Italians do it better, said once a famous popstar. Whilst it’s difficult to say if this sentence has some sort of foundation (and if Italians really deserve all the praise heaped on them), many artists from the Bel Paese surely have something to say when it comes to techno.
Italian techno has a very peculiar imprint: a well-defined mix of powerful beats and dreamy delicate soundscapes seems to be the ideal balance that many producers chase with their sonic crafts.
A tradition in hypnotic techno that comes from the teachings of maestro Donato Dozzy, Giorgio Gigli or Dino Sabatini (just to name a few) and that has given, in the recent years, some of the best results with artists like Neel, Retina.it, Alan Backdrop, Luigi Tozzi, Adiel, Primal Code, Laertes or Shaded Explorer.
This doesn’t want to be a list about artists that our readers already know though. At Monument, we pride ourselves on discovering the best that the techno scene has to offer: that’s why we dug deep into the matter to bring you five rising stars that you will want to keep eyes and ears on.
SR60 is the project by Naples-based producer Giuseppe Mascia, who is also part of the noise and electronic duo Amklon.
His techno is dark and penetrating, a unique mix of meditative and transcendental atmospheres with noisy and abrasive sounds. His album Leave is a great example of this and it was released last October on Berlin label Metzger Therapie.
Listen to Gray Rabbit and get lost in the darkness.
As the majority of great creative minds, many musicians have decided to leave Italy to find better opportunities abroad.
This is the case for Aural, Berlin-based artist who uses Bio Data Sonification to create music through plants. Producing music that becomes art installation, the producer works with the inner activities of leaves and the electrical impulses of different types of plants, amplifying and converting them into MIDI signal, which trigger synthesizers.
His album Sonic Metamorphosis was out last month and it’s pure delight for the ears. Listen to Eternal Flame (Calathea Crocata).
Someone goes, someone stays and those who stay, often manage to create great things for their country.
This is the case for Münch, founder and resident at Acquario, a self-financed project, born in the cultural hub of the association Masada, in Milan. Acquario describes itself as “a safe and vibrant world, in which getting lost for hours in slow and wild movements, sounds and harmonies from the abyss” and has booked some of the best names of techno so far.
Münch released his track Note on ЛаBа, the second VA on independent label End of Perception. The concept of the album is a reflection on the elements of fire and lava and sees the contribution of known artists of the likes of Deepbass and Ness, alongside rising talents Primal Code, ALPI and Jacopo Bacci.
Sardinia has always been a special place for techno. Ness, Claudio PRC, Astronomy Domine, Andrea Cossu and WMMT are all originally from this enchanted island and it somehow shows in their unique techno signature.
Essē is a Sardinian artist who moved to Milan in 2009, when he began his career in the world of sound engineering. His techno is deep and hypnotic, with influences from dub and minimal. He has produced music for labels such as Black Chrysalis Archives and Forevergreen LTD FM & LTD.
In 2017 he released on Circular Limited his EP Alabaster, from which we listen to powerful track Granite.
Originally from Rome, Flaminia has built a style characterised by melancholic melodies and broken beats. Founder of Way to Die Records and of Metempsychosis Records together with Italian artist End Train, she has played in some of the best clubs of the world such as Tresor in Berlin, Cafe Gallery in Tbilisi, Ooze in New York and many more.
She is based in London, where she has played at Printworks, Corsica Studios and Village Underground thanks to her residency at Superstition party.
Listen to Fear of Fire, first track of her latest EP Illusion in Fire out in June last year.
It’s hard to say what makes Italian techno so special, but we want to see one of the reasons in these words by Donato Dozzy, recently interviewed for Berlin interview podcast series Air:
“The places that I love the most are surrounded by plants and environments that smell any sort of thing, in a good way. (…) On the same hand, it has to do probably with the food that we eat. It has so much personality, so much character that of course shapes what you do.”
(cover picture by Cristina Gottardi)