IN CONVERSATION WITH PAOLO MOSCA
Paolo Mosca is an Italian DJ and music producer based in Montebelluna (province of Treviso, Veneto). He always lived music as the soundtrack of his life, beginning his musical journey in 2009 with the aim to combine his passion for electronic music with the need to create the right atmosphere for every experience. In 2019 his path crossed the Berlin label Slow Life which gave him the possibility to print two EPs and an Album, hence paying the way for other releases and perform in clubs such as Hoppetosse, eZo and more around Europe. His sound fluctuates between House, Trance and Ambient, made up of energetic drums, pressing bass lines and melodies destined to move the soul on a deeper level. Paolo released his first album “Transition” in 2022 and is now busy composing two new EPs, one conceptual for the Perty label and the other more dance oriented on Altered Circuits, which after the album they will be a tribute to the sonority of those who inspired him.
Since I stumbled upon Paolo Mosca’s music on Soundcloud during the pandemic, I’ve been hooked on many tracks. To this day, I particularly enjoy the mix he recorded for Slow Life and got touched by the music he selects and produces. I had the pleasure of asking this artist some questions about his newly breaded album “Transition”, his approach to music and more. I’m looking forward to hearing him play live soon and experiencing that music on a big sound system (Joiah Luminosa).
Born and raised in northeast Italy, your musical journey started in 2009 with “the need to create the right atmosphere for every experience.” What moved you to create music in the first place?
Hi to everyone, and thank you for inviting me. I’m thrilled to be here! Yeah, well, in 2009, I had a massive change in my life. Till that year, I was focused on cycling. I dreamed of becoming a champion on that (I wasn’t so bad, though :)). But I was too young, had high-stress levels, and my mind cracked at one point. Music was something that always helped me from my childhood to charge me before races or to find motivation on a daily. In 2006/2007, my old friend introduced me to the electronic music world; my interest became bigger each day. For me, it was a completely new dimension. After the first approach to DJing, I found interest in composing music at the begging, inspired by my town neighbour Saverio Celestri, who was starting to release his first tracks. I remembered that I thought, “I wanna try that too.” In 2009, I had this mental issues with panic attacks and depression which forced me to stop my cycling career. It pushed me to find a way to feel better again. The only thing that could break my paranoias and give me the power to break all those bad moments was to listen and make music. So basically, I started to make music to feel good, and nowadays, I’m trying to make music to give good feelings to listeners that maybe need a break from their problems.
How do you approach composition as well as DJing?
Well, like I was telling you before I approached it in 2008, in the beginning, I used free software that I was able to download from the web and tried to imitate my favorite music producers of that time, like Stephan Bodzin, Marc Romboy, Nathan Fake, and many others, but without significant success. During that years, I finally discovered Ableton Live, which was perfect for me, so the first step for my producer career was done. I’m still using this DAW, updated, of course. While for producing, I did pretty much all alone, for DJing I started thanks to my friend a few years before because his uncle had a dance school. They had a full DJ setup with 2 Pioneer CDJ 200 and a mixer, so we went into this empty room to try and learn how to play for hours and hours in the afternoon before dancing lessons. The approach to turntables and vinyl records arrived later when I saw a few DJs play with them, and I wasn’t able to understand how they could play in that way, so at that moment, a seed was implanted in my heart and 2014 when I found my first job, I used a big part of my salary to buy records, it becomes like an addiction, double for me because of the studio gear hihi. Anyway, my “DJ career” started in 2010, when I did my first DJ set in a historical club of my zone called Disco Palace. I still remember the emotions, I was nervous about this opportunity, so I trained a lot and dug too. All this to play a one-hour opening set in the secondary room where no people were inside yet, only the staff preparing to open the club. It was frustrating for me because I felt as if they mocked me, but at the same time, I understood that was what I wanted to do, and if I’d worked hard, maybe one day I’d play with a packed dance floor in front of me.
What are your favorite synths/drum machines or software to make music and why?
Oh, this’s a big question. There’s more than one, so like software, I’m really into Ableton. I have worked on this DAW for ten years and know it well. I like it so much. It’s intuitive for creative moments. I will keep it forever. For synths and drum machines, it’s more complicated, fortunately in these years I could try many iconic ones, like Roland 909, 808 and Juno 106, 60, SH101, and more, for sure, all of them are amazing and they’re part of the electronic music fundamentals. For my music, I’ve SH101, it’s my favorite. The Roland drum machines are cool and I’d like to buy them, but they’re too much expensive in my opinion, so I prefer to use Akai samplers to create drum patterns, other synths that I’d like to add to my setup one day will be the Roland 303, a must to have.
You’re part of Slow Life, a Berlin-based label that releases quality electronic music of various sorts. How is your experience with them, and what is up and coming?
