-How do you develop your musical research? What’s your ‘go to’ medium when you search for new music/artists/scenes?
Lorenzo: I think that the social media are a great way to find new artists, tracks and labels. Sometimes you don’t even have to look for them, they come to you with ads. But in the past it was different and now I’m gonna say something really ‘politically incorrect’: downloading tracks with eMule or LimeWire had its perks! Sometimes the tracks you downloaded were ripped directly from compilations or vinyl LPs. If you were curious you would search for that compilation (eg. the first time I downloaded Axwell’s ‘Feel The Vibe’ the song was ripped from ‘Ministry Of Sound: Running Trax Marathon’ compilation), and that would lead you to discover new music. Whether you like it or not, sometimes it happened like this! Haha.
Andrea: I’m looking for new music every day in any way, buying vinyl, CDs, cassettes; opening Spotify and listening to random artists; reading international music news; going outside to discover new scenes.
Dante: As I said before everything starts with a Web based research: could be a video could be a music streaming platform. I start from my favourite artists and I keep an eye on the suggested ones. Step by step I start to deep dive into the genre, the artist via her/his bio and social media, because I am very curious about the musical and artistic influences thy had. This may be a trigger to an infinite loop but it’s worth the trip!
Carmela: Let's say I'm a huge Bandcamp fan and I spend a lot of time on it. However, I receive the best news via e-mail, also because my job at Parkett is precisely to agree and work on the premieres and new releases.
Nicola: I often let the my music streaming platforms run casually, but I still prefer word of mouth. Talking to people about music and discovering their passions about new trends and new genres is still the engine of my music research.
-Can you describe a typical day at the Parkett’s newsroom?
Lorenzo: Each day is different, there’s no routine. What changes is the amount of news: sometimes everybody is busy doing something and the homepage is flooded by new contents, some others you might have to wait a couple of days or even create the content by yourself for example by issuing or re-issuing a feature (a focus on Italian artists, a cycle of interviews to promoters or club owners and so on…). Sometimes you get even interviewed! Haha. Moreover, there’s plenty of autonomy: If I want to do something because I like it and the project fits the Parkett editorial line, then I can do it.
Andrea: Looking for music, news and full of excitement to talk about your new discoveries to your fellow colleagues.
Dante: Our newsroom is a dynamic environment composed of a main room and other sub rooms with the ‘specialists’ in some peculiar category (news, interviews, etc) but at the same time our group is very flexible. Everybody could raise the hand and propose new contents or develop something independently that should be following our mission and target. Eventually there is a good mutual exchange and we try to keep and attend some web calls, waiting for a reunion as soon as it’ll be possible.
Carmela: : I have to say that our newsroom doesn’t have a physical location but we are well connected through facebook and virtual rooms. In the morning, I and the other board members discuss the contents to be assigned. Then I contact the boys and assign the news to write. It might seem like a simple routine, but everything is kept in the close bond that is created between collaborators through dialogue and discussion.
Nicola: Everyone thinks that we have some headquarters but the truth is we’ve been smart working even before it became a widespread, necessary practice. We come from all over Italy and there are some others also live abroad. My desk is everywhere, that of my room, a lawn in a park, a coffee table. It depends where I get the inspiration.
-What’s on your desk on a normal day?
Lorenzo: A coffee, my computer, lots of to do lists, the e-mail page open and the main music newspapers. Then maybe some articles to finish or to retouch.
Andrea: Turntable, headphones, a book and the computer to write something interesting.
Dante: First, a good cup of coffee! We usually share internally updates and news from the world of electronic music. Then we decide what to bring to our readers’ attention.
We’re free to develop our interests and bring our personal style in some more dedicated contents. For example talking about the development of an Electronic and Underground culture from the world, talking about how Electronic Music and visual performances can mash up and so on. Now I am working on some new music and looking forward for some interesting updates from the World. Artists are in a very productive mood I would say so it’s fun to discover what’s new.
Carmela: On my desk I never miss a calendar with all my WIP, a good cup of coffee and ‘Selected Ambient Works 85–92’ by Aphex Twin. It is the perfect sound journey to accompany my working days.
-Tell us what’s been your best working experience so far at Parkett and why.
Lorenzo: Well, there’s a couple of contents I’ve been able to work on that were really amazing: the interview with Gaetano Parisio, a Neapolitan Techno icon that wrote electronic music’s history with his records, and the interview with Dennis Cruz (my first real interview) which had a big success on social media and gave me many followers from Colombia and Brazil haha.
Andrea: My favourite experience at Parkett is when I interviewed an artist for the first time: it is amazing to listen to and share feelings with somebody who speaks your same language.
Dante: Other than writing news I also happen to do interviews. Before the pandemic breakout I had the chance to interview Worakls. It’s been my first one so you can imagine how much I was thrilled to ask anything to an artist like him. I tried to keep calm, then my curiosity led me to go in depth: I wanted to understand which has been the ‘trigger point’ that pushed him to evolve from a pure classical background to an electronic evolution and I felt really close to him because I basically did the same myself. At that time he was touring around Europe with an orchestra and I was curious to know how, from his perspective, electronic music could match classical sounds. For example, It’s been successfully brought up by artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Jeff Mills and Francesco Tristano but now it seems like we are seeing the birth of a new trend. This interview with Worakls taught me a very important lesson: learning something about the origin of the artists while listening to their work is crucial. Every single event in their life influences their performances and their productions and with a focused and respectful listening you can catch it!
