Benny Benassi has teamed up with fellow Italians Pink is Punk (a.k.a. Andrea and Nico) to create this raw, grimy, body-pumping track. Even after three decades on the EDM scene, Benassi’s sound and style continue to evolve — and this collab proves he’s still got it! A good track to help bring you gently back to reality after the blow-out that was New Year’s Eve. Hope everyone had wonderful and safe holidays!
Check out the video:
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
Fearless bpm:tv bloggeuse Gosia Mrugala goes face-to-mask with the enigmatic Italian duo CYBERPUNKERS in this exclusive interview.
GOSIA MRUGALA: Where did you meet and how did you guys start working together?
CYBERPUNKERS: We met four years ago working on the console of the De Sade Cub of Milan, and we discovered we mutually have a very strong passion for the early cyberpunk style, the one that you can find in the Ridley Scott´s movie Blade Runner: an authentic masterpiece of 1982. Since we were DJs, we decided to create a format that could represent our personal interpretation of the style, pushing it in the current clubbing world. So the best thing to do, for us, was using masks to become two masked DJs! Obviously, we had to work hard for three years before the project could become true, but if we consider the results, we can definitely say that it was worth it!
GS: How is it working as a duo?
CPs: Playing as a duo has its advantages: the union of ideas and skills of two people … can reach the goals faster and more easily. Being a duo is important in our format, it gives us the chance to confront and have the certainty that every project is studied in detail — and also disagreements sometimes brings positive results. As you can imagine the world of a producer/DJ is not just music and clubs, it also needs constant promotion and visibility, and being a duo allows you to follow closely the work of people outside our offices, such as printing or labels’ offices, and promoters.
GS: “Give us a mask and we will tell the truth” — can you explain this notion?
CPs: The phrase is part of an aphorism by the famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Our interpretation is for the second part of the aphorism: When we mask ourselves we are without filters and inhibitions and we give the best we can to exhibit in the best way. Our transformation with our identity has given us the ability to be clear and stand out in a unique way. It may seem a contradiction, because who wants to mask their identity to hide his “true self” from the world? But in our case the philosophy of Oscar Wilde is ideal. We are “true” if masked, and our fans know this very well!
GM: Your top three tracks at the moment?
CPs: We’re working on a new EP with 3 tracks that at the moment are our top tracks! We will reveal only the titles: “I Will Kill You,” “Shock,” and “My Life,” and soon you will be able to listen to it.
GM: Which producing software do you prefer and why?
CPs: We began to produce using Virtual Instruments and some digital synth such as Virus or Nord Lead. Then we moved to analog synth. In our studio we use Moog Voyager, Alesis Andromeda and Dave Smith Prophet 08, adding distortion with guitar pedals. We’re really satisfied with the result … since moving to analog synth, we feel we have made a huge step forward. As for our sequencer, we use Nuendo, and for effect/eq/comp we use the classic Waves. Post production (mixing and mastering) are totally made by us, in our studio, because we never felt in tune with someone outside of our project. All our tracks are and will be done entirely by us.
GM: Vinyl, CD or MP3?
CPs: When we began our careers as DJs we used vinyl, and we’re really affectionate also now, but the convenience to bring with you CDs and a laptop has no price. The advent of MP3 has revolutionized our life as DJs, at the point that you need two USB flash drives and the evening is ready to go. We use the CDs but for most of our live performances the MP3 is the master!
GM: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
CPs: We don’t believe that we have reached the peak. Very humbly we say that work takes you up, but never enough to be at the peak! In today’s world, contaminated by the Internet and a large number of factors that make you discover new music and artists every day, we must always show true value. To fly high is fine, but with feet firmly planted on the ground.
GM: What is one hobby that your fans would be surprised to find out you enjoy?
CPs: As everybody knows, to create music is not the only thing that an artist enjoys doing: we also enjoy staying in touch with our fans using social media websites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter …) because we love to answer directly. We are often far from Milan, so when we have free time, we spend our time with our friends and family. One possibly “surprising” hobby we enjoy is rollerblading. And of course sex, alcohol and the cyberpunk life style.
GM: Who are your biggest inspirations — and what have you learned from them?
CPs: We had different inspiration, from the Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash, Korn, Nirvana, The Offspring, System Of A Down, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Tricky … but also Michael Jackson (R.I.P.), and, for sure, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. As you know all the biggest names in music can and will always teach different meanings of music!!
GM: What is one aspect about the music scene you wish could improve/change?
CPs: There is nothing to change in today’s music scene; maybe you could give more space to emerging artists. When we have our own label, we will certainly do it and it will become the strong point of the label … off to the young!
GM: Where do you see yourselves five years from now?
CPs: Good question! We’ll find out in 5 years …. we like surprises!
In the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament, the group that includes the reigning world champion and a four-time world champ is one to watch. Ditto for our EDM Euro cup. In dance music as in football, the Irish are the most fun to watch, with fans as crazy as they are dedicated. Spain has the EDM culture down to a T, as you’ll see when you check out the scenes in Madrid and Barcelona. Italy, of course, is home to some of the biggest names in house and the coolest kids in electro. And then there’s Croatia, known for crazy, and I mean absolutely off-the-hook, recover-for-a-month boat cruises and beach festivals. These teams may be relatively unknown, but they’re massively experienced — a group worth watching, indeed.