Yeah! I’m part of the label as an artist, and I am proud to have had the chance to release music on this amazing platform. I’ve been a big fan of the label and the owners of the label for years. The first time I listened to the name Slow Life eight years ago, maybe, always following Saverio’s path, and I discovered the label thanks to him when he did his first release. The specific record that I fell in love with from the label was the Chromophore Vol.1. At that moment, I understood that I wanted to release on this label. All this became possible in 2018 when my friend Riccardo Piazza, one of the three owners of Where We Met, would play with Laurine before the gig. I asked Riccardo if he could ask Laura if I could send her some demos. A few days later, Laura wrote me, and after a while, I started to work on my first EP on Slow Life. My relationship with them has become straight, and now we’re friends. Whenever I’m in Berlin, Laura and Ceci’s home, it’s my favorite place to stay (I want to thank them for their hospitality). With Sergio (S.Moreira) and Santi (Indi Zone), I’ve always enjoyed having interesting conversations about music and exchanging tips. I’ve improved my mindset from this friendship, which positively changed me; they trusted me and gave me a chance to play for the first time in a Berlin club. They were the first to give value to my music creations, so they pushed me into a more professional step, and I’m really honored to know them. My next adventure with them will be at Hoppetosse in November and March, but I can’t give more details on this. Still, it will be special 🙂 Then for releases, I released my first LP on Slow Life, so at the moment, I’m focused on going on with other EPs on other labels. Still, my idea is to complete with a trilogy my “La Teoria Delle Stringhe,” now it’s holding at Vol.2, so the idea is to go over with a well done Vol.3 quite soon.
This new way of making music opened my mind a lot, the pandemic also influenced this process any way it forced me to increase my meditation training, helped me to find a balance with nature and our universe, this raised something more transcendental on me, more near to spirituality, basically it’s as if I’ve new the consciousness of myself.
Can you tell us about your latest LP Transition? How was the the creative process, and what is different from your previous releases?
I’m pleased about this question. For me it was a dream to propose an Album, I see a music album-like piece of art. Always when you work as a producer, at one point, you need to explore new sounds and different genres to keep your creativity. So in 2019, when I asked Slow Life guys if I could do an album on their label, they were super excited, so at the end of that year, I started to work on “Transition.” Honestly, the process took me a lot of time, energies and I also have had frustrating moments, my idea was to create a mix of all the sounds that, in the last years, defined my music vision, and this forced me to go out my comfort zone of the dance floor tracks, I took inspiration from all kind of music, also from the modern sounds like Trap for some particular rhythmic structures. This new way of making music opened my mind a lot, the pandemic also influenced this process any way it forced me to increase my meditation training, helped me to find a balance with nature and our universe, this raised something more transcendental on me, more near to spirituality, basically it’s as if I’ve new the consciousness of myself. This is why I created a specific tracklist using specific names. When you connect one title with the others on the tracklist sequence, a text will appear at you. Inside the tracks, there’re also vocals with parts of this message. The last step is inside the artwork, which looks easy, but once you overlap the special insertion plate, it becomes magic. Like I told you before, an album has to be a piece of art, and this is what I tried to do. In the future, I hope to work on a project like this only. I feel more inspired and more satisfied.
What are the values you’d like to transmit with your music and why?
Like I told you before, I want to transmit a positive message to the listeners, I think all people need it. I’m not sure at all that my message is the right one, so I’m not here to say what you have to do, what I wanna try to do is to move your mind to think out of the box and maybe help to start your process of finding your interpretation of life. So in my music and my DJ sets, I take care of this aspect, mixing high energy drums and bass, while for melodies I like to pass thru energetic ones to melancholy ones, so basically, trying to touch a high range of emotions.
The theme of our latest print issue is Metamorphosis. What sparks in your mind when you read this word, and why do you think is important?
Wow, this word is really beautiful. Honestly, one of the ones who I really feel fundamental to our life. Well, when I read this word, I think immediately of nature, all-natural the process from birth to the end and maybe over, I think we’re constantly changing in all aspects, physically, mentally, and socially, so we’re in a metamorphosis. The only way is to accept this, not always easy, but necessary to do. My goal is to try and understand better and live in symbiosis with changing Metamorphosis.
Lastly, where can we find you playing in the upcoming weeks?
In the following weeks, I’ll play in Tbilisi. There’s a fantastic club movement over there, so I’m thrilled to be back there. Then I’ll play in Berlin at Hoppetosse for Slow Life. Playing there is always a beautiful experience, with amazing people and good vibes. I’ll take care of an extended warm-up (4/5 hours of set) this time. I’m excited about it and happy to prepare the dance floor for the wizard Alex Neri, a big honor for me. After these two excellent appointments, I’ve other requests for December and early 2023. I’m closing some bookings that should bring me to Amsterdam and Lisbon soon. In March, I’ll be back in Berlin and here in Venice. So I’m excited about the next coming months, my shows are slowly increasing, and I hope it’ll be only the beginning.
Artist: Paolo Mosca
Music director/editor: Joiah Luminosa