Anthony Middleton and Luca Saporito are Audiofly, an acclaimed DJ and production duo who play all over the world, and will be part of the lineup for 2017’s SXM Festival in the Caribbean. They have put out EPs on Tsuba, Moodmusic and VIVa and include tracks that range from carnival infused tech house to liquid minimal grooves via tripped out house. One thing is for sure; this pair never loses sight of the dance floor when working in their studio, or when in the booth. They also run their own much loved Ibiza party and here we speak to them about 2017, their musical tastes and techniques, and much more besides. More info on SXM Festival here.
IBIZA VOICE - It’s a little late, but how were Christmas and New Year for you? Did you get what you wanted?
Anthony: Christmas was very kind to me. Family times and peaceful sunsets, New year was a little less peaceful! I didn't really ask for anything since I have everything I need. So I guess I got what I wanted somehow.
Luca : Christmas was great. I got to spend it with my whole family and some friends who live in Barcelona but can’t get to see their families. It's become almost a ritual: every year they come, my mum cooks a feast, I’ll help and invite all my friends who stay in the city. My family loves to have my peeps around and I love to host them. Over the years I've had quite a list of DJ’s who find themselves in the city and come over for Christmas dinner. Jonny from Art Department has been several times and he's such a gentleman. He always brings my mum flowers. For New Year we flew over to Mexico to do our annual Flying Circus in the Caribbean. From family vibes to crazy all nighter within 24 hrs.
IV - What are your hopes, goals, dreams, targets for 2017? Can you share them with us?
Anthony: I just started learning to Freedive. I wanna really get into that more. Musically I want to find new expressions which allow me to feel fulfilled as a musician. Of course, we want to tackle the 2nd album which we keep not doing as we haven't found the space to embrace such a project for some time now. Dreams? I kinda always feel like this whole thing is a dream anyway. I'm not quite sure what else to add to it!
Luca: It's easy to lose hope in our current global situation. The idiots are certainly winning. But we must remain strong and spread good vibes through the music we play and keep spreading our message of global love that dance music has been so successful at spreading so far. We cannot let hate prevail.
We cannot let world leaders divide us. But on the other hand we must be active with our choices and not let it be just words. It's important to find a cause you believe in and keep fighting for it. We cannot let world leaders divide us. But on the other hand we must be active with our choices and not let it be just words. It's important to find a cause you believe in and keep fighting for it. Every little helps. No effort is wasted no matter how small it might seem in these particular troubling times in our lives. As for my own personal dreams and resolutions, I would love to make more music than ever this year and to bring our project to even more places than before. Oh! and to finally stop smoking. I have been saying that for years now.
IV - How have your tastes and styles evolved since you first got started? Are you always learning and solving or have you got all the skills you need now?
Anthony: Taste and style are in constant evolution I feel. Slowly, these things change over time as you become saturated with one concept and seek out something new for your mind and soul. Does that sound a bit too deep? If one stops learning then it's probably time to give up and yes, generally, the skill set is pretty good by now, although new tricks are always welcome!
Luca: Of course! We evolve all the time, but i think it's important to be consistent within your style in the quest towards evolution. Our style has always leaned towards deeper sounds and we move in and out of specific genres all the time. We always try to blur the lines and move within styles. I can safely say this is working for us now more than ever. We've never stuck to one genre and although it makes it more difficult for people to pigeon hole you, it's definitely a lot more fun to play and hear different styles than the same beats all night.
We've seen it all throughout our career. Every 4 years or so there is a new fad that will sweep the scene by storm. When we started it was electro, then there was minimal, now it's all about slow beats with chantings and flutes (I just don't want to use the name for it!) Fads come and go and there will always be pioneers of a certain scene that make a sub genre so popular. But ultimately saturation is what will always kills a genre in the end so it's important to always take every coming fad with a pinch of salt. As far as learning - one never truly stops learning. A career in music is a continuous evolution that needs constant updates and refreshing, without affecting the overall balance of what you're known for. It's all about being subtle in your growth.
