Elevated Mix Series 005 – Alpha Function (+ Interview)
Italian based producer and DJ Alpha Function steps up for this edition of the Elevated Mix Series. Following on from his recent release on Ampispazi Records, the rest of 2015 looks to be a promising year, with a number of forthcoming projects already confirmed. His sound sits nicely between dubby, minimal house and the deeper shades of house and techno. The aesthetic oozes sentimentality, and has a certain element of reflection that is mixed nicely with more upfront gestures when needed.
This 45 minute mix is a step into this hazy world of dreamy contemplation, while at the same time drifting into perfectly club-ready selections. The mix of course features tracks from his recent ‘Il.Legacy’ EP, which we reviewed here, as well as tracks from KiNK, DJ Koze, and Recondite. We also had the time to interview Alpha Function to get a deeper understanding of what he’s about, you can read the interview below the player.
When you were younger did you have a musical upbringing?
No, I taught myself how to play the piano when I was younger
How did you find your way into house and techno?
When I was a boy in my hometown, they only used to play house or techno. we are talking about the 90s, so I think the whole world was listening to techno!
The scene in Italy is pretty strong, are there any DJs or producers that have been particularly influential in your development as an artist?
Today we have a lot of super talented artists in Italy, that make really good music. I prefer DJs and producers that experiment on new stuff, a sort of “lab rat” style like the “Clap! Clap!”, they are one of my favourites.
Do you feel Italy can, or ever will be, as prominent as cities like London, Amsterdam and Berlin in terms of electronic dance music?
Well to be honest it is really difficult but we are getting there! Our club culture is really “young” and peoples minds are still a little bit closed. Lot of people In Italy don’t go to clubs to listen to music… and for sure they are not attracted by small or new names… they go to clubs because of the “big names”. But things are changing in these latest years… new club kids and DJs play with vinyls and search for exclusive artists, labels and new exclusive music , so we are slowly getting there!
What other types of music outside of electronic do you enjoy listening to?
I mostly get inspired by the ethnic and popular music, but I have to say that in the end I listen a little bit of everything, since I like to have a complete vision of music.
What has been the most memorable gig you’ve been to over the past year or so?
I’ve been at so many gigs! The best was Bonobo here in Milan, since it was the perfect combination of harmony, digital technologies, the mixed acoustic instruments and I got the chance to hear the voice of Szjerdene, it was amazing! As well as a few weeks ago, Ceephax, best analogue live set on 303 and 909… Top.
Do you think these other genres feed into your work with electronic dance music?
Of course, I get inspired by a lot of different genres.
If you had the opportunity, would you do music as a full time thing, or would you like to keep it as a hobby?
This is what I’ve been trying to do in the past years, make my hobby into a business.
You have another alias, Seed, can you tell us a bit more about that project and why you decided to embark on your Alpha Function project?
Both projects, work the same way, regarding the composition, but the style of each is different, let’s say, one is more “mainstream” and the other is more a “niche” project. I hope anyway that both projects get together and become one.
Currently which do you prefer, DJing or producing?
I thinks both things work well together, since if you create good music, your Dj set will be good as well.
You cite Ricardo Villalobos as being your biggest influence when starting out. Does he still have a large influence on your work now?
He definitely influenced my childhood… at the time Villalobos was one of the most important artist as well as Holden, Orbital, Laurent Garnier and also superstars like Alphex Twin. I love it when the artists are original, and mostly when you can recognise their music from others.
When you shop for vinyl do you have a particular purpose or sound in mind when deciding what to buy?
Definitely not… you spend hours in a record store… and that’s the beauty of it!
What do you think of internet record shopping culture (such as Juno, Discogs, etc.)? (with regard to local record store businesses)
Surely internet shopping has made the clubbing world accessible to all, and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. It is not like when I was a teenager, I used to spend hours listening to my favorite albums, or waiting for months before you could find them in the stores, today everyone can find anything anywhere.
And I also think that the increase of live sets rather than DJ sets is also due to this.
Thanks for doing such a nice podcast for us. What would be the ideal setting to listen this mix in?
Thanks to Elevated Culture and Ampispazi Recordings!
Well you can listen to it anywhere. It is the listener who decides, since it is a “flexible” podcast, so I think even on the couch it will be great!
Is there anything we should be looking out from you over the coming year?
“Il.Legacy” is going quite well also thanks to the remix of Ramsi and Mik Santoro. Thanks to that I signed another EP with Ampispazi Recordings… But you will have to wait a little bit for that 😉 A new single on amp-rec will be out soon in a compilation with V.A.
I’m also creating a new cool ep for Syntheke with the “Seed” project. I’m preparing a lot of cool and special things, so stay tuned and enjoy the beat!
Thanks for your time!
You are welcome, thanks for the chat!