Q. Tell us about your food market sets and parties in Naples, where did this concept originate?
A. The project has its grounds on the love I have for my homeland, and my willingness to give value to the local markets, which are the foremost expression of it.I’m a DJ, so I thought a good way to do it would be by placing a musician in this context, given he or she would play vinyl only on a rotary mixer, so as to be consistent with the context we are set in. Analog is synonymous with history and tradition… just like the historic local markets.
I’d like to point out that when we perform at a local market we aim to blend into it, and do it very discreetly. We respect those who work as well as those who are shopping there, simply looking for seasonal produce to bring to their table. We never advertise our events, so that our artists’ music quality and the ordinariness of the local markets are portrayed in the most natural way.
Q. Why a food market and not any other outdoor public space?
A. Local markets are the essence of the territory in which they are located. We’ve been on a tour of the most important Italian and European markets and noticed that they all encapsulate the history, tradition, and language of the place. They tell us everything about the land they’re in in terms of culture, especially food culture. I do believe they are the center of the world.
I love vinyl. That’s the only format I play on, probably because of my age, but also because I believe that music can be touched as well as listened to, it can be read on the sleeves, even smelled. The records I’ve been carrying around while touring have a distinct smell. They smell of sweat, humidity, of the cigarettes that used to be allowed in clubs, the steam used for visual effects. When I hold a record it’s like holding a bookmark that was placed inside my memory. Vinyl is history, just like local markets. For this reason I think there isn’t a better place outside a club to play a ’70s vynil DJ set.
Q. What is the relationship between the music played and the audience and how does that work with the food vendors? Is it well received, is it welcomed? Are any specific vendors more into the concept than others?
A. We often get surprising reactions from the people we find in front of us. Some old men and women start dancing, others ask us how much the apples are. Many look at us funny wondering what’s going on or are simply intrigued by our music. Market vendors are usually enthusiastic about having us, except probably those working right next to us, due to the music, but in general they all understand our noble cause and let us do our stuff.As we want to be immersed in the land, colors and smells around us, we love placing our artists among fruit and vegetable stalls, or fresh seafood ones when we are in seaside towns.
Q. How often do the outdoor gigs happen, is it seasonal like fruits and vegetables?
A. Our gigs are normally monthly. We often have to deal with bureaucracy, which in Italy especially is a pain, but we usually find promoters or local authorities that host us in their city’s local markets. Each gig lasts about 4 to 5 hours, during which we record 4 or 5 artists’ performances, usually coming from the same area, including a headliner who’s compatible with our concept and is happy to contribute to the cause.
Q. What artists have you had perform and what have been the most memorable sets?
A. I’m in love with all 180gr DJ sets. Surely there are some in particular I’m emotionally more attached to. The first ones are simply unforgettable for me… we had millions of views in a few days. Then there’s Daniele Baldelli who overwhelmed us with a Cosmic DJ set in which he played exclusively his own productions. I love Nu Guinea and Soul Clap ones too, they both had great musical substance. But there are also so many performances of lesser known local DJs that blew me away. The artists we host often play records they can’t usually play in a club, and this is the beauty of 180gr. We’ve recently reached 100 performances… I love them all because each of them has something interesting and personal to say.
Q. What do you have on the horizon for this 2018?
A. 180gr is a self-funded project, so I can’t make long-term plans. But we have some very clear ideas: we’ll stay consistent with the format, and we’ll keep portraying the tradition these magnificent places convey through analog-based artists’ performances. No compromise and lots of Disco music 😉