Carmela: There are two things I will never forget that happened thanks to Parkett. The first is the interview I did with Dave Clarke, my all time favourite artist. The second one is a project that Parkett created in collaboration with a Tuscan organisation. The project was called ‘Tell Me Aboundless’ and in each episode, conducted by me, an artist from the Italian scene was interviewed before one of his DJ sets. Everything was captured on cameras and posted online. It was incredible to get to know the artists so closely and it was also my first experience in front of the cameras. I will never forget it.
Nicola: My best experience was definitely when I interviewed Mark Broom. I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with one of the best English techno producers who was very helpful and sincere. Although I am very attached to the article I wrote in favour of the release of the Palestinian DJ Sama ‘Abdulhadi, who was unjustly incarcerated for the only reason of having played music. I hope her actions helped to create a public debate and, of course, that she’ll be released.
-Has the pandemic, in any way/shape or form, changed your way of communicating/writing about music?
Lorenzo: To be honest, the only thing I feel has really changed is the way in which people approach music. Communication and writing is clearly influenced by the environment and your feelings when you do it. If you’re scared about something you’ll write scary or worried things; if you’re feeling blue, you’ll write melancholic words. I basically tried to stay neutral and to keep the Parkett’s environment in a bubble, acting as the pandemic never happened and everything was still normal. I’d say that something in the way people communicates about music has changed but the people’s positivity is still present and this reflects in the way they talk about the future, and that’s the same for me!
Andrea: People have less and less desire to read and to invest time in demanding activities: in my articles I try to be concise and direct to get to the point and not to bore the readers.
Dante: Well, I feel the pandemic didn’t change that much the way of communicating but the type of content we had to work on. During the first lockdown everybody has been quite shocked by the cancellation of events, venues and festivals so it has been psychologically hard to often deal with ‘cancellation/rescheduling’ news. But even in tough moments we know that we should keep up the good works and see the silver lining, when possible. I think that the pandemic impacted dramatically the artist’s creativity: spending more time at home or in the studio gave em the chance to produce new songs, albums and even visual arts. Anyway, we missed live performances a lot, yet we had the opportunity to follow live streams. At Parkett we hosted artists with our featured stream show called ‘Homework’, which helped to feel less isolated. We were not under the same roof but we had a different way of sharing our feelings during a good live show.
Carmela: Unfortunately yes, even if in some ways for the better. I used to go clubbing every weekend before the pandemic, traveling all around Italy! But unfortunately I haven’t had a proper club night since July2020 and it feels like an eternity. However, during the pandemic, I tripled my vinyl purchasing activity which resulted in growing a collection that I am very proud of. The pandemic have changed the way music and events are experienced. It’s different to write about a record that you listened to in your room on YouTube, compared to writing about something that you have actually listened to inside a club, feeling its sonic impact on your skin. I believe that it will take time before we’ll be able to dance safely again and it’ll surely be different. Many people will have left the scene, there will be a generational change and, well… looking at younger generation’s attitude I don’t think it’s good. Come on… I'm just kidding. We are ready to welcome everyone back on the dancefloor as soon as possible.
Nicola: Honestly no, the quarantine made me listen to a lot more music but the style remained unchanged. What is certain is that now if we talk about an event or interview an artist, the question about the COVID is present, as in the case of this interview.
-An future projects you want to share with us? What’s cooking in the Parkett’s kitchen?
Lorenzo: I keep on working on some projects: most of em are interviews with some really influential artists of the House music scene. Actually I’m a bit mysterious about things I’m involved in, just wait and see!
Andrea: I keep my own rubric called ‘Preludio’. With it I introduce artists through words, images and music. In the first two issues I talked about DARKSIDE and MOBY, but get ready for a bright future full of surprises.
Dante: Just stay tuned and feel free to reach us! Is important to have a feedback from you guys and interact with all the people that share our same passion for electronic music.
Carmela: May was a very busy month. We have hosted many premieres of established labels in the Techno and House music scene. We have a lot of interesting contents that we will present in the coming months. Interviews, editorials and of course tracks in absolute preview. I don't mention names, out of superstition, but we assure you they’re some of the best, as always.
Nicola: Keep following us!
-Thanks for sitting with us on the AM couch. It’s been delightful to have you here for what has surely been one of our most entertaining interviews. Thanks for your time!
Lorenzo: Your couch was the most comfortable I’ve ever sit on. Thanks to you for your kindness!
Andrea: Thanks to you, it was a pleasure to talk to you about music. See you soon!
Dante: Thank you, guys for hosting the Parkett family! I have really enjoyed this interview with you and I look forward to meet and see you soon!
Carmela: Thank you. It was a real pleasure to be on the other side for once!
Nicola: Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to express myself.