For the next chapter in our Bonus Mix series, Dublin-based Lerosa takes us back to the nineties with almost two hours of dreamy techno and ambient selections.
Describing the motives behind the mix, Lerosa explains “it’s an hour and fifty odd minutes of my favourite records from the UK, 1992/2002 – think Stasis, Jaime Read, Aphex Twin, In Sync and stuff like that. It’s been mixed but in a freestyle way, some beatmatching and so on. It’s more of a document and my ode to possibly my favourite music ever.”
Lerosa’s mix comes just before a selection of new releases; with upcoming tracks on Saft and Innate due in April 2018 is looking to be an exciting year for the Italian producer. We caught up with him to ask a little more about the mix and what we might be expecting on these new tracks.
Hey Lerosa, how’s your year panning out thus far?
Hi, so far so good, I’ve been working on new music, on a new live set for a festival this summer and I have been playing the odd Dj set here and there.
You’ve focused predominantly on the nineties for this mix – Tell us a bit about what this period means to you.
It coincides more or less with the time I moved from Rome to Dublin. And while in Rome I had started listening to some of the early WARP Artificial Intelligence and other ambient records it wasn’t until I moved to Ireland that I got properly exposed to what had been going with electronic music for a few years in England and northern Europe.
Mid-to-late nineties for me were a time to catch-up with anything ranging from the FAX label of Pete Namlook to David Moufang’s Source, to Jonah Sharp’s Reflective and so on, I was just mesmerised by the variety, including Autechre, the whole Drum and Bass thing, there was a lot going on and I fell right into it.
I started buying initially CDs, then vinyl (again) as a lot of the things I wanted to hear was vinyl only. This is when I got into using the internet’s music forums (remember them!?), the Warp one, in particular, to find out about electronic music. So it was a time of music discovery record hunting (like most of my life up to that point in fairness).
As for the music being ‘your favourite music ever,’ I think the mix speaks for itself but can you put into words what it is about your selections that inspire such love?
I think out of all that web of electronic music producers I came across at the time the ones that stood out for me were Black Dog/Plaid and when I started digging into that I started coming across Mark Broom and his Pure Plastic label and that in turn led to Steve Pickton (Stasis) and this whole network of English producers that had been cooking this Detroit techno influenced version of electronic music that was closer to the more melodic side of Kenny Larkin and Carl Craig but definitely had its own colour which I totally fell in love with.
I mean I was into techno in Italy years before but had lost interest due to it becoming too cartoonish and commercial and these producers really got me back into it; initially this mellower sounds and later, gradually, back onto techno proper, from the aforementioned Mark Brook, Stasis’ own techno stuff and guys like Eon and Baby Ford and so forth. So a lot of what you hear in the mix are tracks that were really trans-formative for me because of their intrinsic beauty (Phenomyna, As One etc etc) and for directing me towards discovering all those 2nd and 3rd wave Detroit techno producers I had missed out when I tuned out of techno in the early 90s’.
Are there any particular tracks from your selection that you’d like to draw to our attention, or that trigger any special memories for you?
Yeah, I really loved Stasis own Otherworld record imprint, in particular, “Kapellmeister -The Void Ahead” is in the mix here with its breakbeats and techno acid basslines, a style he kept on doing on his “Fromtheoldtothenew ” LP and as under his Paul W. Teebrooke alias. I remember chasing after these records in Dublin and on record shopping expeditions to London, being totally blown over every time I find one.
Another Stasis alias, Phenomyna, Into The Other World (Unexplained Version), really shines a light on his knack for emotive, enchanting music – this is a magic track. He released this on Kirk Degiorio’s ART imprint whose tracks are in the mix as well.
Finally, Daff – untitled on Tactical, I bought this when it came out in 2000 on one of Mark Broom’s sub-labels. Never found out who it is but the track is an amazing hazy dubby breakbeat electro dream. There’s only one EP on the label, one track ever from whoever Duff is. I really miss these unknown missives from talented producers who put all the emphasis on the music, zero image, zero hype. Another era innit!
Is this the kind of music and mixing style we might expect from a live set? What kind of energy do you tend to channel for your shows?
Well, this mix is quite mellow and unusual; I wanted to preserve the feel and atmosphere of some of the tracks by letting them play in full with minimum mixing, sometimes mixing them into a beatless ambient track or right into silence just to pause for a second and give things time to settle.
For my DJ sets and live set in general I tend to favour the after-hours buzz, when the tourists are gone and you’re stuck in there with the heads, so I go deep but with a lot of curveballs and happy to play anything really, I think because I love dancing I really try to key into the dancers and just please them and me with selection I know I’d be buzzing if I was on the floor. I like in general to play things that are intense and capable of transcending the moment, it doesn’t matter if it’s stark acid house, Italo or disco or whatever, it has to have a certain quality that grabs you emotionally.
You’ve got an upcoming 12” coming out on SAFT in April, what can we expect from you on this?
Yeah, this is on the deeper end, after hours, slower psychedelic house with a very apt remix from Julius Steinhoff of Smallpeople. The EP is named after a secluded volcanic beach in La Gomera, one of the Canary islands where my girlfriend saw ghosts of original dwellers of the island called Guanches. I ended up seeing ghosts there too in the forest and the place really affected us, so it seemed an appropriate name seeing as the music is mysterious and the Saft guys are based in the Canary Islands too.
You’ve also been enlisted for Innate’s first ever label release. The blog has been a pretty crucial cornerstone for electronic music journalism, how was it working with these guys?
Great, Owain K and myself have been in touch on and off for some time and I’m happy I was able to contribute to the label launch, hopefully, we’ll work together some more in the not too distant future.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Nope, that’s it from me, thanks for hosting the mix, I hope you enjoy it!