From Padova, a little town in Italy, Lucretio & Marieu a.k.a the Analogue Cops live from now on in Berlin. Strong defenders of the analog sound and the Vinyl Only, they are at the head of the label Restoration Records, resolutely Techno, which has become a symbol of resistance in the digital sound in …
MiXit : Hello Lucretio ! Let’s start with a traditional question : can you introduce yourself for those who don’t know you yet ?
The Analogue Cops : My name is Domenico, I come from Cadoneghe (a little village on the Brenta banks) but I have been living in Berlin for almost 10 years. I founded Restoration Records in 2007 together with Marieu and together we are better known as The Analogue Cops. We also run Appointment Records together with EMG and John Swing. I have my own label Machines State Polymers and together with Die Roh, Steve Murphy and Madì Grein I run Muscle Records, with which we spread the sound of Brenta. Together with Marieu we have many different side projects as Third Side (with Steffi) and Parassela (with Blawan). We run another bunch of almost secret independent labels and recently with mister Mannella and
Francesco de Vincenti a.k.a. Gasolio we launched Pic Nic Recording, a label related with the infamous italian imbiss in front of the Gorli Park.
MiXit : Was music present in your childhood in Italy ? How did it influence you ?
The AC : I think the first cd I bought, when I was 13, was a compilation of mainstream dance music including tracks from the Prodigy, Datura, the Outer Brothers, and so on. I was listening that kind of music for a while, then I started to listen to punk, grunge and thrash metal. my favourite bands were Sex Pistols and Pantera. I began to listen to club music when I was 16 and my older friends from my hometown started
to bring me with them in the clubs even though I was not really allowed to get in. In that time in Italy there was a big Progressive scene. Then when I started to work at La Scala, in Padova I got slowly introduced to Techno and House music. I think what really turned me into this music was a tape of Francesco Farfa playing at Insomnia, that my friend Martino gave to me. And finally a dubbed tape of a Tony Humpries mix at New York Bar Milan that I literally worn out in my car stereo.
MiXit : Let’s now talk about the genesis of the Analogue Cops. How did it begin ? How did you meet each other, Marieu and you ?
The AC : We come from the same village, but I come from the rural South-East Side and he comes from the civlized North-West. We know each other since we were teenager and we have a lot of common friends but we were not hanging out together until Marieu was invited by a friend of mine to spend a dozen of days in my flat in Barcelona. Then we became good friends and he moved to Barcelona. I was already djing and he just bought his first 12 inches and a turntable. Since that time we never stopped playing, records-shopping and clubbing together. I moved to Berlin 1 year before him, but when he moved to the Brandeburg capital it was with the serious intention to start a label together.
MiXit : Did you produce independently before you met ? According to each of you, what is the big difference between your way of producing ?
The AC : I started to produce music in 2005, after I got a degree at SAE Barcelona. He started when he arrived in Berlin, but he had already bought a bunch of synths before moving. I wouldn’t say there is a big difference in the way we produce music, as we have our main studio together in the Restoration headquarters. So basically we use the same stuff.
MiXit : You both come from Italy but you moved to Berlin, why ? Did you think the Italian scene wasn’t developed and dynamic enough to stay there ?
The AC : When we moved to Barcelona in the early 2000 there was almost no scene in Italy. I mean, underground scene. My friend Nando, together with the Shadow Sync tried to bring techno music to our little city of Padova and thy were really pioneers in doing that, but times were not ready yet. I remember a night with Ricardo Villalobos with just 40 people attending the club. There were a few djs like Gabry Fasano and the guys of the Urban Mantra crew were really trying to push a true techno sound but the scene was dominated by mainstream progressive crap. If we speak about House, we had a big scene in the 90s but then everything got screwed by the promoter’s greed and by those dinosaurs (DJs) who were more interested in making money than in making a scene. This was not the only reason why we moved, you have to add the cultural depression and the law repression of a post fascist political class that has ruled in Italy since mister B. came down to the field.
MiXit : You have launched your own label, Restoration Records. Why this name ?
The AC : Because we thought it was the time to restore « the good old values » of music production. I mean, you need more than a cracked software to become a producer. and you need skills and techniques that you master with a lot of time of practice/studying. When software became popular, quality control almost disappeared. We are not against the using of software. We are aginst the bad use of it.
MiXit : You promote the analog sound on RR and you are quite proud to be a « vinyl-only label ». Can you explain to us why you are so determined in defending that ?
The AC : Well, we think that vinyl is the best portable recording support.
MiXit : Since a few years, there is a revival of the Vinyl ! What’s your feeling about that ? Do you think it will last ? Don’t you consider that as a fashionable stuff artists want to surf on ?
The AC : Now it is trendy and fashionable to press vinyls, but most of the music coming out on vinyl is essentially crap. But there are a lot of people with a lot of money that just do that to be cool. And the majors have found a way to sell their old catalogue for the fourth time (first it was on vinyl, then cd, then digital and now vinyl again). Pressing plants are over saturated and small independent labels run by passionate people are suffering. We must carry on and keep on doing records because we love to do it. I am sure that in a couple of years the majors will have found a new format (that shit « stems »?) and people that are doing it because it is trendy will get tired and will find a new way to be cool. And I want to add a thing : all this vinyl revival but the majority of DJs are playing with usb sticks…that really sucks.
MiXit : According to you, is there a real barrier / different approach between analog and digital sound ?
The AC : In poor words, digital sound is colder and more precise and analogue sound is warmer and less precise. Now there is this modular hype but most of the people doesn’t know what to do with that thing. People are buying 303 and 808 for more than 200 euros and all the prices of vintage gears are getting ridiculous. I think the best thing is to integrate digital and analogue technologies; this is for us the future of electronic music. With digital technology you can do things you can’t to do with analogue and viceversa. It would be anacronistic to do music just with analogue gear in 2015.
MiXit : What are the advantages of being label managers ? Why did you create your own structure of production ? What is your unifying structure ?
The AC : The advantages is that you can decide « almost » everything (because also distributions decide something). But you can decide which music and when you want to release it. of course, you take your own risks. we create our structure of production to get our space in the market.
MiXit : You have worked with artists such as Blawan and Ryan Elliott on several EPs (noticeably the Big Family EP 4 years ago, on Restoration Records), how did it happen ? Knowing that Jamie Roberts (Blawan) was known to be more into Ableton and computer-linked music at that time, and that he’s today using only hardware gear, especially modular systems, after a ‘sudden change of heart’ ?
The AC : Well, it is not a mistery. When Jamie first came to our studio, he fell in love with the machines.
MiXit : What are your main influences in terms of music ? Which artist of the electronic music scene do you admire ? Which one do you dream about to sign on Restoration Records ?
The AC : Well my dream would be to have an Horsepower Productions track with the voice of Beyoncé with a Jeff Mills remix on the flip side. The frst things that come to my mind as influences are Jeff Mills, Anthony Shakir, The Suburban Knight, Miles Davis, Underground Resistance, Theo Parrish, Cristian Vogel, Masters at Work, Horsepower Production, Maurizio, Mark Ernestus, El-B, Groove Chronicles, Zed Bias, Dj Shufflemaster, Vladislav Delay,Matthew Herbert, The Bitish Murder Boys, Heko Lauxx, Mj Cole, Todd Edwards, Stacy Kidd, Joey Negro, Blaze, Paul Johnson, Romanthony, Tony Humpries, Frankie Knuckles, The Prodigy, Butch Vig, Scott Storch, Jay Dilla, The Sex Pistols, Bad Religion, White Zombies, Charlie Parker, Dave Tarrida, Neil Landstrumm, John Coltrane, Tobias Schmidt, Robert Hood, Eddie Fowkles, Thomas Brinkmann, Dj Hell, Stevie Wonder. Just to name a few. But you can get an idea.
MiXit : For those of us who are following you, can you tell us more about your future plans ? Gigs ? Releases ?
now I have a remix on the first release of Mannella’s JT Series. next month there will be a single of Mannella & Marieu on Pic Nic with a mesmerizing Cristian Vogel remix followed in a couple of months by a track that I made with Francesco DeVincenti with a remix of Vladislav Delay. There will be a Third Side EP on Restoration in September. And we are waiting for an Analogue Cops’ EP on Hypercolour that should be released very soon and that is gonna blow your mind. We have gigs around Europe during the summer and we will be playing live in the Lolita room of Razzmatazz in Barcelona during the Sonar days (on June 19th) at the Hypercolour label showcase that is gonna be pretty massive.
Thank you Domenico !
.Simon & Charlie.