Taster Peter aka Pietro Marsili is a force to be reckoned with on the European techno circuit. With new releases on the NYC imprint Ascii Disko for Biatch Corp - we had a wee chat about all things Tasty and techno!
CGNY: Viva Italia!! Ciao Pietro! Tell us about your musical background? How does a classically trained violinist and ex-drummer for a metal band end up being a techno monster?!
TP: Heyyy NYC! :)
So, let's see…my musical background is composed of 10 years as a drummer with 2 albums behind them, many live ... and many, many hard times believe me, but I had so much satisfaction and it is really worth the effort, I'd do it a million times!
Before I started playing drums at 16 years, I studied music at a famous school in my town (Livorno). I tried everything: the violin, double bass, guitar ... and then end up on the drums, but here I have not studied ... I played it for 10 years and learned all the "tricks" as an autodidact, and it was better that way!
I've always had a strong passion for electronic music, at age 14 I went to see the Chemical Brothers with a friend on the other side of Italy ... I was a kid, it was my first concert and was great! Then the next step was to learn to use software for creating music like "Fruity Loops" and "Sony Acid", with whom I enjoyed doing some mash-ups & remix of existing tracks… also I used these programs to draw the drums line of new songs I did with my band. In that way we always had a pre-studio version of the song that we could study and modify.
In the meantime I've always been an avid clubber, I think I heard all the DJs in circulation ...or nearly! After years in clubs and festivals around Europe, the next step was inevitably to set up a small studio and start creating the first beats of my first EP which I took as a demo to Hell Yeah Recordings ... and there was the release!
Immediately I got good feedbacks from all of the world's best DJs, tracks played in various radio shows, also it went well on the Beatport's Techno chart! As my first experience it was really exciting!
CGNY: Have you ever incorporated any live drumming into your set?!
TP: I have a "Yamaha DTX Press" electronic drum machine in my studio, and use it often while producing... but I never brought anything of this in my live performance, but….. be careful though: I'm planning a new EP all based on sounds of real drums, all played by me completely. Well, so we can say that is a working progress thing, and will be on-stage very soon!
CGNY: Obviously certain artists drew you into the scene. What is it that you love about electronic music more than any genre?
TP: Well, working with computers and softwares has always been something natural since I was a kid. I was experimenting with the old 386 computers: breaking up the internal parts and then putting them back together differently from the original… I was also the guy who fixed the computers of friends!
I always had a deep love for music and for all the electronic machines to produce music ... so for me it was a logical step to do! Also one of the main things I love about electronic music made like I do is that during the production of tracks you are alone with yourself, so I totally do what I want to do without any limitation. I say this because with my band in the last time some discontinuities were created during the production phase, because I wanted to go in a less heavy direction, but instead, they wanted to go in the opposite direction by emphasizing even more the first "death" side.
Consequently, this fact of being alone and to do what I want to do without limits is something that I feel in a particular way, and I love it. But however I still continue to do things with other people, just look at the collaborations I have with Phunx and Heartik to name few… really hot stuff!
Also I know that it's really cool to deal with other people when you create something, I've done it for 10 years and helped me a lot!
CGNY: When did you decide to go into music production as opposed to just spinning others peoples’ music – was it a simultaneous event?
TP: As an ex member - drummer - of a band which makes its own music, I am very attached to the Live performance. I have always tried to bring my music with me in my performance and share it with the public; this has always been very helpful to see the crowd reactions, and to improve my sets. Of course I like very much to do the DJ sets as well, where I can share my music selection of tracks and my "music trip" with the public…this is ACE for sure! But I'm still more personally attached to the Live performance, I see it as something with even more artistic depth: to play only your stuff, bring all your works cut out in various parts and in different order to propose every time a new sound…all created with 100% your material! Sick!
CGNY: There are some fantastic electronic musicians coming from Italy (Mauro Picotto, Alex Gaudino, Santos, Giuseppe Ottoviani, yourself to name a few) In general what is the Italian dance music scene like compared to other countries? Would you say it’s thriving?
