K / D Keep It Deep has been very much editorial based through the blog & podcast series since its inception back in 2010. We have put on some small parties with friends and we proudly present our next adventure, new years 2016 will be our biggest party to date and we plan a few more throughout the year, full details and links on Residentadvisor here & Facebook here

New years day at Tipsy Bar Stoke Newington, London is the venue an small wooden basement space with an capacity of 150 fully powered by Martin Audio.   We have x2 Technics 1210s and we start any 5pm going straight for 12 hours till 5am. We have 8 djs for the occasion in no particular order. Isherwood (Toi Toi, Lize) Gwenan (Hifi) Ciaran Hansen (Dogeatdog, Butter Side Up) Chris & Ewan (Untitled, KMAH) Loren Heer (Rework) Michael Yume (Yume Records) & Mohson Stars (K / D). All the djs have been briefed to dig deep and to play there best representation of themselves and there sound, from the heart, uncompromising and raw. Expect to hear some unreleased music, uk tech house from the 90s, american minimal, us house, deep house from chicago, techno from the uk, disco from the 80s and some choice breakbeat & electro cuts. High quality underground house & techno that doesn’t scream, more speaks to you in little voices exercising the details and styles presented within the music.

Tickets available on Residentadvisor here & here and the Facebook page for updates is available here & here. Check the artwork it gives you an insight into the mood, intention, energy, character and style of the party. London new years day come join us.

K  / D Team.

mitja copy

Next to step up to the plate is an local artist we would like to welcome, K / D P Keep It Deep Podcast 14 comes from Italian dj, record collector, digger and vinyl fiend Ajtim who works at Vinyl Pimp record store in Hackney WIck London.  Mitja Del Bono aka Ajtim is a vinyl enthusiast born in 1993 in Trieste, Italy. After relocating to London and subsequently working in a record shop, his interests in researching new music have grown rapidly. Following a period of attraction regarding a more industrial and dark techno, his approach turned into a more minimalistic, electro and breakbeat sound. Although he has no specific boundaries, his interests lie in deep-rooted sonorities which are evidently detectable from his mixes and collection. 

We first met Mitja working behind the desk at Vinyl Pimp and his on point and vast knowledge was very evident, a few months later we caught Mitja playing in the house room at an off the radar Sunday party which had Marco Shuttle & dj Pete on the lineup also. Mitja carved out an careful selection of rare or hard to find 90s tech house and missed techno gems that fit his sound and style. We actually received 3 versions of the podcast as Mitjas discovered new records he wanted to include, so without much more to deliberate enjoy the solid hours worth of Mitja digging deep for podcast 14 flexing with techno persuasion. The feature photograph was taken by Lawrence Carlos.


Mark Old lives in Newcastle and would be recognized on the underground for running the Ringrose Recordings label which showcases all his own weirdly vortex beautiful and honest interpretations. The most noticeable release would be Ringrose 001 Low End Theory Pt 1 which has a rough round the edges tapestry to it, garage shuffle & crunchy strong basslines which got rinsed by the likes of Zip & Ricardo Villalobos. Mark takes noticeable and distinguished influences from various musical genres and his immediate surroundings having lived in various location which you will discover from the extensive, open, honest and frank interview below. 

Mark has an instant & tangible warmness and sincerity to his music, its fairly obvious from the get go Mark world is music and all you can feel and see I the music is Mark. His own label releases under different guises increase and value and this is an true testament to his craft and artwork. Mark plays various instruments and loves to share space, time, energy to collaborate with other musicians.

We most certainly learnt new things with every exchange and we grew even closer and respected his outlook and output and the mix provided is an 2hr solid excursion with Mark performing live and then also playing some records in the latter part flexing through the Ringrose back catalogue. Keep it Ringrose deep and enjoy this sublime and sequential unraveling of the wonderful world of Mark Nicholas O ladies and gents. 

K / D: Where was you born and raised? how was your youth and growing up? what are your early recollections or introductions into music? how was family life when you was younger, any musical influences from family?

Mark Old: I was born in Newcastle and lived there most of my youth before living in Denmark for 2 years of my life. My youth was working class and happy. My dad died when I was 16 and my mum when I was 21, so from then on I pretty much only had my nan close in my family but this has never been an issue perhaps it makes you grow up quickly.

K / D: What are your early recollections or introductions into music?

Mark Old: Soul, jazz disco and funk some light electro rock and gospel music, mostly from my dads record collection, once I started to buy records I bought Spandau Ballet and Tangerine Dream, also learning classical piano and organ.

K / D: How was family life when you were younger, any musical influences from family?

