Italian dj/producer and sound engineer Dino Sabatini has surely scored one of this years successes with the release of "Shaman's Path" on Prologue Music. With deep hypnotic and tribal rhythms that takes the listener on a complete aural journey, Sabatini has been steadily plotting a course through the techno world over the years and leaving a beautiful footprint for us to follow.
CGNY: Dino - congratulations on your wonderful new release on Prologue- Shaman’s Path. The music on there definitely took me on an exquisite musical journey full of landscapes and pathways! So how did you come up with the title and how long have you been working on it?
DS: Hello and thank you, the idea came to me almost at the end of the work. I needed something to justify the feeling of trip created by a mix of dark industrial techno and some tribal sounds I used in Shaman's Path in which the main idea has been to create a bridge between reality and imagination and not by chance that I chose the figure of the shaman considered by some tribal populations as a link between life and afterlife and to be able to cross that bridge people have to follow particular paths; Shaman's Path is my personal interpretation of of those.
CGNY: What do you do to ‘prepare’ for making an album? Do you have a process? For instance there is some African influence on Shaman’s Path – did you listen to some African themed music?
DS:The first process is to focus on what you want to do, once you understand this you can switch to the technical part. In Shaman's Path I used a different process than the one used in my latest productions, due to gigs and other commitments I can not stay long hours in the studio where I have my tools. So I organized a digital set up. That way I have always with me my studio sound and I'm able to take note wherever I am around and this has been also an incentive for me in deepening my knowledge in digital world.
In Shaman's Path every sample used as background are voices of friends I have recorded while in tour using a small iPhone app; other samples are part of a bigger bunch of old recordings I made with my dear friend Antonello Salis, a internationally recognized jazz pianist, unique in his own style; he is able using paper, metal or whatever happens to be in his hands to transform a piano in a synthesizer…
I was also sampling all the drum-machines I was using in the past years, to have always with me their digital version I created.
In particular, I made some Reaktor's Ensembles, kind of groove boxes, that I largely prefer at the moment for my baseline and kicks creation ( who is interested in those can find and download them from the download section of outis-music.com !).
In the end I obviously come back to the real one and finalize all the material into proper projects!
About sense of "Africa" I do not believe is the right word, it would be better to define "tribal".
I have always felt a strong connection between tribal rhythms and techno music and this is not because now I'm listening afromusic but because tribal rhythms in some way are part of our primal instinct, some tribal population are always been aware that the cyclical nature of the sounds can induce trance states and in this technique is not very far from the sensation created by the techno music.
CGNY: Why do you think you were drawn to this kind of music as opposed to say rock or folk or something?
DS: The decision to make this type of music came during the time, as I am of the 69' types of music I have passed them all and by the way I studied music and played guitar from an early age; I have gone from Robert Johnson's Blues to Hendrix's Rock then coming the disease for Frank Zappa and some decline in the branch of Jazz music for artists such as Miles Davis and Pat Metheny.
Passion to make electronic music came at the end of the 90s' period when I started doing the first experiments using some drum machines, effects pedals and distorted guitars and recording it on an old Fostex cassette multitracks. Hopefully a few years later thanks to technological developments I have had the opportunity to create my first Studio.
After various experiments and musical passages I chose Techno, the reason is because this is a musical genre in constant evolution and expansion, and this is for me a great incentive to keep creating music.
CGNY: Who did you listen to growing up in Italy?
DS: Regarding electronic music I grew up with Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream before being possessed by the music of the 80's with bands like Cure - Joy Division - Sister of Mercy & Depeche Mode. Then along came the years of Trip Hop with Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead and some years after some Drum'bass with Roni Size and I believe it has been the period that I listened the first time a track by Aphex Twin
Then around 2004 by some of my productions I met Sandro Maria Nasonte and Alessio Armeni owners of a famous record store in Rome (Remix) and also the owners of "Elettronica Romana " which I was a member as well as an artist in the project Modern Heads also as a sound engineer and having the studio inside the record store I have been able listen to anything I had never imagined to listen before.
CGNY: There seems to be a definite sound these takes coming from producers in Italy such as yourself, Giorgio Gigli, Claudio PRC etc that’s quite ethereal and not just purely dance-oriented music – do you think that’s true?
DS: In history there have been several cases in which a city have been formed different musical movements, for example the Seattle Grunge or else Detroit Techno…. just to name a few…
The feeling that you've noticed is what I would like to call "sound of Rome" and a way to produce Techno which I, Gianluca Meloni, Giorgio Gigli, Brando Lupi and Donato Dozzy are working on for years now, we're all friends and we have worked in the same labels and each of us did his best to create one of your own style. We exchanged ideas, music culture, we shared technical advice. Perhaps the similarity that you feel is because we are all the same age and we grew up in the same city with the same trends.
Claudio is from Sardinia, he is young and full of positive energy, I can safely say that he is a highly talented guy, humble and adorable. He's also a great satisfaction to me because it is the first of the new generation of talent to have understood our concept to produce techno and now look where he is ..... Some time ago he told me that one of the first records he bought in his life was a vinyl released 2006 by Modern Heads "Paper Toys EP" on Elettronica Romana and then his grown on the style of this label, this made me very happy, but also it made me feel a little bit 'old;-)
CGNY: Who do you think has had the most influence on your person and career? A mentor, parent etc?
DS: In my musical career the one person who has always been close to me is my girlfriend Roberta. She always encouraged to me to go ahead, she always had trust in me even though musically she has remained a lover of Hard Rock :-)
CGNY: Where have been some of your favorite places to play both here and abroad?
DS: I can just mention some, otherwise the list is long, actually I felt good in many places and especially; Berghain - Berlin, Rural festival - Tokyo, Universal Adventures - Osaka Arma17 - Moscow, Tresor - Berlin.
CGNY: You also collaborate with Gianluca Meloni as party of Modernheads. How does that sound differ from your own – if so?
DS: I think what a bore if we were all equal but fortunately we are all different! I have great respect and esteem for Gianluca. I love his style but we are different in many things and for a strange case of the life we always found to work well together, perhaps because it will be true that opposites attract each other ...
He is also a musician and has studied piano for many years and he is one of the first people I have known to have a great knowledge and passion for synthesizers.
Gianluca has a perfect vision of the harmonic parts and is able to create atmospheres as only he can do, to understand what we're talking about enough to listen to his work on Prologue as notfromheart and then try to imagine it inside of my sound, the result will definitely Modern Heads.
CGNY: What’s your favorite Italian meal?
DS: Bucatini Amatriciana tutta la vita.
CGNY: What do you like to do to unwind?
DS: This is a dangerous question, do you have another question for me? ;-)
CGNY: Haha..okay...Touring plans for 2013 yet?
DS: Currently I'm working on the live set which will be ready for early December. Of course I will also do a dj set but about live I want to be able to transmit clearly the atmosphere of my new album. In the meantime Prologue booking is organizing tour dates, we will keep you up to date.
Outis003 - Proteus - Dino Sabatini & Giorgio Gigli by Dino Sabatini