Ansome and Ossian’s South London Analogue Material is well known for its harsh, distorted and crunchy techno sound. The label has acted as a breathing ground for some of the most extreme sounds across all of techno and the latest star to emerge from said pool is Italian powerhouse Ayarcana.
As far as that crunchy sound goes, no one goes to the extremes that the Rome native does, for better of for worse, and it’s that trait that has allowed him to carve out such a unique space as an upcoming electronic music producer, not to mention his highly unique punk/electronic collaboration with vocalist Oliver Kohlenberg as well as his litany of stark tattoos. His interests are varied and wide but eventually all come loosely back to music, not strictly that of an electronic nature, and ultimately paints him in a much less polished frame than his Italian counterparts like Joseph Capriati and Marco Carola. With that being said, The Boot is producing some of the most unique artists at the moment [Chevel, Lorenzo Senni], meaning Ayarcana isn’t alone in his pursuit of success despite his home country’s challenging electronic landscape.
With a new EP coming on Keepsakes’ growing label HAVEN, we quizzed the producer on a range of topics, as he provided us with an exclusive premiere from his upcoming release.
Everything has been going really well for you, what’re your next plans in terms of releases and shows?
I just finished my first album and I’m going to release a split EP with Keepsakes and a couple more EPs later this year , you’re gonna see when and where soon I guess. Regarding shows, I’ve started to do live sets as well, and I found doing live way more satisfying than the usual DJ set.
The crunchy sound you make (as well as Ansome, Ossian, Myler, Keepsakes etc) is pretty harsh, was it hard in the beginning to find an audience for it?
Not really, when I started do techno I wasn’t thinking too much about the audience (it’s still like this). I do music for myself, then if there is people who like the music I made is fine otherwise, it’s not going to affect my music or what I do in any way.
Speaking with Ansome before we talked a lot about how his personality isn’t necessarily ‘berlin’ or traditionally a techno one. You’re the same, do you find that you guys are kind of looked down upon by some bigger names in techno?
I really hate elitism, especially in music, I grew up with non techno music and I remember that it was so different in that kind of scene, I’m still listening and playing other kind of music daily; from hardcore punk to metal, so basically if someone doesn’t like our stuff or what we do they can go fuck themselves.
Do you think some of electronic music’s bigger stars take themselves too seriously?
I think so, but it’s not my business.
I think that without their serious “black and white” attitude they wouldn’t have so much money in their bank accounts, unluckily I think that most of the fault is from agencies and promoters and a ton of kids who don’t have a clue about music, this is why I’ve started other few things as well. Most people nowadays are more focused on showing their ego instead of doing something new, it’s become like a challenge: “I can play faster and harder than you”.
What was it that exactly drew you to electronic music and how did you get started making techno? Was it always such a distorted sound?
As I said, I come from a completely different type of music, I started to listen to electronic music discovering artists like Venetian Snare, Bong ra, Techno Animal, the first afx etc. I started discovering 4/4 music long time ago with all that French electro like SebastiAn, Proxy, Mr. Oizo and labels like Zhark Recordings, Black Sun etc. I started to do techno after that, trying to put together all my influences from the hardcore punk to the harsh noise, so yes, the distortion has always been really present in my music.
What’s it like being an electronic music artist in Italy? Plenty of legends come from there but they’re usually pretty flashy and built for Drumcode – is it hard for a more underground artist like yourself?
Italy has a big history. In the 90s we had a big rave scene with cool artists such Lory D, D’Arcangelo, Freddy K and more. Nowadays it’s all changed and in Italy we are living a sort of decadence for the electronic music scene, there is a lot of things going on there but I can’t see much networking between artists and promoters, it’s always more like a competition; jealousy about others’ jobs etc, and that’s sad. Recently, I played in Rome, the city where I grew up, and it was one of the worst experiences ever for so many reason so yes, things are falling apart a bit in Italy.
What’s it like in terms of electronic music there?
I respect a lot of people working in Italy, more the producers there than the clubs or promoters. We have such amazing artists and labels like Luciano Lamanna, Danilo Incorvaia, BR1002, Shadowcompkex, Cosimo Damiano, Scuderia Records, Pls.Uk and many many more.
The club situation in Italy is the same as years ago or even worse since I used to live there, nice clubs promoting big and international artists and not pushing what the Italian “scene” have to offer, no networking, no scouting, nobody interested in investing in new things, except for “friends” and “friends of friends”.
How did your relationship with S.L.A.M. start out? You guys seem like a tight circle.
We are! We are like a satanic cult [joke]! It all started when Mino (Flmm) from Pls.uk contacted me asking doing a remix for Ansome and Ossian’s EP, after that we meet in Amsterdam at a party where me and Kieran [Ansome] were on the lineup, and after that our friendship started, it’s a genuine friendship, we don’t like compromise, we don’t like trends, we can start doing EBM or whatever tomorrow and make what the audience want, but it’s not our mission.
The COAL thing you have going is pretty cool, do you see it going somewhere serious or are you just taking it as it comes?
Personally it’s my loophole away from techno music, which I started to enjoy less everyday, me and Oliver are going to play Krake festival later this summer alongside amazing artists like J.K.Flesh, Paula Temple, Felix K and many more.
We are also finishing our first album, which is gonna be different from the first song we released, we changed everything and the newest stuff is faster, more hardcore and violent, stuff that’s closer to our identity and our soul, you will see.
Your tattoos are really unique, how much do they say about you? It’s sort of another aspect people can latch onto and sets you apart from plenty of DJs.
I think tattoos are very popular nowadays, basically 80% of all my friends have at least one, probably here in Berlin it’s more of a hipster trend than anything else. My first tattoo is 13 years old; when tattoos used to be a little bit more a taboo, at least In Italy. My tattoos are not related to my music at all, most of them don’t have a particular meaning, I just like the design.
What’re your interests outside of music?
Drawing, drawing a lot.
Recently I did a collaboration with Jaded London and I’ve designed a t/shirt for their 5th anniversary at Corsica studios.
Also craft beers, probably I will start brewing my own beer soon as well.