DJ Red comes to BPitch Control with a mantra: creation is the source of energy which underpins the relationship between artist and public, feeding from the former through expression and returning from the latter as impression. This reciprocal balance not only inspires DJ Red to infuse her production with new and innovative techniques, but also to reinforce her work with techno’s more classical elements.
Now a resident of Berlin, Simona Calvani (DJ Red) was born and raised in Rome, Italy. She started her pursuit of creative expression in fashion, enrolling at the Accademia of Costume and Moda and producing her own line of bags and fashion accessories. It was at this time that DJ Red discovered the rapidly developing electronic music scene and the absorbing culture of techno. It was this culture – rather than fashion – which struck the most emphatic chord.
DJ Red was enraptured by the development of 90s techno. She followed acts central to the movement, such as Aphex Twin, Autechre and Black Dog. Yet she also looked towards acts like Boards of Canada, who enabled her to appreciate the sound’s more melodic elements.
In 1997 DJ Red started to play ambient and dance music at venues throughout Rome, establishing a particularly strong relationship with Giancarlino, owner of the Goa Club. A year later DJ Red became a club resident. Suddenly able to play alongside the world’s best DJs, and experiment freely with style and invention, DJ Red was able to establish her own distinctive sound. She focused on producing hypnotic basslines and grander synth sounds, predicated on the principles of magnetism, eclecticism, elegance and depth.
In her first 10 years at Goa DJ Red contributed towards some of the landmark events in the development of the Italian dance music scene: at Amore, playing alongside Ricardo Villalobos and Jeff Mills; at Dissonanze, alongside Richie Hawtin; and at the Europa Festival, with Aphex Twin.
In 2005 she released her first EP, Silk or Metal, on Unpolite Recordings. One of the tracks, ‘Rame’, was immediately included on Cocoon’s Green and Blue compilation. Silk or Metal was followed in 2008 by two further singles: ‘Silk or Metal 2’ and ‘The Fresh Flash’. Then, after a four-year stint as a resident of London, but flying around Europe to play venues like DC10 and Panorama Bar, DJ Red was signed to BPitch Control and she moved to Berlin.
In the autumn of 2013 DJ Red released her first record on BPitch – Eyes Are Blind. It presents through its three tracks a narrative on sight: the restriction of vision; intense study; and coming to. It is, as so often expressed through her production, proud of airy percussion, dark menace and melodic bass. And it is, like the producer’s own landing in Berlin, an advocate for purpose and development.