In a world devoted to exploring the archetypes of robotic embraces, true tastemakers dedicate their lives to tell stories using the many dialects of modern machinery. Francesco “VSK” Visconti is an Italian Techno DJ and producer, born in Rome and now based in Berlin. He is known as a tastemaker who consistently strives to bend the rules and create newer ways to communicate through tone. There is a great deal of hype surrounding the birth of his brand new label “VSK Series” which will release it’s first VA on the 14th of this month. Please enjoy an informative interview with the legendary creator: VSK.
1. Your work highlights the importance of technology, while still embracing the beauty of imperfection within human nature. How long have you been storytelling.
Thank you for the amazing introduction and you are definitely right to notice the importance of technology and imperfection in my works, both of these aspects are really essential to me. It wasn’t very easy for me at the beginning. I’ve been hooked to Techno since I was teenager and have spent years just djing, and I’ve always felt the need to give my own contribution to this musical genre – but for a long time I wasn’t ready for it. In my mind I had a lot of mental restrictions according to building my own sound (and actually i’m still often fighting with them). I was almost 20 years old when I started producing, but it took me 5/6 years to release my first tracks, it was 2010 on CRS. I want to tell you that “Storytelling” is a very appropriate term to describe what i would love to communicate with my productions and also with my Dj sets. Techno has to be a journey for me and I love to be the storyteller of this trip.
2. What are some rituals you need to stay accustomed to in order to be inspired.
Personally, I love to listen to music to be inspired. When I discover a great new track or a new artist that I like, it immediately gives me the desire to produce music. My production process has changed a lot over the past years, there are different steps before I actually start working on a track. There are periods I spend days just making samples, sounds and creating synth patches. With making sound i mean: field recording with the Sony PCM, or jamming with my Modular system and synthesizers. Once I’m done with this process, organizing the sound folders for style and genre is a ritual for me. It really helps me to reach a good result with the tracks themselves, and I find this habit also very relaxing.
3. Italy carries arguably some of the most profound styles of tone this world has to offer. What do you love most about your homeland.
Italy is a unique place and Italian people are special. The diversity and beauty of the landscape is definitely the thing i love the most about my country. This diversity brings a lot of charming and varied attitudes in the population; The hospitality and warmth of the people, as well as proper organizational skills, are distinguishing features of my fellow citizens, and this combination is something I can’t help but love about my homeland. I find the long Italian history, from the ancient Roman empire, to the Renaissance, until the birth of the Republic, really interesting and significant; it has always offered a very prolific environment for the setting of various kinds of art, literature and culture, which have been fascinating the entire word. As a Techno and electronic music lover, I’m a great fan of the Italian Futurism movement. And last but least, the food culture!
4. What kinds of music were you listening to while you were growing up. In other words, what styles and/or artists have helped sculpt your creative image.
As i was a teenager I used to listen to Hip-Hop, like Wu-tang Clan, Big L, Run DmC and also the Italian rap like Dj Gruff, Ice One e Colle der fomento, but the first big love has been for Massive Attack with the album “Blue lines” and Radiohead with “Kid A”, who brought me to discover electronic music, like Aphex Twin and Square Pusher (I still remember a concert for “SQ” in Rome in 2003 in front of Stazione Termini, it was amazing), and from these influences generated my interest and passion for djing. Talking about techno, Marco Carola and his work on Zenit, Question and One Thousand, as well as the whole techno movement from Naples (as Gaetano Parisio, Vigorito and many more), were the first vinyls that I bought. I’ve been also a great fan of Richie Hawtin and Adam Bayer for years, around 2005/2010. The concept and the first releases of Minus Rec were really fresh at that time. DE9 transition was something that has strongly changed my vision of djing.
5. Tell us more about your new label “VSK Series” – What was the creative approach to the imprint. Also, what differences can we expect from your last imprint “CRS” to your new imprint.
CRS was the first project of my artistic carrier and I started this label with Conrad Van Orton and Vilix. I’m still happy about what we did with the label, but after almost a decade of production I felt the need to create something new and also completely mine, that would represent the experience I’ve achieved over the years. I’m not just talking about my sounds, but also about my general vision of electronic music. The graphic concept of the label is really important for me, with CRS, I was a bit confused, but now I’m really happy to work from the beginning with a close friend and an amazing visual artist, Samuele Malfatti. On this aspect, he will give to VSK series a strong character. So the main difference from the old label is that now I’m feeling more confident about what I’m doing.
6. Can you speak more about the specific artists you’ve chosen to introduce on VSK Series’ first release?
My view of Techno is a futuristic sound; it can be really hard, or deep and hypnotic, but it needs to represent the modernity and it needs to be mental. All the artists involved in this release represent this concept, with their own styles of course. Kwartz and Ansome, for example, are completely different producers, but personally, they are related to the same “futuristic” idea, as Flaminia and Jabloski also are. All of them pay special attention to sound design, experimentation of peculiar sounds, and hypnotic grooves. I play in some tracks from them in every set and I’m extremely honored that they accepted to be part of this release.
7. The last EP on “CRS” belongs to Michal Jablonski, and now you two have made the opening track on the new label. Could you tell us more about this collaboration?
Me and Michal have been friends for years, I love his music and I respect him a lot as an artist. We share a lot of personal opinions about music and new releases, and I think we have a similar way to produce. When I’ve decided to release this VA, I wanted to offer something “new” than the usual VSK work, so I took this chance to ask Michal to produce a track with me, and of course I would like this collaboration to continue. The last CRS LTD release was from Michal, so I also liked the idea to make the opening track of this new journey with him.
8. What are your plans for the future of VSK Series.
“Equilibrio Volume 1” is like a presentation of the label, so it s just the beginning. The first target I’d like to achieve is to build a specific sound, as well as a roaster of artists with whom I share the same vision of electronic music and techno. After this VA I’m going to release my Ep on the label, and it will be a really important step to show what I want to communicate with VSK Series.