Follow the deep sounds of Berlin’s underground and you’ll most likely end up in some dimly lit space listening to one of the many DJs from all over Europe and beyond, that too, followed the sounds they so passionately pursue. One of those inhabitants is Italian born Saverio Celestri, who can be seen spinning old house and techno records into the early afternoons. A lover of old gems, Saverio is an old soul trapped in his young 21 year old self. You can hear it in his music as he combines the old with his modern skills and fresh ideas. A DJ and a producer, Saverio started playing music to a crowd at the age of 14, and saved up money from a part time job to buy the necessary equipment to start producing, where he released his first track at the age of 16. Today, Saverio belongs to a lovely catalogue of labels such as Kina Music, 1Trax, Batti Batti, nothingwithx and Slow Life. A new but already defining member of the Slow Life family and a resident of Libertine parties, Saverio is clearly going places with his sound. We caught up with his talented self in an interview, while he also provided us with an exclusive MEOKO mix!
You started DJing at the age of 14. Is it a common age where you’re from to get involved with dance music at such a young age?
Yes, well I started to go out to clubs when I was really young cause I spent a lot of time with people older than me and would go out with them, so that’s why I got to experience it and get involved so soon. I was also going out on Sunday afternoons when, at the time, there were lots of house parties. Eventually, I began playing at them too.
Can you tell us a bit about your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspiration came when I arrived here in Belrin first of all from Zip, and later I have to give thanks to Nicolas Lutz and Bihn. They opened my eyes to a new music conception.
A classic track that will forever sound fresh no matter the time or year of the present?
I would say the track “It’s your love” from The Other People Place, a producer who is also one half of Drexciya. It was released on Warp.
There is quite some talent coming from your home, Genova! Can you describe the clubbing and dance music scene there?
I was only really born in Genova. I moved a few months after and I lived all my life in Treviso, near Venice. The clubbing scene, in my opinion, is dead. There are very few events that are trying to do something different while most others are just putting on the same DJs as they were 10 years ago without trying do it differently or create a new experience.
You have already produced an impressive collection of tracks for labels such as Kina Music, 1Trax, Batti Batti, Slowlife and nothingwithx. What was your favourite release so far and why?
I would say my favourite track is ‘Session 9’ from the EP Crossover on Batti Batti Records. Mostly because the track captures and describes clearly my mood in that period of time. It was when I had just moved to Berlin.
Many of your tracks such as “Otherground” feature a male vocal. What do you think about vocals in dance music tracks, and what is a good vocal for a dance music track?
I actually don’t enjoy too much vocal in electronic music, but if it fits really well on the track then it can add a particular touch and make it special somehow!
Slow Life is a collective, and is often regarded as a family. In what ways do you feel part of the Slow Life family?
Primarily it’s purely the great friendships I have with all of them. Aside from that, they also helped me a lot to further my musical evolution from how it was before! I think of Slow Life as not just a group of DJ’s but a way of thinking. They deserve all the success that they are having now.
You have an upcoming release on Slow Life for next year. Will it be an EP exclusively produced by yourself?
Unfortunately, I can’t speak too much about this until it is released, but I can tell you that it will be a collaboration with S. Moreira. We are still working hard on it but it looks to be a really special EP!
You are playing gigs at some of Berlin’s coolest underground venues, such as Humboldthain Club, Bertrams and of course, Club der Visionaere. Which Berlin venue is your favourite to play at?
My favourite venue is definitely Club Der Visionaere. There I can express myself and my music without limits. It gives me the same feeling I have at home, playing records with my closest friends. It’s there I have found and enjoyed the best parties so far.
You are a resident of Libertine parties and played alongside some of today’s world class DJs such as Nicolas Lutz. Can you describe your relationship with this party? What makes it so special to you?
Libertine is a new concept started just this year but we are already a big family and we try to share as many of our ideas about music as possible. I will be playing for the parties in alternation with fellow Libertine residents Yoshi, Mate Pisu and Omar, who are all great friends of mine.
This summer you played a gig at a Select Elect open air event while surrounded by nature. Where exactly was the location, and how did it feel to play out in the open compared to, let’s say, dark, underground venues like the BASE MENT?
The location for the open air event was really nice, with a great nice view on to the fantastic lake! Personally, I really prefer underground clubs with not too much light, like Bertrams or Basement.
Last year you went on a South African tour. How was it? What is the clubbing scene like there?
It was a fantastic experience. I really appreciated going outside of Europe and experiencing different cultures. The Techno/Deep House scene over there is still growing, which is exciting, but there is already a really big House movement!
Any chance you’ll be making it to London any time soon? Or do you prefer to stay in Berlin at present?
Yes, actually. I am currently in contact with more than one party in London. I plan to be there to play next year 100%!
Your sets/podcasts online are quite dark and steady… Would you say your style suits the after hours of Berlin?
Mm, yes. I think you could say that. In the podcasts I do I like to play the records that I will never play at a party. I buy those records that I don’t get the chance to play in clubs and I also buy a lot of stuff I know I will I only play for myself. In a podcast, I try and mix those records that I never play with the ones that represent my true self. This way, they stand out from my live sets.
Thank you for putting together an exclusive Meoko podcast! Can you tell us about this podcast? Where did you record it and what special gems will we find?
Thank you, it was a pleasure! I recorded this podcast at home, in my place, with two turntables and nothing more. I chose some of my favourites tracks at the moment, most of them are from the 90’s!
Listen to Saverio Celestri’s Exclusive MEOKO Mix Here
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