We are back with Under The MEOKO Microscope feature alongside a very exciting name – Giammarco Orsini. The Italian artist first enriched his musical culture in Italy where he grew up, influenced by the grooves of the 90’s. He further developed his musical identity by spending countless hours of discovering and playing vinyls. Soon enough, Giammarco started showcasing his talents to a wider audience and his first forays into DJ culture happened in Pescara, where he became resident DJ at Zu::Bar, thus kickstarting his career. Havinh many gigs there increased his notoriety in the local scene and allowed him to meet other inspiring talents, pushing him to start producing and to create his own imprint “Heko Records” – the label behind Pancratio’s stand out EP “Pancratio 1”. As well as bringing new producers like Pancratio to the fore, Giammarco Orsini is also behind a number of successful releases himself, his four-tracker « Game of chance » on Partisan an undeniable dancefloor favourite. His move to the German capital further cemented his profile, leading to gigs alongside big names such as Ricardo Villalobos, John Dimas and Shonky to name a few. He is a regular at venues such as Club der Visionäre and Watergate but still finds the time to play in his home country at the famous Goa Club. He has recently got back from a tour in America, and we are happy to learn more about the Italian « Enfant Prodigue ». We caught up with this talent in an interview, so let’s get into this and check his exclusive MEOKO mix.
Hi Giammarco, we are really happy to have you for the new edition of Under the MEOKO Microscope, thank you for taking the time for us.
Hi Guys, I’m happy to be on board and thank you for inviting me for this special feature.
1. How old were you when you started playing music and which influences made you want to be the DJ you are today ?
I started around 14, I was buying all different kinds of music and in the beginning my focus was just improve my technique.
I was mixing from Hip Hop to House and Techno and I was trying to understand the differences between genres and how to mix them. Slowly i started to look more for some specific subgenres that sounded more interesting to my ears like progressive house mixed with breakbeat to get into minimal techno or house lately but basically I was just surfing between genres.
During this process I started to realize what I really liked in the music so I started to produce my own music which helped me to understand which elements in one track are more interesting to me and in general what I feel more in the tracks I play.
2. Did the fact growing up in Italy have any impact on the music you play now, on your inspirations from when you started? Italy have a good history of house music and your selection has always been eclectic, are the 90s Influences still something you explore and re-discover for your sets or even your productions ?
Growing up in Italy has of course had big impact as it’s in my roots and it’s where I found the inspiration of to play and make music. Even now my sets are full of those records that were released in the late 90s. I think it’s amazing to discover old records that still sound relevant now but to bring them back under a new light and to a new audience.
3. Your productions range from the groovier sounds on Heko Records to a more minimalistic style on Partisan. How would you describe the differences in your approach when producing on different labels?
I always do different styles of music, blending my influences all together to evolve my sound. I think the Partisan EP for example it’s a crossover between my Italian roots and the influences I got here in Berlin.
For example when we chose the tracks, we started from the A2 Divenire and it was just a spontaneous decision to build an EP that reflected my style paired with my evolution and the same time that also fit well on the label.
Same thing happened with the EP on Elephant Moon. You always start from one or two tracks that take the attention of the A&R and then you build an EP trying to find the right balance between your sound and the sound of the label.
4.How did your moving from Italy to Berlin affect you ? Is it an incisive moment in your music career ?
It was a key moment not only in my career but in my life in general. I realized how much I wanted to dedicate myself to the music and Berlin is the place where many artist live and work so being here gave me the opportunity to meet other producers or go to hear DJ’s that I usually wouldn’t have an opportunity to hear play very often. It’s also amazing for record shopping and there are many chances to collaborate with other artists as this city really encourages that community feeling.
In general you get inspired from this whole thing, parties are happening every day of the week and all of this inspire me and make me more productive but still I needed time to establish myself in the city and get into my new life rhythm.
Obviously you have to be focused on your objective otherwise one of the common side effects that I see around is you can lose easily yourself in a black hole of permanent partying.
5. You play often alongside John Dimas, you also just made an EP on his Label Elephant Moon, how did you met and how is his music important to you? Do you plan to work together on any other upcoming releases ?
I met John Dimas a few years ago in Italy during one night in San Benedetto del Tronto and he played 80% of records that I used to play! I was so impressed because I was already a big fan of his music but I never saw him DJing before that night.
Since that day we’ve always been in contact and especially when I moved to Berlin we became closer. Actually we’re also working on some music together but we don’t have a release date scheduled yet.
6. You play often at the famous Goa club in Rome together with Fabrizio Sala ,how can you describe the music scene in Italy compared to Berlin ?
Goa Club is a legendary club which has shaped electronic music in Italy over the last 20 years and I’m really grateful to get the chance to play there regularly along with Fabrizio for the party Nozoo.
In Italy there is always something going on, club culture is still alive and well and especially in the last few years a lot of new promoters started to support underground events and this gave the opportunity to small artists to get booked.
I don’t think it’s really possible to compare the two scenes. There are too many cultural differences that generate a totally different approach. For instance, the amount of events that are going on in Berlin every weekend don’t exist in any city of Italy or in general in any other city in Europe. I think the club culture here has another weight compared to Italy and the other countries in Europe.
People come to Berlin from all over the world specifically to go to parties and listen to electronic music. They call it Techno Tourism actually! This doesn’t mean that Berlin is better but it’s just a place where the culture is more developed and accepted into the social system.
7. Do you feel the club experience is shaped by cultural differences? When travelling, do you take cultural differences into consideration? How far is your approach as a DJ benefited in different countries and in different crowds?
I think the club culture is definitely shaped on the cultural system. It’s a process that is evolving in every country in it’s own way and it changes with the generations.
From my experience as DJ I have observed that in countries like Italy or Spain you always have to bring a certain amount of energy to the dancefloor. Parties are shorter and in general you have to do your best in a smaller time frame as opposed to countries like Germany, Russia or Belgium where the parties are longer, the music is more hypnotic and you have more time to play something special that you cannot do in just a 2 hour set.
I have recently been, for the first time, to Panama and I was so impressed with how the crowd reacted to the music, they were dancing and enjoying every minute till the lights came on. Everything seemed new for them and they were really open to hear records that would be a bit more challenging to play everywhere. The same happened in Austin, Texas as well which was a nice surprise!
8.How do you prepare your set from venue to venue and country to country?
Obviously I try to collect as much music as possible to be ready to play for different crowds. I check my set time and what kind of party it is and if I’ve never been there I like to do a little research so I can be as prepared as possible.
I pack my bags with the thought of always trying to bring a bit of everything because in the end you never know what is going to happen there and sometimes you have to be ready to adapt to some lineups changes or just to play in front of less people. However, in general if I play an afterhour or a warm up I’ll always bring something deep and if I play peak time, something more energetic.
For me it’s just really important to be aware of what’s happening in the club around you and try to play the right records while staying true to your style. It’s nice to be able to express yourself and educate the crowd a little but also people want to have fun so you have to always keep that in mind.
Thank you again for your time and the very energetic podcast you recorded for us, we look forward to hearing more exciting news from you !
Thank you guys for this nice interview, I hope to see you soon in London or somewhere else!
Words by: Natascha Kramer