Bottin chats to Ministry of Sound ahead of his show this Saturday in 103 alongside the Cosmonauts…
Hello Bottin, how you doing?
I’m good, but I was better (and warmer) a couple of days ago when I was hanging out in Ibiza.
Where did you grow up and what have been your musical influences?
I grew up the North-East of Italy and my main influences are the soundtrack of tv shows and Italian movies
from the 70s and 80s. Giallo movies, horror flicks and japanese cartoon, all heavy on synthesizers and disco funk orchestration.
What got you hooked on music?
I had no choice: music is the only thing that never bores me! And I get bored terribly easy you see. Next question?
What made you want to get into the music industry?
Probability the inability to pursue a non-musical career.
I studied psychology but I never thought of working as a psychologist.
My aim has always been to work with music.
“I love you but ive chosen disco” is something that a few of us in the office have adopted over recent months, but when did you decide to choose D.I.S.C.O
Disco for me is not a strict label that refers to the dance music of the 70s.
To me a contemporary disco dj and producer is open to everything: proper disco, italo, techno, house…
After all original disco has always been a very heterogenous music genre: you had disco rock, disco funk, disco funk, electro disco… it was an approach more than a definite style.
More contemporary dance genres are instead quite strict and narrowed to the use of limited sound palette and song structures.
As we are all aware, Disco is definitely going through a rebirth at the moment, what’s your views on the current scene of Nu Disco?
Disco has always been there. I don’t think the genre it self is going through a rebirth.
It think it’s djs and producers who have gotten tired of the flat sound that’s been around in the past decade and disco represents a very refreshing alternative, especially when rejuvenated through new productions and re-edits, which make it suitable for the contemporary dance floor.
Disco is rhymically complex but also has good melody and much richer arrangements than one can fine in most house or techno, let alone electro.
I don’t really like the nu- prefix. It makes me think of temporary music fashions for a teenage crowd, whereas I’m 33 years old.
What other music do you listen to?
My favorite band is Steely Dan. I also dig old school hip hop like De La Soul and Digable Planets. And of course Italian maestros like Lucio Battisti and Lucio Dalla.
As for contemporary acts, I listen to The Whitest Boy Alive a lot.
Right now here’s a tough one for you…What is your favourite Disco track of all time? You can only pick one!
Tantra – Hills of Katmandu
it has a everything in it: unbeatable groove, heavy bass, electronica, strings, african rhythms, chanting, great build-ups… and all in top-most quality.
What are you working on at the moment?
A handful of collaborations with different vocalists. a new album. a compilation of music from my childhood… and having a bunch of my synthesizers fixed!
Where do you prefer to be, behind the deck, or in the studio?
I enjoy both experiences, they are completely different.
Studio work is about having everything under control, crafting the sound. Sometime it’s even a bit autistic. People have told me I tend to be a perfectionist so I guess I fit in well in the studio environment.
DJing on the other hand is an irreplaceable experience, a social experience most of all. It makes to listen to music in a completely different way than when you are in the studio.
Sometime I listen to recordings of my own club mixes and have a hard time identifying the tracks I played, also because the way you pick and cue in the track is much more primitive and instinctual.
What was your first gig, and can you remember any tracks you played on the night?
My first gig was as keyboard man (actually, kid – I was 13) in a funk band. We played our own compositions mostly.
My first dj gig must have been in Treviso, Italy about 10 years ago. Back then I would play Azymuth, Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti… Stuff that I still play occasionally
If you had to pick one nation that “Does Disco” the best where would you say it would be?
Tough question. Some of my favorite disco producers are Italian although our current club scene is rather disappointing.
I’m a big fan of Canadian disco productions too. The best parties I had in Northern Europe though.
What’s your favourite venue to play at?
I think the D-Edge in São Paulo – Brazil has the best sound and lighting I’ve experience so far.
For the fun, I really want to go back to Sugar in Adelaide, Australia. The owner and his pet owl are the best.
As for atmosphere, can’t really beat the huge Chinese boat I playing on for New Years Eve in Hong Kong.
I also loved Lo Cura, a tiny bar in Ibiza where djs and club professionals gather. The dj booth is possibly smaller than a phone booth.
What other artists are grabbing your attention at the moment?
I’m always digging for little known records in flea markets.
Favorite finds are Alibi by La Doppia Faccia, Arabian Dance by Antares and Vampire by Raptus.
…and finally your awesome track “No Static” was brought out on Mike Simonetti’s cult US label – Italians Do It Better. But what else do Italians do better, other than disco that is?
Food and love. Ask your girl friends
I think the Italians put a lot of effort into quality of life in general. And the more I travel the more I appreciate the cultures of the Mediterranean.