Chain D.L.K.: Hallo Madaski! Where are you from? What is your background?
Madaski: I am from Turin, Italy. I started as a classical musician. I graduated from the Turin Conservatorio in Piano, but after graduation I left the classical music field and started working in electronica and in recording studios, and doing live projects.
Chain D.L.K.: It looks like you have worked really hard throughout your career. Tell us about the main music projects you founded.
Madaski: I have been in many music projects but the main two that are still going on today, that represent my two often contrasting sides are Africa Unite, a reggae dub project band — more? happy? — and my solo project, Madaski which is rooted more in the obscure, and presents a greater variety of sounds.
Chain D.L.K.: What was the major source of inspiration for your music (other artists, periods, sounds…)?
Madaski: I am definitely influenced by ’80es electronic music and by industrial noise with more a dub attitude. I love to use the mixer as a creative tool. I worship Trent Reznor. My admiration for his music is absolute even though I try not to be influenced too much. I would like to remix NIN. That would be a goal and a new beginning for me.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about the CD releases you produced as Madaski. Is there an evolution in concept, vision and sound?
Madaski: Yes, my first 4 releases are pretty distant from each other as far as inspiration goes. The first is an experiment really tied to dub, like a compilation that included songs from Africa Unite and my original songs.
The second album, “Distorta Diagnostica”, is very different, very violent in the sound. It’s probably the one I am most attached to: it’s based on a concept having to do with an illness that gave me a hard time, healthwise. It is descriptive of a very hard moment. I think it’s pretty clear.
“Da shit is serious” is very obscure. It’s a piece I did as a producer that includes various singers on the microphone singing on beats I pre-recorded and constructed, the drum and bass rhythm being the driving force. It has been the most successful and biggest-selling album but it’s not my favourite.
“Dance or die” is my last one and it gave me huge satisfaction on tour since I found a great band. This album has the sounds of the ’80es mixed with dance and a variety of rhythms. It’s not easy to speak about your own music. Music is made to be played, listened to. You sweat it. You just write it and arrange it on the computer, but you can’t capture it in words.
Chain D.L.K.: You are also a producer. What is the best part in being a producer and who are the artists you produced or collaborated with you enjoyed the most?
Madaski: I did a lot of mixes, but the thing that interests me the most, since it’s more creative, is remixing things that are very different from my style, so it’s easier to be more artistic and innovative. There are a lot of artists, but they’re Italian so I’m not sure if they’d be familiar.
Chain D.L.K.: Projects for the future? Tours?
Madaski: The tenth Africa Unite record is being released simultaneously in Italy and Germany. This band has a big following so we’ll be doing a tour of around 100 dates, so my solo work will be on hold, except for some performances of the live scoring I’m doing for the Rudolph Valentino silent film “The Eagle”.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us more about working on “The Eagle”. Why did you pick this movie, and how did you develop the music and concept?
Madaski: “The Eagle” was commissioned for the opening of a major film festival, the Torino Film Festival. It’s a Rudolph Valentino film from 1926. The music I do for it is electronic, and sometimes it clashes with the images. Sometimes it’s ironic, sometimes descriptive, but it always has high impact. For the live performance, I play piano while also mixing live sequences. I use the mixer to overdub some tracks. My style is at the command of the images.
Chain D.L.K.: What is a typical day for you from when you get up to when you go to sleep?
Madaski: I practically live in the studio, but I love playing sports, drinking beer (at night), and going to clubs. The thing I love most, though, is going on tour and playing live.
Chain D.L.K.: Message to our readers…
Madaski: Don’t think that Italy is in a musical Third World, or that it’s just about spaghetti and mandolins. I do eat spaghetti, but mandolins I burn.
Visit Madaski on the web at:
[interviewed by Ant & Maren]