Lino: I've been involved in music since the 80's, as a singer in two bands. My first band set up was new wave style with lots of electronic instruments such us keyboards and drum machines. Then I formed another band in the 90's crossover style influnced by Ministry's sound. In the meantime, I have been involved in clubs as DJ, but I stopped that in 2000.
Nicola : I have been DJing since age 14. It was at the start of the 90's. Then I met Lino and together we decided to start our first project called Quiet Men. Under this name we were involved in a compilation together with Caustic Window and many other artists. It was released by an Italian electronic label called Minus Habens. That is our first appearance on a cd, in '94.
Lino: Well, over all these years we collected a lot of analogue instruments/equipment. Stuff like the Chroma Polaris, Elka Syntex, Matrix 1000, Korg MS-10, Yamaha CS10, TR 606 etc.... All this gear has a home in our studio and we like them all the same. We continue to enthusiastically work with them as if it was the first day we got them. For example, the Polaris found our studio in the '95. Another great piece of equipment is the Doepfer MS404, so simple to use and it can be used as a filter too. We also use some instruments built by Nicola. See one in action here!
Nicola: I have a great passion for DIY. Recently, I tried to build a small, low budget synthesizer with 8 oscillators and 2 sequencers. I built it using some kits intended for christmas lights. Each step triggers an oscillator. It has CV pitch and a filter.
Actually, we use two software programs for the sequencing, Live and Logic. Both are necessary for our studio application. We don't use too many plug-ins because we are still too fascinated by analogue efx. We really love the dirty sound of some of the efx we use. Just to name some: Roland DEP5 , Sony VLZ & an old analogue reverb called Aria.
Our most recent set up is very comfortable. We just finished it in the last few months. The studio lies really close to the volcano Vesuvius and the ruins of the ancient Pompeii. Every time we come up from the studio, which is situated in the basement, the mountain is in front of us . So we guess you can imagine what is the feeling to look at such big and powerfull natural presence.
Nicola: The first location was at Lino's house. We were there for two or three years, but the studio grew so much that we moved all the stuff into my houe's basement. we've changed the set up there three times in 11 years :D
We have had lots of opportunities to work with some underground filmmakers and VJ's. Most of these works have been entered in short film and visual festivals. Our last collaboration has been for a clip with the American visual artists Jeffers Egan who collaborated in the past on a DVD alongside Jake Mandell.
First Piece of Equipment
Lino. an akai 850 sampler
Nicola roland dj70 sampler
What is on your wishlist?
Too many things! We desire a Doepfer modular system, then we'd like to expand it with other great modules. For example Bananalogue, Cwejman and many others.
Laptop, M-Audio 410, 16 channel mixer, 6 outboards efx, a keyboard midi controller and a Doepfer controller. Also, whenever it's possible we bring some other sound generators such as an old oscillator or other little toys.
Retina.it releases are out on Hefty Records, Mousikelab: a label they ran a few years ago.
The are also involved in a group called resina.
And because they said the word 'volcano' in their interview, I asked the guys to send me pictures of their neighborhood and they are kind enough to reply with many options. It was hard choosing only one but I think this one conveys the essence of what they see everyday.