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INTERVIEW: Riccardo Noe

Today we were lucky to site down with Riccardo Noe, the label head who is just launching his new imprint Exodus. Lets find out more.

With a diverse background in the music industry, what motivated you to continue exploring new ventures and now launching your new label, Exodus?

Passion, I would say, first and foremost. But it’s a reductive expression, to me.

I started 20 years ago, buying vinyls at a local record store in my hometown, Milan, in Italy.

I’ve been involved in different kind of genres, from progressive, deep house, to Trance, Techno and eventually IDM.

So, after exploring various genres, I decided to start again.

The main reason I personally think has to be linked with the fact that music is a circle. Each 15/20 years, old stuff came back in a new way. This time is the turn of the 140 BPM, mostly Techno, inheriting the energy from the 90s, with some influence from the recently years. And that’s what I loved most since I started to buy, and making, music.

About Exodus:

Can you share the core mission and vision behind Exodus? How does it stand apart from other labels in the music scene today?

Undoubtedly is about to revival a music genre at its best, but it stand apart because it use this to help all the artists who are facing some problems to get the opportunity in their own countries.

So ther’re no boundaries about it. Music, in its pure meaning, has been created to unite people from different countries, backgrounds, all around the world, under a unique culture. So it stand apart because our main goal, never conceived before, is to give opportunity to all those forgotten for some reasons, even political ones, by the mainstream.

What inspired the name 'Exodus' for your label, and how does it reflect the label's ethos?

For sure many will read some Jewish issues here, and it is true, partially.

The ethos is spiritual as well, reflecting a vision linked to the religious dimension, mostly ancestral. For example, my track “Ahura Mazda” is referred to the ancient persian God from the Zoroastrianism. So we’re welcome especially to everyone who got the same vision. Techno is always been something introspective and reflecting a certain state of mind, that’s why the first release contain a sort of “Trance” core, in a way.

It reflect also the idea I explained before, about the exodus some artists have to do because of the problematics they face each day. Through the years I met some people who need to leave their own country if they want to be free to make, and play their music.

Sometimes the ban is linked with religion issues. Sometimes with political ones.

And, obliviously, the idea of what is the new beginning, a new age, of what we’re about to create through the next years.

That’s why I decided to name “Genesis” the first release too.

And to close the curtain with the Italian scene which actually is not even a real scene. There’re artists, very talented, very respectable, but many of them are left alone.

In what ways do you envision Exodus fostering emerging talents? Are there any particular genres or styles that the label is keen on promoting?

In many ways. In order to share quality music, once an artist join us for a release, he can reach a good level while in his country it couldn’t happen because of political or religious issues.

For example, in Iran there’s a very talented scene, full of artists you can’t imagine, but they’re still, in their country.

I remember when I discovered Saba Alizadeh, back in 2018, a very talented guy and Kamache virtuoso, who came at my attention just when he released his debut album on Karl records, a Berlin based label. Well. Without the help by those behind this label, I would never have found out Saba. Now we are friends, through social networks. The future will see..

Only in this way we can create a platform all together, only in this way we can give a contribution to the scene.

Unite we are strength.

There’s not a particular genre that define the entire idea, but rather a concept: the melody.

My tastes in music always got a Melodic core, so the main point will always remain the melody, fixed with various shades of the main genre: Techno.

Can you share some of the artists or collaborations we can look forward to on Exodus? What kind of musical narrative do you aim to build with these selections?

Ehehhehh.. Not yet. I’m a bit superstitious. So I’ll wait until I get confirm from them, but I can tell you, for sure, you will be surprised, very surprised. They’re all talented guy and, in a way, they’re all true masters, in a scholastic way. And came from very different places around the world.

About the second question; well, the narrative is about to create a musical path into the Hypnotic, Raw side of Techno, as previously said.

To spin the vision, I personally take care of a monthly podcast, on our Mixcloud page, called simply EXODUS, that follow 3 kind of Techno set:

  1. From Melodic less than 130 BPM, to 138/140

  2. A club Techno set around 130

  3. A fast, energy, almost rave Techno over 140 BPM

Past Ventures:

Reflecting on your previous labels, how do you think your experiences have shaped the formation and focus of Exodus?

That’s a very good question.

My previous label, Syntheke Records, was created in the end of 2014, as a follow-up of my early parties with the same name through 2012 and 2013. They were focused on IDM, neo Trance (a word to define that stuff between minimal and progressive, sometimes even Trance music), eventually with international guests (we made Fairmont, to name one).

We decided to open a label as a platform for Italian artists to create, and develope the genre.

After 8 years I realized the time to close the curtain has come.

The music industry has changed, the whole scene has changed, even the artists, most of them, are changed. Some left, some took different paths.

It’s time to rebirth.

Change totally the genre maintening the same name have no sense, so the best solution is to close and open a new one.

In the meantime, 2021, I opened a sub label to shift all the experimental stuff, called M87 (home for TON 618 project).

Are there any specific learnings from your past ventures that you're bringing into Exodus? How do you see these learnings influencing the label’s direction?

Be always clear and transparent since the very beginning.

Seems foregone, but this is a mandatory aspect you have to learn from the experiences through the years when you face people who actually are not your friends, but artists with talent, guys who are making music.

You have to honor your mission: spread both the quality and talented music and the artists. Nothing else.

Quality, talents and, of course, respect for each other work.

These above are what you need mostly.

In my life I met various people in music industry, so sometimes they were humble, sometimes just cunning, sly guys trying to get the fame. Watch out for them, the second ones I mean, because they are the fine example of the people you have to stay away.

How do you see the evolution of your career from your earlier labels to now launching Exodus?

I see as a journey into the music industry learning from the shape changing from the very beginning till now. You’ll never stop learn something new, even from the next generations.

Industry Perspective:

In the ever-evolving music industry landscape, what unique opportunities do you see for independent labels like Exodus?

I think personally the whole music industry assets are changing.

Many independent labels has risen to power during the last 15 years, or even more (I would say from the beginning of the 2000s), beginning a global landmark, stronger as many major around.

This means we are in the middle of a true reversal.

For example, look at labels like Armada or, older, Ninja Tune.

While the first has become more or less almost a major, despite the beginning, the second one remains a true indie label influential like a major.

They got the same visibility as a major, but remains independent as the choice of music and the way it is distributes.

So, because of that, I think we live in an age of big chances.

How do you plan to navigate the challenges that come with the saturation and digitalization of the music industry?

It’s not easy, to be honest. Everything go around the streaming. So the main label is focused on club and rave music to bypass the issue to being used only for streaming, while the sublabel, M87, release on vinyl as well to be appreciated in the classic way for the fans of the genre.

Personal Insight:

As a seasoned artist and a label head, how do you maintain a balance between your personal artistic pursuits and your responsibilities towards the label?

I started a sort of parallel project to split myself from the role of the label head and the artist. Many people don’t know yet the name of the project so it is a sort of mistery that maintains the freedom to be independent

Looking ahead, where do you see Exodus in the next five years, and what legacy do you hope to create with this new venture?

I would say, like the motto of my previous label, “The Future Is Unwritten”, but in reality I think we got good chances to put ourselves on the map as a role model to bring back the real Techno from the gold years, riding the wave of the recent came back.

But in the end, while our motto is “Unite we are Strength”, the old one remain always valid, because the only certain thing is that the future is unwritten.


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