Mark Old: My dad played music quite a lot of the time he had quite a few records I still play and use myself from the Manchester soul scene early soul, disco and funk even some electro rock and experimental rock influenced me. Dad preferred jazz and my mum disco so some of that must have captivated my ears through my childhood. I used to play scratched records in a box I made with a pretend handle and then I progressed into having a record player intact, even one that played 75rpm jazz. Dad also used to cut music using a tape splice Bell & Howell and this was my first introduction to editing music on a 4 track reel to reel, a very old method and that certainly introduced me into phased sounds. Musically I learned to play initially the organ and also a bit the guitar which quite a few of my family could play in various degrees, at one point in my musical life I was quite into rehearsing and performing pieces of music but as I got more and more into digital production I think I have certainly turned my mind more to composition rather than performance, although maybe not for ever. I have gone from djing to playing instruments to editing and sequencing and producing music, all using a different skill in terms of music. My first computer production sounded like drum step computer music when i was a schoolboy on my uncles BBC computer, before moving to Cubase on Atari and then to various flavours of Cakewalk and Mixcraft on pc’s. also when I left school I got a Boss Dr Rhythm drum machine this was my first understanding of drums and drum patterns, i have also learned the bass guitar something i recommend to most serious producers / composers in terms of understanding one of the fundamentals of rhythm and style and how to add that significantly to music, this is something i do want to improve in the future in terms of live performance. A lot of my family play guitar and a lot better than me, quite a few old members like my grandfather played other traditional instruments such as bagpipes and my dad also dj’d and collected rare vinyl and radio equipment capable of listening to shows throughout the world so it also must have had an impact on this. Also because my parents also were extremely artistic my mother made clay pots and dad made pictures sculptures and furniture out of wood I suppose it also very much set my mind to be creative and artistic.

K / D: Your youth seemed very rich in character, experiences & music, what music scenes influenced you or was you part of including bands singers, labels etc?

Mark Old: Initially my influence is from disco early house electro and funk as well as jazz, for djing that too and for playing instruments it was electro sounding beats and breaks and keys originally i then moved mostly into underground garage / house / techno Detroit NYC and Chicago but still also played some UK but only “underground” listened to d&b and d&b jazz crossover just as much and made this although from a dj point of view only really the underground house/garage/techno scene. In terms of playing production although initially electro none of that was ever saved so the first track was a collaboration with others and this then ended up with the first actual release i made entirely myself played and produced alone was Low End Theory Part One. I have produced from reggae to jazz to house/techno/garage d&b and I also have made 2 CD of an alternative rock band me on keys / drum programming and two mates on guitar.

K / D: How long have you lived in the UK, Manchester, how do you find it there being an artist, any interesting highlights or lowlight stories to share?

Mark Old: I have lived in the UK most of my life apart from 2 years in Denmark 4 months in Desio in Italy. Being an artist I feel is better than most things from a creative point of view in that I can often make something that I enjoy hence I come into a strange category of people who have never owned a tv but like anything unless your super famous life is always a struggle in general.

K / D: Can you tell us a bit more about Ringrose and also your own release Low End Theory which caused alot of attention especially on Discogs.

Mark Old: Yes mate in fact I was still thinking of any more things for your last one but its often difficulty to answer right off the spot, the story’s not really funny either, but The Calico Vibe track on The Low End Theory was named after the street I lived in Salford because it was there that I first loaded that vocal into the sampler and changed it and kind of created the beginnings of that track before I did it in the studio. Ringrose Recordings has so far released 10 pressings, Ring001 Low End Theory Pt1, Ring002 Belizbeha Inhibitions, Ring003 All Nite Long Erggie Hall, Ring004 Pelnty Luv Reggie Hall, Ring005 La Papa, Ring006 Rete Urbana, Ring007 Militants Of Funk, Ring008 Jazz Freeform, Ring009 Dirty South, Ring010 Funk Ep. All the vinyls are produced by me, under various aliases and some are collaboration with other friends. The Low End Theory EP I made at my friends studio in hull and it was the first EP I played programmed and sequenced entirely my self. I had a few meetings for distribution and the first company Global Dance in London signed me and all my pressings were distributed through that group. After it stopped distributing records my work was released on 15 CD’s on Vitaminic / Peoplesound. Eventually all these went down and I kept making music and distributing among friends. I noticed a few events that people were playing my music over the last 3 years in more popularity in the USA, NYC, LA, Chicago and also in Europe, Paris and Berlin, after a video by dj Zip and later Villalobos as well as mixes from Nicolas Lutz and others, my popularity has now risen. Also I set up a Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/ringroserecords and can also be found on Deep south sounds and Mixcloud as mark.old6.

K / D: can you explain the idea behind having different aliases? how would you describe your sound? and why Ringrose as a label name?

Mark Old: On Discogs the track was promoted and initially all interest and contacts to me came from here but I released some re-pressed vinyls with two new tracks included which had been getting some interest from dj’s in the USA from the demo CD’s I had made for the SSW1 event. I have used initially different aliases because I produced various different underground styles in those days it seemed more cool to have a different name for a different style that changed through the years, the Ringrose name is the symbol on ring002 label.

K / D: There is a rough raw edge to your sound, and definitely some garage and of course subtle deep house keys, what is in your studio and some key influences musically and inspirations non musically?.

Mark Old: Musical influences early funk soul and jazz from my parents early electro rock like Tangerene Dream synth rock like Keith Emerson and then house and garage music e.g. Tony Humphries, Kerri chandler, Roy Davis Jnr, the Chicago and Detroit techno/house scenes including Larry Levan then other forms of garage uk garage and other scenes, but just as equally drum and bass and reggae influence from the d&b scene and Speed Club London after that French, German Japanese Brazilian, African and other music from the world.

Mark Old: The concept of my music was always to create original and different sounds therefore I dont use one method or technique entirely each peice I see as a different art so some are made in samplers some on instruments some played some programmed some using samples and some various combinations, the sequences arrange from full musical midi to cut up distorted and changed sampler sound so there has never been one single studio or set of instruments or programs used, some are all hardware others all software and others combinations I think this helps to keep the musical texture changing and varying and always breaking different ground some people strive to sound like someone I also try & think I try to sound original perhaps sometimes taking the hint of the fashionable sound to that music.

Mark Old: The studio I made Low End Theory in comprised of lots of instruments and a large Allen & Heath desk, some of the instruments I particularly like are the Korgs, Moogs 303, 707 but then using analog pedals like Wah Wah low pass filters and EQ variations i have an Moog, an Nord Lead, an Vermona, an Crumar Roadrunner 2 and a couple Yamaha keyboards as well as various outboard pedals and effects, vocoders parametric EQ’s, wah pedals tube pedals etc.. I use both h/w and s/w drum machines, but I can just as equally generate music from tones or sit detuning sounds and reversing parts of notes and vocals in samplers, so I have no real preference, for sequencing I used cakewalk studio pro I have all the instruments the sonar sequencer and grid sampler, on the laptop im using Acoustica Mixcraft 6 and Beatcraft for mixing and linking to vsts in a virtual way although ive only been using this maybe 8 months i also play a bit bass guitar and ive got a Bass and Marshall amp. I’ve owned various other instruments but often sell them after ive made a few tracks on them as I cant afford a great big studio in space.

Mark Old: as well as music im also making a few videos again which is kind of an extension to the 200 projects of visual arts on my websites militants-of-funk.tripod.com and rose2000.4t.com with my art work and photos in video with my music. If you are interested this is instructions of how to look at the old websites realising some people liked the old visual arts pages i started working out what you needed to view them you need java and this needs to be set to a low priority to allow you to run it.

Mark Old: Also as a dj my influence came originally from watching people like LL Cool J and then my friend Randy Dread moved to Newcastle and introduced house music to club Africa, from there my influence came from my friend Collin Patterson playing at street rave and later both Collin have an residency at arena from there all three have been involved with me and the low end theory nights when they ran and the music i produce later im inspired by all the people who like my music and i get a chance to listen to their directions. Production wise ive collaborated with re-mixes with Reggie Hall and urgent music and Belizbeha in the USA, ive worked with many other friends in between and im currently working on various collaboration projects with Dave Livense in Belfast under the name of Rebel Von Platz as well as other stuff ive jammed with Michael Bustard, Tom Faulkner and Chris Muth over the last couple of months.

K / D: How do you approach making different styles of music and also the videos you make?

Mark Old: Influences from information or reading came from some producer books such as computer music although more so on listening to sounds from various gear than following step by step a technique, i can only remember ever doing this with my vocoder to get it working with the keyboard, but much more so from scores of music my favourite magazine being the us publication bass player which discusses rhythms and common chords in various players styles and i often look at someone’s ideas and re-improvise, just as equally other music books for particular instruments i found useful in composing or improving the compositional mind, learning the keyboard and other instruments also were a very important influence and as to making the sound original and creating sound using pedals people like Keith Emerson and Alvin Lee of Cricklewood Green gave me the initial ideas of experimentation with original analog sound. In approaching various styles of music i need to be in that particular mood to make it, the way i want anyway so often i produce what comes out so sometimes i make 3 other tracks first before i make the style im being asked for, but often i also put mind into that mood by listening to others on that style, listening to beats and chords and trying to come up with variations or layouts in my head but then often i also just play something and work from that.

I also made a couple of videos ive compiled still pictures of artists whom ive re-mixed and combined this in my own artwork using Vegasobe vid has 250 still images animated and given effects its combining what I did as a vj for about a year with my music and art in a way similar to the rose2000 and militants-of-funk websites with exploration of visual arts I might be able to wire you one of the vids at some point but its big and i asked the artist permission as the still although entirely my art originated from the artist and so far they didnt reply me so im not sure if it will be allowed to be put up or not, its also very big so its hard for me to upload it, anyway it was an interesting project to do these 2 vids again showing another capability.

Also I do occasionally read a score of music like an earth wind and fire track im looking particular at the timing of music rather than the chords as thats the piece and often were working with other tones and sounds but yes the drum rhythms and note durations in pieces sometimes works too.

Also with the video production I spent some time doing visual effects at friends gigs so that was part of the idea to make some more visuals like this then use Vegas to sequence these frames, I also do some photography so im basically merging some of this work with the many sounds I have done, I have had a project in my mind for nearly 8-9 years now of exhibiting art and music of mine in video and projector and sequenced by switching off and on lights around the exhibition I think a lot of the content is there I just need to be able to find a free venue to host it and complete its original concept, the idea is then to get money from donations to the exhibition and give say 1/2 to charity.

K / D: Finally, the mix is long extended, has lots of influences a very raw sound, can you describe this, the equipment you used ands some of the tracks presented?

Mark Old: One of the tracks the one with the breakbeat is a track by Fave Mono its a fluorescent 7″ from Glasgow and when I searched Discogs for my friend on Saturday I cant find it listed. With respect to the equipment im using a grid sampler running on my pc its part of Cakewalk grid and its coupled to Kinetic Beat Maker, im sampling vinly tracks then mixing the 4 and 8 bar samples that ive put in time with each other and other instruments or beats im playing in the first hour, im also running live a beatbox which is Acoustica Beatcraft and mixing it in with the sampler mixing from Cakewalk in the second hour im entirely on vinyls mostly from my own label and all produced by me.


HIFI is an relatively new London based party centered around its residents, If you ever wanted to experience the UK’s version of RPR you don’t need to look any further than the HIFI trio. The residents include in no particular order Gwenan who is an avid record collector with a very specific sound that has been crafted and carefully considered, check this mix for her vybe here.  Next we have Bruno Schmidt who contributed K / D P podcast 009 which you can check here, Bruno also is Louche resident and also the chief programmer for MITM festival, and more recently has stepped into the production world with new music to release imminently. Finally we have Andrew James Gustav who has seen a steady rise to prominence over the last couple of years, again by quite simply searching, seeking and discovering old records that carry his particular sound and style. Andrew has played for several parties Lize, Toi Toi, Undersound, Dog Eat Dog, Cartulis Day & also My Own Jupiter to name a few. Check out Andrew’s podcast for My Own Jupiter run by Nicolas Lutz here.

The setting for this party was at the underground loft studio space located in East London unassumingly this venue is hidden and off the radar. The capacity is intimate capped at around 120; the sound was clean and strong, not too forceful but delicate enough to convey the time and genre of the sort after records on air.

We arrived around 1am and the freight lift ride up always provides some interesting chitter chatter and getting to know people you don’t know but are still attending the party for the same reason you are, there definitely is an community based feeling at HIFI.


As the lift stopped, the rusty aged lift door cranked open, the slow thud of sub bass consumed your yes, the volume of conversation and people moving around increased. We headed straight for the dance floor, which was decidedly busy but maneuverable. Bruno and Andrew opened up proceedings going back to back, and what we did hear leaned more towards techno territory, break beat, & old school minimal techno, familiar samples came across as metallic coarse, dry and infringing. The crowds are all clearly vybing and enjoying them self’s and it was refreshing to see lots of people actually dancing, throwing shapes and not caring so much.

The booth looked liked it was decidedly hidden behind the stack of speakers which left more of the focus on the floor and less on dj staring which is very commonplace. As the boys closed out there set the crowd had enjoyed lots of highlights moments and the whoops, cheers and hand in the air moments underlined this.

It was Gwenan’s birthday hence the closing slot and she started around 2am, stripping things back to fundamentals, tight, slow burn mixing and steady bpm, very measured, seamless and consistent. For me the highlight came when Gwenan played a track by Accomplice, which really raised the energy and level of the party. The party flew by and time became irrelevant until the lights came on and that’s the end of the night. The room was awash with people singing happy birthday and birthday cake did appear which was very community spirited and warm for Gwenan’s birthday. Overall I would say this was another standout night were the music took centre stage and all three residents seamlessly blended and worked very well together, they all comes across as very confident when they go back to back.

The musical landscape of this party centered more on techno in varied forms, I can’t tell you artists because I didn’t know and I didn’t want to. I enjoyed the repertoire on display and the story being presented. These guys work tirelessly to dig for records old and older and it shows. The concept works, they flow seamlessly back to back and the energy is very real and raw. The very idea of residents & guests and the construction of a party have been addressed with critical attention with the HIFI guys…. music is first and foremost front and centre focus, the venue is the perfect canvas for his kind of painting and the sound system was on point, it looked like a martin audio rig with a formula sound mixer and Techniques 1210s mg5 with +16 on the pitch control so songs that shouldn’t be mixed together because of BPM can be. These are the details being analyzed and addressed at HIFI, the very basic fundamental’s of any party which the equipment and sound system play a big part.

