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Go BackMAKING PROGRESS – From Slovenia with love: Valentino Kanzyani on Recyclopedia Eclectronica, working hard and crossing borders…

Posted: 10/11/04 10:08

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Emerging from a challenging Eastern Europe environment, Slovenian DJ/producer Valentino Kanzyani had to hang tough with the communist regime of Yugoslavia until Slovenia’s independence in 1991. However despite this fact, Valentino achieved his first DJ residency in 1992.

Some time later, during 1998, Kanzyani met up fellow Slovenian Umek, and in 1999 they produced a track together called ‘Recycled Loops’ released on Primevil Records. Recycled Loops (Records) became the name of their label venture the same year… Kanzyani explains: “Umek and I have been friends, and partners in crime, for ages now and we are a really good team. Whether behind the turntables doing our back-to-back thing, or as business partners and producers – we are making progress.”

Known for eclectic tastes and experimental sounds, Valentino’s musical forte is perhaps that elusive substance we know as ‘techno’… With formidable early tracks like ‘Fever’ and ‘House Soul’, over the years substantial other productions for labels such as: Yoshitoshi, Intec, Primary, Illustrious Records and Shine, plus gigs around the globe have furthermore aided the Kanzyani cause. Mirroring an open-minded style, Valentino’s first mix CD, ‘Rock The Discotheque’, appeared in 2001 to be appreciated by a growing audience worldwide. A timeless Kanzyani classic (and one of our favourites), the achingly beautiful instrumental ‘Flying’ composition was first released in 2002 (on Yoshitoshi) and went down a storm –  “…the guitar sings it all!” confides Kanzyani. Around this time, to differentiate musical output, a sub-division of Recycled Loops named Earresistible was founded and Valentino’s first EP on this label was the popular ‘Pornorama’. Among other notable releases, Rock The Discotheque Vol. 2’ arrived in 2003, and a session on Radio 1’s Essential Mix last December rounded off the year nicely…

2004, as Ibiza-Voice discovered, has been just as hectic for Kanzyani, who has fewer border problems these days. Keeping an international DJ diary in check, Valentino is also busy working on material from his studio in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana… After five years of devoted business, Recycled Loops (Records) are releasing a double CD chronicling their refined history called ‘Recyclopedia Eclectronica’. In addition, Kanzyani has a mix CD planned for a 2005 release date on Intec Records, and we can expect his artist album on Recycled Loops. So read on now for details, being skilful and bilingual Valentino had plenty to say as we stopped by for a quick progress report…

Hey Valentino, how and where are you?
“I am super fine thank you. I am on tour at the moment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The scene is simply amazing and I love being over here!”

Your English is excellent... what other language(s) do you speak?
Slovenian... it’s a dialect of Martian.” :-)

From the Republika Slovenija, can you tell us about some early musical memories?
“My early days were very difficult as we didn’t have proper record shops and our only chance to buy music was to visit Italy. We lived under a communist regime and so it was not easy to cross the border, and buying music was a real pain. Yet thank God, in 1991, Slovenia got independence and we had a much better chance to cross the border. I became a regular buyer in a record store called Music Shop, but then the problem was having enough money. Fortunately I got my first DJ residency in 1992 and then I was able to buy new music. I consider myself very lucky.”

So, how did you manage to get into DJing?
“First I started to get involved within the whole scene generally, and then I had the chance to practice DJing during 1989 at a friend’s house. They owned some turntables… I don’t remember the brand name, :-)) but they had pitch control and it was a dream to work on them. The guys had this small mixer, yet for me at that time it was a great set up. Their parents had a pizzeria so they were considered rich, and I was lucky enough to know them!”

Can you maybe reveal a few musical influences?
“Of course my musical influences are so diverse that it’s hard to mention them all here… I can say however that I genuinely love all kinds of music from: jazz to rock, metal to disco, pop to R&B, drum & bass and so many more styles besides. I am a big fan of Michael Jackson’s early work, U2, Nirvana, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Madonna and so on… Really anything that contains emotion, for me, works in favour to generate interesting music. Music is the only pure language that speaks for every nation and, for me, many of the artists speaking to the larger crowds around this world are remarkable…” :-)

What about clubbing in Slovenia, is the scene strong in your experience?
“The major problem is that some clubs have bad management… The scene generally in Slovenia is great though considering that we have only two million people living in our country. We can enjoy parties with techno music playing to over 5,000 people, plus we have both small and large venues available – holding fantastic open-air festivals during the summer. Music wise, we get to hear everyone that matters in the global scene already and the future looks very healthy.”

As co-owner (with Umek) of two record labels (Earresistible and Recycled Loops) plus a record shop, how is business?
“The labels are going really well. We are releasing a double CD to reflect our work over the past five years called ‘Recyclopedia Eclectronica’. One disc (Re:Visions) is mixed by our young hero Marko Nastic with old and forthcoming releases plus some exclusive tracks; and then the other CD (Re:Masters) has a selection of the best tracks taken from our 11 releases including: Umek, Marko, Steve D, Hertz and myself… The record shop business is difficult because we are small, but we are doing it with passion and working hard!”

As a DJ do you hold any current residencies in Slovenia or elsewhere, and where has rocked your inner discotheque during 2004?
“I don’t have a residency anywhere at the moment, but I frequently get to play out in clubs all around the world. :-) I was in South America, Asia and all around Europe this year and it was a great year for me. I am looking forward to 2005 with an open heart and mind.”

We hear you have a studio in Ljubljana - what’s the set up like?
“My studio is located above our record shop and it’s a great place. I have these huge, powerful monitors, the Dynaudio M3s. I think speakers are the most important element in a studio – you really need to hear exactly what you are doing! I am using a Mac that runs Logic and have a lot of outboard gear. I also have a Mackie mixer but these days I find, more often than not, I am mixing my tracks digitally in the computer.”

You seem to use a few aliases while working with your buddy Umek so how is that partnership going, and why all the pseudonyms generally?

“I use different aliases for various musical projects, or when I just feel something is not a 100% Valentino Kanzyani production. I then create an alter ego and invent a name for it... Umek and I have been friends, and partners in crime, for ages now and we are a really good team. Whether behind the turntables doing our back-to-back thing, or as business partners and producers – we are making progress.”

When was the last time you played in Ibiza, or visited the isle?
“I played in September for the closing of Carl’s night at Space, and it was really great. I spent nearly one whole week there with my girlfriend and it was lovely, as always. I love Ibiza…”

Have you any other new releases to mention, or DJ dates to declare while we’re here?
“I am releasing something new on Christian Smith’s label, Tronic, this November and there will be a new single on Umek’s Consumer Recreation label. I recently did a remix for Carl Cox (‘Give Me Your Love’) that rocked all summer long and has been released on his label 23rd Century. I did a remix for Penn and Choose for Esperanza on their label, Urbana. Plus I am also working on my new mix CD that is going to be released next year on Intec Records, and on my own album for Recycled Loops.”

Do you have one final message for us?

“Let love rule...”


Words by Soon to be writer