Where: (for Friday) Shelter, 5 Yongfu Lu near Fuxing Xi Lu, 永福路5号
Starts: Friday, September 18
Cover: 50 RMB, 9PM
So yesterday we interviewed FREE the WAX, the Shanghai-based music group that brings groundbreaking pioneers from around the globe to our city. And now, in return, they’ve helped us interview the DJ they’re bringing over: Francisco.
Francisco is also known as Francesco de Bellis, an Italian DJ who got his start with Marco Passarani from Nature Records. His first musical project (with Mario Pierro, aka Raiders of the Lost ARP, and Emiliano Tortora) was called MAT101, which helped him become popular in the electronic underground movement. Later, he began JOLLY MUSIC with Pierro, which focused more on psychedelic disco and electroacoustic soul.
Now he’s launching his solo project, which he enigmatically describes as “party music.” Not sure what that means? You can download some of his mp3s here for a quick listen before the party tonight.
You are known for being one of the crucial DJs in the development of the Rome clubbing scene. When did it all start for you?
I started when I was 13 at my home. I think it was end of the 80s. In the early 90s I started to play in small friends’ parties, after a couple of years of parties I decided to work in some clubs as a DJ – it was a normal progression.
Is Rome a good place to make music? Why?
Rome is full of street markets and it is from visiting these places, walking on the streets among different kinds of people that I get inspiration for my work. Once in while though I need to move for new input.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Party music: I always wanted that my music was seen as such.
Who are your biggest influences? Why?
When I was younger I was crazy for the TV. I had a TV in my room and the shows then were from the 70s and 80s. You would find disco played in movies, or crazy electronic music in a game show or in documentaries.. All my influences were filtered through this. It was normal for me to be watching a quiz show and hear pyschedelic music. This was the first big influence in my life. After this, it was listening to normal pop from the radio, things like Aha. Anyway.. for me, disco was born on the TV.
If your music was tactile, what would it feel like and why?
I love wine in general – it would be good if my music is like wine – as I love listening to music while drinking a glass of wine, I might say it would be liquid and intense red color. Unfortunately, I can only afford drinking very good expensive wine once a year!
What is it about the 70s that you enjoy so much?
In reality I like all kind a music, but the 70s are special for me because of the sound. The sound of the music was awesome! The moog sound, that big analog feel… but the 60s are also very good, and 90s… everything, everything!!
What is the best 70s film soundtrack ever and why?
‘Tentacoli’ from Italian director Stelvio Cipriani because I love the abyss mood that this soundtrack produces. The movie is about a giant squid, that terrorizes the sea like a like a giant devil. It’s like a calamari version of JAWS. It’s a funny movie, low budget, but the music is amazing – with moogs and orchestra. I love this record. I can’t say it’s the best ever, but it’s really important for me.
How was it working with Marco Passarani?
I met Marco in the early 90’s in Rome. By then, he already had a label of his own, Nature Records. We started working on my first tracks on his label. From there it started a more than 10 years old collaboration on many different levels, which brought us to work often together, playing in clubs, making also music together. Marco is a great DJ, but most of all, he is a really good friend of mine.
Can you tell us two songs that we are sure to hear in your show tonight?
I like to mix everything so disco music from the 70’s, from the 80’s, also some Chicago house music…
For sure i want to play, Super Nature, it’s the first record from Serrone who made disco music similar to Moroder’s style. It’s a mix of electronic music and orchestral sounds. Has many sequencers that go ‘dadada’, real percussion, strings and synthesizers. For me, this part of disco is important. I love the mix of electronic and traditional instruments. This record is from 78 or something, from 77 to 78 this type of disco music started.. and for me it was the best period for disco music.
The second song that I can say is my own, Esplanade. I want to know if the people like this track here!
Where do you think Italo Disco stands in your musical preferences, then?
Italo disco was people in Italy trying to do the same as NY disco or American disco – that’s where it started. But it was a little different because the instruments used were cheap. No one had money to pay for an orchestra, strings, bass, so all these musicians used cheap and their sound came out with a more electronic feel. It’s all because of the money! Some tracks are really good though, while others are just plain cheesy.
What was it the last big Italian contribution to music history?
The 70s were the time where we saw the biggest contribution made by Italian producers and bands. There were so much good music coming out from all over the country. Everybody was a Ennio Morricone, making beautiful arrangements and all very gifted. Also, a lot of really good music coming out was from Rome, which is important for me as a musician coming from there.
If a girl was to chat you up while you are DJing, what would she have to say to grab your attention?
I can’t tell you this because I’m a gentleman… 🙂
What can Francisco do that no other DJ can?
You’re organizing a festival and can choose acts and artists from any era of music – dead or alive. Who are your three headliners and why?
It’s hard because there are so many, but I would say the first would be Bruce Haack, cuz his sound is so weird.. he is the best ever! I would also have to say Kraftwerk. If you book Kraftwerk, you are sure to make enough money to be able to drink good wine for 2 years.