Mediterranean classy techno
After the release of two mixes on our podcast channel by his most known aliases, we felt the need to explore once more the story and the sound beyond Nico Campanella. We went deliberately against our “NoWhere” concept to discover how origins matter to feed creativity and to capture opportunities.
Born in a small city from Puglia region in the south of Italy, he never felt out of the circuit. Beyond that, real passion doesn’t stop just because of coordinates. Nico’s first approach to music took place at the age of 11 years when he started to study piano, and shortly after, thanks to his great devotion and deep passion for everything concerning music, he was involved in different local bands. Subsequently, his love for electronic music started to blossom, thanks to great artists such as Basic Channel, Robert Hood, Substance et Vainqueur, Derrick May and Jeff Mills. During the last few years, his necessity to propose a multifaceted vision of electronic music, made it necessary to create new projects, such as “Kaelan”, which became his main alias for techno. Under his side project “2030” he proposes electro inspired music, while “Ixm” is his pseudo for dub techno music. He is owner of Subosc and co-owner of Ranges label projects. The former aims to propose modern and classy techno music, while the latter is a tribute to reminiscent dub techno sounds.
Where does your passion for electronic music come from in relation to the place where you grew up?
It basically started in my town some years ago. I perfectly remember the day when I went to my first ambient concert here in town, seeing those synths and listening to that kind of music was absolutely inspiring to me.
Feeding personal creativity far from a culturally active scene can be a limit. How did you face this obstacle?
I think Internet allowed to remove any boundary existing before. We can now access to a huge amount of contents, to the point that every artist can decide to focus on what inspires him the most. I think it is very important to find a personal dimension and stick with that, without being contaminated by what is relevant for other people.
You, Zippo, and even together as 3KZ are putting light on many great locations from your places. This is notable nowadays, just think that we find cities in musical genres names as never before. Origins have never been so influential for the audience. How do you see Southern Italy’s scene? How do you keep a connection with it?
I find absolutely natural to collaborate with local artists I feel comfortable with. Making music with Zippo always gives me great emotions and the opportunity to produce different material. That is also the case of my friends Antonio and Giuseppe (Fragment Dimension project), Piero (Rerum Natura project) and Roberto, with who I run Subosc and Ranges labels. Besides this, I think that the Southern Italy’s scene has never been as active as now, with many local artists releasing quality material.
What are the main differences between approaching a dj set and a live performance? For what elements do you care more in both situations?
What I really like of live performances is the level of personality that can be expressed. In both cases, it is important to keep people entertained, but I think that a dj set is more limiting compared to a live performance. People seem to be more open minded and willing to accept to listen to more introspective material when listening to a live performance compared to a dj set.
In your recent performance from DSNC alongside Zippo you are playing a Roland D50, one of the first digital synths to get a great commercial success in early 90’s. What are the points you focus on the most for a live performance considering the many possibilities having this kind of show?
The key points of the live performance are, from my point of view, the improvisation and the use of effects to enhance the evolution and the diffusion of sound. I like to play with the perception of the audience and offer a rich experience.
Without distinguishing your productions and your mixes, your sound is always various and pervaded by a retro taste, especially under your alias 2030. Can you tell us something more about the 2030’s project?
I always been a fan of Electro and Detroit music and so I decided to create a new moniker for that kind of productions. People really appreciated this kind of music, and I think that the retro-futurism and the melancholic feeling played an important role in the success of the project.
What about your collaboration with Zippo as 3KZ?
We are big friends since many years. I perfectly remember when some years ago we had a session in my studio, we let ourselves go and our flow was just perfect. The feedbacks and the support we had so far was incredible… We are currently working on some new stuff and I’m really excited about this.
Apart from collaborations involving more artists, is it really necessary to release music under different aliases in your opinion? Is it important for the music itself? Or is it a sort of “help” for listeners?
I don’t think it is mandatory, but for me it was a necessity to separate conceptually different music, using different monikers. I must admit that at some point I feel very pressured by this necessity, since I am tempted to create many more projects. This would be excessive indeed.
Does the great range of paths your sound takes is equal to a relevant variety in your studio gear? Or, instead, are you fond to a limited amount of instruments?
Not really. I never lose a chance to explore different instruments, but I tend to be addicted to a selection of them, and actually I use the same instruments to produce music under the different monikers. I think that what really changes is the mindset and the approach.
Have you got any forthcoming projects you want to tell us about?
Well, I have some eps that will be out this/next year. I’m currently working on two album releases as “2030” and some stuff under my moniker “Kaelan”.
Thank you for having spent your time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
My pleasure! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts!