We interviewed Nicholas Iammatteo ahead of his set with us next Saturday at the Future Disco/London Warehouse Events/SIDExSIDE party.
So a trainee lawyer by day, international DJ by night... Are there any other hidden talents you have? Have you passed the bar exam yet?
Yeah I was also a magician, once I even performed a short act on a Broadway show of a famous illusionist in NY long time ago, but my speciality was close-up magic. Still have to take the BAR this December, fingers crossed.
What was your route into music and getting to where you are today?
I have been listening to dance music since I was kid, first the mainstream euro-dance that was big in Italy, then house and finally disco music during my high-school years. I've always been into dance tracks, that has always been my thing since I was in elementary school. Some of the first things that got me hooked up into house were tracks like "stardust-music sounds better with you" or some of those great Daft Punk tunes.
What was the electronic music scene like where you grew up in Italy?
It was really good in my hometown, and still is. We have a very influential club here in Perugia called Red Zone that has spread a wide and intense house music culture here in my small town and everyone seems to love that kind of music. That's why it's not a coincidence that many good upcoming Italian producers come from Perugia. Red Zone is were I took my music lessons and to this day it's still a very good club, especially thanks to the residents Sauro & Ricky L. A lot of people here have been influenced by them and the music they play and that is why classic house and house in general is so big in my city, sometimes you can walk in a random store or cafè and you'll ear some ten city shit playing!
You’re often cited as being a big supporter of the ‘classic house’ scene – slower tempos, heavy use of vocal and disco samples. Can you tell us why you seem to prefer this style over the more modern sounds of Minimal and Techno?
That has to do with my musical influence I was referring to in the previous question. The music I was dancing to when growing up wasn't minimal or techno, but it was the warm tracks of Masters At Work, MK, Mentalsintrum, Nu Groove that was the stuff they played at red zone and that is the music that I grew up with. But I also like techno actually and in fact I've produced a lot of that in my early attempts in making music, so it's not only classic house.
Can you describe your live set up and how you go about creating a performance? What kit do you use? Do you use traditional mixing or is it entirely constructed in Ableton with clip triggers etc?
No I don't use Ableton but my live set happens on a Nuendo Sequencer, where I load all my music divided into stems, parts and loops. So I play and juggle with those separate elements trough a Novation midi controller and recently I've added a Korg nanopad to the set up. Probably I'm looking into traveling with a small keyboard as well for the future, but still have to buy that.
You’re a vinyl junky... But you play out from a laptop... Care to explain? (How many vinyl have you got in your collection? Can you take a picture for us?)
Well I am a vinyl junkie, in fact I've just returned from the US with a whole luggage just filled with old records I bought in the states. The US is one of the best places for record digging in my opinion, especially for disco and boogie, I've been to Amoeba in LA which is huge and prices are very cheap, although it's crazy they don't have listening boots, so you have to know what your buying. But the best one for me was A-1 in new york, they carry all the good house and disco stuff and everything is super organized in there. Anyways I do use a laptop for my performances as I'm not performing a DJ set but a Live set, so the computer is an essential part of that.
Are you bored by the vinyl/mp3 argument? Will we be seeing a Nicholas DJ set in 2013?
Yeah I don't care about that anymore. I used to be one of those vinyl only dudes, but now I'm ok with digital as well. I wouldn't do a digital only release but I'm more than happy when my 12" is supported by a digital version for those who don't play vinyl.About Nicholas dj set in 2013 I don't know yet, I've been thinking about it.
It was your birthday just last week… What did you do to celebrate?
It was just the day after I've returned for my US tour so I was still devastated by the whole journey and parting the previous night. But I had a small family celebration and afterwards dinner with my girlfriend, nothing crazy this time, I already had enough wildness in the states.
What’s coming up for you this year then?
I don't plan too much ahead, so I can't say exactly. I have a few new records coming out, maybe a return on NoMoreHits and will be playing around Europe pretty much for the rest of the year.
Finally what tracks are you really loving at the moment?
There are many, it's a great time for house music in my opinion. If I had to name one that would be for sure Paranoid London - PARIS DUB 1 / LIVE AT THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT 2008. Both tracks on the ep are just great, and that's coming from someone who is not that into acid house.
Thanks to Nicholas for the interview. See you all on the 13th for the London Warehouse Events/SIDExSIDE party.