These parties don’t happen to often which builds the anticipation and it also gives space and time for the Djs to think about the music they curate and craft with care and attention. HIFI very quickly has established itself as a party that has lots of growth potential with 3 solid resident at the controls playing music they believe in and so does the crowd.


Friday 16th January Keep It Deep took a trip to the Bethnal Green arches to check out London’s underground party Undersound, who had Andrew James Gustav, Etienne & Francesco Del Garda providing the musical repertoire for the evening.

London’s club scene is going through a period of change which is natural when you have significant social and economic movement. The most obvious evidence of this is club closure (The End, The Cross, Turnmills, T-Bar etc) or increased restriction like Fabric more recently. There is hope and there are small pockets of new ideas and new concepts that need to be shouted about and explored and Undersound is one of the community based movements that represent a new energy and style, don’t believe me go check it out and make up your own mind.

The concept for the party is really clear and concise book tight djs who search, research, seek and play mostly vinyl of the up most quality from different genres and years. No hype no commercial headliners or obvious venue choices, this party is one of London’s Best kept secrets and if you frequent, Toi Toi, Half Baked, Cartulis, Open, Night Moves & newly formed Gateway to Zen to name a few, Undersound could appeal to you also.

The party started at 11pm so I casually mooched over to the Bethnal Green arches around midnight to arrive for Andrew James Gustav who was on warm up duty. The bouncers on the door came across as super friendly and recognisable from other parties, which made entry effortless and easy.

As I entered the main room Arch I could hear sub 126 bpm tech house grooves being pushed out of the Martin Audio sound system. The space looked like it could hold 250 people comfortably and the sound was clean, clear and warm, not to loud for the early part of the night, which is very much appreciated. There was a stack in front of the DJ and also speakers at the back of the room to aid the sound picture and architecture.

The space was not busy but had bodies dotted around, the crowd overall seemed a bit older, more casual and concerned with the music and dancing. I also started to spot some other local djs and promoters inside the place, which was nice to see. Behind the dj booth there was a rolling video of graphics and illustration, which lent well to the music, space and atmosphere.

Andrew James Gustav was the warm up dj and over the last 6 months his prominence and status has grown. He is a true vinyl collector, and you are very well versed if you can recognise any of the tracks, as the majority of them are rare, hard to find or quite old. There is a simple pleasure I gain from watching Andrew dj, he plays music he likes and it fit likes glue to his sound, there is a metallic edge to the production, very rough and from another time period around the early to mid 90s. There is a defining break beak and mid 90s tech house stamp all over this sound, not forgetting some snippets of uk garage also. Andrew has a clinically tight style of mixing, which is very efficient, less is more and the music is well and truly showcased, not much eq’ing and messing around with fx on the Allen & Heath Zone 92 mixer I observed.

The highlight to Andrew’s set came as we heard two unreleased jams by Bruno Schmidt who crafted podcast number nine which you can check out here. There was a distinct garage shuffle and nagging lead hook, which got heads and feet nodding. The dance floor slowly oozed with more bodies, I noticed several dancers down the front alone, enjoying and appreciating the music, the vibe, the party and the atmosphere. Francesco Del Garda had arrived and the party was slowly taking form and shape.

At around 3am I felt fully content with my musical experience carefully guided by Andrew James Gustav on the decks. Next up came Etienne and then Francesco Del Garda to close the party. I am sure all the good work and great energy would have carried on into the morning and at the after party.

Overall if you have not reached an Undersound party to date, I strongly recommend you reach and see what the real Underground looks and feels like. The music takes centre stage and like everyone else in the room you will very quickly be part of a nice community you secretly don’t want to share with to many. You don’t have to arrive with an entourage of people, everyone was super friendly and the spaces are carefully considered, and finally the music, tirelessly assorted from an collection of djs who care so much it really is heart warming to see, this city is tireless and the new creatives pushing things forwards are doing so with there own voice.

Check the Undersound Facebook group for details here on there next party and for updates on there podcast series and record label also.



K / D Keep It Deep welcome in the new year with new energy and a new podcast from Italian born and now London based Matteo Manzini, an underground house & techno dj who co runs the party DAMAGED.  Matteo is an dj we have seen around on the scene at local parties including Keep On Going, Half Baked, Cartulis Day and Undersound, so we figured the kind of vibe this gentlemen likes to pursue and explore. Not forgetting Matteo also djs with his long time partner in crime Georgio at DAMAGED. Matteo is one of those djs that exudes his feelings in the music, the chemistry and kaleidoscope of the subtle grooves do actually represent this shy but passionate character very well. Matteo comes across as a very dedicated and sincere individual, one to find on the dance floor finding his own interpretation of the music. All we will say is enjoy the challenging and well executed excursions into one of tomorrow names to watch.  Check his Soundcloud link here , check the  RA link for gig details here and details on the party he runs DAMAGED here. Follow K / D Keep It Deep the blog and Soundcloud for very irregular updates of the musical sorts.

K/D: Where was you born and how was it living there?

MATTEO: I was born in Bologna, Italy, grown up in a small village in the outskirts, something like 1000 inhabitants, deep countryside. The whole community at that time was heavily influenced by the local church, not extremely exciting if I look at it right now but helpful for building up a strong sense of duty, if this is a correct English expression.

K/D: Your family life, do you have brothers and sisters?

MATTEO: I have a sister, we are probably getting closer as the years pass by, sharing experiences and talking about myself to the rest of my family has never been an habit, maybe now it comes slightly easier as I’m far away from the physical point of view and it’s all about words on a display.

K/D: Music from an early age what did it look and feel like?

MATTEO: The music I used to find in my parents house was really not much and also extremely simple, just some Italian traditional pop singers, but my mum and dad supported my will of playing piano when I was 7 years old, not a real passion, I was just following what my friends were doing, I think that was a beginning of the actual path in some way. It lasted for two years, then my friends moved to football and I (sadly) did the same.

K/D: Being a teenager what culture did you explore?

MATTEO: If you mean culture in a music sense, I remember being 15 years old and having the chance through some older friends of listening to tapes coming from an Italian club called Cocoricò, they used to play techno and trance/progressive, everything going quite fast, like 130 BPM or so, we were in a park sitting all around a portable tape player thinking about this place and wondering which kind of persons and life style could suit such a rhythm. At some point we got old enough to get our cars and drive there, it was happening once a month or so, thousands of people on a dancefloor with a glass pyramid on top, quite a big jump from the little church oriented village I reckon.

Then I moved from techno and trance/progressive to hardcore and gabber, don’t ask me why, it was more like a random tasting of this and that, then we added heavy metal also on a side, then again slowing down to grunge.

At some point I thought “ok I’m not a teenager anymore and I can’t go on listening to 4/4 beat, that’s not a mature choice” so I tried to walk away from clubbing and the related music, but it didn’t work out as you can see.

K/D: Education and how did this affect or shape you?

MATTEO: As said in answer number 1, the environment I lived in until the age of 15 or so taught me to put duties first, like saying to myself “if you don’t finish your homework you are not allowed to go out and see your friends”, I still feel that quite strong even if moving to London helped in opening things a bit more.

K/D: When did you move to London?

MATTEO: I started coming to London from Milan, where in the meantime I moved for work reasons, in 2003, like once a month just for clubbing, staying from Saturday to Monday or Tuesday then flying back. I will always be thankful to low-cost airlines like Ryanair and easyJet, they changed the market and my life. At the same time they probably have to thank me, as big part of my money incomings went to them since then.

In 2009 I moved to London full time, it was May and I was not sure 100% of the choice (I had in my pocket a flight to go back to Italy after three weeks, just to say how brave I was) but it’s 2015 and I’m still here.

K/D: Can you describe living, djing and partying in London compared to other places?

MATTEO: I see London as a big monster who never sleeps, this is interesting but also very dangerous, you need to give yourself rules and limits and avoid to freely going with the flow, or the flow will probably put you in troubles very soon.

Living, DJing and partying here go then in my mind with the same logic: I need to know I’m able to decide to go home from a party even if the party hasn’t finished yet, or to be patient and refuse a booking as a DJ if the situation is not 100% something I feel comfortable with. The opposite face of this is that maybe I’m not going fast enough and I’m missing some professional chances, it’s an effective risk I’m aware of, but I prefer to feel an idea of balance around myself and my things.

K/D: Damaged and Georgio your partner can you explain this?

MATTEO: DAMAGED started in June 2009, one month after I moved here, because I had no gigs and the easiest way was the put up my own party, in this way I had the chance to play music in public at regular intervals: not a great poetry behind, I know, just some simple and basic needs.

I used to see Georgio everywhere since the first secretsundaze I attended, it was 2003, but we were not actual friends and we have never really spoken more than two minutes in a row. I looked for him through MySpace and asked for a meeting, it happened in Camden as he was working there at that time: I explained my idea saying I already had a small venue agreeing to let us play, and the name was ready too, coming from a tattoo I have on my wrist. Also the chosen day was Sunday because there were very few parties happening on Sunday in 2009 so ideally a bigger free audience of wondering clubbers. Luckily he said yes and few days after the first DAMAGED happened: I guess we gathered no more than thirty people for that one, not a meaningful quantity, but we had fun.

I learnt many things from Georgio since then and amongst them the one always coming to my mind as first is that the success of a party is not measured by the number of people attending: starting from the fact that it can be applied to life out of partying too, I hope DAMAGED has been perceived through the years as an exemplification of this concept.

K/D: The music you place and your key musical and non musical influences?

