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DANCE COMMANDER

With two decades of music making, some of the biggest labels in underground dance music in his rear-view mirror and a new label on the horizon, Declan McGlynn speaks with the London-based Italian producer Stefano Ritterito talk individuality, the next generation and why Behringer might change the world…

MTINTERVIEW

As we wander up the stairs to Stefano Ritteri’s East London home where his studio is based, we interrupt a planning session. The artwork and logos for his new label Viaggio are being analysed; Stefano sits back, head tilted, adjudicating on the latest in a long string of revisions. “When you invest in vinyl, you’re spending a lot of money even before the record comes out,” he explains. “On the artwork, on the mastering, pressing the records – anyone jumping into the world of vinyl, they have to be a lot more committed.”

Ritteri has gone through his fair share of changes. Originally releasing records on labels like Dirtybird, Lapsus and Kling Klong as Solo, he dropped the moniker in 2013 in favour of his own name. Since, he’s meandered through sounds and styles; decorating his discography with releases on Catz ‘n Dogz’ PETS Recordings, Defected and, more recently, A Different Happiness, his EP on Freerange Records. It was a release that signified another shift in sonics for Stefano, toward a more “wonky” approach. “It was kind of me testing the waters to see what people might think. In your head, you can be somewhere musically, but you have to see if people get it.”

VINYL DIFFERENTIATION

As we move into the studio, a graphic designer is hunched over a laptop while Stefano explains his new label’s vinyl-only ethos. “We’ll try and stay away from the major digital distributors. There’s nothing wrong with them, but there’s some politics and it’s a game that I’ve played for many years and I’m not bothered anymore. The production line for releasing vinyl, from the pressing, to distribution, to the person who decides what goes in the shop, it’s a lot more considered at every stage. Phonica, Rush Hour, these types of record stores, they only have a certain amount of physical space, so they have to be very careful about what they stock. Only the best music gets put in there. I like the idea that my new label will be found in this way, in the same way that I’m finding new music now in shops, rather than being uploaded onto on online store and lost with the other 28,000 tracks per week.”

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About MusicTech

Emulating the artists that inspired us in our many music-making ventures is as much about rekindling those feelings as it is knowing how the sounds were created. In our cover feature this month we show you how to get impossibly close to the sonic signatures left by your musical heroes. Continuing the theme we present our newest feature ‘Recording Spotlight,’ where we speak to Peter Franco, engineer on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, and gain insight into the complex, painstaking work that went into creating this modern classic. Additionally, we sit down with dance-music producer Stefano Ritteri and rising UK production star Rhiannon Mair, get into the meat of Cubase 9.5 and get hands-on with all the latest gear, tech and software. We hope you enjoy the issue…
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