Michele Mininni: In Search For "Le Temps Perdu"
I had heard about Michele Mininni before as he was released by Optimo Trax, and that’s already a big compliment. The name has been ringing more bells recently as the Italian producer is the first to be released on a new label called Le Temps Perdu. The story of the label is rather an obscure one, really – its description says ‘Steal mustangs, robot poetry and otherworldly sounds’.
Michele Mininni’s new tracks and their remixes by Red Axes and Dreems (read my interview with him here) have already been supported by Danny Daze, Christian S., Ivan Smagghe, Jennifer Cardini and the likes. The label’s inaugural night will be held on March 10th in Opium, a club that has already witnessed Red Axes and Dreeems and will be a great playground for both Michele and Lord of the Isles, another guest of the launch coming from Scotland. So many causes for an interview, right? But first, the tracks.
On Red Axes and Dreems. What is your affiliation with these fellows and how do you like their original production?
I really like Red Axes. I like their style because it’s a mix between rock mood and house.
I like tunes with various influences and hypnotic style. I think they are in this mood.
About Dreems... I really appreciate his visionary sound. His music blows my mind. I think his style could be perfect for a delicate, softly end of the world.
On Optimo Trax. They are known for digging out brilliant new names. What’s your story on signing a first record deal with them?
It’s simply: I know them for their open-minded vision of music. Their vision it’s my vision.
I like their eclectic dj set, and I purchased some CD comp they released.
So I sent to Keith 2 demos and he was impressed, so he signed me. It was a great adventure: I understood many things about music business with Keith.
On "Tupolev Love". Tupolev Tu-144 was the world's first commercial supersonic transport aircraft, built by the Soviets. What is your relationship with airspace, airplanes and everything aviation?
I like airplanes but I don’t like flying. This is one of my many contradictions. I remember I was really impressed by Tupolev story. I spent a whole night on web to understand the story behind these airplanes: Tupolev like is the underground side of Concorde.
I decided to name my track “Tupolev Love” for the sense of elevation I perceived while listening the track. Furthermore, Tupolev and Love sound great together. It’s like music: title should sound like music. It’s one of most intriguing sides of making music.
On Marcel Proust. Have you read "In Search of Lost Time" that gave the name to the label?
Honestly? No. It’s a too long work for my patience. However, the concept of “time” is the most beautiful concept we know. The most frustrating thing is that we measure the time, but probably the time teases us. Man tries to order “things” that are not measurable.
Simply, the time as we know it, doesn’t exist.
On studying philosophy. Was it a rational choice? What were you hoping to achieve with the studies/degree when entering university?
In the first year of college I enrolled in psychology. It was a dramatic experience, it was a wrong choice. At that time I was too stupid and irresponsible to decide of my life.
Therefore, after psychology, I decided to enroll in philosophy like a joke. It was one of the best irresponsible choices of my life. Philosophy helps you to relativise the world.
Do you think that tree is green? Do you really think that?
On Le Temps Perdu. How did you get to meet Lemmy and what made you realize you have to sign a deal with this obscure new label?
Probably cause it’s obscure and new. I was flattered by the opportunity to be the first release of a new label. This means that the label believes in you. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who believes in you.
Lemmy is a very nice person: he is sincere, loyal, but first of all an alien.
Than, I really like the concept behind Le Temps Perdu: for example, I love the cover.
When I was young I would spend time staring at the clock. My mother was very worried by this thing.
On the term 'balearic'. Do you think it is still relevant for describing slow and crooked dance music?
I think “balearic” is a mood, not a genre. Also a techno track could be balearic if you slowed it dramatically. Yes, I think it’s still relevant in the same way good music is relevant.
On childhood. What did your parents use to listen at home? Was their music a big influence on you - if not, whose was?
My parents are great, but they are as far from music as much as Neptune from Planet Earth.
For example, trying to talk about music with my father is like selling a refrigerator to eskimos.
My mother doesn’t know music but she is more sensitive.
I grew up with the worst Italian popular music. Probably this fact led me to react and try to find the right way of good music. How could I do it? The answer is “internet”. I’ve built my entire musical culture thanks to the internet. I spent nights trying, trying, trying. I was obsessed.
On Oscars. Ennio Morricone just won one! Fellow Italians Marvin&Guy are especially happy. Are you? Do awards count? Are they important?
Awards count for marketing. You can attach a medal on your chest that will make you look brighter, so you can “sell” yourself better. Do you think Morricone needs to sell himself? His name is written on the history books. He is the history of music.
On stereotypes. Is Ennio actually the best ambassador of 'Italian' music? How would you describe the Italian sound and is it even possible?
I usually divide music into two categories: bad sound and good sound. I don’t think actually we have an “Italian sound”. Probably one of our most popular genres is italo-disco, but I think it was too inflated in recent years. This is a general problem in music: when a genre becomes recognized there’s a plethora of artists that want to ride the wave. This fact lowers the quality and homologates the tracks.
On influences. Are you proud of them in your tracks or would you prefer to dissociate yourself from other artists?
I think I can talk about my influences, my process, my story, but when someone will press play he will always find different things. This is the magic of music. The track is the same but everyone perceives something different. During my short presence in “music business” people have struggled to blend my sound in a particular genre. This is the thing I’m most proud of. However, we are also the result of our influences. This is one of the main reasons why I started to make music: I was curious to see what could be born. It’s like a to sow and wait for the birth of the plant.
On formats. You are released on vinyl, but do you play it? Do you collect it? What is your most precious one?
I don’t collect vinyl. All my music collection is on CD format. Honestly, I don’t like collectors: they are more interested in the value of the object rather than it’s content.
I think this related to human knowledge: men become attached to object, they need it to feel less poor. Objects represent our everyday certainties. Obviously I include myself among human.
On the formula. Did you start DJing first, or producing first?
Oh, I started DJing 11 years ago. I was simply a music fanatic, one day a friend who was a DJ said me “do you want to mix?”. I tried and it was totally crazy. My first idea was to mix Klaus Schulze with Angelo Badalamenti: it was too weird. I thought: it sucks, but I must continue, it’s something too funny.
On advertising. Working in an agency - does it help grow creativity or, on the other hand, block it - when you have to follow your client’s commands? What are the best ads you have created? Does the experience help when shaping your musical career?
People think marketing is a creative thing, but it is very scientific. There are rules, analysis, and procedure. Marketing is “also” creative. But first of all it’s scientific.
I remember when I created an ad for a sport center in my city. The claim was: “Happiness is round”. It could be a good title for a track, a circular track.
On tourism. Best spots in Lecce - before and after a good party?
You can go to the sea at night: our sea is amazing. You can lie on the beach before, and you can immerse yourself in the water after, when you need to decompress your ears. There is nothing better than the muffled sound of deep sea.
D.D. 2004 - 2016
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