MATTEO: I play what makes my body move when listening to music, the combination of human material and sonic frequencies never lies and I think you need to be honest and go with the intersection of those two parts: I’m a clubber first of all, and a DJ under development as second.

K/D: The podcast can you explain the journey and also the spoken word moments?

MATTEO: I recorded it in November 2014 and I think it totally reflected myself at that time.

First of all I wanted something not to easy to mix (and you can feel the technical problems in some part of it :-) ) as I learned in these years that taking risks is half of the job progression when DJing.

I chose tracks reflecting my answer number 9, I’m listening to it now while writing and it still works in making me move on the chair even if two months passed by so I admit I am satisfied with it.

The spoken part is taken from Twin Peaks first series, in general I love written and spoken words and I try to add layers of them in my DJ sets to tracks which sound a bit too dry or anyway repetitive to my brain. Twin Peaks was a big shock when the Italian television streamed it for the very first time in 1990, nothing like that existed before, at least not to my eyes. Also, 1990 was the same period of the tapes from Cocoricò I was saying about in my answer number 4, so everything makes sense in my tidy and balanced mind.

K/D: Where is Matteo at right now, what are you feeling and how will your story continue?

MATTEO: If you mean professionally, I reached a point I could only dream about while planning the first DAMAGED almost six years ago and I’m very grateful to London and partly to my sense of duty for this: now I feel I can almost call myself a “DJ”, not there yet but maybe not so far from the target.

At the same time I’m not stopping, I will keep on working and see what feelings and satisfactions the 4/4 music can still bring to the little kid once going to church.

K/D: Can you give me some of non musical influences across art that inspire you? which djs /producers do you admire and find inspiration from as we see each other at certain events, for instance Fabric with Ricardo etc?

MATTEO: I admit I don’t have a huge art knowledge out of music, at least not as big as I would love to have. What normally happens is that every once in a while I bump into something, in a museum, at a temporary exhibition, through a friend or even online, and I just like it, or anyway I feel the need of knowing more about what I’m seeing. If I have to translate this into explicit individuals I would say Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, David Foster Wallace and Alessandro Baricco (if writing is a form of art).

Going back to the 4/4 music field, I would say with no doubts I admire Rhadoo and Ricardo Villalobos as DJs and again Ricardo Villalobos and Pedro as producers.

Rhadoo because of his music selection, his technical skills and the infinite layered transactions which makes impossible to understand what track starts or ends where: I can think of his sets as an ocean, it apparently moves slowly but it comes to get you and there’s no way out once you are in the middle. Also, his behaviour in the DJ booth represents my idea of professionalism: no hands in the air, no chatting around, no girls or photos or blah blah, just an eye on the dancefloor and two on his music, three in total.

Talking about Ricardo Villalobos, I haven’t missed a set from him in fabric since I moved to London and it’s always worthy to see the amount of risks he takes while DJing, which music directions he is going through, especially on room 1 dreamy sound system, and, through his unreleased tracks, what happens in his brain in that particular period. Also, his physical presence has something magical: using Georgio words, “he is the big oak we are all inhaling frequencies from”, kind of perfect definition of Ricardo Villalobos in my opinion in terms of the man leading our scene.

K/D: Damaged has been going since 2009 can you explain the music policy, and over xmas you and Georgio played all night b2b, how do you find going b2b, do you only do this with Georgio, who brings what energy?

MATTEO: At DAMAGED we try first of all not to impose short sets, at the moment two hours and a half is the minimum, this is in my opinion a way of professional progression and a topic we are trying to expand even to other parties: when we deal with a booking proposal there is always a point when this comes out and I found funny that more and more promoters are aware of it thinking “here we are again with Georgio and Matteo trying to grow their set length”

In terms of composition of the line-up we usually have one international guest and one local DJ and we try to consider the human factor of each choice together with the music aspect: if the DJ booth produces joy it’s easier to spread that on the dancefloor.

Playing back to back with Georgio is a challenge and a pleasure at the same time: our music choices are different but very respectful of each other’s, I think we learnt during the years to play for the other one. I remember there was at the beginning a time where the style or the (short) length of his tracks were making me anxious, now it’s more like a test to myself in saying “let’s see how can I get alive out of this”.

K/D: Do you play any instruments, or make music?

MATTEO: I bought some music machines during the years but up to now I have been using them just for exercises, nothing really worthy to have a listen to.

K/D: you mentioned earlier about going home when your ready, there have always been lots of parties, after parties and now this new trend of one day mini festivals lasting 12 to 18 hours how do you not stay up and out for days like so many do?

MATTEO: I stay out sometimes for days too and I don’t consider myself an absolute exception from that point of view, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time I know I have interesting things to be done at home and they are waiting for me there. It’s mainly a point of not acting just as a consumer, and after a while having the need to produce some output, whatever it means, for myself and maybe for the people around me: it’s about balance, again.

