The Noisemaker (Riccardo Piovesan) is an Italian producer, DJ and art student with roots originating from the early 20th century “Futurismo” Movement. Recently he also launched his own label as a platform for his combined visual and live act Last Riot. In the midst of this, we caught up with Riccardo as we exchanged words while acquiring an interesting mix compiled by the talented artist.
“The Noisemaker”, what is the story behind this name?
Well… That was a long story! It all started when I was 14 years old and influenced by my older brother. I was fascinated by Electronic music. At that time, I did a lot of research within the roots of this incredible music scene. I walked trough the very beginning and I finally discovered the wonderful movement from early 1900 called Futurismo. It’s an Italian avant-garde movement focusing on different fields of arts including painting, sculpture, graphic, music, architecture etc.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti launched the movement in 1909 with his Futuristic Manifesto, but then I personally focused on another big minded man called Luigi Russolo. This man was the very first theorizing to make music with noises; he also built his own experimental music instrument called Intonarumori. His theories were based mainly on these new kinds of noises in contemporary compositions. So basically my name comes from there! “Intonarumori”, this Italian word means something like “Noisemaker”.
You first encountered electronic music as a young teenager, what kind of music were you listening to at that time?
I remember well the very first record i bought was Surrender by Chemical Brothers. It was a mix between 90s Techno and electronic music in general. It was in 1999; I remember that day like it was yesterday. I also had a lot of tapes recorded in parties during 1990 to 2000. When I say “a lot” I mean like hundreds of tapes from all over my region, and sometimes coming from all over Italy. In that period having a tape from a big DJ from a party was such a satisfaction. They were mainly House and Techno records.
Are you inspired by genres of music other than Techno?
From what I remember. from the beginning I always stayed in line with my first passion; Electronic music with all it’s facades. I can also say that I love an Italian singer and composer called Franco Battiato. He’s considered “Pop” but probably not many people knows that he was one of the pioneer for Electronic Experimentation in Italy. He has always been confronted with many musical styles, combining them in an eclectic and original approach.
Other big inspirations are Massive Attack or Tricky or even Mogwai. Back in the days i loved Joy Division and the French composer Erik Satie. But I think they are all connected more or less with a contamination of electronic music. There are a lot, almost impossible to remember them all!
You have made a name for yourself as a producer, but you also play as a DJ. Does any of these skills surpass one over the other?
I started as a DJ mixing my first records at the age of 14. After that came production and then live performing.
If I remember correct, I approached first productions softwares starting from 16 or 17 years old. Then I had a period focusing a lot on production and I started collecting analog gear as well. I don’t wanna say that one surpass the other, but for sure there are periods where I focus more on one but not leaving aside the other. At the moment I consider both very important for me. As a vinyl collector I will never stop buying them and of course, I will never stop bringing ideas and putting them into music.
Tell us about your latest release on Raw Waxes, did it do as well as you expected?
Releases on the Raw Waxes label are always nice. I always felt at home with them and I was free to propose my view of a record. I think in this last EP you can see a certain maturity compared to my old tracks, even compared with those tracks DJs played the most. I’m satisfacted with the whole EP; It shows different emotions and feelings I had in a certain period of my life. As you can understand well, I tried different combinations of sounds and the A side is probably more dance floor oriented, while B side is mostly trippy.
When it comes to composition, I tried to keep the hypnotic feeling that is really important to me. Another big point to consider is the amazing Artwork coming from the German Illustrator Benedikt Rugar. I think he did a great job trying to understand the feeling of the record and representing it with his touch. I Also know that the record is going pretty well on sales so at the moment I’m more than happy.
Just the names of the tracks on this release caught my attention, and after listening to the EP it sort of made sense. Was this deliberate?
Yes of course. As I mentioned earlier they represent a certain period of my life. There’s a meaning behind the whole process of naming the EP, from the title to the tracks. But I rather not go into those details.
Last Riot; tell us about this project.
Ok! Basically Last Riot was in my mind from long ago. I always wanted to have my own platform. It all started when I realized that making Techno is not the only thing I want to do as a musician. Of course I love to experiment more in this field, but I still feel some ancestral limitation that you are making music for clubs or dancers. Limitations are good sometimes but there was a period that I really felt the motivation to try something else; I wanted to Experiment more on rhythmic structure and non conventional arrangements. Probably this has something with me recently starting my studies at Academy of Fine Arts. There I found a lot of really good teachers and I truly opened my mind even more.
From first experimentations with audio and video came out this project called “OX”; OX because I always been fascinated by the perfection of Astrology aesthetic mixed with Mathematics; OX in a certain way reminds me a kind of space coordinates. From those first experimentation born initially an audio/video installation and later an audio/video live set that I had the opportunity to show first during my studies, and then at Dude in Milan and in a contemporary Art Festival in Slovenia this past summer. From here on I realized; I have an EP in my mind and it was sounding like nothing I did in the past. I was so happy with the result that I thought to release it by my own and then Last Riot was created. Every release on Last Riot will come with a special drawing by a friend, an Italian designer based in Berlin.
You also made a mix for The Monument Podcast, give us an overview of what you were showcasing in this set.
In the mix I recorded for Monument, I collected some of the tracks I recently have been playing most and I tried to give to the listener a slow introduction with some deep/breaky tracks continuing onto more hypnotic techno. Nothing special to say, just a listen!
Finally, what’s on your agenda for the near future. Anything in specific we should be on the lookout for?
Then I recently focused a lot on the Last Riot label and finalizing the OX Ep. Most of the people didn’t know but there s a lot of work under a label. From taking care about planning, dealing with press plant and distributor to doing some kind of promotion in order to promote your records to the right audience. I will also continue making Techno, and at the same time continuing my personal research on more experimental sounds like I did with OX.
I recently moved to Berlin so I will for sure continue touring around Europe and on. For the nearest future I will be DJing again here in Berlin at the end of the month followed by an audio/video live set of OX that will take place in Italy for Nordic Frames 2.0. It’s held in a wonderful location called Spazio Aereo; I cannot deny that I am really looking forward to open the night for such a big artist like Byetone!