born in 1970
to a musical father, Florence
, Alex Neri
began spinning aged just thirteen. Quickly becoming competent on the wheels of steel, Neri
hastily looked toward producing the music he loved dearly. So together with his production partner Marco Baroni
formed the act ‘Kamasutra
,’ and created a club hit in the early 1990
’s with ‘Move Your Body
.’ The musical momentum of their early material was however interrupted by some essential (non-melodic) army duties, which engulfed a year…
Despite this setback, and fresh from the barracks, the pair went on to produce some solid dance floor grooves on their own Wildflower
label imprint, including ‘Love Me Or Leave Me
’ featuring Kym Mazelle
… In 1996 Alex Neri
presented his visionary ‘Planet Funk Volume 1
,’ and a year on Kamasutra
had a massive hit with ‘Storm In My Soul;
’ featuring Jocelyn Brown
followed and later, 'Burning
’ featuring Corinna Joseph
. Crossing over or going underground (music wise) didn’t seem to be any problem to Alex
, who both busted up club hits on labels as diverse as Sony
and Bustin’ Loose
. While keeping a robust DJ
foot (or two) on the dance floor, this musical multiplicity may have been the ultimate gateway for Kamasutra
, as they stormed onto even dizzier heights…
In 1999 Marco
merged forces with Sergio Della Monica
and Domenico GG Canu
’ Souled Out!
/ Bustin Loose
) to become the multi-faceted four-piece ‘Planet Funk
’ (which thus took over from Alex’s previous alias...) Their debut single ‘Chase The Sun’
released in January 2001
, was a genre-splicing hybrid, highly indicative of substance yet to come. Two years on and the Planet Funk
album release of 'Non Zero Sumness
' established ‘an open vision of dance music,’ smashing down boundaries between rock, trance and house thereby creating a collaborative ‘live band’ sounding dance music for 2003. This album included their big Miami
(and then general world) smash hit with the seminal ‘Who Said
We (only just!) managed to catch up with the exceedingly busy Alex
, before he took off for the Australian
tour this April, and prior to his Yoshitoshi
‘In House We Trust
’ mix CD release… Neri
was also working out on the latest Planet Funk album, and his brand new record label (called TNX!
) but still kindly found the time to answer a few of our questions…
How’s the Planet Funk business going, you’re about to tour Australia this April right?
“Yes we will be touring throughout Australia next month (in April)”
Tell us about the Planet Funk live experience and what to expect from it?
“With Planet Funk it was actually my first experience with all the live stage elements... It's a beautiful experience, and very different from the studio. You can live and exchange real feelings with the people, it's just amazing!”
You represented in Miami, where you span with Deep Dish at Space and then at the ‘Made In Italy’ party, how was WMC for you this year?
“Yeah, I think it was very good. I've been very lucky in that I played at two very amazing parties; the first was at Space with Deep Dish, and the second was at Crobar with ‘Made In Italy’. I also feel very pleased that the ‘Made In Italy’ party was such a big success -something that’s not often that easy for an Italian party over in the USA.”
Your 2001 single ‘Chase The Sun’ came out without any hype or marketing but still managed to cause a bidding war, won eventually by Virgin. Do you therefore deduce that quality prevails and that hype isn’t always essential to ensure commercial success?
“I have a positive attitude towards that, thinking that music prevails over everything! So if a song is a good one, sooner or later, it will enjoy some success!”
Is it true you had to complete Italian army duties before your deck duties came into the picture and what did you have to do?
“Actually, I was already a DJ when I had to interrupt all that for one year’s worth of Italian army duties.”
‘Non Zero Sumness’ was the introductory Planet Funk album from August 2003, how do you feel about that now in retrospect, and are there any plans for more?
“’Non Zero Sumness’ was also the first experience for me in a totally different field from the night club and DJ... We are now in studio, working hard at the latest new Planet Funk's album.”
The next in the Yoshitoshi ‘In House We Trust’ series is out later in April with Omid (16B) and yourself attending to deck duties; it’s a fabulous set of compilations, how was that project?
“I am very close friends with all the people over at Yoshitoshi since my Kamasutra productions, so I have been very much pleasured and honoured to work with them on this project.”
You Italian lot seem to be on fire production wise this year, is there something creative there in the water maybe, and what’s next for you?
“I'm now working at the first double CD for my brand new label called ‘TNX.’ And one of these two CD’s is a mixed one, with all unreleased tracks on it!”
How are your Club Tenax gigs going, are there any more residencies planned, and what does the Italian set consist of?
“I don’t think that there are any real differences between the Italian and sets for other nationalities... It's not a matter of where you come from, but of who you are, and what you have experienced. What I can say is that, when I play at Tenax I really feel at home, so I can perhaps experiment and test out freely my new sounds there - more so than when I am in other clubs.”
Planet Funk appears to have a spiritual soul; do you have any mystical messages to the Ibiza-Voice readers, and to the world in general?
“Our vision is linked to the great friendship that follows us since the first time we met… We have a fantastic energy together that we feel, and can spread out to the people around us.”
Will you be making a 2004 splash in Ibiza?
“I will come back to Ibiza this year, hopefully also to Space! I’m still feeling too bad for last year, when I unfortunately missed out on it!”
Any other gossip we should know?
“I think that I am totally not the right person to be asking that...”
…You can however keep updated with all of Alex
’s funky facts at these rather cool websites: