When Joey Beltram is digging your stuff, it’s safe to say that your career is heading in the tight direction. This is the case with Italian DJ/producer Andrea Frisina, a man whose far out sound is one that’s already endeared him to legions of techno fans from all over the world. A truly talented dude, Frisina makes the sort of techno that shakes even the most dedicated of dancefloors. Ahead of his Wild Prairie EP, we decided to put a few choice questions his way…
So what sort of music did you grow up with then? And when did you become interested in techno music?
I was born with electronic music! When I was a child I listened to the ’90s dance music. Then I studied electronic music at the Conservatory, but I mean the music of Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Bruno Maderna, Max Mathews, Wendy Carlos and Bernard Herrmann. When I started to release music, it was during the minimal techno boom, so I was heavily influenced by that stuff and achieved some success with that sound. But step by step my sound became strictly techno and maybe today I’m more of a darker purist.
Was there one moment where you realized this is what you wanted to do then?
I realised at the end of the school when I was 18 years old. My family pushed me to study law, but it was not my field (although it was useful getting the basis coming from a family of lawyers and judges), so I switched my life to my only passion, music. And then I followed up on it and focused on my studies. Well at the beginning my parents were not happy, you can imagine, as they didn’t know anything about this world and this industry. I can understand that since it’s not an easy job, but today they’ve understood what I’ve made alone and they support me.
So how did you learn to make music? Did you take classes? Or just through trail and error on your laptop?
I’ve two degrees - one in “Electronic Music” from the Conservatory and one in “Sound Engineering and Midi Programming” from the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome. But the most important part of my musical education is my job, the practice of every day in studio.
What other challenges are you faced with at the moment from a music point of view?
From a music point of view I can tell you that acquiring all my gear was not easy. I put a lot of effort into what I buy and I’m not finished yet! There were times when I had the same shoes for two years or not so fashionable clothes in order to buy new gear for my studio. So maybe I can say I decided to have a life a little bit different from my peers.
When was the last time you heard a track that was really stunningly produced? What made it stick out for you?
“Fade Into You” by Spektre. Have you listened to it? it’s a masterpiece, indeed it has been played and supported by all the industry. The whole idea is pretty good, the drone-synth is amazing and the arrangement is so well done. I also really enjoyed remixing it.
From that point of view, which track of yours was the biggest challenge to put together?
Maybe “The Cuban Matter”, since it was a re-edit of an actual techno key of my award-nominated track “El Cubano” and I arranged it after a pause.
And when you’re coming up with a new track, what do you start on? The samples? The bassline? How does that all work for you?
I start by creating a dark groove where my imprint is recognisable, but at the same time it must represent my feelings. Then I continue with the main synth and other sounds that will harmonise it, and then all the rest of the arrangements fill the finest elements of the track.
What do you see as the future of your productions? Would you ever make music that’s not house and techno?
Well I made also soundtracks, although it’s not my primary expression. When requested it’s funny though as I can experiment too! My primary obsession, however, is obviously techno.
And what else have you coming up that you’d like to shout about?
I’m scheduling a single release for early September. I think it will be single although a track I’m making during these days can be suitable in order to do an EP with the first, but I think to split them since the first one, I believe, can be so strong also alone, so I’ll shape the EP with the one I’m still making for a release after ADE… ah really looking for ADE in Amsterdam, stay tuned for something massive from Gate Null over there!
Andrea Frisina’s Wild Prairie (with a remix by Joey Beltram) is out soon on Gate Null records
Interview by Dan McDermott