Born and educated in Rome, the young Italian producer Luigi Tozzi was strongly influenced by the roman scene and its local artists, many of whom gave a crucial contribution to the birth and growth of the deep techno sound. Luigi’s music has so far been released on the established label Dynamic Reflection as well as setting a regular cooperation with the very promising and mysterious techno label Hypnus Records from Sweden, where he found a platform that inspired him to develop his style.
We sat down with Luigi ahead of his debut Australian tour to talk influences, creative processes, balancing touring with down time and much more.
How’ve you been Luigi? What have you been up to?
Hey! I’m good, writing from Tokyo. I had a break over the past three weeks and have started to work again on some material for a live set, so I’m very excited about it and I’m looking forward to continue and try to finalize it for the summer. Besides it’s been a very good year until now with some amazing new experiences.
You’re largely inspired from the local scene in Rome and Italy in general. How do you feel the music from the region reflects the social context? In what ways?
Well we have a crazy amount of great artists coming from Rome so there must be something for sure! Still, I don’t feel comfortable to speak about the scene as a whole because I am so young.
For what concerns my music, Rome is absolutely a great place for creating. It is very peaceful in some way and it also has a mediterranean conception of time, people are not always rushing or stressed like in the more northern cities. Another crucial thing is constantly being surrounded by art and beauty, the history of Rome is always there in every part of the city.
The titles of your tracks take on very natural or scientific names, such as Bioluminescence. How is this related to your tracks musically? Do you feel an innate and organic connection to techno?
Look, the matter of track titles is really getting funny nowadays so I am glad you ask about it. I like my music to be very evocative and to evoke some sort of visual impact, to bring the listener in a position where they can imagine the sounds to take place in a different universe. To do so I get inspired by the universes that has fascinated and inspired me since my youth, as I said before one of my main source of inspiration is the sea because I am very much into diving since I was a child.
So the Deep Blue albums come from this passion, and the constant mentions to mythology comes from other roots in my childhood and adolescence. I think that everyone should aim to express something personal with the music, and to choose titles in universes that are very linked to them, but it’s not always the case nowadays.
I saw you recently played in Belgrade, Serbia. For a city in such economic turmoil, how is the techno scene there? How did they respond to your set and the night in general? Do you feel that in some contexts hardship can create a stronger relationship to music?
Yes I did and it was very special! First of all the people hosting me were fantastic and both the club and the public were just perfect. I don’t know exactly how the scene is doing besides the club ‘Drugstore’, but I felt a lot of enthusiasm and energy from the people there. I think that hardship can create a strong desire of escape from reality, and clubs can be the perfect places to spend a weekend away from the routine by enjoying music with like-minded people.
Your music is extremely atmospheric and provides a fusion of ambient and club-based tracks. When you decide to create something entirely ambient, like your ambient mix of Yavin 4, does your creative process change, or is it the same as when you’re constructing club-ready techno?
Well I actually never think about clubs while making music. You can feel in my way of arranging tracks that it’s not thought to have a club impact but more to take the listener on a ride. Also when I make music 90% of the time I tend to start from the textures and the atmospheres, so the approach when making an ambient techno track or a pure ambient are very similar.
The only difference is that without kick and bass I have more space to make my pads and textures even more dense, which is something I love to do.
You’ve mentioned in the past that you like linking music with something visual, in terms of the artwork on record sleeves. Can you elaborate on this? Do you think visual aspects are important when listening to techno, such as projections or posters at shows?
For what concerns the visual side of a record I think it needs to be beautiful and important from the collector’s point of view, with my upcoming record on Hypnus we’re launching a new layout that involves the collaboration with an amazing artist that will take care of our sleeves and labels from now on.
Projections and VJ’ing can be interesting if it is completely linked to the music being played in that particular moment, but still for my personal taste in most of the occasions I like it to be as dark as it can get.
What are your current thoughts on the Italian scene? Who are some of your biggest inspirations at the moment?
Personally at the moment I am quite sad about the Italian scene, I mean from the musical part I think we’re doing great. In all genres and especially from the techno / ambient side we really have incredible potential.
But still we struggle to find the places to really build a solid scene in our country. This is related to many things, but two key points are that government is probably seeing the club scene in a very old way (without understanding it’s great cultural interest). Another point is that a lot of people that are involved in events don’t know anything about music and have a more business perspective.
I wouldn’t talk about biggest inspiration at the moment, I am in a path where I am trying to find and define my sound to a new level and this comes more by introspection for me. But if I have to mention a performance that really had a huge impact on me this year, it was seeing Rrose live in Berlin.
Your touring schedule is growing quite quickly, when will you be getting back into the studio to work on music? and how do you generally spend your spare time with such a busy touring schedule?
After the Australian tour I’ll play in Georgia for my residency at ‘Khidi’ and then in Germany for a Hypnus showcase. So not much work in the studio these weeks, but as I told you I could do it in end of April and beginning of May so I’m looking forward to some action now! Also I am perfectly able to work on music with my laptop and headphones (that is how I basically produced 90% of my discography) so every time I have the chance I can open Ableton and create something.
What are you most looking forward to about visiting Australia?
To discover a completely new part of the world and meeting new people that share my same passion for music.