I got aware of “A Sacred Geometry” on Bandcamp some time ago. The music was sounding promising – a statement and not just entertainment. I thought that sending a message and proposing to team-up for a project on Affin would be a good idea. And when we recently met in Berlin it just felt right. So here you can find some aspects of his work and passion:
J: How did your label start and why you decided to release on your own instead of searching for an already established imprint ?
The project was a duo in the beginning, we started to produce some music and of course the first idea was to submit demos to other labels. We had good feedbacks but somehow we couldn’t find the right spot for our music, all the options where a sort of compromise between our ideas and the label managers’ ones.That’s why we decided to expand the project and create a label that could be the natural platform for our music. It’s completely different when you can decide/control the timeline, the mastering process, the graphic design, how to promote and distribute the record. Of course there’s also a lot of more work behind it but I believe that the result is way more personal and interesting. I’m definitely more than happy with the result!
J: I’d like to know some things about your studio work: i read that you’re using a lot of hardware to explore your ideas. These ideas being captured by a DAW. Do you manipulate the recorded music or do you use your DAW mainly to capture the jams?
The workflow changed a lot during the years. As a duo we used to record a lot of audio parts directly from the hardware and then manipulate everything in the DAW. Later this approach changed to a more efficient way. I built my own library of sounds during these years and I usually put ideas together faster only using my DAW. After I went through all the different layers of the track to work on the sound design. Sometimes I just record a layer again directly from a synth or through a hardware chain to get exactly the idea of sound that is on my mind. Sometimes it also happens the opposite, I want to build a track around a specific sound and I record it as first step in the process and after I build the rest around it. It’s the case for example of “Hectic” in which everything rotates around the bass synth, that was the first element I worked on writing the track.
J: What’s your main machine/software in studio and is your setup comparable in studio with the gear you use for your livesets? Some artists told me performing live changed their way of producing music in the studio. Do you see it in a similar way?
My studio setup is mainly focused on Ableton Live, but I would say that 80% of the sounds I use come from hardware synths. I recorded a lot of samples during the last years (also because of my work as Sound Designer), and as said I use them as a base for my music. I’m also lucky enough to work as assistent at Artefacts Mastering Studio and share the studio with Gio, who taught me a lot about techniques during these years and really opened my mind in terms of post-production also for my own music. Besides Ableton, there are probably a couple of synths that are essential, both in production and in my live setup. The Elektron Analog Rhythm for example, or the Analog Heat. They have so many possibilities in tweaking the sounds and manipulating them. They both also sound kind of gritty, which isn’t always a positive aspect, but I think that brings some distinctive character especially to drums and percussions compared with a software processing. I agree that performing live can have a great influence on the way of working in the studio. In the beginning I spent a huge amount of time to collect all my music and arrange it for a live situation. Now when I start a new project I already keep in mind that I’ll need parts of the track for my live and this helps me a lot. It also works in the opposite way, during a live performance I could notice something that I miss or a kind of track that could fit nice at some point, and that brings me to work on something new once I’m back in the studio.
J: There’s a lot of diversification to observe in electronic music in the last years. Where do you see your personal approach on electronic music nowadays and what’s the goal for the project “A Sacred Geometry”?
Sure we nowadays have a different and much wider exposition to electronic music than before, that has positive and negative aspects as everything. I usually tend to ignore the directions that I don’t like and to be influenced by the people that are working following my goals. The aspect that makes me proud about “ASG” is that we always have been focused on the music and its closest aspects. In the beginning the idea was to create a series of records with our own musical idea, addressed to people who wanted to play them on vinyl or listen to them in the environment that they prefer. It’s not strictly club music, it’s still strongly connected with a club experience, intended in a much wider and deeper way. Also now that the label is kind of grown, and I’m hosting other artists or exploring new formats and I’m still trying to follow this path and keep things easy and low profile.
J: Does the area where you live affect your musical ideas, or would you say that the mood you put into it is mostly defined by your “inner world”?
I’m living in Berlin since 7 years now and before I always lived in Rome, so I would say that my natural environment is the city. Unfortunately I don’t get really influenced by it. I get much more influenced by nature and landscape, but I also noticed that when I’m in such places, I rarely get inspired to produce new music because usually I’m more focused on the moment. To keep these moments as source of inspiration I try to create a memory that I later recall when I’m back in the studio. This could be something physical as a picture or an object, or something that is purely on my mind and that I have to write down to avoid to forget it. I’m missing a lot the opportunities given by other media like video/photography/writing to produce something almost everywhere I want. I feel limited by the typical electronic music production systems, specially regarding the listening/monitoring part. Of course you can produce music on your laptop or tablet with headphones, but I still feel kind of limited by this kind of setup. It’s one of my goal for the future though.