Hi Dario, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi thanks for having me, I’m fine thank you. I’ve produced a lot of new music recently and I’m waiting to be able to share it all with the people.
Please tell us a bit about where you’re from and what first turned you on to making music.
I’m from Catania in Sicily, the city of where the Etna volcano is. I started playing guitar as a teenager and I couldn’t stop playing music, I was hooked!
My encounter with electronic music and a computer was crucial in fuelling my desire and curiosity to look for a sound that was always consistent and really felt right.
Who are your musical influences?
My musical influences are actually quite diverse and range from Miles Davis, Pink Floyd and Jeff Mills, through to Portishead, Piero Umiliani and Brian Eno, and they all have an influence on my own productions in some shape or form.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound ranges from ambient and downtempo pieces with Jazz influences, through to a dance floor grooves.
What instruments do you play and do you perform live?
When I play live I change the set up to follow the mood of the party, just like with a dj set really. I use Moog DFAM E MOTHER 32 for the improvised part and I play the drum machine and guitar or bass guitar for the rhythm and melodic parts. I love to process everything with a mixer and fx like a dub master.
How do you typically go about writing a new track?
Each track I produce usually follows a different path, I don’t have a set formula really. Sometimes I listen to records, sometimes I start playing with some beats on the drum machine and other times playing with the Moog or the guitar. The important thing for me is that the loop can run for hours whilst trying things out and it doesn’t bore me.
You released your debut ‘Calamari Fritti EP’ on the Italian label Hell Yeah in 2018, how have things progressed for you since then?
My sound has been steadily changing and evolving since then, its largely influenced by the times and the new music that I listen to and get inspired by.
You landed on Phil Cooper’s Balearic label NuNorthern Soul in 2020 with your ‘Cosmic Sailing EP’, which is now getting a remix package released featuring reworks from Hot Toddy, Blair French, Willie Graff and James Bright. What can we expect to hear and are you happy with the results?
I am very happy with the ‘Cosmic Sailing Remix’ package, the guys are all really great producers, each bringing their own special interpretations of my tracks, offering a lovely mixture of chilled Balearic, Disco, Latin and Electronica. When I first heard them I was sure that they would be liked and played by many DJ on the Balearic scene, and they have been really well received.
Have you any plans to make an album?
Yes, I am actually working on writing my album right now and will have more news on that soon.
How is the current music scene in Sicily?
The music scene in Sicily is always active, vibrant and contemporary, but a lot of producers don’t actually live on the Island, but I am one of the few who still lives here.
What’s your own personal favourite release to date and why?
Calm – Shadows and Lights (My Friend Dario’s Etna Breeze Remix). Thanks to Calm’s wonderful original sounds and samples, it was easy and exciting to make this remix. The acid part after the breakdown is one of my favourite My Friend Dario moments for sure.
Which of your own tracks holds the most precious memories for you and why?
‘Fenice’ is definitely the track that reminds me of an important moment. During the lockdown I had the opportunity to play live in a small town on the slopes of Mount Etna, here is the link to check out the set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LgenvUL4IM
What pearls of wisdom have you got to offer up and coming producers?
None in particular. I just think you have to produce the music that makes you feel good and to always be consistent. Sooner or later your time will come.
What else have you got coming up that you can tell us about?
After the NuNorthernSoul remix release, there’s a little 12” Mix coming on Hell Yeah Recordings called Desertico / Sunset Outro.
My Friend Dario ‘Cosmic Sailing Remix EP’ (Incl. Hot Toddy, Blair French, Willie Graff and James Bright Remixes) will be released (incl Vinyl) on 30th July 2021 on NuNorthern Soul.