Trust an Italian to make a comparison between music and food! Mauro Picotto's 2010 MP Remixes is creating quite a stir in the dance community and he's already working on his next album. Here he talks music, tiramisu and how he might have been a doctor!
CGNY: You’ve just released the 2010 MP Remixes with a select group of remixers (Cari Lekebusch, Umek, Lauhaus). (All superb tracks by the way). How did you decide to whom you wanted to have on the album?
MP: Every time I do some work and I’m going to collaborate with some outside DJ’s, I always choose djs or producers that I like at that moment. It’s not like something that’s premeditated. It’s just my feeling at the time, at the moment of the release of the original track.
CGNY: Who/what were you early influences? Why do think you gravitated towards the electronic music scene?
MP: Well we have to go back 20 years or so ago – to the time of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream.
CGNY: What was the first piece of dj/producing equipment you owned?
MP: DJ equipment -a home made mixer with only 3 channels; one microphone, one phono and one CD – no at the time CD did not exist - one tape deck. Producing equipment was a Roland F330 – with a 6.2 second sample – compared with now! Hard to imagine.
Now I use in the studio Logic to produce. It changed everything from when I started producing – a completely different way to approach to the studio. Now everybody can do a track with a laptop when they are sitting on a plane or in the lounge. They just need to find the right loop and the job is done! At the end of the day what people forget is quality. Thousands of tracks are released and a lot are very easy and simple and I’m still always looking for something that satisfies my taste. I have to be honest at the moment there is good music but you have to work hard to find the quality.
CGNY: I am an organizer in the city for dance music via meetup.com and your gig at Pacha in August 2007 was one of my first meetups (a great night!) Do you have a soft spot for djing in NYC or are there any favorite places you like to play?
MP: To me what’s important– is to find a crowd that is very open –minded about the music; about being open to new frontiers of music and then a great sound system that supports what I want to do. Pacha for example has these kinds of ingredients. The sound is good – the crowd in the club is nice to transform the atmosphere into the mood I want to create. That’s the most important thing.
CGNY: Any plans to come back to NYC soon?
MP: I have a few requests already from New York! The problem for me is the moment is to settle what I’m doing here first (in Italy) because I’m already working on a new album for release next year. The release for 2010 went well and I felt a new challenge to produce music in a different way than everybody. I still like using melody (again) but at the same time without being too commercial in a way; to be so simple and easy, you understand? On the other hand to produce something that makes me satisfied to go and play my tracks. I need to spend a bit more time now the next few months in the studio. Definitely for next year I will plan to do something there again.
CGNY: When you’re not djing/producing – what do you like to do in your spare time?
MP: Myself, I like to spend time with my family. I’m not 20 or 30 anymore – I like to spend quality time with my family; good food and enjoy being with my friends. I travel so much. For me music is important – before it was number 1 now its number 2. First I put my family – but music is still very high – second is music.
CGNY: What’s your favorite thing to eat? Should I default to pasta here?!
MP: Depends on my mood. I love homemade tiramisu not the one you can buy or have at the restaurant. Of course I like pasta with tomato sauce, very simple but the Italian way!
CGNY: If you weren’t djing what career path do you think you would’ve followed?
MP: I have a great interest in medicine, medical things. I would like to give help if I can. Maybe I would be a doctor now. Maybe it’s the age - by 40 I like to feel if I can give support to other people I like it! Sounds completely crazy but…
CGNY: I have theory that people who like electronic music also being science fiction fans – is that true in your case?
MP: It’s possible. I love all movies to be honest. It’s such an evolution, also with the music not just with all the rest of the world. Everything with the music changed with the technology. You can imagine the first time that I bought my sampler, I spend a fortune, and I have to work extra weeks in clubs to buy my first sampler. Now with the computer – everybody has a computer, they can potentially produce music. It’s a lot easier for everyone and that’s good but all the rest, making people feel good, creating atmosphere – that’s still the same - you still have to work hard.
CGNY: With so many new djs and producers coming on the scene – how do you stay relevant in the EDM scene? Are you constantly looking for new sources of inspiration?
MP: For me – it’s more simple because at the moment I’m just looking for what I feel is right to play in a club for the people who follow me. The club is now the crowd that could be twenty years old to 30/40 years old. The new generation loves more like electro with a simple melody with a lot of syncing, ‘put your hands in the air” – happy music which is good for them. For my cup of tea I need something makes me feel more interested in the music, more complete. And it sounds a bit more difficult when the people want to have a good night like some music that says “I wanna have a good night”. But for me to have a good night I need quality music not a lullaby. If I go to a restaurant, everybody like dessert maybe but you cannot eat dessert all night, you’re going to feel sick. If I go to a club and hear all night commercial music is like to give me the same food for all night. I always consider the underground music is like going to the finest restaurant – you can like it or not but you can taste something different. The difference in the commercial club is like to go McDonalds. Everybody loves McDonalds! But you’re hungry, you eat, you’re happy and nobody complains but the food – you cannot tell me it’s great! Sorry McDonalds!
CGNY: What might we be surprised to hear you are listening to you on your ipod?
MP: At the moment I’m back to listening a bit to Supertramp. I really like it. Just a few weeks ago I was listening to Earth Wind and Fire. Completely the opposite of what I play in the clubs but at the same time the music is so complete for me compared to music I hear on commercial radio. It’s like wow! That is really underground!
DOWNLOAD 2010 HERE!!