Luigi Tozzi is a young artist from Roma who released on Dynamic Reflection and Hypnus Records in 2014. Just before his next release on Outis Music, we wanted to learn more about him.
- People don't necessarily know a lot about you. Can you tell us about your background?
I was born and always lived in Rome, I attended a French school there and then went to university, where I am still studying political sciences. My background isn't directly related with music, when I was younger I studied piano for a few years but I wasn't really into it.
My greatest passion was cinema. Most of my family works in that field and I've always been surrounded by this fascinating world.
I got into electronic music thanks to my closest friends who have always stimulated me to understand it deeper. I can recall three main steps that got me closer to it : the first is probably when I discovered the music of artists such as Depeche Mode and Vangelis, which instantly got me addicted.
After that, a big change happened when I first installed FL studio and started playing with samples. This opened my eyes in terms of exploring everything which is related to the structure of a track (at this point I was probably 14 or 15).
The last crucial moment in this path is when a friend showed me the first works of Carl Craig: at that point I started developing my taste for techno music.
These steps resume my approach to the genre but didn't lead me to take it as something I could seriously do myself. Then, a couple of years ago I was forced to stay home for three months because of a leg surgery. In that period I was listening to a lot of dub techno classics like Basic Channel. I was fascinated by the way it was playing a lot on delays and reverbs, so I decided to invest these months in trying to make some music. I did it just for me, not really telling anyone. Since that moment I simply never stopped!
- You had your 3 first releases in 2014, and you're part of a remix compilation and you released you last EP on Hypnus early 2015. Things seemed to have speeded up pretty quickly. What was the staring point of this activity?
It happened naturally. After experimenting and producing a lot of tracks in the first months I started understanding what was the direction I was taking with my sound. In the summer, when I was by the sea I came up with an EP that seemed quite coherent and I decided to send it to Dynamic Reflection. I was following them a lot at that time and liked the fact that they were launching new producers through their digital series. Actually, this was my first release that got accepted, but it came out after my EP for Hypnus Geonosis.
- Your productions are in-between techno and ambient, can you tell us about the duality and the links between the two genres?
I find very interesting the rhythmic and obsessive part of techno. It can lead to a state of trance that brings the listener to loose his perception of time and space. I have experienced this quite a lot of times in clubs and find it very healthy, somehow purifying. Melting this "shamanic" side of techno with the emotional and moving pads of ambient is something that can be very strong and enriching, I hope that I can comunicate this through my music.
- You seem to care a lot about background textures in your tracks, is this an heritage from an ambient influence as well?
Yes! I love to create endless background textures which for sure are linked to my ambient influence.
For me, it is crucial to add different layers and dimensions to a tracks. As I mentioned before the rhythmic part can be considered more physical and the pads are more linked to emotions. The textures bring an organic impression and they are also very useful to recall an environment. For example in my second release for Hypnus (Deep Blue) I worked a lot on textures trying to give the sensation that you get when staying under water. I am very passionate of diving and apnea, the sounds that you can listen when spending three or four hours in a row alone in the sea can be very peaceful but also very alienated and frightening at the same time and that is the mood I wanted to communicate.
- You mentioned that your greatest passion was cinema. Is the idea of making music for movies something you think about or would consider? It would make a lot of sense with this textures and ambient obsession.
Yeah for sure! Actually I try to evoke also visual impressions from the music I produce so it would be a direct consequence of the work I am doing now.
I have some friends who are starting their career in the field and I'm sure I will manage to give it a try in the future, for a short feature for example.
- You have this regular vinyl session series on your sound cloud page. Considering the content of these mixes, you're obviously enlarging your records collection every month. Is this new for you? Do you think this vinyl revival will last forever or is it a hype?
Yes vinyl is quite new for me, I think I started collecting records a couple of years ago. For me it's not a matter of "sounding better" or of "being nostalgic": I simply love collecting stuff, I've also done it with comics and DVDs for example.
The idea of recording my sessions came from the fact that I needed to listen back to my mixes to see how could I improve my technical skills. After doing it many times, I came up with a piece that I liked and thought of posting it on my Soundcloud page.
For what concerns the vinyl revival I really have no idea if this is a thing that will last a long time or if it's just a hype.What I know is that I will continue to buy records as I get a really good feeling when I hold a physical copy of a piece of music I really like.
Also the work of some labels (like Hypnus, Trolldans or Geophone for example) on artworks is great and I appreciate the fact of linking the music with something visual.
- What can you say about the current Italian scene and how it's moving?
I don't really have a good perspective on this since I am a newcomer but I think that from the side of music there are a lot of great artists, both established and younger ones. And I think the community as a whole is working always better by sharing and collaborating. For example, I have started a long term collaboration with two labels from Rome, one is a solid reality like Dino Sabatini’s Outis Music and the other is a new born label called Mental Modern, owned by Vilix. This allows me to work at the same time with a living legend like Dino and with younger talented artists like Vilix, Conrad Van Orton and VSK!
For what concerns the clubs and the night life, for sure, we are less developed compared to other countries like England and Germany for example. But I see that things are changing and in order to make it happen it's important that young people bring out their ideas with courage and determination.
- Can you talk about the mix you provided for this podcast and the tidal inspiration associated?
I usually prepare podcasts quite a bit before going in the studio to make the mix. In this case it was more natural. I am completely fascinated by Nuel’s Trance Mutation lately, I am constantly listening to it in the car. So I decided to build the mix around this album.
- What are your next projects?
At the moment I have three releases closed and upcoming for 2015. One is a digital EP for hypnus called Wadjet, it's composed by four original tracks and it will be out in February.
The other two releases are both vinyl and digital. The first will be out on Outis Music and the EP that will follow is for Mental Modern, another very promising roman based label.
One important thing that I really want to achieve in 2015 is a live performance, composed by only unreleased material. I'm working on this and hope to be ready before the summer.