the 8th anatomy comes from the other half of the zooloft duo, obtane!
i discovered obtane's music through a prologue sampler EP in 2009 (discussed here)... his dark, noisy, intense techno has been released via synewave, sonic groove, and stroboscopic artefacts, but his recent focus has been his own zooloft imprint, which he operates with giorgio gigli. obtane's dcast mix from a few months ago is an excellent story of rhythms from techno's future, but like giorgio's anatomy mix, obtane has even more abstract ideas in mind for his mix here, which he has named terrordrome... but more on that later. first, some discussion:
Hello, Obtane! Tell us a bit about yourself. What musicians have made the biggest impact on you? What made you want to create your own music?
Hello Brian! I'm from Italy, I was raised in a little harbour city on the Ligurian Sea, that's the north-western part. Brian Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, for sure, made the biggest impact on me. Also, some things from Jean Michel Jarre (Equinoxe and Oxygene). Later I felt a huge influence from industrial bands like Throbbing Gristle and Clock DVA. Minor influences also from EBM bands like DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses. From the Italian scene, the only band that totally captured my attention were Goblin.
I first started listening and playing records when I was 14, and after 10 years (almost always at my home), I thought I learned something so I tried to build my own first track. The result wasn't really bad, at all.
You've described your music as 'cinematic' and 'sci-fi'... what are your favorite films? How have they inspired you as an artist?
Yes, I love sci-fi and horror movies. My favourite movies ever are Metropolis, Blade Runner, The Omega Man, Deep Red and The Omen (the original one from 1976). But I'm also a big fan of so-called violent cinema. My preferences here are for Kubrick and Abel Ferrara. Also big fan of fucking weird movies and Alejandro Jodorowsky (Santa Sangre) is the master, in my opinion. I also love Pasolini films (Uccellacci e Uccellini), Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni...
When you are in the mood for non-electronic music, what do you listen to?
I generally listen to late 1970 disco, 80's funky, oldschool electro. As you see my preferences are still in the electronic side. I usually need synths, haha... Also, classical music, Schonberg and Stravinsky, and some Italian experimental music like Luigi Nono.
Tell me about Zooloft. How did it start, and where did that name come from? How is Zooloft different from the other labels you have produced for?
The name Zooloft is derived from the antidepressive Zoloft and the child isn't random since children have the most humour and the best mood. Zooloft initially started as a platform for my productions. After meeting Giorgio Gigli, I wanted him in my label as half-part. We totally changed the Zooloft design and concept to make something unique. Everything is done with precision and passion, every release that comes out is like a piece of heart from Giorgio Gigli and Obtane. Zooloft has a romantic but dystopian philosophy and it's focused on the true underground spirit of techno music. Every record tells a story and comes with a special packaging. This union between design and music is the main engine of Zooloft. Our policy could be: quality, not quantity. And here the choice is doing limited edition vinyls.
Aside from your collaborators, do you have a specific philosophy of music?
What captures my attention is dark sounds, tight, mechanical rhythms, and dystopian ideas. As I have said before, I'm very inspired by artists like Surgeon, Regis, Adam X, Function and Marcel Dettmann. I like the industrial vein in techno music and, for sure, one of my favourite synthesis is FM.
Every track of mine is constructed thinking of visions, scenarios. I can't imagine my music without a vision. When I do a track I think what I want to explain first, not the opposite. A concept, an idea behind it. Like a short movie, every sound is like a frame.
Some of your fellow Italian producers have also contributed mixes for smilecoldanatomy, and many of you have collaborated together somehow. Do you sense a unified approach to these sounds coming from the Italian underground?
Yes, definitely. I like this breed of new Italian artists and that's why I'm still in Italy. I could move outside my nation but I wanna see what will happen first. Maybe something very important is moving around... Apart from the collaboration with Giorgio Gigli, I recently did a track with Claudio PRC for Aconito Records. He's very talented and I was really satisfied of the result. I'd like to produce some tracks also with Dino Sabatini in future, his musical tastes are very close to mine.
If you had to choose your favorite records or pieces of music, what would they be, and why?
I like to play long tracks so my choices go to 2-tracker EP's. A perfect track for myself would be like Face of Smoke by Peter Van Hoesen: it's solid, powerful, dark and vengeful.
Every track I select tends to be 'sinister'. As sentimental and emotional favorites, I can tell the 154 album on Delsin. It's very touching, a true masterpiece. As tearjerkers I also have to mention the Forever Delayed album on Islands & Islets. Then the Philip Jeck album An Ark For The Listener.
Zooloft's output has been primarily through vinyl, but digital versions have been released when the records sell out... and I always like to ask artists: what do you think of the vinyl/digital debate?
I think releasing the digital version when the vinyl sells out is a good idea. I'm not a big fan of digital but it can be good if you make your digital music available on good shops like Boomkat. Of course, if you spread your releases on every mp3 store of the planet... Your music get confused, there's no target anymore, your music is sold together house and dance music: Beatport is a total mess. Too many labels, too many genres, like a record supermarket. That's a real catastrophe.
Are there any producers or labels that you are watching closely in 2011? What is the last record or track you bought?
I'm ever more into Sandwell District, I love what they're doing. But there's no a label I'm following with precise interest. I like what I hear at the moment. Some Ostgut records are great and some not for me. I bought the Einoma EP on Shipwrec, then an acidic techno vinyl named Titrology, then The Great Traitor (with Monolake remix) and the latest Oscar Mulero album.
What are you doing in 2011? I know you have a few releases coming up soon, would you like to elaborate on your plans for this year?
After the Obtane/Claudio PRC track on Aconito Records, I have a remix coming on Stroboscopic Artefacts, a track for a V.A. on a new Italian label, an Obtane/Giorgio Gigli EP on KRD Music, the new Sonic Groove EP coming in September, then I'll work on the Zooloft album with Giorgio. In the meantime, continuing with Zooloft releases. Then there will be a special collector item coming on Zooloft for Christmas 2011, but you have to be good ;)
Finally, tell us about Terrordrome.
I tried to take the thrilling perspective of some electronic tracks. I think the mood is very frightening and sinister. I was inspired by a Dario Argento movie where the character is getting stalked by a strange man. I think the music speaks itself. I alternated dark soundscapes with more rhythmic tracks. Some moments are also very noisy. Other moments are more romantic...
okay! and now, for a 100-minute walk through obtane's dark, dramatic, musical cityscape...
thanks again to obtane. i really appreciate the thought that went into this set of sounds, as well as his enthusiasm in sharing his story. to keep track of the man, check out his RA page, as well as the zooloft homepage and blog. the next zooloft record comes out in a few weeks, followed by his collaboration on aconito, to be released next month; i highly recommend checking out both. until then, enjoy this mix... terrordrome!