Marco Catapano, AKA Amarcord, is a young producer from northern Italy who has released on labels such as Watergate, Correspondent and most commonly, Alex Niggemann’s AEON Audio . He caught our attention last February with Odissea, a collaboration with AEON co-founder Speaking Minds, and has since then released a string of synth-heavy leftfield house & techno, both as solo releases and together with Speaking Minds.
Following another standout EP, Cosmic Friday, which came out a couple of weeks ago on AEON, we got in touch to chat to him about his music.
Hey Marco, thanks for taking the time to do this today. How are you? What are you up to at the moment?
Hi guys, thanks to you for contacting me. A bit melancholic today, as I often feel… At the moment I’m having a coffee in my studio while the summer rain falls on the window.
Whereabouts in Italy are you based? How is the scene there?
Here in northern Italy the club scene at the moment is at its lowest point. That’s a real pity because in the 70s, 80s and 90s we had the best clubs and crowds, but then many factors led to a point of no return in which we live now. I’m part of a collective called Meet Compact Club here in the north which is working hard to revitalize the situation, but it’s not an easy task.
For anyone who doesn’t know your music yet, how would you describe your sound?
I’m not always making music as Amarcord and for the future I have the project of releasing music with my real name. However, when I put on my Amarcord mask, I try to explore sometimes psychedelic, sometimes epic and emotional territories without limiting myself too much.
What led you to that sound? What are your influences?
I’m not pretentious enough to consider already having my signature sound as I’m young and started composing not a long time ago but certainly there are things I like and which, consciously or not, influence my work when I compose.
I think 70s German electronic music acts like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Cluster, Synth Pop and New Wave could be the main influences for the music I make as Amarcord.
You’ve sprung onto the scene in the last couple of years with a string of high profile releases with Speaking Minds. How did that partnership come about?
Simone and I met at the seaside a few years ago at a Meet Compact Club party. He was
looking for a producer to collaborate with as he’s mainly a DJ rather than a producer and so one day he came to my studio and the saga begun.
How does making music in a duo work for you? Are there different bits that each of you always take charge of, or do both of you do a bit everything?
Usually I start 3 or 4 projects, write down a few elements then one day Simone comes to my studio and we decide which one to finish and do the arrangement together.
You’ve released a couple of solo tunes on Ombra International. Is there more solo music from you to come?
I also had a tune on my friend Benny Blanco’s label Valkea Music and recently made a remix for my Tel Avivian friends Adam Ten & Demaor but actually I’m mostly working on my first solo album which hopefully will one day see the light.
What’s your favourite synth/piece of hardware/plugin that you like to use when making music?
At the moment I’m not one of those gear nerds and i think that with just a computer and few other elements you can make great things. In the end, inspiration and ideas are the things which really count – having too many tools can distract you, while limiting yourself can be more productive (at least in my case).
However, I still have some pieces of hardware and if I would pick one it would certainly be my Korg MS-20 – I love the background noise of its circuits and the way it dirties the sound. As Brian Eno said in an interview, in music – as well as in other art forms – perfection leads to boring results and elements of disturbance, like in a David Lynch movie, can give character to a work and make it more interesting.
Finally, what are your 3 favourite tracks right now? Electronic or not.
I don’t like the number 3 – I’ll tell you 4: Gavin Friday – Lord I’m Coming, Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face, Julee Cruise – Floating, Alessandro Cortini – Finire.
Speaking Minds & Amarcord – Cosmic Friday EP is out now on AEON – click here to get your copy and listen to Amarcord’s song choices below.