Rendez vous Arezzo: An interview with Rakele Rossi
It only took seconds to accept Rakele’s generous offer to visit her in Italy.
Our six-day road trip started in the picturesque city of Firenze leading us through the breathtaking sceneries of Tuscany came to an end in her hometown Arezzo Italy. Also home to the Arezzo Major Diatonic Hexachord.
Rakele’s good friends and super generous host surprised us with a farewell dinner on his roof terrace.
Obviously the perfect place and time to finally sit down for our interview while we enjoyed the panoramic view over Arezzo paired with the finest rosé prosecco. Thank you for the hospitality, as they say in Italian: Grazie Mille!
1: GLA: Hi Rakele, congrats on the new release!
Thank you! I’ve been working for quite some time on the album. I’m really happy that I finally got to finish and release it on Sun Generation Records.
2: GLA: How has summer been for you? I can imagine it must be uneasy with the whole COVID situation, the lockdown and travel restrictions..is there any difference compared to the situation in for example the Netherlands?
Yes, It’s a really difficult time for all of us, for artists, DJ’s, promoters, clubs, festivals..the whole event business has hit an all-time low. The situation is pretty similar to that of Amsterdam, big events are not allowed, there are exceptions for smaller events now but you have to book your ticket in advance and usually, there are only 100 tickets available so it’s all very limited.
3: GLA: Can you take us back a little bit to where you, and how you discovered house music, or where that came into your life?
It was in the late 90ties when I got introduced to house and techno music, I think I was about 17 years old when older friends of mine took me clubbing in Bologna where DJ Ralf was playing.
Everybody was dancing, and in love with each other, it was a huge contrast compared with other events outside the electronic music scene.
I remember that he used to share cassettes with his mixtapes with the crowds; most of those records on the tapes were not available to the general public. I think It definitely sparked a bigger interest in the music for many and made me fall in love with the music.
4: GLA: Italy is definitely a hotbed for House and Techno Music, can you tell me how or who influenced you, or what made it so seminal for you?
Fitzcarraldo is the club where I have the fondest memories from. There I saw Frankie Knuckles, Little Louis, and Satoshi Tomiie. I remember this interview they asked Frankie what his favourite place and club in the world was and he answered with Fitzcarraldo which was so cool!
Later came Tenax where I saw artists like Jan Luca and Alex Nero, Francois K, Mini Mono, Fabio Del La Torro.
And clubs like Coco Rico where I saw Laurent Garnier, Underworld and last but not least the famous Arezzo Wave festival that booked names like Villalobos and Sven Vath. There used to be a lot of clubs in my area but a lot of them unfortunately closed down.
5: You moved from Arezzo Italy to Amsterdam, When did you first travel there?
In 2011 I was invited to play Queensday for an event in Amsterdam for the very first time. I got acquainted with some of the local artists and promoters who asked me to play for their events. First at Schuim where they offered me a residency. More and more events asked me to come and play for them so at one point I decided to move to Amsterdam permanently in 2013. This resulted in more opportunities because I did not have to travel back and forward anymore.
Techno Tuesday at the SugarFactory was the next thing on my list of successes even resulting in a residency at their event. And then there was Rebellion with Gino Lightner and JP with radio studio 80, Paradiso Noord Tolhuistuin and Ruigoord and Joyland festival.
Venus After The Sunset
7: GLA: How did you approach Venus after the sunset, Did you have a plan for it from the start?
What can you remember about that time? The equipment, the environment. Where were you, how did it come to be?
This album was the first album I produced in Ableton.
I started not long after our dear Wouter left us, I still lived in Amsterdam where I started sketching in the kitchen.
I worked on multiple tracks at the same time. I made a total of 7 tracks all produced in Ableton 8 with the Arturia Moog as one of my favourite instruments.
I never work on one track at the time, I like going back and forward as I go along letting things rest for a bit continuing with another track with fresh inspiration. I was supposed to finish the album with other people but that took too long so after a year I brought it to Sun Generation Records and they released it for me.
Eventually 6 of those 7 tracks are on the album. One of them is going on the planet Earth Compilation also on Sun Generation Records.
8: Tell me about the artwork, It seems it’s art from your hand as well. Was the album influenced in any way by the art?
The painting was already there when I started with the music. And yes the inspiration works two ways.
I am inspired just like all the other renaissance artists that are home to the region like for example Leonardo Da Vinci was known for painting in our backyard!
I’ve shown you places in the last few days and some of those views are the same as that of what you see in the Mona Lisa. The paintings are based around nature, Arezzo and Tuscany and of course the planets and astronomy.
No wonder the album is called Venus after the Sunset.
You can hear that in the music. Nature is music. Go out and take a walk in nature and you will hear it yourself. For this album part of the inspiration came from the Pacific, as you can tell by the album art.
9: And who are you currently enjoying listening to?
Any labels you follow, which artists or label: Popovic, Alberto. Oppenheimer Jamie Jones.
Juliet Mendoza, and Paul Johnson, Mattia Trani, Fuck The government who i met through Mattia at Bella Ciao.
10: What else have you got coming up/are you working on.
I’m currently working on new 130 bpm techno tracks. I want to release to a broader audience in house and techno. I don’t want to confine myself to one genre or style.