Fresh from the success of SOULS Vol.1 in April, Damian Lazarus’ Rebellion gears up for the next edition of the series this October. Rebellion presents SOULS Vol.2 continues the spiritual theme, featuring appearances from label-regulars and debutantes alike in the form of Yulia Niko, Mommo G, Cristina Lazic, Paride Saraceni, Landikhan and MoM. DMCWORLD grabs five with Paride Saraceni…
Hi Paride! Great to have you with us today. First off, how are you doing and whereabouts are you based right now?
Hi, thanks for having me here, I am well thanks, keeping busy working on several projects here in London.
How has the music scene been there recently given the effects of the pandemic?
Honestly, I only play in London 2/3 times a year as most of my gigs are abroad, but I feel the night industry suffered a lot with a lot of negative repercussions on an individual level for night workers. I feel the pandemic has clearly highlighted how the night industry in the uk (as well as other countries) has not been taken seriously by institutions. While I do understand that is not fair, I also feel we should ask ourselves a more serious and practical question, which is: how can we make the night scene more profitable for the institutions to safeguard it? At the end of the day it’s rightfully enough always a numbers game, whether we like it or not. We have to figure out how to make one thing that does work fully sustainable, and I say one way for it to be is by institutionalising it.
We’re very pleased to be speaking with you today around the release of Rebellion presents SOULS Vol.2 VA EP, featuring your track ‘Without Your Love’ alongside works from Yulia Niko, Cristina Lazic, Landikham & MoM. Can you tell us a bit about your track and how it found its home on SOULS Vol.2?
The track is actually a not very recent work of mine, I made it a while ago and the Ableton project got even corrupted. I was only left with the Wav and mp3 I exported several years ago and luckily enough it sounded good. It’s one of those tracks which I have always been very proud of its production and it always worked on the dance-floor, but I always struggled to get it signed somehow. Until I thought of sending it to Damian who seemed to have really enjoyed it. So I am happy now that it finally found a home and it means a lot to me as it also allowed me to meet Damian and his lovely team. Music connects people as they say!
What was the inspiration behind “Without Your Love” and what was the creation process like for it?
I recall I was working on it around July 2015, that is before I got signed to Adam Beyer’s Truesoul, the inspiration was to make a groovy deep track which would have however shown some elements borrowed from Techno (the stabs) A hybrid we could say, at the time i was also working with Maya Jane Coles who just published one of my tracks on her Fabric 75 and I was about to get booked to her Building 6 halloween gig (where I actually met Damian for the first time, although he can’t remember because my face looked like a skull!) so there is a lot of influence from her and those inspiring times, as you can hear perhaps.
Can you tell us a bit about your studio set-up? Were there any key pieces of equipment used for “Without Your Love”?
It wasn’t much for this track, in house music I used to sample a lot of old records, it’s mostly a collage of bits and pieces from various records in waveform. The whole Analog trend wasn’t there just yet, and for the synth-stabs I used zebra 2 vst, everything was built and edited on ableton live. I also recall I did everything in my headphones. People think you need to own such gear to make cool and effective music but that’s just not the case at all. All my tracks were made this way.
Who are some of your greatest musical inspirations?
Most techno artists such as Laurent Garnier, Sven Vaeth, Adam Beyer, but I also always closely followed the more melodic sound, especially of Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Stimming, Mario Basanov (Ten walls), Maceo plex/Maetrik, to then end in more ambient/indie realms of Kiasmos, Bonobo, Moderat, Pulshar, and even classic rock bands such as the Doors.
As an artist with over a decade of releases to your name on the likes of Voltaire, Snatch!, Cajul and more, what piece of advice would you offer to an aspiring producer?
While I was able to work with very good labels, I was lucky to get some great signings and bookings to major parties and venues, I know that If I was more business-aware earlier on I would have benefitted more and made better use of my time and opportunities. But I just didn’t know any better. And unfortunately nobody bloody teaches you this stuff!
In my early twenties I made music while I was studying Architecture at university which meant my family was helping me out with rent here in London. I guess I was lucky but this however also played to be a problem for me because I could not develop that sense of urgency and responsibility that later helped me in life and in work when I finally broke away from my family. I like to stress on this because in my opinion it is the #1 reason why most young people of my generation fail in what they want to achieve. The thing is that until you figure it out you can’t know. You sense it but you can’t grasp it.
On the other hand I learned that music production can take you to a good spot, but then the market is split in two halves and it’s very hard to break through if you don’t know how the games work and if you haven’t developed that sense of urgency. If you aren’t financially independent, this can hunt you down big time later on. The industry is just like the stock market, unpredictable and very volatile. So you need a solid and long-term plan. I don’t have any particular tips for young producers in terms of technicalities of the production, honestly, just do what you want and develop your listening skills. Make sure your stuff sounds great! Once you have done that, get out and try to carve yourself a spot in one or more niches.
I like to diversify and have a sound that can work in two or more markets while still being my sound. Other artists go full on in one direction which can work amazingly well too. But what makes it or breaks it is how sound and healthy your profile, circle of friends, business and marketing strategy are. Take care of your people, your image and learn also how to say No. Personally, I also don’t buy the story of the young upcoming artist who signs the hit record and his life is sorted because of that record. For instance my Burning EP on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul got me under the spotlights for sure but that is only a brick in the wall. Most of the artists who boom unexpectedly very quickly are products of a very carefully orchestrated business plan, investments and years and years of hard work, dedication and the right connections while working in the shadows. Sometimes it has nothing to do with music, and that’s fair enough too. I would also say, don’t be fooled by social media, there is way more business and homework to do if you want to keep it sustainable. Be persistent and keep an open mind.
Thank you Paride! It was a pleasure to chat with you today. To round things off, is there anything else upcoming from yourself that you’d like to share with us today?
I have just also released a remix for Bastinov on Infinite depth and I will also soon be releasing the second EP for my own label Post Scriptum, which will be out next month. I am very excited about this one!
Rebellion presents SOULS Vol.2. ft. Yulia Niko, Cristina Lazic, Paride Saraceni, Landikhan & MoM. Out now on Rebellion