Venezuelan artist and Modernity resident Giorgio Maulini to some may be best known for his involvement with the mountain top festival and associated party series but his involvement in the underground music scene stretches back much further than these most recent scenes.
This talented artist staked his claim in the Danish city of Copenhagen at an early age and then later in the growing scenes of Switzerland. We recently caught up with the South American to discuss how things have been progressing for him during these torrid times and it is clear that Giorgio was making the most of the situation, “We actually have been very lucky here in Switzerland because it hasn’t been too crazy restriction wise. I live far from the city, in a ski resort so we are quite far from all the populated cities witch has helped us to be chilled up here.” The fact that Giogio stays in a more remote part of the world from most people he has been able to adapt and remain productive, “Long days in the studio and more time than ever to finish a big number of projects that needed that amount of time to finished, reviewed or put more creative input into.”
With Giorgio’s schedule becoming ever increasingly hectic the enforced lockdown as sad as it is, it is seen by many as a much-needed period of downtime, “The first month we were skiing a lot until the ski resort closed down due to the virus. After that, I locked-down in the studio making music, watching movies and digging for new music, buying records, etc.” For artists that rely on touring for their income stream, Giorgio has also been keeping active by working in some vineyards close by his town to keep active and keep an income of cash. While the event industry gets back in shape this element of adaption is essential as bills are still coming as usual.
One of the most immediate repercussions of the worldwide pandemic is the halt to events of all sizes and the most notable that Giorgio is involved in is that of Modernity Festival. Giorgio gives insight as to how this will affect the brand going forward, “We were quite sad to postpone it because everybody was super excited for this edition of the festival but it was a necessary move with all this going on.” Ever the optimist Giorgio puts a nice spin on a possible rescheduled date, “let’s see what happens in the upcoming months and how everything evolves but I think it would be very interesting to see it happen in September with warmer temperatures and summer vibes.” He goes on to expand on this, “I don’t believe is a strong impact for the brand, to be sincere we are just trying to make it happen and dealing with the situation the more diplomatically possible staying inside the regulations of the government. We have to see the glass half full and see the positive part of the picture there’s nothing else to do other than be patient and optimistic.”
The festival previously known as Caprices was populating a single weekend only, and the recent move to introduce a double weekend was a new and innovative direction for the brand and Giorgio explains the reason for the shift, “I think for the management made more sense having the festival in two weekends rather than having the 4 days in a row on weekdays so everyone could have the possibility to take the weekend off and travel to this beautiful location to come and see their favourite artists perform and for the ones we live here well… double fun.”
With Giorgio being an accomplished producer our chat quickly moves onto how things have been progressing in his studio, “I have been spending a lot of time in the studio this last year, a lot! I have been investigating even more and trying new things, going back to the roots of Detroit and Chicago sounds and to the beginnings of Hip-Hop back in the 80s for inspiration.” Like many artists using this downtime to expand their skills Giorgio has been delving into his own musical roots, “I have always felt very attracted to the culture of the movement so I wanted to dig deeper in the minds of the key players of that time and find out where their influences came from and how they get to those sounds, what equipment they were using and who they were sampling. So it has been a very nice and intense journey of investigation and diving deeper into this era to refind my sound and find what I am looking for musically speaking.”
This period of self-discovery also bleeds into the equipment that Giorgio chooses to craft his tracks, “I have been focusing on knowing my equipment very well before adding something new to the family. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of synths, drum machines FX or modules I would love to buy but with a lower income at the moment this seems like the most affordable option at the moment.” Before the world went into lockdown Giorgio was and still is producing his own brand of label focused music and associated party series in Underground Town. He lets us in on where the brand came from, “Everything came very natural. I live in a very unlikely location for most of the people. It is a town at 1700 meters in the heart of the Swiss Alps. We were doing always small parties with the friends and I decided to take it to the next level and do small events up here in the alps bringing quality artists and giving quality music to the people that come to our events also being able to share a bit of our lives up here with the artists and spend the weekend skiing or snowboarding and disconnect from the normal weekend gig.”
As well as these mountain-based events Giorgio was also taking control of the region’s most important nightspots with guests such as Praslea, Cabanne, Gene on Earth, Mihai Pol, Guti, Archie Hamilton, Janeret, Dana Ruh, Silat Beksi and Alci to name a few, “We have also a residency in one of the local clubs at Lausanne (Folklor) where we have a bit more of budget and we can step the game up once a month with bigger bookings so we are very happy about that. This year is the 5th year we do our parties and we have hosted more than 50 international artists always in small set up from around 250 to 300 people which for me is the ideal environment.” He continues, “The label is a consequence of the events. We strictly release music from artists that have performed at the events, close friends of mine or artists who are coming to perform in the near future. So if we keep on doing events we will keep on releasing records.”
