Italian producer Davide Nigro makes his debut on Detroit techno label Motech Records with EP Molecular Alchemy. We caught up with him to find out more.
‘Molecular Alchemy’ represents for me a way of escaping reality, the glimmer of hope that grows inside of me, that allows me to follow my dreams and to express myself so that it can cheer and help as much people as possible.
First up, tell us about yourself - what got you into music?
I was born in a little town consisting of 100,000 people, small and provincial surrounded by mountains, far from the sea, but I’ve always felt like a citizen of the world, a cosmopolitan.
My journey has always been distinguished by my proud nature, irreproachable, by always asking myself a lot of questions, by the fact that I had to grow up quickly, a lot quicker than my peers, and especially by my need for expressing myself.
I would also add a rebellious adolescence, an anti bourgeois and anti conformist view of life that in the provincial and conservative society that I was born into wasn’t letting any space for my creativity, and actually it was oppressing it; it was like I was remaining without oxygen.
In this context the only way out and to express myself was my music, and it’s for this that it became my companion from the beginning and never left me.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
My musical background is marked by those that for me represent the real essence of music and of the idea that we often have of it as a universal power, a form of love. The Beatles formed my ideas and my identity, and that’s the reason why I decided to get a tattoo of the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ cover art on the inside of a broken vinyl record on my right arm, because I wanted to have the image of an utopic dream like theirs to desire for myself but unfortunately in today’s society could never become reality.
Then some others inspirations for me are surely Oasis, Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Red Hot, Arctic Monkeys, Bob Marley, James Brown, The Strokes, Radiohead, The Fratellis, The Libertines and many more… Now for what concerns the electronic scene, I remember listening to Underworld, Infected Mushrooms, Laurent Garnier, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Ben Sims, Christian Varela, Mauro Picotto, Chris Liebing, U.R., Aphex Twin and many more.
How would you describe your musical style?
The influences that are part of my sound come from the ’90s clubbing scene, so Detroit, acid - what a funky and melodic touch that can give a feeling of dynamism. At the same time though, I like sounds that feel real, basically that club sound that can be raw when you need it to be but at the same time versatile, because it’s able with those funky notes to give movement with the dynamic of the sound while trying to emit as much positive vibes as it can.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
For me it would be a dream to collaborate on an EP with Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, Ben Sims… but also Recondite, and another artist that I really love both in production but also with what she does live, is Margaret Dygas. Last but not least it would be amazing to be able to collaborate with Robert Hood - that is for me a master of perfection and professionalism both on the human side and artistic side.
Not to forget it would be a great emotion to collaborate with his project Floorplan. Some other artists that I personally had the luck to meet and that I appreciate for his live and productions are Phase Phatale. For me a 360 type of artist. And the duo Karenn, perfectly balanced by the professionalism, serious tone and precision of Pariah, to the creative flair and impulsiveness of Blawan. This for me makes an exceptional binomial and their sound is always surprising me more and more.
You’ve signed to Motech Records, how did that come about?
At the and of last year’s January I received an answer from Motech Records, where DJ 3000 was telling me that he was left impressed by ‘Cosmic Geisha’ and he wanted to start from there to create an EP. I still remember that day vividly because I immediately felt like we were gonna grow together. From that day we worked a lot, modified, edited and especially analysed a ton of music.
At the beginning we had started only with ‘Cosmic Geisha’ and after almost a year of collaboration we were able to select all of the tracks for this EP, so their creation has accompanied me from the start of 2019 until we were able to have all of the tracks.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank DJ 3000, with whom I was instantly able to feel a synergy, and now a deep respect and friendship, especially for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.
Tell us about your EP ‘Molecular Alchemy’. When did you write it and where did you record it?
The writing time for MT133 – ‘Molecular Alchemy EP’ lasted for about 1 year, from the end of December 2018 to January 2020 when we finished selecting the tracks for it. It was a project that kinda felt like a journey and that allowed me to express myself to the fullest. It was recorded here in Rome where I am living at the moment.
The mastering process was done by a great artist and friend, Steven Shaden, and thanks to his knowledge and professionalism has done an amazing job for it.
How does ‘Molecular Alchemy’ represent you?
‘Molecular Alchemy’ represents for me a way of escaping reality, the glimmer of hope that grows inside of me, that allows me to follow my dreams and to express myself so that it can cheer and help as much people as possible; so that my music could become a tool of sharing for everybody, for it to emanate only positive emotions and vibrations.
I would like to dedicate this first one of mine, for me a very important goal to a person who is no longer there but who has taught me to discern the good from the bad, my grandmother Giovanna. I dedicate this EP to her, because thanks to the love I have for her, I’ve never stopped in front of no impediment, no obstacle, but I continued to believe in my dreams and I hope that soon they will all come true.
Can you talk us through each track?
‘Cosmic Geisha’: The first track of the EP. The idea of a pure and tight movement of sounds, full of classic Detroit harmonies, with a style that recalls the old school, ready to make the dance floor glow.
‘Anarchy Sound System’: Increasing and diabolic acid, Detroit and electric sounds will pervade your senses to the maximum exasperation that coincides with a utopian moment; with that feeling of well-being that only distorted and well-tuned intoned notes can give you…
‘Molecular Alchemy’: We are in the middle of nowhere, electric distorsions and crazy funky soul, will take you back in time to the best days in club history.
‘Panoramic Life’: The last track of the EP; spatial modulation through sounds that manage to give you an idea of large and deep universes and microcosms, thanks to the harmonies of electric synths, increasing distorted filters and ascending progression of sounds: welcome to the uncontaminated space of sounds…
What are your hopes for ‘Molecular Alchemy’?
I hope for to have success in every aspect. I already had a satisfactory moment when Dave Clarke played it on his White Noise 744 radio show.
That was for sure a day that I will not forget easily… but most of all I would want this EP to give me the opportunity to express myself and to be considered by record labels and festivals of a certain calibre, for that would make me grow on a musical level, improve my technique, my sounds, better my work tools and be able to maybe be considered for work and collaborate on some EPs or projects with those that were always my mentors and teachers.
For me it would be a dream come true…
How’s 2020 looking in what’s becoming a crazy year?
Before, my response would have been that the objectives of 2020 are certainly to be able to impress and make as many people dance as possible thanks to my music, but above all I would love to be able to go out to some labels that I have always dreamed of since I was a child and to do my first festivals.
Also I would like to start traveling the world and playing everywhere so that I can really transmit my music and my emotions. But since the time that we are in right now and recent events, I would like for a big diffusion of my EP and for it to become main stream and appreciated by the pioneers of this genre and also played by all. I would also like it to enter some important charts and for it to achieve good results.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
To conclude, I consider myself a great dreamer. I would like to say that I believe that i’m still only at the beginning of where I want to go. This road for me has been paved by two words that over time have assumed a vital meaning in my life: humility and constancy…
And that I’ve been through all the sacrifices and done all the humiliating and frustrating jobs I did only to be able to make music and believe in my dream, cause I believe that if you don’t have a dream, a purpose in this life, then it’s as if you’ve lived in black and white.
Listen to Davide Nigro on SoundCloud below. Molecular Alchemy is out now.