Q+A: 5 minutes with Davide Squillace

Italy’s Davide Squillace is a mainstay for a reason. His contemporary take on techno and deep tech has seen him release an exhaustive roster of top notch electronic music and transfixing DJ sets, while his work behind the scenes has seen him establish several labels over the span of his career thus far. Having enjoyed residencies at iconic venues such as Ibiza’s Circo Loco and working with artists Matthias Tanzmann and Martin Buttrich as one third of Better Lost Than Stupid, this year saw Squillace make his debut on Rebellion with the UK’s Nolan. Drive Good is a throbbing, deep tech cut that finds itself informed by the neon soaked late night energy of synthwave with an evocative vocal take from French vocalist Jaw. We last spoke to Squillace in 2015, and recently caught up with him after the release of Drive Good to find out more about his upcoming projects and the experience of working with Nolan in isolation. 

What comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

I don’t think I have a standard approach to it, I prefer to leave it to the unexpected. I guess while you play with your toys, many ideas take place. I guess your emotional state decides which one it will be at that very moment. 

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

Well nowadays with the infinite digital manipulation and the combination of analog and digital, the type of rhythms and texture you can achieve are unprecedented. Everyone is always on their own crusade of finding an “original sound”, I believe it’s more about the rearrangement of those sounds in a different structure.  

Take us through a day in the recording studio.  

It can vary. For example, spending a day studying a new machine or new piece of my modular. Reading about it and experimenting with it. While I do that, I try to record as much as possible so I end up having a lot of sounds and rhythms. Other days, I get down to making music. I enjoy the process, and try to keep the business side of things outside the studio.

What gets your creative juices flowing? 

Inner peace, I would say. When I get stressed I don’t function that well. Or maybe I function in a way I don’t really enjoy much. I’m a bit of Dr Jeckel and Mr. Hyde

Any side projects you’re working on? 

Well I’m trying to bring my Eriko Tanabe moniker back to life. I performed under this name probably 15 years ago or so, when I was taken by the world of glitch house and destroyed beats. Otherwise, I’m working on music with Jon & The Rabbit, on a project called WhyWhyNot. It’s a blend of world music and breakbeats. We’ve also invited some singers to complete the melodies. What else… I don’t know. I have tons of music on my hard drives! 

What was the experience of working with Nolan like?

Well we never met in person to be honest. We got connected somehow and decided to work on something. He’s very knowledgeable on gear and has great taste. 

If you were to remix Drive Good yourself, which elements of the track would you focus on? 

The modular melodies and the vocals, no doubt.

Any dream collaborators who you want to work with in the future?

David Bowie, let’s see if technology can bring him back.

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