For our latest installment of Rising Stars, we at Trommel are delighted to feature Giammarco Orsini. The established Italian DJ is already a formidable force in the scene and 2018 has seen him go from strength to strength. With a busy touring schedule and enviable discography, it is safe to say that Giammarco is an artist to watch in 2019.
Hi Giammarco, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Hate to start with the cliché, but what was your entry into DJing and music like?
Hi Guys, thank you for inviting me! Everything started in the summer of 2004. Around that time a friend introduced me to electronic music and we were listening to many recordings from Italian parties. One day I passed by a record store in Pescara and I saw some people inside playing records and I said to myself, I want to try! I was immediately fascinated by the art of mixing and I started to go to the record store every day. There I had the chance to learn how to beatmatch and step by step I started to buy records and I developed a passion for digging.
At this time, were there any particular artists who inspired you creatively?
At the beginning everything was sounding new and interesting to me. I was listening to mix-tapes of Italian deejays or old mixtapes from US legends like Frankie Knuckles or Satoshi Tomie. Italy has deep roots in house music and everyone I was surrounded with was mainly listening to that kind of music. I had spent a lot of time searching for track ID’s online, and after a while I started to discover a wave of Progressive house with artists like Sasha or James Zabiela. They definitely had a big impact on my sound. It was also during that time that I met Francesco Del Garda, who has been a great inspiration since day one.
What about from a technical perspective? What sort of things were you picking up from DJs around you when you started out?
It was really important having older and more experienced DJs around me. They were sticklers for beatmatching and had the mixing technique down pat. In the beginning it wasn’t easy to learn how to beatmatch properly, especially since they were only using the pitch to beatmatch. Everyone who has ever tried to mix 2 records together for the first time knows that it’s not an easy experience, especially using only the pitch. In regards to the mixing technique they were extremely clean and precise. They kept informing me that the flow should be organic and that the listener doesn’t need to notice when you’re transitioning. It is not just about having a nice selection, but having the skills to piece it all together and understand which tracks work in your sets.
I’ll always be grateful for their input, as they always tried to push me over my limits and later on I realized how important those years were, in terms of shaping my DJing perspective.
I’m always nosy about this, but what are your preferences when it comes to mixers? Do you have a rotary that you like using at home?
As a DJ I think it’s important to familiarize yourself with all types of equipment. I think certain mixers are more suitable for certain situations, for example: a rotary mixer is great in an intimate club setting where you’re playing an extended set and have the time to draw out transitions. In a big stage I would prefer to use a standard mixer like Allen & Heath Xone 92.
At the moment I really like the sound of the Allen & Heath Xone V6 or the AR-6 from Bozak or some old school mixers like Outline Pro 405 or Urei 1603.
I’ve read that you’re passionate about connecting dancefloors through records, it’s something I really admire. There’s something incredibly special about being on a dancefloor and hearing a track, particularly one that you can’t identify, and still feeling an overwhelming sense of unity with everyone. Are there any particular records that you feel have the capacity to create these moments?
Indeed! I’m always happy to find one of these records because in the moment that you’re listening to them you say: that’s the one! On the other hand, it’s really important how and when you play these records. To make them stand out, you need to play them at the right moment. If I play several special tracks one after another one they will not have the effect I want. It’s all about the balance between the tracks to let them flow together.
Let’s talk about production. You’ve got an insane discography and I’m pretty excited to hear about your return to Partisan. The release has already been given impressive early support by the likes of Raresh & Praslea. Could you tell us a little about the release or is it still quite hush hush?
I’m really excited about it! It’s going to be a 4 track EP and it will be out in February. During the last year and a half I was listening to different genres of electronic music. From UK Rave Techno and IDM to some Italian Trance/House records. I slowly started to make some tracks trying to explore all the influences I’ve got. The first positive result was The Regresser that will be the B1 of the EP and after a few days I did the A Side: Italia 90. I sent them and other unreleased tracks as demo to Anthea as we were discussing the follow up of my previous ep Game of Chance. She liked them and straight after and we planned the EP.
I find the relationship between DJing and producing really interesting. Since you’ve started producing, how has your mixing style evolved? Do you let arrangements dictate the mix or is it more organic?
It depends on the tracks that I’m playing and the effect I want to have on the dancefloor. I usually like to do smooth transitions to keep the flow hypnotic but sometimes I like to make a short mix as well to switch the vibe of the DJ set. It’s all about creativity, there are no rules – what matters is the result!
What about the other way around, do you gain inspiration in the studio from the energy of the dancefloor?
Absolutely! I love the feeling when you get back after a great weekend and you feel so inspired to go to the studio. I actually created some of my tracks after a cool gig or an inspirational music weekend listening to other DJs or live acts.
We’re pretty excited to have you coming to Australia for the first time for the BeAvantGarde NYE Warehouse Party. Having grown up in Sydney, I’m pretty proud to see our scene going from strength to strength. From the outside what’s your impression of Australia’s minimal scene?
I see the scene is growing, a lot of young and established artists are coming to play regularly and I really look forward to play all these shows. A lot of friends told me that the crowd is very encouraging and people really want to have fun. I want to thank all the people that worked hard to make this tour happen: starting from my agency O300f booking, and my Australian agents.
I’ve been looking forward to playing in Australia for a while now and I’m very excited!
What excites you most about coming to Australia?
I’m pretty curious to discover the country. When I was a kid I had the dream to visit Australia. Later during high school I was checking some opportunities to study English over there, but my parents were against it. In the end more than 10 years later I’m happy to finally have the chance to visit it.
It’s going to feel like Summer during the Christmas holidays and I’m playing great parties and I have the chance to spend time with friends that I haven’t seen in a a while. What else!?
Given that we’re approaching the New Year, some obligatory reflection is surely in order. What have been your highlights for 2018?
This has been a great year for me and I’m really grateful to all the promoters that invited me over to play. I’m proud to have had the chance to tour around South America and to play in some countries for the first time. Gigs like the ones at Club der Visionaere for Partisan, or VBX in Amsterdam or the O300f/Checkpoint party at Sonar Off were really special to me. In Italy I had the chance to play regularly in my beloved Goa Club and for the first time in clubs like Tenax or Sound Department.
Also in the studio I had the opportunity to improve my equipment and finally, since I moved to Berlin, this year was really prolific in terms of music production.
What about moving forward, anything on the agenda for 2019?
A lot of things will come in the next year: my next EP on Partisan is coming out at the beginning of February and another EP before the summer. A lot of new releases are scheduled for 2019 on Heko Records label that I’m running together with my friends Alessio Bettoli, Rino Leonio and Mattia Ronchi. Also, new bookings and tours are in the agenda for the next 6 months.
So fingers crossed and let’s jump into 2019!