If you have made it to one of our in-stores or London events, it’s highly likely that you have seen Luca Schiavoni’s friendly face around. The London-based DJ and radio broadcaster has been a regular at the shop for longer than we can remember so this feature is very well deserved!
Luca is a man of many talents, from collaborations with different music magazines and independent radios to his Between Space And Africa event at Brilliant Corners, his contribution to the scene spans a couple decades already. Check out what he had to say about all this years visiting the shop:
Do you remember the first record you bought at Phonica?
Of course it was more than one 🙂 It was nearly 10 years ago, so this little interview is a little celebration of 10 years of customership! I remember buying a bunch of house and techno records, including two Border Community releases. One in particular is a record I still love, Lazy Fat People – Big City . I haven’t played it in ages, so thanks for the reminder! I need to dig this back out and give it a spin soon.
What was your latest purchase?
By the time this goes online, there’s a strong chance the answers will be outdated! Anyway, as I type this, I’m next to a bag with two Frak releases (they’ve been among my favourite electronic music makers, please keep’em coming) and a stunning reissue of a crazy jazz album, Barney Wilen’s Moshi LP. Over time, I have become more and more eclectic and diverse as a record player, and there’s no reason for me to limit my purchases to 4/4 styles. I’m happy to see that you guys have taken a lot of care in stocking a broad range of styles.
How do you think Phonica has influenced you over the years?
I’m not sure I can even count the ways? You guys have been the door through which I have started my exploration of London’s scene. Phonica’s residencies at T-Bar in Shoreditch were full of great moments, and made me discover lots of artists and inspiring DJs. I still remember a night with Efdemin absolutely rocking it.
Also, many people who worked for you have introduced me to artists I had never heard of, which are now among my favourites! If it wasn’t for a night organized by Laetitia and Abi, I would have discovered Helena Hauff and her amazing DJ sets much later than I did.
In the first couple of years (2007 onward) I was probably paying even too much attention to what you guys were stocking – that was a time when many of us were still falling for the late noughties’ minimal techno fad. I’m not going to lie, I’m now shifting some of those records which no longer belong to my taste! But that was a necessary part of the process; it has helped me improve my ability to decide the directions I want (and don’t want) to take. I’ve had no regrets for pretty much any of the records I’ve bought in the last 5-6 years – they aren’t going anywhere!
Fondest memory at 51 Poland Street?
So many! Inevitably these are linked to the countless in-stores. Some of them really created electric atmospheres. The most special one was probably the one with Four Tet, but there were many great ones – the ones with Motor City Drum Ensemble and Michael Mayer were also ones to remember. Not to mention the time 2ManyDJs closed Record Store Day! That was very sweaty.
I also remember the times when I couldn’t be there. I regretted being away when you had Chez Damier, DMX Krew and DJ Stingray down in the basement; and I wish I had not been away when a Brazilian TV made a documentary about Phonica! The producer, Eliza, contacted me saying she had been referred to me as someone who had something meaningful to say about the shop; had I been in London that week, I would have ended up in a documentary with Erol Alkan, Soul Clap and others…
Name a record or two that you associate with Phonica?
Difficult to narrow down to two! I’d say Villalobos’ Alcachofa EP is the first one springing to mind. I discovered “Easy Lee” from Michael Mayer’s fabric mix-cd (which obviously I had bought from you), and immediately thought I needed that record. I wasted no time in snapping up a copy when you had some a few years ago!
I also love your Phonica White series, particularly Iori’s releases as he clearly has some sort of leftfield approach to dub-techno. Of all those, “Moon/Spread ” is probably my favourite. Timeless stuff, please put out more of it!
Tell us about your own projects.
There’s been a few nice things happening recently, and I plan to keep it that way for as long as possible. I have recently started a weekly show in a new radio in East London, Netil Radio . The show is called E2-E8, which is a reference to the postcodes of my place and of the radio, but also to one of the records which influenced me the most – Manuel Gottsching’s E2-E4! It’s a local show with global music. I plan to have guests frequently, and it will have to be people living in the area who haven’t had many chances to be heard yet. I don’t really want to go after names who are already on the path to being somewhat “established” – there’s more excitement in finding the hidden gems Hackney is still full of!
I am also very happy and grateful to be part of the next Field Maneuvers festival in September, playing in the Field Moves tent hosted by Jane Fitz and Jade Seatle. When someone you admire asks you to join them, you must have done something right. I’m already thinking about the records I want to play there.
Other than that, you’ll keep seeing me playing non-dance curveballs every now and then at places like Brilliant Corners and Behind This Wall, among others.
There should be at least another very nice gig coming up later this year in a London club, with one of my favourite DJs – but it’s not yet set in detail so I can’t say much more. Stay tuned – and thanks! x