Interview With Randalll M

Starting from the beginning, how did you get involved in music, and how did you end up playing gig’s all around the world?

My first experience with music was actually very young. My parents enrolled me in violin lessons around the age of 3 and soon after I started playing piano, guitar and then finally finding my calling, which was drums. I played drums in the school band as well as with a local jazz trio. At around the age of 12 I discovered hip-hop and started making my own mix tapes on cassettes and then later on CD’s. As far as touring the world, that came many years later, after a local career spinning hip- hop, which turned into techno, and then finally making the move to Ibiza which really propelled me onto the scene and started bringing me bookings in other countries. In total I have been professionally dj’ing for 12 years but only have been touring around the world the last 3…it’s been a long, but enjoyable journey.

How do you describe your music? Is there an artist that influenced you most?

I really hate to “describe” my music because it’s constantly changing. I get bored playing one sound and switch it up quite often. I know some people may be disappointed that show up to a gig thinking I will play techno and they find me playing a house set, but thats just me. I play to how I feel and the mood I’m in. Also you wont find me playing house music in a dark warehouse, just as you wont hear me play techno on the beach. I believe it’s all about the environment and mood to decide how I will play. Regardless of the genre I only play music that I love, whether it’s house, minimal, hard techno, hip hop….I dig for tracks that have a distinct groove and keep people dancing. I don’t have one particular artist that really influenced me the most but here is a list of people that have head a major impact on my musical career in no particular order: 2pac, Patrick M, Luciano, Mozart, Chad Andrew, DJ Gruber, Sade, J Dilla, Marco Carola, Nirvana, Loco Dice, tINI, Aretha Franklin, Ricardo Villalobos, Guti, Richie Hawtin, The Rolling Stones, BB King, Dubfire, Eric Clapton, Bill Patrick, Gang Starr, Magda, Dr. Dre, Livio & Roby, The Notorious B.I.G. Christian Burkhardt, Guy Gerber, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin.

What is your relation with tINI and her “Gang”?

 tINI has been extremely influential to me not just as a mentor but as a friend. We have a relationship that goes much deeper than partying and techno. She was the first to really discover my music in the beginning years when I began producing and she was extremely supportive. She convinced me to make the move to Ibiza which turned out to be the best decision of my life. Since then we have become close and I’ve played many of her parties, giving me experience behind the decks at a high level and also propelling me on to other big gigs, by giving me credibility to the bookers at clubs around the world. We don’t get to hang as much like the good old days due to our busy schedules but we still try to make time when we can, whether it’s a chill dinner, or a long proper rave. What can I say, I love her.

For both Djing and productions now days there is a sort of conflict between analogue and digital experience, what is your opinion about it?

My opinion is this, the only thing that matters is the end result. There are guys that can absolutely rip it playing vinyl only, like Cabanne, and then you have guys like Luciano and Richie Hawtin that are using Traktor synced but using it to its potential and creating an amazing vibe as well. I think people should play on whatever they are most comfortable on. Nothing is worse than a dj trying to play only vinyl but wrecking every mix, but just as bad, is the guy who has perfect mixes because of traktor but he’s staring at the computer screen the entire time and has no flow. Pick which method you like and PRACTICE it until you get good and comfortable. The same goes for productions, yes of course analog machines are going to sound better than sample packs, but if you don’t EQ things right and mix them all together well, they are going to sound like shit. So again, it’s really just the end result that matters. I know many people producing just with a laptop and headphones that are making some amazing stuff. Its all about how you use it.

What is your live approach? What equipment do you prefer to use both in studio and during your sets?

Dj’ing I’m using 3 CDJ’s and 1 turntable. In the studio, it’s constantly changing, trading gear with friends, trying new plug ins, etc…it’s a never ending process that doesn’t have a “right” answer.

You are working on a new label, Thirteen, the first release will be with Guy from Downstairs’ tracks. Can you explain us this new project and what are your goals?

This is a project that I’ve been working on for over a year now. I decided to launch Thirteen so that I could release music that I love, from cool, likeminded people. There is no “sound” of Thirteen, we will release house music, techno, everything in between and maybe even some hip-hop stuff. Its just about music that I personally love and want to share. Victor aka Guy From Downstairs is one of the most talented (and coolest) guys I know, always pushing himself to create weird but groovy music and I believe he’s really created a sound of his own. So for the first release I really wanted to showcase him and we got a sick remix from Steve O’Sullivan. Everything is ready, just waiting for the (slow) pressing plants to get us the copies so we can put them out for sale!

We know you aim to support vinyl only productions with your new label, is there a particular reason for this choice?

I just have always been a vinyl collector, even before I started dj’ing and just feel that there is something special about the music only being available on wax. It keeps it limited and usually the only people that are buying it, REALLY want to have it and don’t mind spending the money for it. Digital is cool and I play tons of digital music but for my own label I preferred to keep it vinyl only.

You have played worldwide, what differences did you find between clubbing culture around the world?

Many things are different and many things are exactly the same. One thing I do notice in the “underground” scene is that there is a strong passion almost everywhere you go that I never seemed to find in the hip-hop and pop scene. People into techno are really showing up ready to dance with all their attention on the dj, waiting for him/her to deliver. I love this and its what gives me the energy to play hours and hours even after the intense travel to make it there.

Are you planning some gigs in Italy in 2016?

I’ve always loved playing in Italy, even some of the smaller towns like Lanciano and Rimini have really impressed me. Some things are in the works, stay tuned!

Many thanks and see you soon, Randall

Filippo Argenti


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