Monday, June 23, 2014

anatomy 25 - alan backdrop

alan backdrop has returned! and so has the mix series after a long hibernation...

(photo by ross)

as tuned-in readers and listeners might recall, i connected with alan backdrop, aka alessio, sometime around early 2011. he crafted the ninth anatomy mix, a lovely three-hour trip called anecumene. he's gotten steadily busier since then, and in 2013 a diverse range of his tracks were issued through a handful of labels, highlighted by his first vinyl credits and a long digital release for prologue (which i reviewed over on RA). on top of that, he's had some notable dj gigs recently, including two in london as well as his debut at tresor in berlin.

i'm really happy to welcome alessio back and have him taking care of anatomy 25, as it marks a nice milestone for the series. this mix is (unsurprisingly) shorter than his prior effort, but no less captivating. first, let's have a chat:

Hello Alessio! It has been a little over three years since we shared anatomy 09. What's up?
Hello Brian! Three years already... time flies so fast! Many changes occurred during this period, some positive, some not so positive. But in the end, I'm happy with what happened. And now I'm really excited to release the second podcast on smilecoldanatomy, the portal where I released my first podcast ever.

You seemed to be very busy releasing music last year, including a digital EP on Ekar Records along with your first vinyl EPs, for Motoguzzi and Enklav. How did you connect with those labels?
Yes, it was the year where one of my biggest dreams took shape. I finally experienced the emotion of putting a cartridge on vinyl and hearing my own music. For sure, one of the most exciting moments in my life. Actually the really busy year, where I produced a lot of music, was 2012. I spent a lot of time experimenting and trying to find a personal sound. During this process, a lot of tracks came out. Some of them, for obvious reasons, were released in the following year. So, I consider 2013 as the result of 2012.

I have known Motoguzzi Records through Cio D'Or's release "Kimono." Since I liked what they were proposing lately, I decided to send some demos. Gianmarco, the label owner, liked my music. So we started to plan. For Enklav Records, I met Dario (Chevel) at a friends reunion/course for analog instruments in Venice. We introduced each other. Then, things happened automatically. I really liked what he was doing with his label, so, when he proposed a vinyl release for me, I enthusiastically accepted.

Coming to Ekar Records, I have to say I'm really in love with that project. It was started by my dear friend and fellow countryman Enrico (Air Protection Office). We always respect and support each other, in music and in life. The collaboration was inevitable.

Of course, last year you also made your debut on Prologue with the seven-track digital release VR Plan. Tell us about VR Plan, and your connection with Prologue.
Prologue! Of course my biggest attainment. I started to buy their releases since the first one. Some of them marked my life and my path. Same for the artists who release on this label. So, you can imagine what it means for me. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few messages with Tom [label owner Tom Bonaty] a long time ago after he listened to a mix I recorded at my place. I think he kept an eye on me since that moment. I don't know exactly how, I just know that some years later he proposed for me a digital release on Prologue. I was shocked! We were supposed to release 3-4 tracks, but, since things were long to organize, I kept sending new tracks. "VR Plan" is the result of the selections we made.

How has being signed for appearances on those labels changed your approach to production? Or has it not changed?
It didn't change so much. Of course I feel a bit of "sense of responsibility," but I want to continue to make music freely. And luckily, I collaborate with labels which allow me to do that.

Can you choose one track that you are happiest to see released on vinyl?
Ramas. [youtube link]

Tell us about your recent gigs. And how was your debut at Tresor?
Recently I had a special night playing at Crime Room in Lecce. It was my first time in the south of Italy and I have to say it was really comfortable. People are so warm and hospitable... it was one of the moments where I felt proud to be Italian. The organizers put their soul and their heart in what they do and you can feel it, you can breath it. The atmosphere was really positive and people were dancing so spontaneously. So, what ask more? It was perfect.

The following night I played at my beloved UndiciZerouno in Mestre. Since it's organized by really close friends (The Noisemaker, Modes, Paola Donadi) and it takes place in the province of Venice, I can say I'm home. I missed that feeling. I had the chance to play a relaxing warm-up. Then, I really enjoyed the other sets from my friends and Stanislav Tolkachev, then in the morning I played back-to-back with The Noisemaker. Absolutely amazing! It was only the second edition, but there's an intention to start again in September. I'm so excited.

Last weekend I played at Dazed & Confuzed in London. It was the first anniversary of the party and I was so honored to be in the lineup with outstanding artists. I get goosebumps thinking about the atmosphere of the party and the music... I was totally amazed by DJ Pete's set. I couldn't stop smiling and saying to my friends "He is a monster." Then, when the sun has set, Marco Shuttle started a deep and hypnotic journey… damn, what a party! I could spend so many words, but I couldn't express the feelings I had.

My debut at Tresor was great. I was the first one on the running order, so, I had the chance to build the atmosphere inside the club before the door opening. I'm an emotional person, so this helped me to relax. I enjoyed every moment and every person who got in the club and came to the dancefloor. Plus, a lot of my dear friends were there, beside me. It was a really special night. About the performance... there's always more to learn! But I'm pretty happy because the people were following my set dancing and smiling. That's what I need when I spin records.

What's next on the music front for Alan Backdrop? (new releases, gigs, etc)
I confirmed a new release for Ekar Records. We are planning everything and it will be out really soon. I will play two sets (ambient and techno) at Freqs Of Nature Festival in Germany between the 4th and 6th of July. Then, I'll be in Belgium on the 27th of July for the Huismuziek party at Warehouse O'cool with Synthek.

Finally, tell us about this mix!
Since I know smilecoldanatomy allows me to be totally free, I decided to record a predominantly ambient/soundscape mix, imagining landing on a mysterious island, walking through it for some days, feeling all the emotions it gives you, and then, going back to the boat and leaving. I hope you enjoy the journey!

and that's that. 70 minutes of lush, patiently building, increasingly rhythmic ambient sounds. all in all another excellent contribution from alessio, and (i think) a good way to get the series moving again here. thanks to alessio for returning and doing a fantastic job with anatomy 25. it's been a pleasure getting to know him, and i'm happy to see his music reaching wider audiences. you can keep track of him on facebook and RA.

oh, and thanks to all the artists who have joined the fun here over the years, and to anyone who's ever found anything of interest here. i hope you enjoy this mix!

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