channels, we just are happy by the results.
TF: Can you tell us more about the aesthetic behind r²π?
Retina.it: It's an adventure we are running with our friends Ruhig and Prg/m. We all are located around mt. Vesuvius, so it's easy to hook up in the studio 1 day at week, Wednesday is the day…. Mercury day. We gave birth to this project exactly 1 year ago during spring time. The project is dance oriented, and involve all of us doing live with analogue modulars and digital sequencer. With this project we have already released a remix for Wata Igarashi and according with Jacopo Severitano Midgar's boss, we have planned the first ep "Library of Babel" that will be out in may. The EP’s theme is inspired by the Borges tales of magic realism, content which fits perfectly with the artwork aesthetics of Severitano's label.
As Retina.it we do lot of collaborations, we have been always opened to share interest and tastes with other peoples. It's an easy way to learn and offer others what you learnt in all this time spent in a studio. It's a good way to share energy and state of mind, and is a good moment to eat an amazing pizza with friends.
TF: Can you tell us more about your forthcoming projects?
Retina.it: We just get the master for the next Retina.it release. The EP "Truth Is Silence" will be out on a young Italian label called Substrato, which already has a growing catalogue, it will be out start of May. At the moment we are focused on something special, that could be released for the end of this year and couple of other interesting invitations we are working on.
¡Thanks so much to Retina.it for the time and fantastic mix for the one hundred edition! ¡hurra!...
Tracklist: 1) Unreleased (Midgar Records)
2) Ammernacth - Hobi (Hobi)
3) Materia - Claudio PRC (Semantica)
4) Souls On The Run - Neel (Semantica)
5) Avenza - Svreca & retina.it (Konstrukt)
6) Malandra - Crossing avenue (Spazo Disponibile)
7) Subterranean - Oscar Mulero (Semantica)
8) Unreleased - D-Leria (??????)
9) Asymptota (Ruhig Remix) - Prg/m (Spagiria)
10) White Flares - Shifted (Semantica)
11) Peels A Tangerine (Regis Remix) - Svreca (Semantica)
12) Hufeisen - Hobi (Hobi Records)
13) Cocytus (r2π Remix) - Wata Igarashi (Midgar Records)
14) Luna - Nuel (Konstrukt)
15) Unreleased (Midgar Records)