IV - And how has your relationship changed? Do you have a better understanding of each other now?
Anthony: I guess the main thing in a long term relationship is the eventual understanding that everyone is an individual with different perspectives on the world and that you can't impose your structure on other people. Everything about this relationship is collaboration and non - judgement. Support with your strengths and accept the strengths of the other, where you are weaker.
Luca: We know each other inside out but we always try to make each other grow. We try not shy away from a constructive argument. Throughout the years we've spent so much time with each other that we automatically know when we need to step away at times when it inevitably becomes too tense. We always try to preserve what we've built so far with the intention of moving forward. A long musical partnership is like a marriage in most cases. We always have to try to preserve the magic that this partnership was built on, whilst growing into our own individual characters. Sometimes it is not easy but, for as long as we're both motivated by this project, I see no end in sight.
IV - And what roles do you have in the studio and booth - do you both do everything or find one always does bass or keys or whatever?
Anthony: More often than not I sit in the driving seat in the studio. It's always been that way. Two people driving would be a disaster in any situation. Luca is great at beats and I pretty much develop the musicality in each track, but it is totally a two man effort.
I often feel like the guy in the cockpit is responsible for channelling and translating the thoughts and feelings of the other musicians present. If you aren't listening to the others then you may as well be working alone. When everyone switches around places in the studio, that responsibility passes to the next "pilot".
Luca: Normally, Anthony would start something on a sleepless night and we both move on from there but there isn't a specific routine. Sometimes I'll work on something that I think sounds good, bring it to his studio and flow from there. I am not classically trained like Anthony so my strong point is definitely drums. In the booth, there is a constant one on one from both of us at any time. It creates a very dynamic way of working that we can't fault.
IV - Tell us about your new collaboration with Patrice Baumel - how did it come about?
Anthony: Luca and Patrice have been buddies for a while and we've been lucky enough to cross paths and enjoy each meeting each other on the circuit.
It was a real pleasure to have him in the studio with us. His technique is completely different to ours. He is more precise, less organic, but with a real focus on where he is going with a track right from the first moment. We tend to sculpt tracks and are never quite sure what the final results will be till it's finished. I love sitting back and watching other people do their thing. I just sit behind and absorb techniques. So much fun.
IV - You play SXM festival in the Caribbean later this year - how do you like playing outdoors in the sun as opposed to inside a club? Do you switch up your sound?
Anthony: We are naturally oriented towards outdoor spaces. We seem to flourish in places with no corners. And yes we switch up the sound. It's a relief to be able to pull out stuff you can’t lay down on a tougher dance floor. Something about the great outdoors seems to open up the mind of the listener also. I swear it's a geometry thing. Corners in a room changes everything. Also sand is quite a mind changer.
IV - What are some top festival tunes you have discovered? What works well outside in the open air?
Luca: I must say, our collaboration with Patrice is just the perfect festival track in my eyes (and ears). It has it all. Good solid drums, a great groove and a bassline that gets the place moving as soon as it comes in. We've tested it in various environments and it really works. Another one is this track by Luca Bacchetti which is about to be released on our label (Flying Circus Recordings) called Playa Sunrise. Luca is on fire right now. And we're super happy to have him on our label.
IV - How and where do you start on a new track? Experimentation or with an idea in your head?
Anthony: As I said before. We tend to sculpt as we write. So I'll hit a good hook and we will fill it up with all the details that we might wish to hear when the track is at its most complete. Then start chipping away at what is not needed. It's a kind of retro engineering of music.
IV - What have you got planned for 2017 music wise and out on tour?
Luca: We have a very healthy release schedule for the coming months. A two track EP which is about to drop on our label, a collaboration with SiS (we haven't decided what to do with that yet), the collaboration with Patrice and a bunch of remixes - one for Bambook and the other one for Eagles & Butterflies. We spent plenty of time in the studio this winter so it's nice to finally show what we've been up to.
Audiofly will play SXM Music Festival, Saint Martin Mar 15-19 and Anomalia in London Mar 3