Spain – Sak Noel
For so long the Spanish were perennial underachievers. They couldn’t win the tournament if the earth opened up and swallowed the other 15 teams. They always had a strong team, always looked to finish strong, and always choked. Or they did until 2008, when they finally wrapped it up with the help of a strong core of Barcelona players. Now they can’t lose, and are bidding to become the first country to win three major international tournaments in a row. EDM-wise, Espana has always been a hotbed for house music, and Ibiza is basically global ground zero for electronic music — EDM is practically woven into the very stones of the island. Ibiza is home to some of the best clubs in the world — and those clubs play host to every A-list DJ on the planet.
Yet for all that, Spain isn’t known for producing a spectacular bumper crop of homegrown DJs. So I made the sexy pick: Sak Noel. He may be the most inexperienced DJ in bpm:tv’s Euro 2012 tourney, but he also boasts the biggest song. This is what Ibiza feels like. WTF!?
A double dose!
Italy – Crookers
When it comes to soccer, few do it better than the Italians. When it comes to Italians DJs, few do it better than Crookers. It seems like only yesterday that this duo was breaking onto the scene with their smash hit remix of “Day ‘N’ Night.” This song was more than music — its effortless mix of rap and electro was something new and special. Electro had always been big in Europe, but this track made it big in North America. It was the snowball that started the avalanche we’re seeing today. Crookers faces some stiff competition from Benny Benassi and Bloody Beetroots, as well as from up-and-comers like The S and Stefano Noferini – but I think it’s Andrea “Bot” Fratangelo and Francesco “Phra” Barbaglia who best rep team Italia.
Ireland may not have an oversupply of great producers, but there are definitely a few worth checking out: Johnny O’Callaghan and Timmy & Tommy stand out in my mind. But let’s be honest: when you think Irish DJs, you think Annie Mac. Miss Macca has been a pillar of the EDM community for close to a decade now. Loved by many for her easygoing, happy-go-lucky persona, this Dubliner knows her tunes. You want to hear something new and fresh, something you’ve never heard before? Two places to go: bpmtv.com or BBC Radio 1 on Fridays. True Say Annie Mac is Killing it!
One of the smaller countries in the tournament but by no means the weakest, Croatia is always well represented and well supported and well played. Behind the decks, their musical representative, Miss Sunshine, exhibits the same beauty the Croatian national squad displays on the pitch. Her live sets are meant to be seen and felt in a dark cave somewhere in Zagreb, where the mixture of liquor, sweat and drums put you in a trance. Her original tracks start slow and slowly began to grip at your soul, until you realize you’ve been dancing to the same beat for the past 15 minutes and don’t ever want to stop. She may not be as well known as the other artists in this group, but she can hold it down with the best of them.
When listening to and watching CYBERPUNKERS in action, it’s The Bloody Beetroots that come first to mind. Like the Beetroots, this Italian duo has an impressively vociferous production style. And, like the Beetroots, they wear masks — in their case, the kind you’d expect to find on the fields of a paintball battle. In the EDM scene, it seems, putting on a mask or a costume (or a giant cartoon mouse head) allows you to play a role that, in “reality,” you’re too scared to become: freed from all boundaries, openly rebellious against the music scene’s rules or judgement. I’d love to attend an EDM masquerade and see what might happen — that would make for one hell of a crazy musical wonderland.
The CYBERPUNKERS track that first caught my ear was “I Needed To Go.” I heard the first 10 seconds and was hooked. This crazed duo have a raw, sexual temerity, and the kind of good, grimy basslines that drive me absolutely crazy. I pressed replay a few times on this one, and fell into their musical grasp.
The beginning of their track “Epic” is a tease to the senses, but at the 1:07 mark the unsuspecting listener gets clobbered hard in the face with some heavy-duty bass and a unique, smashing rhythm. The music video is … interesting, to say the least. I recommend just pressing play, sitting back and opening your eyes and ears to a truly insane track.
I may be a melomaniac, but I don’t swoon like pre-teen Justin Bieber fan for every hot act that comes along. Where CYBERPUNKERS are concerned, however, I thrall myself willingly to their sound. They push the sonic boundaries and deliver truly mind-blowing tracks. I strongly recommend you check them out for yourself; follow them on Facebook HERE, and on SoundCloud HERE.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
It’s about time Canadian audiences got a look at Heartik. The young Italian has been refining his production skills since 2008, and last Friday night he brought his impressive sound to the dancefloor of Toronto’s TIME nightclub.. This is a venue with a lot to offer, including a rock-solid sound setup for EDM performers, and though it’s a wee bit small it offers a pleasingly intimate atmosphere.
Can’t say I was impressed with the turnout for the event, but the shortage of warm bodies didn’t slow up the headline performer. He kicked off his set with a funky crowd-pleaser, before slipping into some comfortable tech-house. Heartik has mind-bogglingly brilliant taste when it comes to music selection – indicative, I’d say, of his potential to rock much larger crowds. Couple that with his powerfully appealing stage presence and positive energy, and you’ve got a DJ/producer worth watching — and listening — for.