Techno and tech house DJ and producer Seismal D hosts weekly radio show Wonderbeat, broadcasted nationally by M2O in Italy. Last year he remixed a tune for Riot Recordings boss Frankyeffe, and on Friday, January 27th he’s releasing a three-track EP on the label. We found out more about the Rome-based artist.
My idea was to gather in one EP different emotional spaces.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music? Was there a particular person or song that inspired you?
Actually music has been always existed in my life, because my father was an amateur drummer and he passed down to me the love for music since I was a child. Anyway my first approach to electronic music started when I was eight or nine years old: a friend of mine gave me a hardcore/hardtechno CD. So I fell in love with this kind of sounds and slowly my passion grew year by year. At one point I clearly understood that this passion was going to be my work.
What was the first record you bought? Do you still own it?
Actually it was a cassette! It was The Stunned Guys Always Hardcore Compilation Vol. 2, in 1997. Of course I still have it. It really imprinted in me passion for techno music. The violence of this kind of music was a perfect mirror for my ‘teen rage’, hate and aversion to rules and system. I was the typical complicated, stupid adolescent and this music was an outburst for my emotions and feelings. I was used to fall asleep with my walkman playing very loud these sounds. It was a little bit crazy, I know!
When I was 15 years old I bought my first record player and my first vinyl was ‘Children’ by Robert Miles… a real milestone!
What was the last record you bought?
I’m always looking for new tracks and artists for my radio show; I think that latest record I bought was Federico Locchi - ‘Nebulosa (Cold Miles Remix)’. It’s really a beautiful trip and I suggest it to everbody. But the last vinyl was ‘Atlas’ by Marc Romboy and Stephan Bodzin (Gui Boratto Remix). I think that they are still very high-level producers and they are doing a great music and artistic career.
Who taught you to DJ?
When I decided to learn it I went to a historical vinyl store in Rome called RE:Mix: there I met Paolo Zerla (Zerletti), a real legend of Italian techno/progressive scene of 90s. He taught to me how to mixing with turntables and CDJs. That was the real beginning for me and I will always be grateful to him for his training.
When did you first feel confident enough to DJ in a club?
Probably it happened when I played for the first time abroad, in 2008. It was in Poland at Tomba Club. I remember that for the first time I clearly felt that a huge audience was really involved and connected with my music and the place was really full of good vibes all around me that time. After that moment I always tried to create the best connection between the audience and me during a performance, because I understood the power of it.
You graduated in 2007 from the St. Louis College of Music in Rome. How did that shape your musical direction?
It was essential, a very important moment of my route because I started to understand really thoroughly the nature of the sounds and electronic composition process. I started to know what sound really is and how I can treat it for my aims. I think that studying is an important part of the work if you want to embark on electronic music production career. You can be a very good and talented self-taught, but you will always be limited if you don’t increase yourself. So in my opinion studying is the key to raise your level.
If you listened back to your first production now, what do you think you would make of it?
If I listen to it now… of course I have to tell you that it is terrible! But it was the first step of a long and never-ending travel. We all have to start from some point and build a road that will bring us ahead for the rest of our life. And we go on walking and walking in this path growing up and making ourselves better and richer.
How has your way of making music changed since then?
Of course it deeply changed. My knowledge, my skills, my aesthetic and musical taste have changed and developed; so my approach to music is different now. At the beginning computer or machines guide you during the creative moment but you don’t know exactly all the aspects and all the parameters so you don’t have a real control on them. So result could also be random. Then you learn over time how to guide machines and bring them to your ideas. Of course it doesn’t always work it out!
You host the radio show Wonderbeat, broadcasted nationally by M2O in Italy. How long have you been doing the show? How do you keep it fresh?
I broadcast Wondebeat since July 2011. The radio show has had a natural evolution along the years. I made the most important change last year when I decided to host twice a month podcasts by well-known international artists that I’ve selected like Digitalism, Robert Babicz, Thomas Schumacher, Florian Meindl and more… Of course this choice brought freshness and it is an interesting evolution of my show.
Anyway I always look for new songs out of charts, also in the underground scene.
You’re signed to Riot Recordings. How did that come about?
I know the label’s owner Frankyeffe since quite a long time. Last year he asked me to make a remix of his album Trenta and then he invited me to play during his music event in Rome - ‘Frankyeffe and friends’. That was a chance to meet each other again and since that moment we kept in touch also having studio sessions together. He appreciated my works and he decided to release some of them. I’m really happy about this because I esteem Frankyeffe and his productions so it is a big honour for me being part of his ‘family’. I hope that this one would be the first of other future releases.
You’ve got a new release out on Riot Recordings on January 27th. Tell us about it - how does it build on your sound?
At the moment I use to build my sound with external gears, because I feel intimately closer to them in this way. The EP includes three tracks: ‘Monolite’, the track that also gives title to the EP, is actually quite simple, mostly analogic. For example Moog Voyager makes bassline, the drum is a Roland TR-8, Virus Indigo makes pads and ambient, other effects are made by custom plug-ins developed by myself.
I decided to create a simple sound, not complex: all the elements are very define and articulate. In my opinion in this kind of music melody is still the key to get to most of the people; ‘Monolite’ represents very well this perspective. ‘Romb’ is more ‘clubbing’: you can hear very dark and captivating sonorities.
The third one is an experiment: is not exactly a typical DJ’s track. It is a track to listen to, not just to dance. I can say that my idea was to gather in one EP different emotional spaces, so the third track is downtempo, rich of mystic and dreamy atmospheres.
What are your hopes for the release?
I hope that this would be the beginning of a new record path, after two years passed without releases. I have reshaped my sound and this EP is the fruit of this evolution. Of course I hope to satisfy audience’s expectation and maybe also to receive some good feedback by international scene.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Well, it could really become a very long list, anyway if I should choose, for sure I would be happy to collaborate with artists that deeply influenced my personal way to make music, my style, for example Stephan Bodzin, Marc Romboy, Gui Boratto, Oliver Huntemann, Extrawelt.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Well, of course when I look back I find many things that today I would make in a different way, I see many mistakes or wrong choices and decisions. But after all I think that every step of life, including missteps, can contribute to train you and guide you on and on wiser. So probably there is nothing I would really change, even if sometimes I were wrong.
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen in 2017, what would it be?
Ok, It’s quite difficult to choose just one thing. Generally I would like to go on increasing my skills and enhancing my studio. I hope there will be new artistic satisfactions and new incentives to make more and more. It would be also great to get new artistic collaborations and of course releases. In short, more and more… music!
Listen to Seismal D on Soundcloud below, for more information and tour dates go to the Seismal D Facebook page.