For Sinchi & Friends 65, Italian maestro Rodion joins us. The classical trained DJ / producer now presides in Mexico but can still be found touring all over the world and has a regular flow of both original work and remixes. Get to know the man behind the music below. On the mix in his own words ‘This mix features a selection of artists I love and respect, talented friends who I’m lucky to know and support. I come from classical music background and I tend to get bored quite easily with straight up club music. So, even though I dislike the term, my selections have always been quite ‘eclectic’.
1) Who are you?
I’m Rodion, real name Edoardo. I’m from Rome, Italy. I started with music quite early: I was 5 when I took my first piano lessons. I released my first EP and album in 2006 (“Atala ride” and “Romantic Jet Dance”) on Gomma records and I have been around since then. I am also half of the Alien Alien duo, together with Hugo Sanchez, who I also run the Roccodisco label. I’m a food and cooking lover. Being Italian I studied at my fundamentalist grandma’s school: fuck Masterchef, fuck pineapple pizza.
2) What have been your highlights from the last 12 months?
The best thing that happened to me in the last 12 months was moving from Berlin to Mexico City. I feel really at home in Mexico: I love the sun, the food and the kindness of the people around me. I work with lots of talented musicians here, who also happen to be among my best mates.
3) What do you have lined up for the coming year?
I am currently working with my neighbour and awesome Mexican producer Mijo: we set up a new project called Idolos Futuros and we are playing it live in Mexico and Latin America. No laptop shit, only keys and machines. I love to play live and I find it generally speaking more rewarding than Djing. We are booked at the massive Tropico Festival in Acapulco in December which I’m really looking forward to. Then I guess Rodion will take a small break: I’m one of the very few dinosaur survivors of the early 2k scene and I realize nowadays people focus mostly on what they consider “new” and “hype”. So I am working on my new club music solo project, Cristiano Roberto, and on some much less club focused music. I love classical piano and synth sounds, so I don’t want to waste my entire life focusing on dance music.
4) Which track in the mix is your favourite right now?
The mix consists of all my favourite tracks of the moment.
If I have to choose one, then my heart quite melts every time I listen at “waves” by my good roman friend Raiders of The Lost Arp.
5) What is your favourite track of the last 12 months?
Difficult to say. My former Berlin studio neighbour Autarkic is quite a genius, bringing to the scene his irresistible blend of new wave and Israeli hippie dance. Then I love every single thing my buddies Fabrizio Mammarella and Mijo make. Their stuff always deliver: both in the club and in my heart.
6) What is the last record you bought?
I have never been a vinyl collector. But I buy a lot of synthesizers and music sheet. I recently got myself a Moog Mother-32 and Skriabin complete preludes.
7) Who or what are your biggest musical influences?
I have a tattoo with the chubby and severe face of my biggest inspiration, Johan Sebastian Bach. Classical artists, like Prokoviev, Ravel, Skriabin. I go crazy for the Doors, the Cure, Depeche Mode. When it comes to electronic music I’d say Kraftwerk, AFX, Daft Punk, Boards of Canada, Plaid.
8) Do you have a ritual before you start playing or straight after?
Nope, I just try to relax and enjoy. Studying and practicing is my everyday routine. The more you think though, the worst you usually play.
9) Tell us about 3 DJ’s / Producer’s we may not know but should be looking out for?
I have my favourite Djs and producers of course, but I’m quite sure you know them already pretty well. Talking about guys who in my opinion still don’t get the recognition they deserve, then I would definitely mention the Front de Cadeaux duo, the Mexican Mijo and the Belgian Strapontin.
10) What is your favourite and or Venue / Festival to play at and why?
I had the opportunity to play almost everywhere in the world during the last 10 years. There is not a single favourite: good music comes from inspiring experiences, so I always try to get the most out of the place where I play. I love eating local food, visiting local wonders and getting drunk on local booze with local people. Sometimes unexpected places, like Seoul or Izmir, reveal their magic in this way.
11) Best advice for anyone coming into the scene, either as a Producer, DJ or Promoter?
Being a good producer or DJ requires a lot of talent, hard work and patience. The learning process never ends, but trying to constantly improve your skills is an essential requirement to play this game. Stay humble, learn from the best, spend more time on your gear than on Instagram. Fortune comes and goes, but good music stays there. As for promoters: choose carefully wether to be a promoter or a DJ. Those are two totally different jobs, both respectable and time demanding. Unfortunately we see around way too many people that pretends to be both, or that take advantage of their promoter position to exploit their DJ career, without properly focusing on the music side. Honestly, it doesn’t help the scene that much.
12) Do you think there is inequality in dance music, whether it is gender, sexuality or race? If yes, what do think can be done?
People tend to easily forget that the whole club music scene started from guys who couldn’t find their rightful acceptance in everyday life and so created a wonderful rebel parallel universe in the club, where everything was finally about love, freedom and acceptance. Going back in spirit of those pioneers in the easly days would definitely help to solve a lot of issues imho. We need more culture, we need a better memory.
13) What’s your opinion on the importance of roots , traditions, respecting originals and sources? Should all music be open source and open to editing or do you think cultural and artistic misappropriation is an issue?
Learn from the masters, respect their work and their contribution to change the rules. Then blend your own personal mixture. Musical magic is all about combining inspirations, feelings, cultures and denying it would sound pretty ridiculous to me. The German Bach wrote some Italian style concertos, drawing inspiration from Vivaldi. The black Detroit pioneers created techno using Japanese tools and getting inspiration from the likes of Kratwerk and such… Respect is always the key. Then musicians have to pay the rent and buy their working tools like everybody else: you dedicate your existence to your passion and decide to try to make a living out of it. If you are good at it, then you deserve money back to live a decent life. So no, people should learn to buy the music they like and pay the ticket to support the acts they love. Otherwise there would be no more musicians, therefore no more music.
Favourite writer / scientist / painter / philosopher? Dostoevskij / Tesla / De Chirico / Pythagora
Favourite out of genre music? Classical
Favourite film score? E. Morricone – Once upon a time in America
Favourite bit of kit? Elka Synthex
Secret studio / DJ trick? Roland MC-202
Guilty Pleasure? Food
One piece of music you can’t stand? Too many to mention one.
Favourite way to unwind? Cooking
If to live in a lost civilisation or culture, which one would it be? I dream of being an ancient Egyptian
What makes you smile? South Park