Federico Gandin creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hi Federico, where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
I have always lived in Turin (Italy), I have recently opened a jazz cafe in the center of my city where, lockdown aside, good music is played in a super relaxing environment.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get
I started playing in 1989 after a trip to New York with my parents. At 16 I was a fan of rap, Dmc, Public Enemy, Derek B, LL Cool J etc.. In New York I entered Tower records and I was blindly catapulted into the field of house music, I was fascinated by the hyper colored covers without knowing anything about it. From that moment "Boom!", I was overwhelmed by electronic music.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in life)? And how have they
affected your sound?
I have always had two very distinct souls but completely integrated with each other. The American black sound with the European minimalist electronic. Detroit and Chicago with Kraftwerk and English acid house. On one hand the groove, the heat, the rhythm, on the other hand the synthesis, the essentiality, the cyclicity of the sound.
How would you define your sound?
Uhhh how difficult! I would say good Techno with many influences
How has your sound evolved so far?
Well, compared to my previous releases I've sped up the tempo because I feel that what I create is more effective at higher speeds that allow me to be less focused on the writing and more on the flow that I want to communicate.
How was Citizen of the world born?
Listening to Claude Young's extraordinary 1996 track "Impolite to Refuse" one night last March, I didn't sleep all night. The synth refrain was ringing in my ears, that melody had me so hypnotized that I thought I absolutely had to do something with it. After all, Claude had written it 24 years before! The intensity of those notes could be accompanied by important words, emotionally touching, and here comes Chaplin in his speech to humanity. Done! The other three tracks are a personal tribute to many records, styles and sound eras.
What led you to releasing on Opilec?
The manager of Opilec music, I-Robots (Gianluca Pandullo), is also a very dear friend of mine. We have been sharing the same passion for decades, in the same city, with a very similar vision of music. We often confront each other and speak the same language (in every sense!).
How do you start a track. What leads you to take an idea and develop it to carry out a
Most of the time I start with an idea that then morphs as the song is structured. And I try to focus a lot on the effectiveness of the individual sounds, I spend a lot of time on that because they really have to be functional to each other.
Speaking within the creative process, I feel the improvisation in your works. Are you more in favor of improvisation than having everything programmed or having everything programmed and leaving some parts to improvisation?
Oh absolutely improvisation but in the creation of the song from scratch, then I try to program and usually I fail so I return to 'improvisation.
And finally, how do you see the future in such uncertain times?
I don't know what to say, I don't have the skills. I hope that this lesson will serve as a further warning to understand how our planet and consequently man is fragile and to understand what unbridgeable void is created in our lives if culture, art, relationships and passions are limited or at worst totally canceled.