Berlin-based Parisian DJ, producer and label owner Valentino Mora joins us for the 61st edition of the Phonica Mix Series.
Prior to performing under his birth name, Mora had a steady flow of releases, including one LP, under his French Fries moniker. During this time he co-curated ClekClekBoom Recordings, for which he also handled the artistic direction.
In 2016, Valentino launched his own record label ‘IDO’ (Intercontinental Dance Organization). Drawing inspiration from the early house scene, IDO centres around melting percussion, breaks and techno into a rhythmic migration of hypnotic soundscapes. Furthermore, IDO is Mora’s outlet for demonstrating his explorations of sound that he has discovered between his travels of Tokyo and since relocating to Berlin.
We reached out to Valentino to hear about his past, present and future plans. Check out his excellent mix and interview below.
Hey Valentino, how’s it going?
I’m well thanks, just came back from my Asian tour and feeling inspired.
First of all, can you tell us a bit about the mix? Were there any particular thoughts or themes behind it?
When I’m at home I like to record mixes that you can listen to in your everyday life. Everything I do with music is focused on relaxation, meditation and providing alternate spaces for introspection. When asked to do a podcast the first thing I think of is to do something ambient or experimental. But this time, I wanted to keep this idea of minimalism and meditation but with dancefloor grooves, so I did a mix at 100 bpm, mixing together downtempo, experimental and tribal tracks with stretched down techno grooves. I like to do this for warm up as well sometimes. It’s quite surprising how such a slow bpm can bring energy in the body, I think the slower bpm makes you feel the rhythm more precisely.
Let’s talk about the clubbing culture over there in Germany. How do you feel things differ from here in the UK?
I can only talk about Berlin, which is very different from the rest of Germany. If I would have to compare for example Berlin and London, I would just say they both have strong but very different club cultures. Obviously Berlin has this history of freedom and gay techno club culture since the 90’s. And London has a very rich history of music with garage, jungle, dubstep etc and also has a strong influence from Jamaica which brought a big sound system culture as well. Manchester also had a legendary sound and energy and the UK in general has a huge old school rave culture which I guess was quite comparable to Berlin in a way, but I feel like this is not what people think of at first when they think of UK club culture these days. From what I have experienced over the last few years, the way of partying in the UK is mostly different from Berlin in terms of length, sexuality and drugs. But I can see that in England some people are also trying to revive this freedom.
Who are your favourite up and coming producers at the moment – are there any newcomers we need to keep an eye out for?
There are many! Olorun, a young French producer will be releasing his first EP under this guise on my label IDO, coming out extremely soon. There’s also a very interesting scene in Basel at the moment, I really like the label Amenthia run by Agonis, who I recently did a remix for, and Garçon who is not a producer but is one my favourite DJs at the moment. Through them I discovered the group of artists Varuna, who put out an insane EP on their imprint, and I can tell you that they have some very interesting things coming out soon to look out for. The experimental artist Grand River, who is also part of Spazio Disponibile has a very refreshing sound and has a lot of exciting things planned for the future, so you should definitely keep an eye on her.
What’s your preferred method for finding new music – do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates or do you prefer to buy online?
To be honest with you, I’ve been focusing much more of my attention on the studio and spending all my money on modular over the past year. But of course, I still buy a lot of music! I’m mostly buying ambient and experimental records, and have recently rediscovered digging digital through Bandcamp, I’m also happy to support labels and artists directly. I still love to go dig in record stores around the world but I stopped the Discogs void.
Could you share with us a couple of your all-time favourite record labels?
That’s a tough one. Latency has been one of my favourite record labels for a long time. It’s an experimental label based between Paris and Copenhagen. They always come up with the most interesting collaborations and each of their releases are just incredible. I’ve been following them since day one and they’ve taught me a lot. I think my favourite house record labels are still NU Groove and Sacred Rhythm. They’ve also been a huge influence for me. I can’t get away without mentioning the Moroccan label Tikita, which has quite a similar sound to what I do. It’s very deep, tribal, and pretty much all of the artists on there are friends of mine; we’re kind of a big deep techno family. And of course, the amazing label of Neel and Donato Dozzy, Spazio Disponibile, which I never thought I would be collaborating with but here I am!
And how about your own label IDO? Can you tell us what it’s all about and what you have coming out over the next few months?
IDO is my ambient/tribal house baby. It’s kind of a cross over label that shows my range of inspirations and how I got from Joe Claussell to Mike Parker. It’s a contemporary approach to early 90’s ambient house. So far all releases have been from me, with one collaboration with Yoshitake Expe, but now for the fourth release, I will have Olorun releasing an EP with 2 deep club tracks, a percussive experimental track and a more ambient track. After this I have a very special project which I’ve been slowly working on for years; it will be a double 12’’ ambient compilation focusing on the concept of Active Meditation. I can’t say any names just yet, but I can say that there are many incredible artists involved.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?
Well, I just finished an album! It should come out at the end of the year, so I’m extremely excited about that. I’m also preparing my first live set which is taking all of my attention right now, so I have a lot of work to do. I will also be touring around Europe, Asia and I will see you London fam at Corsica Studios in October.