– How’s Marasco at the moment? Aside from music, what’s been keeping you busy?
Life in general! I wish I had a “normal” life…or maybe not..;-) I think I’ll get bored quick. Family, the ocean and doing what I love.
– So, your latest EP, The Effect, is about to drop on Surface. Can you tell me a bit about the thinking behind it?
I did the first release on Surface, CLOUDY EP with rmx from Dj Sneak, Halo(H-Foundation) and Danilo Vigorito. It was a great success, the vinyl is constantly out of stock in the major record store.…! Speaking with Halo I was ready for the next EP on the label and I worked on The Effect. Still a tech sound, but with some groovy synths and pads and maybe a bit of “soul” in it?
– You’ve drafted in some really interesting remixers. How did those guys come about?
Just ideas and I always loved their sound. I like to have people remixing my records that I actually like and not because of a politics or sales kind of prospective.G-Man and Carola Pisaturo have a really good particular sound and this is why I choose them.
– Why is Surface the perfect place for your music? Do they share a similar vision to you musically?
Yes, we do. Same ideas, same music direction. H-Foundation is an icon for dance music by my point of view and I have all their past releases; it’s an incredible pleasure to work with them and their label. We work well together, I also did some other remixes on the label and our connection is pretty solid.
– And what sort of music did you grow up with in Italy? When were you first introduced to electronic music?
Since a little kid. I’m originally from Napoli, south of Italy and I moved to the USA when I was really young. In our city music rules, any type of music; from folk to rock, to etnhic to house and techno We have some amazing artists from our city such as Danilo Vigorito, Marco Carola, Joseph Capriati, Riva Starr, Rino Cerrone and more more…I’m so sorry I cannot name you all…but it will be a never ending list!
– Do most Italian kids go through a stage of listening to house and techno music then? Can you explain why the sound is so popular in the country?
I think in Italy we had lots of artists they made it …let’s say…”big”? this is how we say it?…lol..So consequently people are getting this kind of sound and they become fan of this sound. Also in the 90’s Italy was the country were all the historic house music American artists were booked, from Louie Vega to Todd Terry, Quentin Harris, Frankie Knuckles RIP, etc.etc…and these people had so much music influence on that generation. This made it easy for the clubbers and for whoever want it to get close to become a dj/producer. Every weekend there is some great club-party or festival going on with lots of people attending.
– A lot of Italians have made waves internationally over the years, with Marco Carola and Davide Squillace just two names that spring to mind. Have you been a fan of theirs for some time?
Marco for sure. We know each other since pretty much 20years and I respect him as an artist and as a friend. He is always been more then available.We go pass the music I think knowing each other for so long.
I do not know Davide that well, I see he is doing nice things in his career and I wish him the best. There are many others such as Luca Bacchetti, Joseph Capriati, Danilo Vigorito, Tuccillo, and so many others.
– How would you sum up your sound to those that don’t know?
Groovy? with a tech influence?…this sound right….;-) I do not really know, I just try to do music that I like and I actually can play.
– You live in Hawaii, now. Weather aside, what’s the best thing about living there? Do they ‘get’ house music like they do in Europe and mainland US?
Nature, real life. You are not sucked into a frenetic way of living; I came here about 20 years ago since I could not stand anymore cement and industrialization around me. It was too much, everything was about this. Now when I go back to Europe I feel it’s getting worse, but that is me and I’m nobody to judge anything. I just like real things., values, I believe in friendships and so on. I believe that here you can separate yourself and lead a kind of real life . I live pretty much in the Jungle, the closest town is 40minutes away and the ocean is 10minutes away. I have a dehumidifier in the studio for my gear! It rains a lot where I live, but as soon as I jump in the car and I drive for a couple of miles the sun shines @ its best!.Best thing here are the Hawaiians, real ones. And obviously the ocean.
– How has your sound changed over the years? Has Hawaii affected how you make music?
Little bit. Let’s say it made my music little more organic? I also work during the day….and not @ night like most of my friends in Europe. I can’t be in the studio too late! so…around 4-5 pm here I’m maybe on skype with someone in Ibiza, Barcelona or Berlin! I feel that here I have time and I’m out of the rushed life and I release records when I’m sure that I like it 100% and that I have played it for a while as well as having my closest friends play it also.
– I noticed that you’re very interested in surfing too. Are there any parallels between your two favorite hobbies?
Well….I made surfing my job and now I’ve also made music my job. It is nice to do what you love in life and also have a passion for while being able to make a living from it, and this is the best advise I can give to to anyone; do what you love and things will happen. Also for me they go well together, I’m usually dreaming about waves to surf…and sound waves in the studio…;-).
– You even worked with Rudy Love from Sly & The Family Stone before. What was that like!?
Really amazing! wow…you did some research!…hahhahah….Well, being in the studio with someone at that level it makes you understand lots of things. He is a super available person, down to earth and ready to rock. HawaBiza is a project I have together with Tuccillo and Gretchen Rhodes, something particular, something more musical…and this is why we did it with Rudy. We re-styled one of Rudy’s song from 1984 called “ANIMAL” We also had a live performance @ the WMC 2009 in Miami @ the Shelborne Hotel during the Ovum Party…
– And do you still make music with Tuccilo?
Not since 2011. We created HawaBiza (Hawaii and Ibiza) and we had 2 releases, then we both got super busy with our solo projects. Also the distance does not help….we talk all the time, we are very good friends and we will surely do another Hawabiza soon, it will need to happen organically.
– What about getting over to Europe to DJ and surf. Is that something you get to do often?
Yes I do. Usually summers I’m there, and again this summer 2014. Last summer we were off in ASIA we had a full tour in Bali, Djakarta, Bangkok, H/K etc.etc and we spent 5 weeks there. So no time for Europe….but this summer we are there! there is Not much surfing in Europe during the summer, so….music and family! I had a great winter here, lots of waves..;) a good break will help.
– What are some of the most important lessons you have learnt when it comes to production over the years?
ooohh man…some good ones!! you are never done, this is the lesson number one. THere is always something else you will learn in the next day and things will sound better. I think it’s a never ending learning curve, there is so much to absorb. The more time you spend working on it the better you become. And working together with other people also helps since you can share methods, workflow, etcetc.
– Are you a hardware or software guy? How often do you get to the studio?
Both, 50/50. I use some good plug-ins and I have a bunch of hardware, old school. I also have some some new hardware that doesnt sound bad at all. I like machines, but there is lots to learn. I’m in the studio pretty often, almost everyday.
– What are your long term goals music wise? Are there any artists or labels you’d really like to work with?
I want to keep doing music as long as I can, this is what I want, and I believe if you do good music, things will happen. Yes, maybe I’m a bit Roots-y…;-)…but this way of thinking always worked in my life in everything I did. There are lots of artists I respect that I’m currently in touch with for my releases. Hopefully some other good things will happen but I will keep working and do my own thing. Challenge, this is the best thing you can ask for.
– What’s next for you on a personal and music level?
I have some new rmx coming out on different labels, couple more Ep and working on a deal with a couple of different booking agency in the USA. Living in Hawaii is a bit hard because of various things such as the price of air fare etc…but It will all comes together as it always has.
I also created a new project with Gretchen Rhodes called “Embassy of Joy” we already have a release signed and it will come up by the end of the summer, can’t say too much right now!