It only took Giorgio Gigli one night in the early 90s to find his vocation. When the young Italian saw local DJ legend Paolo Zerletti spinning records at a club, he instantly knew that it was that which he also wanted to do. However, it took him far over a decade to release his debut album The Right Place Where Not Be. We talked with Gigli, who started out modestly as an already established DJ to produce his first tunes in the early noughties, about his first steps as a producer, why it took him over a decade to put out The Right Place Where Not Be and the multi-disciplinary process behind the LP.
When was your first contact with electronic music and how did you start producing?
I fell in love with electronic music during the early 90s. At that time in Rome something was born which contemporary artists like me carry on. The very early rave parties from Acid House to the early days of Techno and such DJs as Lory D, Leo Anibaldi, Mauro Tannino and Paolo Zerletti opened the doors to this world for me. After a few years I’d started to play records in clubs, I felt the need to make music of my own. Economically speaking, I didn’t have a lot of possibilities, so my studio consisted of a computer, speakers and headphones. My first production is dated back to the early 2000.
How did you experience the electronic music scene in your hometown when you first started making music, was there an active scene you could engage in?
In the early 90s I wasn’t living in Rome yet, but in a town about 60 kilometers away. It wasn’t easy at all to continue my work in clubs at that time. People weren’t prepared for that sound which at that time was still unknown to them. For this reason I was spending my time in the studio practicing with vinyl and, progressively, producing music. When I moved to Rome everything changed where I succeeded at expressing myself, as there had already existed a strong scene for electronic club music for quite some years.
Do you rather see yourself as a producer or a DJ and why or why not?
I see myself as a DJ and then as a producer. I started to play records in 1991 and I cannot imagine my professional life having gone so far without it. Production completes me, but playing records is the biggest pleasure ever to me.
You have been active as a producer for over ten years now. Why was it necessary for you to wait so long to release your first full-length album?
I think because the time simply wasn’t right before. There has to be something which needs to be told, and obviously I hadn’t been thinking that moment had arrived until a certain point. The Right Place Where Not To Be kept me occupied for more or less than three years, perhaps because the time had come to write something more intimate and introspective which related to my life.
How can we imagine your way of producing, e. g. what are your means of production, how is the process? (field recordings, technical equipment, instruments etc.)
I always produce in the same way. I do not like to change my methods. When I find the right balance I like to keep it as it makes me feel confident. For sequencing I always use Logic and I have several analogue instruments that I use in my productions, which is enough for me to be satisfied with the music I produce.
Where does your obvious fascination with dark, futuristic „Tech Noir“ come from?
Certainly this fascination comes from a deep and introspective state of mind while listening to sci-fi movie soundtracks. I like listening to melancholic music, it evokes emotions in me, deep thoughts that lead me to express all these feelings through my music.
Video: Giorgio Gigli – The Right Place Where Not To Be (Video Teaser)
The Right Place Where Not To Be is meant to be a “sonic movie”. How did the co-operation with Studio Lord Z go about? Did you create a soundtrack to their pictures or did they create images from listening to your music?
Since the first moment I started thinking about the album, I was also thinking about what kind of graphic imagery I could use for this soundtrack. While I was producing the record, I had the opportunity to discuss which graphic direction we should take together with Studio Lord Z. I’ve been sending him images to show them what inspired me and we talked about which kind of story we could tell. Every day he was asking me to listen to some of the tracks just to understand better what we were talking about, but I wanted to finish all the tracks. I wanted him to listen to the whole project to get a complete idea of what should be done. They listened to the record when it was finished and at that point it was instantly clear what we wanted to communicate.
Why is the album called The Right Place Where Not To Be anyhow?
The title came to me before the record was finished. While I was producing and listening to what was coming out, I was trying to imagine the kind of ambience and surroundings I wanted to evoke. It became clear it would be a dystopian story, but I did not have a clear idea of how to develop my concept until after Studio Lord Z had listened to the record and we wrote the concept down. The Right Place Where Not to Be is the earth where we live in an unspecified future in which humans are extinct and where only minerals and plants have survived. A leaden atmosphere in a highly undesirable and discomforting background.
Is there a certain plot underneath that, a story you had in mind?
Initially, it wasn’t clear, but the music then showed us the right direction. Studio Lord Z then created the storyboard in which the music was translated to a visual documentation.
If you had free choice, what movie would you like to re-produce the soundtrack for and why?
In the past years some movie directors have asked me to write soundtracks for their projects, but all these projects died for reasons which had nothing to do with my music. The idea of writing a soundtrack is the dream of all artists in our field. There’s not a specific movie of which I would love to rewrite the score, perhaps Solaris by Andrej Tarkovskij. But facing a masterpiece is always exhausting. I would be more keen on writing music for a brand new movie without any reference points.
Stream: Giorgio Gigli – Eve Of Destruction
Giorgio Gigli – The Right Place Where Not To Be (Electric Deluxe)
2. Last Frame of Myself
4. Eve of Destruction
6. The Silence Was Infinite
7. Through Leaden Clouds
8. Shades of Depth
Format: 3LP, CD, Download
VÖ: 23rd of October 2015