Manu Archeo introduced me to fellow Italian vinyl obsessive Andrea Dallera, around a year ago. At the point when Andrea was just about to launch his reissue imprint, Dualismo Sound. The label`s first release Paolo Zavallone`s Yellow Fever sold out immediately, and the second, Enrico Intra`s Insieme, did the same. Both 45s focused on the more hip / experimental side of the renowned Cinema / Pop / TV composers and arrangers. Both featuring the funky drumming of Tullio De Piscopo.
Since the world of Italian Soundtracks and Library Music is a fairly hermetic – and daunting – one to the uninitiated – and since I still want “to know everything”, I asked Andrea if he could put together a mix for Ban Ban Ton Ton. And then picked his brain for the skinny on the Boogie, Divas, Rock riffing virtuoso session players, 70s stone rollers, and Neapolitan Funk.
Where are you based?
I’m based in Vercelli, a small town in the North of Italy. I split my week between there and Torino.
How did you get into music?
I first got into Hip-Hop when I was around 13-14 years old. As I got older I started digging for the samples used my favourite joints. Getting into Italian Soundtracks, Library Music and Funk. One day I discovered my grandparents` record collection in their basement… my mind was blown and I`ve been buying records quite obsessively ever since.
How / why did you start DJing? Were you inspired by any other DJs in particular?
I was Inspired by the attitude of old school Hip Hop DJs, such as Red Alert, and by the late ‘70s / early `80s Italian Afro / Cosmic scenes created by Beppe Loda and Daniele Baldelli.
Where were your first gigs?
My first gig was in a squat in my hometown. A crazy night ahahah!
Where do you go locally to listen to music, dance, and buy records?
I’m not so into the actual club scene. I prefer going to concerts, festivals or happenings organised by the independent radio stations. For example Hydro in Biella, Jazz Re:Found in Torino, and Camp Cosmic in Germany. I normally buy records at Ultrasuoni in Torino, and in Milano at Serendeepity. I also go digging for stuff on old Italian labels.
What made you decide to start a record label?
I was inspired by the many British reissue labels, and I always liked that archeological approach to music. The type of approach that helps you to contextualise a particular historical era, for yours, or any other country. I saw that the late ’70s sound – which I love – wasn’t so explored and I decided to “step into the arena”. I was obsessed with this joint from Paolo Zavallone – Yellow Fever, my first release – and I noticed that it was quite unknown and not so easy to find. So I set out to contact the people that own the rights of Mr. Zavallone’s compositions. It took months but it was satisfying.
Will the label stay focused on Italian sounds?
Yes. Actually I’m deep in the period that goes from 1976 to 1982. There are so many gems in those old and smelly archives. In the future I`m sure I`ll to dig into other periods of Italian musical history.
Can you tell me what you have planned for the rest of 2018?
In September I’m going to drop a 12” that contains two obscure funky Space-Rock tracks by Gruppo 2001. A Sardinian Prog group. The record will be distributed by Early Distro, run by my friend Pellegrino. While waiting for the new record I will reissue the Paolo Zavallone 7” – which was a huge success. That will also be distributed by Early Distro. I’m also working on a compilation that explores the sound of a particular Italian record label of the ’70s. Hopefully the record will be in shops next summer.
Can you tell me more about music in the mix?
It`s a mix of “higher” Library Jazz Funk productions – Rigol & Atta, Quark, Enrico Intra – and some “cheesy” Disco-ish joints, that actually feature great musicians. For example see Beppe Cantarelli, the man behind The Small Pop Group. I always search for this “dualistic” approach in my sets.
In Italy, in the ’70s, experimenting was the norm. A lot of musicians – especially “institutional” musicians – used to have various side projects where they could freely create whatever they wanted. In the late ’70s you could find a Jazz maestro like Enrico Intra composing a “Sci- Fi Disco Funk” track with Tullio De Piscopo. Using just a Fender Rhodes and some heavy breaks. See Starbus. Franco Bonfanti, a television composer, going fuzzy with the Monk’s Group, which I think also included Sergio Farina. Rigol – Duilio Radici, another Jazzcat – with the conductorship of Atta creating the Jazz Funk joint, Human Strength. Paolo Zavallone was working with television orchestras, doing TV appearences and making Pop hits. But, when he joined with De Piscopo and Gigi Cappellotto – a legendary bassist, they created the masterpiece Yellow Fever. A curious fact is that I’ve recently spoken to both Zavallone and Intra for some interviews and both of them insist they it was they who discovered De Piscopo, when he was stationed in the North of Italy during his military service.
Recently I got really interested in Neapolitan Disco sounds, after hearing some mixes by local DJs such as Dnapoli and Famiglia Discocristiana. Napoli has a unique background in Italy, and it has always been the country`s “funkiest” city. It got a deep “black” influence after World War II. Probably due to the Americans on the NATO base. By the late ’70s Neapolitan musicians were playing their own Funk and Disco! In this mix you can find a Eduardo De Crescenzo joint – he’s known for his Pop music but he always had a hip side! – and a Spitfires track. I really have no idea of who they are but they were signed to a Neapolitan label, Beautiful Black Butterfly Records. The track is a cover of an American song. But their version is heavier, and with some dope synths. The Giancarlo Chiaramello tune has been described as Neapolitan Folk in a “Jazz-Funk sauce”. Chiaramello was an important TV / cinema musical director and Pop music arranger. He was born near Torino but always had a soft spot for Napoli. The Nuova Formula and Renzo Di Jaso Group tracks are perfect Camp Cosmic anthems. Stratosfera by Gruppo 2001 will be on the new Dualismo Sound release, with an exclusive edit by Pellegrino on the flipside of the 12. It`s a crazy Space Rock jam. Also check their only LP , L’alba Di Domani, which came out in 1972. I need to make a special mention of Mimmo Cristiani, the drummer for La Comune Idea – responsible for the heavy drum break on Cuore di Seprente – since he passed away recently.
Renzo Di Jaso Group – Un Disco E Noi
Eduardo De Crescenzo – Alle Sei Di Sera
Paolo Zavallone – Yellow Fever
Gruppo 2001 – Stratosfera
La Nuova Formula – Caffè Espress
Enrico Intra – Starbus
Giancarlo Chiaramello – Voce E Notte
Rigol & Atta – Human Strength
Quark – Samba Dancing
The Monk’s Group – Substance
Beppe Cantarelli – Milano Madrid
La Comune Idea – Cuore di Serpente
The Spitfires – Move Your Ass Gringo
Enrico Intra – Insieme