Underground Town has previously released 3 very well received and sold out EP’s featuring some of the best names in the business, so with the 4th outing just around the corner Giorgio was able to let us in on what he has planned, “In this 4rth release we have Cosmjn who is a very talented guy and great producer we all know about. He was supposed to come and play for us this winter but with the virus, we had to cancel. We have Alex Zola who is one of my good friends, resident DJs of my events, and a hard-working guy who is doing some serious music at the moment. I met in Honduras Loht Vostok a couple of years ago who is also working hard and making some great music so I wanted to include him in this VA and the last track is one of mine. I try to always put one in every VA I have to many tracks around my PC so I always try to squeeze one in.” Followers of the label will know that so far all releases on Underground Town have been VA’s and Giorgio has also asked himself the question whether artist EP’s have a place on the label at the moment, while this will come in time the label signature is that of variety from the close family of artists that orbit the label.
Moving onto Giorgio’s other releases he tells us about his Pleasure Zone release, “This release coming on Pleasure Zone is the first release of a series. All of them with projects I did last year. There will be another release on Pleasure Zone later on and one in Rawax as well. Big parts of these tracks were made while touring waiting in airports, or during flights so each track represents what I felt in that specific country or that part of the trip.” Giorgio is in a privileged position where he can introduce his new unreleased music to a wide cross-section of dancefloors and crowd reaction is usually the best gauge of how a track is progressing. Giorgio recalls a recent distinct memory, “I specifically remember this last January in Vietnam Djebali was playing B2B with Alci and they dropped ‘N64’ (check here the review) and the dancefloor was on fire. I remember having Loco Dice next to me and asking Mehdi what track was it he was dancing it like crazy. Something that doesn’t happen every day so that was nice to watch.”
Staying on the topic of Giogio’s studio time he gives the lowdown on some of his work that will shortly be seeing the light of day, “This is actually a very productive year with a full calendar of releases on the way. I like to believe that some of them are going to make some serious noise because I have worked a lot of time on getting to this particular sound and is very different to what is out there.” Giorgio goes on to give exclusive info on a new project, “I am presenting this work on a new label called ‘Mau’. I am launching it at the end of the year or beginning of 2021 to separate it from the other upcoming releases where I will be presenting only my own music. The first one is a 10 track album on vinyl which I am extremely happy with because of its eclectic composition.”
Fans of Maulini will also be glad to read that they won’t need to wait that long before hearing more, “By the end of this month I am releasing another album called ‘Living Room Beats’ via Spotify, Itunes, and digital platforms. As the name says it is only hip-hop beats and downtempo tracks made to listen at home dedicated to a very special person in my life. It’s an album to sit down and really enjoy with a glass of wine. Quite different from what I am used to releasing.” He goes on to add, “Apart from these 2 albums I have some solo EPs coming out on Djebali’s imprint, Island Beats Music, Blind Vision Dubs, Fantastic Friends, Rawax and PZ as I said previously and a couple more on VAs and EPs in collaborations with other artists I respect a lot. Yeah, I have been quite busy (simles).”
With some social easing creeping into countries around the world it is hopeful that there will be some action to be had by the end of the summer. As there is so many exciting artists and parties in our quite frankly often dizzying scene we wanted to know that once the pandemic has passed where would Giorgio wants his first gig to be and who he would he like to perform with, “I haven’t really put a lot of thought on this. I just want it to go but without rushing it either. Just to let happen what it has to happen and then when we are already mentally we will go back to the decks but I guess Modernity would be an amazing come back next to my partner James on Friday and Saturday with Priku, Ion Ludwig and Digby. I couldn’t ask for any better than that. Let’s hope we can make it in September.”
Music understandably takes up a lot of Giorgio’s time and passion but living in the Swiss Alps it was no surprise to learn that he is a very able skier and that he is a fully trained ski instructor, “Yes indeed, that’s the reason behind me living here in Crans-Montana where we have one of the best snowparks of the region. In winter I work as a ski instructor and I coach the next generation of freestylers in our snowpark. I found the perfect balance in between nightlife and sports and I couldn’t live without either of them. My two passions are linked here, the secret of a happy life.”
Either performing solo, with his partner in crime James Mc Hale or via his productions Giorgio Maulini is a talent that we are looking forward to hearing much more from in the near future and hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before he is at the controls of a party near you.