Ibiza Voice Podcast 545 :: Bosconi Soundsystem
Bosconi Records has been lighting up the vinyl house scene in Italy since 2008. The label hails from the city of Florence, a stronghold for house and techno in one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Its owner Fabio Della Torre is also one third of the Bosconi Soundsystem, a three-piece DJ collective that has emerged from the rich pool of talent associated with the label. The group’s other two members are Martino Marini, aka Mass Prod and Niccolò Daniel Rufo who is also one half of Berlin based duo, Nightdrivers. After debuting with a four track EP ‘Back To Front’ in May, they are about to release a debut album ‘Unrequested State of Bliss’ that promises to be one of the year’s key Italian releases. For their Ibiza Voice podcast, they take things back to where it all started: playing records together freestyle as a trio.
Ibiza Voice: How did you record the mix?
Bosconi Sound System: It’s a live mix recorded exclusively with vinyl using two Technics 1200s and a mixer. We did it all in one live take and as there are three of us, we played one record each while trying to follow an electronic path common to all of us.
Where do you get your music from?
We buy from both physical vinyl shops and online record shops. We normally like to personally visit local shops in the cities we hit when we have gigs or in the cities where we live. We check promos, but as there are very many these days, of course preference [of what we listen to] goes to artists or labels we like. We believe looking, researching and always discovering different music is an essential part of a DJ’s growth is.
Tell us about your record collection?
As the project comprises three of us, it’s hard to give precise dates but all of us started collecting vinyl in the late 90s, so in total we have something like 30k vinyl between us. There’s a bit of everything, mostly house and techno music, but also experimental electronic, hip hop and funk, free jazz stuff where we take samples from, and Italian soundtracks as well.
Do any of these records tell a story about you?
Fabio: When I was quite young, my father used often to play ‘Mammagamma’ by Alan Parsons to me. It was one of the first electronic productions that I heard and even though I was very young, I could tell the difference.
Rufus: Luomo ‘VocalCity’ was my first [taste] of micro house. It has a pretty complex structure and an innovative sound.
Mass Prod: Moondog is one of my fave composers, and the album Moondog ‘Snake Time Series’ opened my mind in terms of ideas and production possibilities.
How did Bosconi Records begin?
Bosconi began in 2008 from the idea to have a local platform where we could release our own productions. Starting with Minimono, it expanded to a lot of artists from the local scene from Firenze and Italian DJs like, Rufus, Mass prod, The Clover, Herva, Dukwa, Life’s Track, Riccio or Nas1. We also got in touch with international artists we really liked, like 100hz, Altered Natives, The Oliveweho Factory, Ricardo Miranda, Paul Johnson, Scott Grooves, San Proper, Rei Loci, The Revenge, DJ Nature and A Guy Called Gerald.
The label has been going awhile but Bosconi Sound System is a new thing. What's the story behind your act?
BSS aka Bosconi Soundsystem is actually not a new thing. It was born as a six handed DJ project in 2010 and we were playing gigs together already at that time. It started from our friendship of course and from the same vision we have of a DJ set, that in our opinion should always be pretty open to many music styles and genres...and research. That is the keypoint of Bosconi Records. It’s not about finding a formula for the sound but playing whatever make sense for us and that we feel like playing in that special moment. That of course [stems from] our background.
Are you all from Florence?
Fabio and Rufus are both from Florence, and met at a club called ExMud ran by our friend and “guru” Simone Fabbroni. Fabio had a residency there back in 2001 after his Berlin experience, and Rufus was working there as a bartender. He was already [by that point] very passionate and cultured in electronic music.
Suddenly a friendship began from talking from about 80s german pop and the first microhouse beats. Rufus and Martino met two or three years after, as they started playing DJ gigs together and touring with Diesel in Italy. So shortly after it was the three of us. Now, Fabio is currently based in Firenze, Mass Prod in Genova and Rufus in Milan, but that could change anytime.
Did the distance between you pose problems when writing the album?
Actually we produced this album in two days of live takes using the Roland TR 909, 606, DX 200, Nord Lead, a modular synthesiser and other elements at Mass Prod's Marmeria Massive studio in Genova. Then Fabio finalised and mixed it at Bosconi Studio in Firenze. So there was no problem in producing the album, just a lot of free flow and fun!
Are you all full time producers/DJs?
Yes we are full time producers and DJs, and Martino and Fabio also teach production and DJing in different schools in italy. Martino has an electronic music related degree and Fabio is a mechanical engineer, with a specialization in noise transmission. Rufus studied literature so he’s more the poet amongst us.
What's the scene like in Florence?
The scene here is very prolific from an artistic point of view even if its a relatively small town. Florence has always been the hub of artistic and cultural activities in Italian history. For club nights, it’s a little harder because it is more and more difficult to find proper spaces with decent sound systems for the underground club scene. Tenax club is one of the most important venues in Italy. It’s a big club and is still balancing the lineups and giving us the opportunity to play there together, do Bosconi label showcases or play with big international DJs on its massive sound system.
How did the scene you came up in influence you?
Fabio: I started DJing in Tenax in 95 and I was pretty much influenced by Tuscan techno and the progressive scene. Club Imperiale, Insomnia, Jaiss and also Ashram with Franco Falsini’s ‘Interactive Test’ , or UBJ sets were really inspiring to me because they were [so innovative]. It was a different kind of clubbing and more connected to art and performances. Good times!
What kind of things do you all agree on?
We agree on the fact that music transmits passion and feelings so it should express itself, free from the rules that seem to be imposed by trends and fashion these days.
And what do you disagree on?
People sometimes disagree for mainly personal reasons or sometimes it’s when friendship and business mix together. This business can be difficult sometimes, and the people in this business can be difficult too. But we’re still here together talking about it after more than 15 years doing the same thing. Bosconi will soon celebrate ten years of activity with a 3x12” compilation which we all have tracks on as well. This is something no one will be able to take away from us and at the end of the day, good music and friendship is what matters and will remain.
Bosconi Soundystem's 'Unrequested States of Bliss' is out January on Bosconi Records. Buy/listen to the release here: