Manu•Archeo interview for Test Pressing / TP #384 (26.02.2015 - UK)
Where are you from?
I'm from Bologna, Italy, the town of arcades and the Middle Ages.
Where are you based?
Since I was 3, I've lived in Florence, Italy, the town of art and the Renaissance.
What made you start?
When I was 8 I started studying classic drums for 5 years and I remember I used to spend lots of time listening to my mother's collection of vinyls. There was one in particular that seduced me and it was the Tony Esposito first LP. That's also why I now love artist like Tony Esposito, Tullio De Piscopo and all Afro Music.
I start DJing when I was 16, buying 2 grey Technics 1200 (still have them!) and a cheap mixer. I was a dancer before and I used to go to Matis, Les Bains Douches and Kinky in Bologna on saturday nights or Tenax, Space Electronic and Happyland ("Torquemada" night) in Florence. It was the House /Italo-House scene and I spent hours in front of DJ Ricci (R.I.P.) and others to see how they worked and mixed and let people dance & have fun. I was so influenced by the classic New-Wave, House, Electro, '80s & '90s scene. I started to buy vinyls regularly.
What makes you continue?
My love & passion for the Music.
How would you describe your sound?
Balearic / Organic / Afro / Meditative / Floating / Fusion / Mellow / Groovy
Manu, I'm guessing you aren't old enough to have partied at Cosmic or Typhoon. What was your introduction to the genius of Baldelli & Loda?
Exactly, unfortunately I was too young to go to Cosmic or Typhoon. I was only 5 when Baldelli started his magical DJ residence @ Cosmic.
In the years after - from the mid '90s - I was introduced to the Cosmic sound by our group of DJs here in Florence and by older DJ friends. We sometimes meet and talk about new, rare vinyl gems that we have in our private collections or just discover. It's fantastic, so stimulating.
I also started to listen to the famous "BD & TBC MIX" tapes (Baldelli Daniele & Tosi Brandi Claudio)… I spent hours to tracking down what I was listening to and I can say that it only added fuel to the fire of my passion and my trained ear to an eclectic sound.
And now, of course, I have to say thanks to the great Balearic family of DJs and Labels for such examples of inspiration, love & respect: Chuggy & Emotional Rescue, Balearic Mike, Yozo & EAD Records, Mudd & Claremont 56, Moonboots & Aficionado Recordings, RedLightRecords guys & Music From Memory, Leo Mas, Phil Mison, Lexx, Mark Seven, Sean P., Andy Taylor & We Are The Sunset parties, Simon Lee.
Where is your favourite place to play / party / other?
In Florence, @ "Spiaggia" (the beach) in the summer and @ Mix Bistrò in the winter.
What do you like about these venues?
"Spiaggia" is the venue where I invited Balearic Mike to play in summer 2013 for a Pitti night (Pitti the international world menswear fashion trade show). Great memories I have of that night! Super Mike's gig!
It's the perfect place for the Balearic style… it's an amazing location and setting - on the river Arno, next to the Ponte Vecchio.… a cold beer and great music! What more do you need?!! Yesss!
Mix Bistrò is a strange place… a big bar, a restaurant and a pub on two levels, just outside Florence. Great food, vegetarian (I have been a vegetarian for a year), it has a super relaxed and warm atmosphere, where I can start my set with Balearic stuff and go on and finishing with Groovy / Dance tracks at 110/120 BPM. People talk and drink and listens to music, total relax. I can really play what I want and that's so important... it's very stimulating and exciting. The people who work there are perfect as they all love music and they have an ear for music. I really love playing there.
What are you most proud of?
My new Archeo Recordings and establishing good relationships with fantastic persons on the scene.
What made you start Archeo Recordings?
The desire to be active in the production and diffusion of old and new good music. Also music is an artistic patrimony which might be lost… and I don't want it to happen. Mine - in a certain way - is a labour of Love.
What are your plans for 2015?
More releases of Archeo, more Djing, more parties & more fun. I have a lot of good contracts closed for some super reissues... I can reveal the 12" mix "Miro - Safari Of Love" and the very rare Tullio De Piscopo "Suonando La Batteria Moderna" LP are coming very soon…
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. I read this book for the first time in 2014, during a big change of my life - it was also the year in which I finally started my current journey with my label Archeo Recordings. I have read it again these days and it has given me other keys and a new awareness and great peace. The book, the story, describes how everyone has their own “personal legend” - what you have always wanted to accomplish. The story is built on the idea that when you really want something to happen, the whole Universe will conspire so that your wish comes true! Wow! I think that’s a great and positive message.
"Traffic" by Steven Soderbergh (2000). What a movie! And what a soundtrack!!
Three favourite record sleeves?
1. Lucio Battisti - Il Nostro Caro Angelo
So strong, so powerful, but so simple… and ethereal…
2. Il Guardiano Del Faro - Oasis
Dreamy. Peaceful. A place I'd like to go.
3. Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti
I like the front sleeve… they seem so happy and in fashion and… so '80s!
But then on the back sleeve you have them with the masks of their own faces… Brilliant!
When I did the Archeo Recordings label launch party - after the marvelous one in London @ "We Are The Sunset" with super Andy Taylor and Simon Lee (Faze Action) - here in Florence, in October, I printed a Tony Esposito mask for all the DJs we were playing at the party. It was so funny and cool! What lovely memories.
And obviously… the new Archeo sleeves.
I love the Tony Esposito one. I would like to make a T-shirt soon of the sleeve of Tony Esposito (AR002). Tony forever!
Three for sunset?
Cantoma - Gambarra (Lexx Remix)
Otto feat. Bebel Gilberto - Bob (Edu K Mix)
Marco Fedrigo - Umbria
Three for sunrise?
Alan Sorrenti - Incrociando Il Sole
Richard Sanderson - Check On The List
Grace Jones - Feel Up (12" Version)
Three party starters?
Tony Esposito - Je-Nà
Christy Essien Igbokwe - You Can't Change A Man
Radio Band - Radio Rap (Instrumental)
Manu•Archeo select of the 10 tracks of the moment:
01. Jonny Nash - Phantom Actors
Absolutely sublime bliss!
02. A.r.t. Wilson - Rebecca's Theme (Water Mix)
The soundtrack of the summer… very liquid! Percussive! Love it!
03. Javier Bergia - Adios Tren De Jaipur
Acoustic / Balearic / Dreamy / Folk Rock at its best!
Thanks Chuggy (Emotional Rescue).
04. Begin - Lay or Begin - Bees. Begin always astonishes with the beauty, elegance & poetry in his Music.
05. Arthur Russell - Get Around To It
I love Arthur! I have all of his music (on vinyl and cd). I made also a T-shirt with him on it. This is one of my favorite tunes of all time.
HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS!
06. Olli Ahvenlahti - The Poet
I have had the original LP on my Wantlist for years… but it's so expensive...
I was waiting for a long time for a reissue of this marvellous 1976 Fusion / Jazz-Funk album of Olli, and finally Mr. Bongo did it. I play and use to play this track so much and it's so fantastic.
07. Pino Daniele - Me Sò 'Mbriacato 'E Te Forever
A warm thanks to Pino for all his incredible work (R.I.P.).
08. Galarude - Cero (DJ Harvey Remix)
Yesssss! What a trip! Kudos Mr. Harvey!
09. Miro - Safari Of Love
I have had the chance to be in contact with Miro and I can only say he's a special person. Grazie Miro!
Soon… very soon… on Archeo Recordings (AR003).
10. Giuliano Sorgini - Ultima Caccia
I can't stop listening to it. So hypnotic!
Peace & Love.