Italy is full of top draw house and techno talent right now, a fact that’s epitomized by the seemingly never-ending array of globetrotting talent emerging from the country. At the forefront of this label is the Alfa Romero imprint. Helmed by Prudo and Lorenzo Bartoletti, they’ve been responsible for releasing a host of renowned cuts over the past while, the latest of which is Alfabox01, a V/A collection that includes some really quality tracks. One such track is Karasho’s ‘Siboney’, a track that had us in a whirl from the offset. We checked in with the man behind the music recently to see what’s happening…
– What’s been your biggest and proudest moment in music so far?
Touring in the United States and almost dying from eating beef jerky and American breakfasts!
– And when did you both first encounter electronic music? What was it about the sound that so appealed to you?
She was sitting next to me during my first day of primary school. When my ears met her sound I loved her instantly but didn’t understand how to start a conversation. I was sweating and probably smelling too. My hair was ridiculous and my mum had me wearing embarrassing clothes. She wanted the teachers to see me as handsome and smart, but this just made my classmates think I was a nerd. The funny part is now I sit in a studio all alone on Friday nights…thanks mom!
My first attempt to connect with this beautiful sound was when she dropped her pencil and it rolled toward my feet. The subtle beat was like a bass drum around my head. I picked it up, handed it to her, and stared for 30 second sweating before letting go.
I didn’t talk to her until a discotec 5 years later!
– How did growing up in Italy influence your sound?
Near me everyone goes out to eat on studio break. Some go to get pizza, some pasta, some vodka. I’m broke so I just eat rice at home. My sound is influenced by rice.
– A lot’s talked about the Italian scene in the early to mid-’90s. Did you have much experience of that time? Do a lot of people say it was better then? Do you care?
In the mid 90s I was too busy watching Rugrats and Batman to think about electronic music. And I still am but since my television broke I watch Cubase.
– What’s your take on the scene there now? Do you DJ much in your hometown, for example?
The scene is actually great as long as your name starts with Richie and ends with Hawtin. I DJ sometimes around here but often it consists of a promoter calling and offering a small pizza for a 6 hour set. Most Saturdays I eat rice, play keys, and watch reruns of the X-Files.
– What are the best and worst things about the Italian scene then?
The best thing is the food before and after the show. The worst thing is the promoters (most of them) and the zombies who come for booze and bitches but not bass lines.
– So how long have you been producing? Can you tell us a bit about Siboney and how you produced it?
I made that track after a six hour drive from Rome. I was alone and only had a CD with the Mind Against single ‘The Oracle’ on repeat. When I got home, I produced Siboney… thanks Mind Against.
– And did you just send it to Alfa Romero in the hope that they’d sign it? Or had you planned it for a while?
I’ve been into the Alfa Romero crew for some time. I really dig their ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude and creative nature. I’ve always been a fan of homegrown Italian labels so often send them tunes and rice. They liked the taste of Siboney so asked for the recipe.
– What’s your favourite Alfa Romero track then? What makes it a great label in your eyes?
Betoko – Dark Side of My Mind
This probably sounds cliché, but what makes Alfa appealing to me is the people. A group of friends, a passion for dance music, and a common goal for quality design is key. In today’s music climate it’s easy to see right though fake producers and fraudulent DJs. Alfa are original gangstas and everyone knows it. What’s not to like about the truth?
– And what are your thoughts on the EDM scene in the US? Is it something you’ve encountered yet?
I like beef jerky and cheeseburgers. I don’t like Avicci but did drink for free at his WMC hotel in Miami. I’ve Djed a rave in an Iowa cornfield and drank rave juice at Ultra Music Festival. Overall, there are lots of opportunities and room for success. Don’t hate the players.
– So have you get to travel much as a DJ yet? Or is that something you’re hoping will happen soon?
I’m a wanderer and a rat. I’ve been lucky enough to be booked from Hawaii to Hungary and a few places in between. Through loads of gigs I don’t always travel on the Aoki jet. I sometime sleep on hard floors in Brooklyn and sandy beaches of Spain I stoked to be out there playing music.
– So what constitutes success for you as a producer?
Eating rice and making music every day is good for me.
– Do you run your own label also? Or any plans to?
Yes I do. I have a big ego that I hate to talk about so naturally named it Karasho Recs. It’s a perfect outlet for my experiments music, weird friends, analog pictures, and perfect masters. Like Alfa, we do everything ourselves with a small group of rats.
– And what’s next for you guys? What else is really exciting you now?
Making music until March then going back to America to eat beef jerky.
Interview by James Hopkins
Alfabox01 (featuring Karasho’s ‘’Siboney’’) is out now on Alfa Romero Recordings