101 with Italoboyz

Since arriving in London at the dawn of the new millennium, the duo have become renowned for their unique sound, their energy and flair that traverses their DJ sets and productions.

Their journey together began in 2002. With a taste that holds no bounds and an obsessive passion for crate digging, we can still hear these eclectic influences almost two decades later. Multifarious genres, from funk to jazz, hip hop to classical, and a whole spectrum of house, have all influenced a sound unique to Italoboyz.

Italoboyz released a vast variety of tracks on labels such as Moon Harbour, Viva Music, Circus Recordings, This & That (the list goes on and on) and some astonishing hits, like 2007’s Viktor Casanova on Mothership (over 10.000 vinyl sold, best seller on Wardandsound for the year). The year 2012 saw the launch of Superfiction, an outfit created by Donato and Marton, in partnership with fellow producer and Live act Blind Minded, focusing on creating a movement rather than just a label. Representing their main source of musical output as well as becoming a platform for collaborations and emerging talent, it's another insight into why the 'Boyz are tastemakers and trendsetters in their own right.

What's been the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

Oh gosh, there are so many weird, crazy, and I’d say mainly stupid requests... 

Recently someone offered me a bunch of notes to play "Indian/hip pop music”. Someone also asked me if I could play some sad music! 

Another time a guy came up to the booth, asked me to play Drake, and even went like “pleeeeeeeaeeeeese!” Or people coming up there starting to tell you the story of their life as you are literally mixing in the record…

Can you describe your studio setup for us?

We really like analogue gear, so in various order, we use: 

Roland TR 808, Jomox 999, Yamaha CS-10, Roland Handsonic, Juno 6, Nord Rack, Jupiter 6, Mixer Midas Venice 320, Speakers Focal, Soundcard: Orion Anrelope, Empirical Lab Fatso JR, Roland Space, Echo RE-201, Jomox M-Base 11, Roland Tr-909, Korg Polysix, Dave Smith Prophet 6, Moog Voyager and Neve 1081 Eq.

Could you tell us the story about your first gig?

The very first gig we played, before we were called “Italoboyz” was in 2002 in West London on a Monday night at this open-deck party and it was really funny. 

Then, our debut was in a legendary club called 333 in London, in a dark basement that was one for the books. The first international gig was in 2004, in Munich, in a club that I cannot remember the name of, but it doesn’t exist anymore. The gig was organised by a friend, and we didn’t get paid — at least the flights were booked by them! 

Name three artists that currently inspire you.

Ricardo Villalobos, above anyone else. Not really with his music productions, although they are amazing too, but especially with his DJ sets. Something out of this planet. The other 2 names would be Andrew Weatherall and Mathew Johnson. 

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club… 

Well, we were playing at a festival in Amsterdam, where the stages are one beside the other, and as soon as we started our set there was a cut in the electricity. So the music went off for several minutes, and the crowd didn't think twice to move to another room. That was quite bad!

What do you do before and after your set?

Well, it depends if we are with friends/people we know… in that case, it is nice to hang out either before and after your gig, partying, giggling, etc. Otherwise, the hotel room is “holy”. 

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

For me (Marco), as I was “waiting to serve my country” I went to the army for 1 year (which I proudly did, and I confess, it was probably the most fun and crazy year of my life). I worked for an agency that was sending people to various fabrics, industries, and in general where manpower and labour were requested. Among few “not fully gratifying” jobs I’ve executed in that period, a special mention must be given to the one where I was cleaning disassembled industrial refrigerator engines by spraying kerosene at a very high pressure with a pressure-gun, all covered in a blue dungaree, plastic gloves and an astronaut mask...

For me (Fede) the worst job I had was selling mobile phones back in 2000 in Italy and a short experience as gardener here in London Back in 2003.

What are your favourite labels at the moment?

This question is really tricky. Well, for sure our label, Superfiction Recordings, is the best! But then, it’s really hard to say, because the best music is always printed on new, mysterious, unknown labels…. In the past, we had several specific labels we could recall but nowadays is really hard to give a specific mention. We dig, a lot! 

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?

Bill Evans Trio - Portrait in Jazz

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

Wear a condom. 

By Saša, edited on 04 March 2019