In between mastering records for M>O>S Recordings, Delsin and Dekmantel amongst a host of other quality labels and artists leading Amsterdam's most recent charge, Italian born Marco Antonio Spaventi has been slowly building his own discography, moving between his native Italo-disco to deep hypnotic house and crunchy analogue techno.
When he’s not touring, mixing or mastering records for Europe’s best producers, or running Ableton lectures around the world, Spaventi is generally in his Amsterdam based studio jamming with his impressive array of vintage machines, either with M>O>S founder Aroy Dee and G-String as part of the R-A-G trio, or as part of Crystal Maze, a darker sound-design focussed project he shares exclusively with G-String. This year we’ve seen Spaventi put out EPs for Bio Rhythm and Echovolt as part of Crystal Maze, plus a return to slower Italo territory on a record for Slow Motion under his own name, topped off with a stomping remix for Design A Wave on Rush Hour which caused quite the ruckus on the interweb. His contribution to our series opens up with an exclusive intro track that he produced especially for the mix, we couldn’t have asked for much more than that! We caught up with Marco to see what he’s been up to, and he’s even been good enough to include a full track list for the mix below.
What have you been up to? I see you’ve been preparing some ‘lost soundtracks’, what can you tell us about that project?
The second part of this year was very busy, both in music and private life. Lots of changes!
The cinematic album is a project which I have had since a while but only recently found the right time and state of mind to finish it. I write soundtrack kinda music mostly when I need to relax and get lost in my own world. I find it to be the most natural expression of that particular zone. Not outspoken, not banging but rather intimate and cozy, late night material.
Your sound has varied extensively across your handful of solo releases, and even further when adding in your collaborative projects R-A-G and Crystal Maze. Do you consider this desire for experimentation in the studio a natural reflection of your own varied musical tastes?
Yes indeed. I spend so much time in the studio (guess where I am now) to work on someone’s else music or commercial stuff… when I’m here to actually make my own music I just want to feel free, having to fit a specific sound doesn’t work for me, it blocks my creativity. So I just start to make some stuff and then try to finish it by going to a certain direction that comes out naturally. I’ve tried many times to sit and say ‘ok now I wanna make a MOS track’…. then I end up with nothing!
I know you have been making records with Aroy Dee for a while now, many of which have been released on his label M>O>S Recordings. How did you guys get together and why do you think the two of you work so well together?
Well, Steven is a really nice person, always positive, so it’s a pleasure to work together. We originally met through G-string. We are now good friends and that’s important for a respectful and productive balance in the studio. Plus he has clear ideas and I have the ability to realise those ideas and make them sound in a certain specific way. We collaborated in many things not only RAG. The Army of God, the recent project with Mr Duvall, the mixing and mastering for his label (and later for his good friend Delsin) and so on.
Speaking of your work with Aroy Dee and M>O>S, your studio jam collective R-A-G (also featuring G String) sounds like a lot of fun. Tell us about that project, how long have you guys been jamming and when did it turn into a full on live set? Was that a smooth transition from studio to club?
Like I mentioned, we got together through our common friend G-string. I met him first, ages ago and he introduced me to Steven, with G String we found to have common taste in music so we started jamming, then Steven joined and RAG was born! That started it all.
It really is a lot of fun, we would meet on a Friday for example and have a laugh and play around with the gear, I am a gear addict so have enough machines in the studio to make six hands really busy!
And that’s how RAG is, like a band, pure machine affair, everyone plays an instrument, and I engineer the whole thing, with more or less precision, depending on how many drinks we had…
This one night a while ago we got into a really nice vibe and one of our deepest tracks came out, it will be part of an upcoming RAG mini LP release! The live set was a natural extension of that. Like I said, we are a band, so we bring the gear on stage and play our tunes.
You’ve spoken about Holland being a great place for finding vintage synthesizers, have you picked up any particularly exciting new bits of vintage gear lately that you can tell us about?
Ohhh man don’t get me started on this one! Lately I am investing much more in outboard equipment for mastering, there is some wonderful gear out there, not vintage but just really, REALLY good sounding.
But yes the Benelux is a good place because there is some sort of cultural thing here about electronic music and instruments. But to reply your question, I accumulated a lot in the past, not much lately.
One thing worth mention is that early this year I managed to get my hands on an original Memorymoog. WHAT a beast man! Such a specific tone, wonderful. I used it a lot to finish the lost soundtrack album, because of its strong character. Haven’t used it much in house or techno yet.
What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us? Who are some of the artists that feature in the mix?
I wanted to feature some of the artists that inspired me so much, both well-known and upcoming talents. And also because I just finished the soundtrack album I still feel that vibe really strong, so I wanted each track to tell a story. The podcast also reflects a bit my production vision between raw stripped down productions and more clubby sample based ones, anyway always with funk because where would music go without funk?
So among others we have Moodyman, Theo Parrish, Blawan, Daft Punk as well as good friends Dozzy (vs Tin Man here), ASOK, Herva and this Hazylujah guy whose track really impressed me a while back.
Plus I used some material of my own, upcoming and already released, as well as an extract of one of my live sets, the last song, which is unreleased and only really 2 months old! The intro tune is something I wrote expressively for you guys.
What do you have coming up next?
The lost soundtrack album is ready and waiting to be cut, then I have a few singles in line and right now focusing my energies on finishing the LP for MOS, raw, emotional and club friendly material!
01 – MaSpaventi – Melbourne Deepcast intro
02 – Frak – 666 (edit)
03 – Hazylujah – Hazylutrax
04 – Conforce – 24 (Gesloten Cirkel remix)
05 – MaSpaventi – Missing Sunlight (unreleased upcoming)
06 – Donato Dozzy vs Tin Man – Test 7
07 – Blawan – Peaches
08 – Herva – Slam The Laptop
09 – Asok – Millenium 2.2
10 – Moodymann – The Dancer
11 – Daft Punk – High Fidelity
12 – Theo Parrish – Dance Sing
13 – Spaventi Dazzurro – Lonely (club mix)
14 – MaSpaventi – The endless pit (unreleased live set excerpt)