Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sam Paganini Interview

For our first release of 2012, Drumcode break new ground with a debut from Italian producer, Sam Paganini. A veteran of electronic music with a discography that stretches back to 1993, Sam has achieved notoriety over the last fifteen years with his latest output catching the ears of techno tastemakers Richie Hawtin, who released Sam’s Cobra EP on Plus 8, and our own Adam Beyer who has signed this EP for Drumcode. We caught up with Sam to explore a little more around his Techno pedigree and how this release came about.

Drumcode:

Hello Sam and welcome to Drumcode! Can we start with a bit of a history lesson? Many people will remember your track 'Zoe' from the late 90’s and of course your recent release for Plus 8 release and remix for Octopus. What have we missed between 1996 and 2011?

Sam Paganini:
Thanks. Well, music is my life. I express my passion in a wide variety of music-related activities, I play (badly) many instruments, the percussion and the drum is my real instrument. Ten years ago I played for local rock bands… a crazy times of my life! In one night I was able to play at a gig with my Ludwig drums and then I would run to a club with my records to playing on a console…

Drumcode:
Wow... so you have lived and worked as both an electronic producer and a rock musician? Not many people can say that.

Sam Paganini:
Yes, I was raised listening Pink Floyd, The Stones, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin etc. Then electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk, Manuel Gottsching, Larry Heard, Marshall Jefferson, DJ Pierre and the acid music marked my way.

Drumcode:
Seeing as you have explored many different styles from rock to electronic genres like trance progressive and techno, how would you describe your current style?

Sam Paganini:
Well, I think Techno music is better now than 10 years ago. Now it's deeper, darker and the BPM is between 125 and 128. Many girls now love Techno! In a track I am looking a good groove and a deep atmosphere...simple.

Drumcode:

It is interesting to hear you say that, especially as you were influenced by Pink Floyd, Stones, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin etc - do you attribute their psychedelic style to your own deeper, kind of druggy style?

Sam Paganini:
Absolutely, Floyd's "One Of These Days" for example is a early obsessive Psychedelic Techno experiment.... made in 1971!

Drumcode:
It is amazing how sounds and styles recycle themselves - you must have seen so much change over your career in music?

Sam Paganini:
Yes, I play music from the age of 15...

Drumcode:
How have you found the experience of putting out your recent music compared to your music from the late 90's?

Sam Paganini:
Well, the Internet and technology has simplified life for producers. "Zoe", for example, was made with a Akai sampler and Cubase sequencer on Atari computer. Many times I had to rely on external studio provided by the record company for mixing the tracks, and the final results were sometimes not so good for me. Now I have total artistic control over my music and so I can send tracks to a label when I know I am satisfied with the project.

Drumcode:
So was this EP from Drumcode made only in the computer?

Sam Paganini:
Yes but with a mix of hardware and software

Drumcode:
What hardware do you use the most?

Sam Paganini:
Mainly synths actually - I love my Nordwave by Clavia and my original Minimoog Model D from 70's

Drumcode:
Do you still have your Cellar Rock Studio? Is that were you make music?

Sam Paganini:
That is where I have my instruments collection! 3 years ago I moved with my girlfriend in a small flat and now I make music in a corner of the kitchen. I have to change the name to "Kitchen Rock Studio"!

Drumcode:
Has that change meant you make musically differently now you have less space?

Sam Paganini:
Not too much. When you live for music your mind is 24 hours a day on producing.

Drumcode:
So looking at the EP for Drumcode, have you always been a fan of the label? How come you decided to send the demos to Adam?

Sam Paganini:
For sure... from 1996 Adam did great work with Drumcode and I respect him for that. When "Prisma EP" was completed Drumcode felt like a natural choice so I sent to him the tracks.

Drumcode:
Drumcode seems to be more popular then ever in Italy right now - why do you think that is?

Sam Paganini:
Yes! I think due to the high quality productions for 15 years Drumcode has built a big respect all over the world but especially in Italy as now we have a good techno scene with our own high profile producers

Drumcode:
You are based in Venice in Northern Italy. Would you say techno is very popular everywhere in Italy now or just in the bigger cities like Rome, Naples and Milan?

Sam Paganini:
Techno is popular everywhere finally, but I think Naples and southern Italy have more parties and Techno producers

Drumcode:
Going back to the music and in particular your talent on the drums... this is something you share with Adam - he started playing drums when he was at school.

Sam Paganini: Yes I know

Drumcode: Is the beat where you always start with a track?

Sam Paganini: I start with the groove and bassline, then the melody which has create atmosphere and tension

Drumcode:
This is what characterizes the EP - really great rhythms and amazing atmosphere

Sam Paganini:
Thanks

Drumcode:
Finally, I wanted to ask you about the track names - do they have any special meaning or significance?

Sam Paganini:
Well, for "Prisma" or "Prism" in English... what would you say is the most famous record cover record in history with a Prism logo?

Drumcode:
Aha... Pink Floyd!

Sam Paganini:
Hahahaha – exactly!

Drumcode:
Brilliant – it is nice to see the themes of the release and your influences all link together. We look forward to releasing the Prisma EP this week.

http://www.myspace.com/sampaganini
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Paganini/183824628302137?ref=ts
http://soundcloud.com/sam_paganini
http://twitter.com/SamPaganini
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaganiniSam
http://www.beatport.com/artist/sam-paganini/8637

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