TP: The Italian music scene is hot! There are so many talents and so much potential here. But unfortunately the Italian system doesn't work in a good way: everything is based on favors and lack of recognition of merit. In Italy if you do not have credentials but you're part of the right "circle", you can go everywhere, trust me! This is the big problem here of the poor training of people at work, and this is also reflected in the music scene! Also if you're a young talented DJ and you try to do something, you have to fight with the old DJ, because here we have still a lot of "over 50 years DJs" who continue to play without any background of music production and this in 2011 does not make much sense!
In Italy the promoters prefer to spend lots of money in a foreign name which maybe it is not even known from anyone…it works just because it is an "out-of-Italy name"! So they are doing this instead of trying to invest in new talents, trying to push them at the max levels. Go have a look at the cities that really work: if you do not release your music on important labels there is no chance to play….forget it! In Italy does not matter the music, its all about friendship!
Here we are a sort "paradise" for big DJs, they are always playing here and take a lot of money, and always play the usual names. Just watch the New Years Eve of this year, there were all the biggest names on the world scene, and instead of being around the world to play, they were all in Italy! I wonder whyyyy? ahahahahaahaha!!
This is a shame, because there would be a lot of cool realities here, which have potential to be great, but we, as Italians, are better at speaking in a bad way of the nearest party and do the war against them…instead of collaborating to create a better scene.
What do you think…is there a reason if all the major talents here have taken their bags and flown abroad in search of success, and finding it!
Just look at Berlin, London and Barcelona: cities full of Italian artists, fled from Italy and are now successful!
CGNY: Where are some of your favorite clubs/festivals to perform in?
TP: Definitely! I'm in love with Dom Im Berg Club (Graz, Austria) ... this club is amazing trust me, is carved into a mountain in the center of the town, it has a super sound system and the crowd is super cool! …then, as a "dream" on day I'd love to play at Monegros Desert Festival, in Spain ... I went there for many years, I love the situation and I would love to make the people dance over there!
CGNY: What are you working on at present? Any new releases coming up that you can tell us about?
TP: I'm working on many projects ... if you want an update…here to you! :) I have some really hot incoming releases on Christian Smith's Tronic // on 2000 and One & Sandy Huner's Bitten // on Trapez // on Clash Music (this is the label of the legendary "Clash Club", Sao Paulo, Brazil) …and on the remix side I have some sick remixes for Umek, for Marco Bailey and Florian Meindl to name few ... really, really hot stuff trust me!
... mmmmm .... and now that I'm thinking on my music I jump in my head another super remix I did for a New York City's imprint. It's a remix I did for Ascii.Disko, coming out really soon on Biatch Corp. on 12" + digital... we'll see what happens!
CGNY: We’d surely love to see you in NYC soon! Have you any plans to perform here. We don’t have the same pizza at Italy but it’s a close second!!
TP: I really would love to come over to play!!! Let;s see what will happen…maybe, hopefully something cool is behind the corner! C'mon, let’s do it!
CGNY: When you’re not thinking about or working on music, what is on your mind? Global warming, plastic bag useage, what’s for dinner?
TP: ahahahahah!! One thing is certain, I'm thinking about what will be there for dinner!!! And about "global warming", I am graduated in bio - architecture, I really like the "shapes" and visual arts and all the relationship they have with their surroundings nature. but however, despite being already graduated, now I use all my time on music, which is my main passion, and for the future I have some plans to open a studio where I could manage music & architecture…with a record label // architectural design and visual arts activities.. time will tell!
CGNY: Do you like to go to nightclubs when you’re not performing yourself? Any artist (EDM or other) that you’d like to see live?
TP: Of course! I'm still today a hardened clubber! I'm always going to hear the artists who interest me, so I can evaluate their performances and also I can be influenced by external impulses. I'm very open to new ideas and new influences!
I'd love to see Pendulum live ... I heard that they are really cool on stage, they use to mix Metallica's heavy guitars with huge drum & bass beats… should be exciting!
And right now, as a DJ I'd love to hear Carlo Lio who is breaking all the walls down! Maybe in a Sci-Tec showcase would be even better… he really impresses me, and I'm really curious to hear him live!
CGNY: One song to take with you anywhere – what would it be?
TP: When someone asks me this question, I always say: Laurent Garnier - The Man with the Red Face (Funkagenda & Mark Knight Remix)! LOVE IT!