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INTERVIEW: DJ Rocca



Cyphon Recordings continue their deep dive into the rich heritage of UK and Detroit electronic sounds with their second label release, this time from Danny Was A Drag King label boss DJ Rocca.


We have had the pleasure of interviewing Rocca and this has been the result.


How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you?

Actually I have some difficulty describing my music, just because I had so many influences that could be Disco, Balearic, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Deep House, New Wave, Breakbeat, Italo Disco, IDM, Ambient, Techno… my stuff could be described as an eclectic style. I try to put together various styles that apparently don't seem to fit together, and I try to merge them by putting my personality into them. Not all of my tracks always come out the way I want them to, but I strive to get the best out of them every time

Your recent EP has just come out, was there a concept or any influences behind it? Yes, when I produced the four tracks of my EP 'Code041', I was listening to a lot of UK IDM, Ambient Techno, early Warp, but also Jazz stuff and UK Garage as well. Precisely for this reason I can consider my latest EP as a humble tribute to that dance scene of the nineties.

As for your studio, what is it currently made up of?

My studio is an analog/digital hybrid, with vintage synthesizers as Arp 2600, Arp Odyssey, Roland Jupiter6, Roland Juno60, Roland JV2080, Roland SH09, Oberheim Matrix1000, Korg Poly61 and a Moog Voyager, plus few old school drum machines as a TR808, TR707, TR606 and a Boss DR660, a Solid State Summing Mixer and SSL4000 Compressor. But obviously I use lots of digital virtual instruments and good effects plug in too.

What is the one bit of studio equipment you would never get rid of, no matter what? Definitely my Sequential Prophet 5! It's a versatile polysynth that does it all... you can do classic dance sounds, experimental stuff, or powerful bass and cool arpeggios…and lots more!

What was the last record store you visited? Did you find any gems, if so what records? There aren't many record shops here in Italy, but those few are really passionate about quality records. I mean second hand record shops, of course. DJ record shops have all but disappeared. My favorite is the one from my city, Reggio Emilia, called 'Planet Music', run by an old friend of mine who is also a pianist, and we made a record together on Irma Records in the 90s. I have found many gems over the years, and lately I bought a mint condition original copy of a rare Italo Disco classic: Joan Katton 'Suzie's Pant'! There's also a great old school 12-inch House section, and I bought almost all of the original Nu Groove gems.


How would you like the future of the music industry to be or are you happy with how it is? This is a great question! Of course I'm not as happy as the music industry is now, and I'd like to see more people who really know and really love good music get involved in that industry. In the last twenty years there has been a beautiful recovery in a contemporary key of the music made at the end of the last century. I wish there were more courageous actions, in publishing and promoting more experimental musical works, otherwise we will be repeating the same musical styles for another twenty years. Perhaps that the innovative drive is no longer in dance music, as it was throughout the eighties and nineties, or maybe I'm wrong, but as long as sales are pursued at the expense of underground experimentation, the music of the future will not arrive

Can you reveal any future projects you are working on?

These days I'm working on a live project and an album. Next week I will be in the recording studio for a few days with a great Italian jazz pianist who has worked with Matthew Herbert, Ricardo Villalobos and Vladislav Delay, his name is Giovanni Guidi. The two of us and a bass player will play on some stuff we created together, and after the recording session we will do post production in my studio to create a new album and live show. We are all very enthusiastic! As for my upcoming products, there are many remixes coming out in 2023, like a new single by me and my good friend Chris Coco with NicoNote on vocals, and another 12 inch collaboration with mighty Lex, that DJ and producer from Greece, and last but not least, an album on Soul Clap records from Capofortuna guys and me.


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