"Music is in a way a therapeutic release of negative energy channeled into a positive outcome"
The story of the dj, live artist and producer Pablo Bozzi is a love story with music that he formed for the first time at age 6, spending his childhood and adolescence practicing the harpsichord at the National Conservatory of Toulouse, Pablo Bozzi is a Berlin-based producer, live artist and DJ who is now behind a multitude of aliases. 'and co-projects. Its sound is unique, and some have come to classify it as "Italo Bozzy Music". From EBM and Techno, through New Wave, to Italo, New Beat and Industrial, he maintains little respect for conventional parameters within electronic music.
We caught up with to talk about how he stays motivated, juggling his eclectic music tastes and negotiating a vault full of unreleased music.
You now live in Berlin. Did you see this move as a rite-of-passage / essential for your career or simply a lifestyle choice?
My friend Thomas from Imperial Black Unit was already living in Berlin and I was travelling back and forth to work with him. I had just finished my degree in Sound Design in Montpellier and we had our first upcoming release on Aufnahme & Wiedergabe just confirmed so naturally it felt like it was the right move to make.
I also really value the freedom and diversity that Berlin has to offer, you really can’t find this atmosphere anywhere else. That combined with the cost of living made it an easy decision for me to make the move here.
Can you tell us a little about your musical background? Where did you grow up and what role does music have in your life?
I have been connected with music since my youth. I joined the musical conservatory of Toulouse at the age of 6 until 15 and that's when I got bored of this classical way of learning music.
I can say music is my strongest form of expression and definitely the one I’m feeling the most comfortable with. It’s a way for me to express difficult emotions, I sometimes have difficulties conveying how I feel, even to those closest to me.
Music is in a way a therapeutic release of negative energy channeled into a positive outcome.
I grew up in Toulouse and started to get into electronic music there, even if now I’m living in Berlin I still put a lot of importance on staying connected with my hometown. We created a collective with a few friends from there called Toulouse Gouffre Club that aim to showcase artists coming to the city and to put Toulouse on the map!
You studied Harpsichord to a high level. A unique instrument and one that perhaps wouldn’t immediately spring to mind for many. How did you come to choose this instrument?
I remember at around the age 6 being at a concert and someone was playing the harpsichord and I really loved the sound of plucked chords from the performance. And that's when I had the desire to play the Harpsichord.
What do you feel have been the most useful skills learnt from your classical musical studies that you’ve been able to use in your current production process?
I learnt everything about musical theory from reading music sheets to knowing the scales and being able to recognize notes by just hearing them, so of course all that has been very useful in terms of composition.
But I can also say that when I started getting into electronic music I noticed that my friends who didn't have classical training were much more creative than me because this training had made me more rigid in terms of the creative process and took me a bit of time to get out of this way of thinking.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in 'life')? And how have they affected your sound?
I’ve always been inspired by the relationship between music and movies in general. I grew up amongst the classics and so I would mention John Carpenter, Ennio Morricone, David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch as reference. They have very different approaches that all taught me something along the way.
I’m listening and I’m inspired by a lot of different types and genres of music so it’s hard to choose. To mention a few that inspired me and my sound over the years, Front 242, Tobias Bernstrup, The Crystal Method for the ‘old’ references, while many releases from Giallo Disco and Mild Peril (Molasar, Body Party or Paladin) shaped a more modern aspect of my listening but with still this 80’s vibe.
I would mention that I love old school rap, psychedelic rock, downtempo music when it comes to music for everyday, and even recently a bit of trap or drill was added to the mix.
So let's discuss your music. You have a new release, "Last Moscow Mule”, on Dischi Autunno. The EP crosses genres, from retro-breaks to Italo-inspired jams. We know you’re a producer who seems to enjoy exploring sounds & styles. Is this a conscious decision as an artist to work without boundaries?
The EP is a reflection of what I like to play or listen to in general. It’s a mixture of my favourite influences that I'm trying to emulate but with a more of a modern twist which is now referred to as Italo Body Music or as some say “Italo Bozzi Music” haha :C
I’m not forcing myself to play different types of music together, it’s something that comes naturally. I find that way more interesting from my point of view to combine all my different influences in one. In relation to this I can say that next year will see the light of my own label called Second Sight. The aim of this label is to showcase this type of hybrid sound and also sounds that are pushing boundaries across genres.
What can you tell us about Soft Crash? How easy do you find it working together?
Hayden is also a trained musician so our work dynamic flows quite easily.
We have been friends for a few years but our work collaboration began shortly after my first solo release on BITE. We combined forces due to our mutual passion for italo/ synthwave etc to see how far we could take it. When we entered the studio we progressed quickly, creating songs in more unexplored territory, making it more contemporary. We’re actually working on full lenght album for next year.
And what can you tell us about Infravision, the duo with Kendal? How would you define the sound of Infravision?
We’ve known each other since few years through our collective Toulouse Gouffre Club and built a strong friendship since then. We are both interested in the same kind of music (Italo, EBM, new beat, etc) So naturally we started to produce tracks together combining our respective influences. We made our first track ‘Corpo Mecanico’ that featured on Kendal’s EP on Moustache Records. From this we decided to start our Infravision project to go further in this direction.
The sound of Infravision is inspired from a lot of music from the 80s and 90s but with a wish to make it more modern in terms of production and build up.
It focuses on elements almost in a cinematic way a bit like retro futuristism or Dystopian Sci-Fi but with our touch. We really also wanna try to explore merging the two worlds of sound and visuals.
I spent the first lockdown at Kendal’s flat working 24/7 on the album that we’re really looking forward to unveil and that gonna see the light beginning of next year on Zanias label Fleisch.
Will we see the return of Lapse Of Reason soon?
Not anytime soon, the Pablo Bozzi moniker has marked the change of a sound more personal to me so it was a natural progression to make this change over but let’s see what the future holds :C
How is your studio looking right now? What kind of hardware / software do you like to work with?
I have few hardware synths: Prophet Rev2, Virus B,Electribe EA1, Korg Wavestate, TX7, Minibrute MK2 and also a bunch of effect pedals from distortion to delays, reverbs etc.
Then I’m using Ableton as a central piece of the studio where everything is sequenced and recorded separately and then assembled as a track.
I have a few drumachines that I use to jam but for final tracks all the drums are built in Ableton, mainly from samples.
I really love the workflow of Ableton and the combination of hardware and software, also using a bunch of plugins for digital synths and for sound treatment.
And finally can you tell us about any acts you’re loving right now, especially any that we may not be aware of?
Sure, I would recommend you to check out these acts:
Chinaski Ed Isar Emotive Response
OTHR Patricia Kokett
And last I would recommend to check all the artists from Toulouse Gouffre Club (A Strange Wedding, Arabian Panther, Blind Delon, ERROR508, Jan Loup, Kendal, Ravenn, and The Homeopathics)