K/D: Talk to me about the Romanians there sound and your view on it?

MATTEO: If with “Romanians” you are referring to all the people from Romania involved in our scene, I’m happy to see how a whole country can stand up through music and find a way to fight everyday problems, dreaming about a shiny future.

If you otherwise refer to the three RPR, they are my professional reference, Rhadoo in particular as said in answer number 12, and also the cause of an infinite series of nights and days of outstanding music all over Europe. Apart from being a matter of frequencies in the sound they propose, and there is not a lot I can explain about it if not feelings, what I appreciate is their technical skills, closer to perfection, the logic behind their sets, or at least what my brain perceives there, and the amount of hours they can work without apparent physical tiredness: in most of the moments playing music becomes for them closer to breathing, a completely natural action.

MATTEO: Thanks for the interest, for the podcast request and for the interview, it was fun to build both of them.


Half Baked have grown so much in its five years and this review will highlight some observations from there 5th Birthday party which was headlined by Zip the Perlon label boss alongside many others. There 5th birthday was an 18 hour party and we came to see if this would be boring or an much needed extended birthday bash.

Over the last few years London has seen a rapid change in its nightlife landscape with club closures,  local authorities clamping down and new parties starting and old ones stopping. Half Baked grew from a very small humble idea and there have been many positives which we discovered on there 5th birthday.

The venue Studio 338 is a little out of the way on the motorway towards South London, Secretsundaze have used the space in the past decorating the outside terrace to great effect with the parties signature yellow and black colour scheme. I was curious to see how Half Baked dressed the venue and how well they used the space.


I entered the venue around midnight Saturday evening and to give you context he part started a cool 12 hears earlier at midday, so there were lots of heads who had been out all day and more heads rolling in as late as me. On entering the club I recognised lots of regular faces, cool club kids who have made the effort for one of London front running deep house parties.    There was a glitter bath that saw groups of friends taking pictured and enjoying the nightclub theatre. In the opposite side was a photo booth which I ended up with some random which was fun.

Whilst I waited patiently at the bar I could hear the thump of the sub bass and some lead sounds which got me intrigued, the vibe was deep and as I entered the main room. The main room terrace was magically transformed with the Half Baked signature bike hanging in the middle and I could really sense happy energy, with people smiling and dancing and lots of girls and boys throwing shapes to Hold Youth. Hold Youth have had a great year with the release of there album De La Club which has been critically acclaimed. Great job overall warming up for Zip which most certainly would have been on there mind. As the time approached 1am I noticed a change, people clearly came to see Zip and the atmosphere was rising.

 That small figure Thomas Franzmann stepped into the already busy dj booth and so it began. The journey and story telling which within 20 minutes stood apart from all the great music I had heard that night already. Zip does seem to be a very polarising figure as in the forums he has legions of fans which is very commendable considering he has the slightest inclination for self promotion or social media which is a rarity these days. Zip is a self-confessed ‘digger’ he strictly plays vinyl only and it can be very frustrating to figure out what he is actually rinsing. On this occasion I did recognise some of the wax which included Mood 2 Swing, Schatrax and Masters At Work. As I looked around the room of about 600 people I pretty much noticed the majority of the room grooving, lots of smiles and a real sense of togetherness and energy. I tried to see if anyone was not enjoying themselves but I could not. For good 15-20 minute solid blocks, I danced and enjoyed the sounds and musicality, the vocals and seamless mixing. The 3hr set seemed to fly by which is always a good sign and overall this was the stand out set from an already great party with several djs and live acts who really kept the tapestry and mood of Half Baked consistent for nearly 18 hours.


After Zip finished Mike Shannon took to the booth to keep the groove going as he pushed the intensity a bit and the tone a little harder. As we popped into the 2nd room upstairs which was more intimate and reminded me of those cool French deep house, house parties. The groove was deep and again everyone looked to be enjoying the closing set in the smaller surroundings by Julietta.


Overall Half Baked are growing from strength to strength and the bookings seem to always be on point, never obvious or commercial. The party started at midday on the Saturday with local stars from Keep On Going, Colors & Damaged to keep the vibe true and also inline with the Half Baked sound. The crowds are as you would expect, knowledgeable, young, well dressed and friendly.  For a party that lasted 18 hours there was enough interesting djs and live acts and the way the venue was dressed made the difference to the birthday celebrations. 14 hours into the party and the club was still busy with new faces piling in for some dance floor action.  As the Half Baked agency and record label grow the future of this project looks to only grow better and not commercially. This party is very well run, with a distinct look, feel and sound, the venues or sound are never staid or safe and there always seems to be genuine energy and excitement for the djs on the bill. If you havent already checked this party we would recommend you do, if you are already in the know, we might just see you soon.  If you would like to catch the vibe there are no more tickets on sale on RA however there might be people re-selling there already bought tickets, check the link for full line up and re-sell ticket details here and here.


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