With an ever-growing sound catalogue that found him recording material for a litany of renowned labels such as Soma, Steadfast, Echocord or more recently Kontra-Musik, Italian producer Roberto Clementi keeps on cementing his position as one surefire deep, dub techno expert and discreet franc-tireur.
If you’re not familiar with his music, his new ‘Novism‘ platter for Hypercolour offers an ideal introduction. Flexing in between hallucinated echo-chambers and murky basement-like sonic habitats, Clementi delivers an abysmal-deep dubby masterclass. But so much with the words, time to let the music do the speaking.
"This podcast could be my ideal set. I like to start off with deep house and let it grow during the night."
Hey Roberto, thanks for recording this mix for us. What feeling did you want to convey in this mix?
Basically I’m a Dub Techno artist, it is a big side of my musical vision, but I also like to play techno and house music with a strong underground taste and dub vision. This podcast could be my ideal set. I like to start off with deep house and let it grow during the night.
Somebody once defined my sets and music as “all-nighter” and I like this definition. My actual club residency and the big or smaller parties I’ve played for years around the Italian Adriatic coast gave me this approach.
How did you get started with music production in the first place?
My story starts in a small town on Italy’s East Coast in the picturesque region of Marche. Whilst growing up remotely I was influenced by external influences, MTV etc, which enabled me to develop my own taste, discover new sounds and find out what I liked. There were a lot of problems with our television signal so in 1989, my father bought one of the first models of satellite receivers and I discovered the live streaming of Street Parade! I was so impressed that I hooked my Fisher Price cassette recorder up to the TV and started recording.
"In 1989, my father bought one of the first models of satellite receivers and I discovered the live streaming of Street Parade! I was so impressed that I hooked my Fisher Price cassette recorder up to the TV and started recording."
Are there any producers that you particularly look up to?
For years Brendon Moeller was a big drive for me (I’ve released also on his vinyl label Steadfast NY), Moritz Von Oswald (and his projects), Andreas Tilliander, Rod Modell, Claro Intelecto, Andy Stott, Shed, Marcell Dettman, Ben Klock, Pär Grindvik, R&S Records stuff, Zenker Brothers and many more.
What was the first techno record you ever bought or listened to?
This question is too embarrassing because it was a bit of a commercial record. In Italy, when I was young, there was a big progressive scene and I remember this amazing track: Mystic Force – ‘Psychic Harmony‘ I first heard it from a tape recorded during a party and then I started looking for it. It was amazing when I found it!
"I hate the concept of 'a studio', a lot of my tracks start from my sofa, my bed, or on the train…I only stay in the studio when I need to record some new analog stuff or do a proper mix."
What’s a day in the studio with Roberto Clementi like?
I haven’t got a particular approach in the studio, but now is a good time for me. I don’t need to concentrate on the sound, compression and other technical sides, but only on the different ideas. I’ve finally reached a good knowledge that allows me to have a good sound level.
I hate all the technical sides of music production and I only want creative flow and research, to continue to develop my taste. I hate the concept of ‘a studio’, a lot of my tracks start from my sofa, my bed, or on the train…I only stay in the studio when I need to record some new analog stuff or do a proper mix.
The Italian techno scene is stronger than ever these days. How do you consider this constant emulation from an Italian perspective?
Yes it’s strong but I’m not in this game. I’m lucky to have my residency at Harmonized that gives me the opportunity to express myself and play with a lot of good artists from all around the globe. There is a lot of hype around techno music, it is a big supermarket … but I know the Italian trend very well, and I do not want to be a part of this perspective, I will continue to make my own sound.
"There is a lot of hype around techno music, it is a big supermarket... but I know the Italian trend very well, and I do not want to be a part of this perspective, I will continue to make my own sound."
What’s your studio gear composed of at the moment? Is there anything that you’ve got your eye on to acquire?
Ableton, some synths from Nordlead, Roland, Yamaha, some effect pedal from Eventide and Tc Electronic and an old tube compressor from TL Audio. I like also to record on tape, just to give another flavour to the sound during the mix. Maybe the next step will be a modular system… but I’m not sure.
I’ve bought and sold a lot of gear to reach my sound, a lot of Roland vintage synths like Juno, Sh and Mc-series… now I’ve got a Yamaha CS-10 for the monophonic side, some drum machines, in particular I like an old MAM ADX1 and a Polyphonic Roland Juno 106. I like good DJ’s and producers, not rich gear collectors that post their big studio room on Facebook but don’t release any good music. That is a crazy marketing strategy.
"I like good DJ's and producers, not rich gear collectors that post their big studio room on Facebook but don't release any good music. That is a crazy marketing strategy."
I particularly enjoyed your dubby-tech Bonton series for Echocord which counts only two volumes, both published in 2014. Can you explain us what was this project about?
When I’ve sent my demo to Echocord, the boss was so impressed that he decided to release it and push me in the best way. The strategy was a little 2 vinyl series and we asked remixes from Marcel Dettmann and Norman Nodge, who both liked the originals and accepted… so we have released 2 vinyls.
Is the Echocord chapter closed or could we expect a third episode?
My Echcocord Colour no.3 is on its way, and perhaps it will be released before the end of 2015.
Can you tell us more about your new release for Hypercolour? In which context has it been recorded?
I’m a big Hypercolour follower since the beginning, when I listened to last year’s releases from underground artist Kris Wadsworth, I decided to send them my new demo. Maybe that was the right time. I make my own dub sound and they liked my project.
What’s the last record you fell in love with and why so?
Skee Mask ‘Larus Canus‘. This track has something spiritual and evocative for me that I really like.
Do you have any new records scheduled for release this year?
Yes, as I said there’s one on Echocord, another for Soma Records with a very cool remix. There are other releases that I prefer not to reveal yet but if you follow my Facebook page, I will announce it day by day.
Roberto Clementi’s ‘Novism EP’ for Hypercolour is released on 11th September 2015. Stream the EP in full on Soundcloud.