STARGATE – Superhelt for kirurgisk trance og abstrakt computermusik
Af Tobias Corell. Fotoreportage af Alexander Julin.
Den italienske elektroniske musiker Lorenzi Senni stod for én af sidste års bedste koncerter på Festival of Endless Gratitude med en røgfyldt og skamløs performance udi ny europæisk trance under navnet STARGATE. Senni, der udkommer på prominente selskaber som Editions Mego (solo) og Hundebiss Records som STARGATE, har gode forbindelser til København og vender allerede tilbage i 2013 på Sejerø. Sammen med vennerne på det italienske Hundebiss Records har Lorenzi Senni og labelets grundlægger, Simone Trabucchi, været primus motor for selskabets helt særegne retning ud i tomrummet mellem elektronisk, hypnagogisk og avantgarde-musik med blandt andet masser af synthesizere. Musikken er milevidt fra den danske alkohol-snøvlende virkelighed, men stadig berusende effektfuld.
How is the music scene in Milan right now? Do you get to experience it, or are you recording and travelling all the time?
Lorenzo Senni: “Milan is cool right now, I’m very happy. We are a group of people doing stuff together. We play shows, organize events, have recording sessions and hang out. I think it’s a perfect scenario to create nice stuff. We also used to perform together (in one night, not in the same time) as CB21. Cesare Balbo 21 is the address of my house in Milan; it’s like the headquarters.”
2012 was a great year for you, getting a lot of recognition and critical acclaim for both Hexplore Superﬂuidity (Stargate 12”, Hundebiss) and Quantum Jelly (Lorenzo Senni, Editions Mego). Do you have any solo-releases planned for 2013?
“Yes, but I can only mention this ART EDITION (LP + DVD 5.1 Surround) which I’m ﬁnishing. More soon – sorry, I’m very superstitious.”
You have an impressive roster on your own label, Presto!? Records. Are you ﬁnding it difﬁcult to be a busy musician and managing your label at the same time?
“Presto!? turns 5 years old this summer, and I’m very happy about everything, but from September I want to develop it into something new that I have in mind which hasn’t been possible to realize until now. I need the summer to arrange things and prepare the bomb and then drop it in autumn 2013. Be ready…still radical. But yes, it is becoming difﬁcult to take 100% care of the label. I had to delay releases and so on. I don’t like to since, as an artist, I know what it means to have your record delayed. Unfortunately, I can’t pay my rent with Presto!?, so I have to give priority to concerts. My girlfriend, Valentina, is a graphic designer, so I hope she can design all the next releases. That would be a big help.”
Last time we spoke was at CTM-festival in Berlin back in February. At one point you took off your Stargate jacket and said something like “Now I’m not Stargate – I’m just Lorenzo.” What are the differences between how you approach your Lorenzo Senni recordings and your Stargate recordings?
“Organs of my body: Stargate is the heart; Lorenzo Senni is the brain and the balls together.”
You seem to have a great deal of focus on the visual aesthetics surrounding your music, even compared to other contemporary musicians. You have recurring symbols and logos, you have designed the covers for all the releases on your label yourself, and you even have your own signature Stargate bomber jacket. What does this imagery mean to you as an artist?
“For me it’s just everything. Stargate is more than imagery for me. It’s life experiences that I already had or I want to have. This creates something that fortunately looks quite coherent. Stargate is the project that has me more involved emotionally speaking, and I can spend hours talking about the tracks I’ve made. “Roppongi Hills” is about my Tokyo experience. I was living next to the Mori Tower, and it was so intense to go up there and look at the city. When it was raining, the top ﬂoor of the tower was closed, but I became friends with the guard, and he let me stay in a small waiting room with a huge window. I explained to him that I had to ﬁnish my record, and I needed some inspiration. For Lorenzo Senni, it’s different. I feel like I want to be more surgical and sharp, so I asked Anne de Vries to design the cover of my Editions Mego record. I found out he had made some artwork that ﬁt perfectly with my visual idea of Quantum Jelly, so we talked, and we chose the right one, I think.”
You used to play the guitar in punk/hardcore bands as a kid, and later you moved on to playing drums. Does this musical background inﬂuence your music today, or was it just a step onthe way to discovering the synthesizer?
“I’ll be honest: The big step was the Fennesz album Endless Summer, and you can easily ﬁnd out why. The ﬁnal question of an interview I did was “Which record have you listened to the most in your life?” Same answer. I started to become interested in Max/MSP and Supercollider , more weird and abstract computer music, sound synthesis and I also studied a lot, A LOT, by myself. Then I released Early Works and after that Dunno.”
You have a tendency to strip away the beat/drum sounds from your songs which enhances the sort of yearning atmosphere that your sound sometimes has. Is this a songwriting strategy, or are you just sick of listening to drums after playing them for so many years?
“I like hidden things. When you have something that is hidden, but you can actually feel it, the effort that your brain makes to draw an image gives a lot of power to it. That’s why you dance to Quantum Jelly, or you get tranced by Stargate.”
Last year you played Festival of Endless Gratitude in Copenhagen, and you are playing Sejerø Festival this summer. What do you get out of playing small festivals compared to a local club?
“Small festivals are super good: You have a good atmosphere because people there are in a different mood of hanging out compared to a club. They are more open to what is coming up, and they’re ready to like what they’ve never heard before. I like local clubs also. If it’s the right night, you can experience the beauty of life.”
Tell me about your collaborations, namely your projects One Circle and Sidney. Are they still ongoing? Any releases on the way?
“One Circle is a trio. We make club music, and we love to play with this project. As we are three people, it’s not easy to play around a lot, but every time we do, it’s super nice. One Circle was born in Istanbul when we were there one month working in a studio. Meeting Vaghe Stelle and A:RA was very important to me, because it was the very ﬁrst time I had to deal with making beat-oriented music. I learned a lot, and I still do. We are ﬁnishing a record, and then we will try to release it. Sidney is my 2013 project. Doing beats and everything, and Sidney is singing. Even though it’s called Sidney, it’s a duo, and we will perform live together. I’m really looking forward to releasing it because this kind of futuristic Stargate-shaped R’n’B makes me overexcited every time I work on it.”
What would you like see happen in 2013?
“Me learning how to use kicks and snares.”
NB: Interviewet er tidligere bragt i Passive/Aggressive ZINE #3, men er nu tilgængeligt online i anledning af Stargates koncerter på Sejerø Festival og Dome of Visions, Aarhus i denne uge.