Maurice Giovannini is an artist on the rise. A native of Italy, his sounds continue to grace the ears of some of the scene’s best, with everyone from Ricardo Villalobos to Arpiar to Dana Ruh and Janeret providing their rich approval of his sounds. Besides these endorsements, he continues to perk the ears of some of the scene’s freshest labels, from Archipel to Sleep is Commercial to WEorUS. His latest effort sees the light of day on Flavius’ brilliant Mind Hub label. Indeed, the Observer EP is a record that quite excellently conveys what both artist and label are all about: intricate grooves that keep you locked on the dancefloor. Ahead of the release, we put some questions to Mr.Giovannini himself…
How has the last year been – what were the best and worst bits?
In the last year I have not worked so much as a DJ due to the closure of the clubs during the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore this was a pretty difficult year for me as far as the DJ side is concerned. However, on the positive side, I had much more time to devote myself to the field of music production which requires a lot of free time and concentration. In conclusion I would say that the worst bit was that there were no gigs and not much fun on the “field”, but the best bit was that I got to really get into producing more music and doing it to my best ability.
Tell us a bit about the scene where you live; what’s your involvement, how did you get into it and what are your hopes for it moving forward?
In Italy, where I have lived most of my life, the minimal scene is very present and on the rise, I did get the chance to get involved in the scene back there by playing at some clubs and festivals such as “Le Samovar” and “Der Kindergarten” in Bologna. However, I am currently living near Montreal, Canada. The scene here is not very known to the public but I have tried bringing it forward by proposing to DJ at some local clubs such as “Club Pelicano” and “Le Salon Daome”, some time has passed and I have been invited to play at “Club Pelicano” and also play regularly at “Le Salon Daome” by being a resident DJ for Minimadelic. I will keep trying to bring forward this scene wherever I go because it really needs to be heard and I hope that in the near future, this scene will be well known in my area as well!
Did music become more or less important for you after the last year? Did that shift at all?
Honestly, music has never changed for me especially in the field of production. I have been producing minimal music for many years and certainly for me music production is very important, especially in the technical field.
Are you someone who finds it difficult to produce music when times are bad? Or does it act as a sort of therapy for you?
The period and the mood acts a lot on music production, but luckily when times are bad or I feel a bit down in the dumps, music really helps me to overcome these types of difficult moments and it certainly acts as a therapeutic medicine in my case.
Where do you start on a new tune, do you always have something in your head?
I don’t always have something in my head to start a new track but I can find the perfect inspiration right after a few minutes of persistent concentration. I help myself a lot by listening to a lot of music within a wide variety of styles, both minimal genre and other genres from where I get the idea and quickly develop a groove. Quite often it happens that I sit in front of my instruments and concentrate to develop an idea that could make me make a big leap in quality.
Tell us a bit about this record on Mind Hub – what’s your relationship like with the label and how did it come to be?
The approach with the Mind Hub label was very warm, they contacted me to ask me for an EP and since I have a lot of faith in this project, I decided to collaborate with the Mind Hub staff by creating an EP for them as closest to their sound as I could. This EP brought a lot of warm appreciation right away for the qualities of my very particular sound. I think that a wonderful relationship has been created with this label where an excellent relationship of trust got born and this is very important for my career. I will certainly release some more work on this label so stay tuned!
What’s the most important aspect of your music? What do you want the key message, style, takeaway to be for people who hear it?
The most important aspect of my particular sound are crazy rhythms that I manage to fit between one space and another using hypnotic percussion most of the time. The message that I would like to send with my music is that of dancing carefree without thinking about a tomorrow at that precise moment, and I also want to bring the same feeling that I get in the studio while I’m producing the piece to the dance floor.
What gear do you use, and does that matter? Do you have favourite pieces that define you sound?
I mainly use a lot of analog gear including modular systems which I am in love with, the sound impact is really incredible, and the sound quality is very defined. I own a Roland 808 and this is a key instrument of mine for the drum part. Another one of my favourite instruments is Syncussion which is able to develop very elaborate percussion which is exactly what I am looking for in my sound. I have many other instruments but these two are my most important jewels.
When it comes back, will the scene be different do you think? Will people book more local DJs for example, rather than international’s?
I think that as far as international booking is concerned, it is important to feed the club market but at the same time we must not forget that we have a lot of local talent that should be exploited more, there are many DJs nowadays and I would recommend to firstly evaluate the local potential, and then eventually make international bookings but this depends a lot on the influence of the country/place that the bookings are made in.
Outside of music, what do you like to do with free time?
Aside from music, I really like to devote myself to nature. My free time is sometimes spent outside on a walk with my dog taking inspiration for what may be my next project. Other times I spend my free time playing video games. I also love cooking. Those would be my top 3 activities besides music.
What’s next, what are you doing after this interview?
After this interview, honestly, I think that I will take some time to update my sound system. I am also getting a lot of requests as a video game music composer so I am investing in a better sound system for better quality and monitoring.
And what music projects are you working on? And music aside, what’s really exciting you right now?
I have been working for some time on an album with new types of sounds that I will soon publish on my BandCamp profile. As for the most exciting thing at the moment, is taking care of my musical projects and seeing them evolve over time. This gives me a lot of satisfaction at the moment.