It’s rare that I go very long without listening to the music of Italy’s Donato Dozzy.
For a minimalist techno perspective, Dozzy’s music is incredibly versatile – from the
slow-motion, sex-after-dark suites of his recent album K to his acid-tinged EPs and
pulse-pounding collaborations, Dozzy has made music to suit any mood or activity. His
music is raw yet elegant, and an enjoyable experience for novices and seasoned DJs alike…
the sounds are inclusive, but Dozzy’s technique and style sticks out above the crowd.
This is a guy who hangs out with people named Neel and Nuel, after all. He travels
frequently, including the United States, so go find his anonymous-looking records and
then go see him live.

How did you get started making electronic music? Was it difficult to learn?
I started producing sounds at the very end of year 1990 in Rome together with my friend
Leo. We were lucky enough to have two mentors, Pietro and Paolo Micioni, who introduced
me to the way of doing that, patiently and carefully. From then, it was a long process
to become experienced and then to be finally able to obtain something out of the gears
that could represent the right transposition from my ideas to the music itself.

How different is your production setup now than it was when you first were
learning in the ’90s?

Not that big. When I first started attending sessions at Gimmik Studio in Rome I could
already find amazing equipment in there. At that time, Pietro and Paolo took care of having
any sort of goody (from Studer Multitrack recorders to an amazing Skorpion 64 channels
desk.. excellent analogue synthesizers, all sort of drum machines, hardware effects and, a
surprise for me, a computer), and I was simply amazed by that. Later in the ’90s, in full
digital/analogue transition and when it was time to collect my own equipment, I first
focused my attention to some digital stuff, but then, at the beginning of 2000, I turned
again to analogue, thanks to the influence of Lory D, the Modern Heads and Brando Lupi.
Somehow I learned the potential of digital but still keeping an analogue attitude, and
still do that way.

How would you define an “analogue attitude”?
It is the capacity to stand up and sit down a million times per day for the most unexpected reasons.

Some of your 12” records have nearly no identifying information on them… is
there a particular reason why some of your records have such an anonymous look?

This is mostly related to the Aquaplano releases, I guess. That was a decision Nuel and
I took when we pressed our first EP. We were not in need to give any special name to what
we were doing, and not keen to give a real artwork to our releases at that time, so we
proceeded in the simplest way possible and tried to give more relevance to the music
itself. The first release was a full black record and the second was a full white one
and so on. Now times have changed and my wife, Koto, is taking care of the artworks.

By releasing a completely anonymous-looking record, it’s almost like you are
rejecting the commercial aspect of releasing a record… did this play into it? I guess
I am coming from a record-shop perspective, and what it’s like to see a plain 12″ in
the bin with no identifying info on it…

We didn’t like the way some big distributors were handling things, but this is not the
main aspect to consider and, for sure, we were not the only ones. As I said before, we
were not in need, at that time, to show anything else then the music itself.

What prompted you to collaborate with Nuel? Were you friends prior to working together?
We met each other in Berlin during the summer of 2006. Somehow that was the end of my
period there and the beginning of his own. Both of us spent three years in town and in
the moment I left, he moved in my apartment in a pretty logical consequence of events.
From then, the musical cooperation came by itself.

How do you approach a collaboration, versus working on your own?
There’s not a big difference; I love both aspects in the moment they come. The cooperation
is slightly easier, ’cause it’s about two minds feeding each other, so the risk of being
“stuck in the groove” is a bit less. When it’s about my own production, I just have to
ride the wave in the moment it comes… when it’s not, no problem, I just take care of
other interesting musical aspects of what I do: try to improve the studio setup, listen
to other peoples’ music, learn more of my gears, etc etc.

Who else have you been listening to lately?
Most of the stuff I’m recently into is coming from the States. From noise / experimental
music (Weird Forest and Hospital Productions, just to mention a few) to amazing left-field
labels like Sublime Frequencies. I’m also into some techno and house producers like Omar S
and Fred P; love their musical approach.

Your album K is a pretty distinct departure from some of your previous
material; the first thing that stood out to me was how much slower and more sensual
it sounded. Is this the direction you’re headed with future productions, or will you
return to hard, banging techno?

It’s all a question of moods. I like the idea to change constantly the direction of
what I do. It keeps me very alive.

Are there any moods you haven’t expressed in your music yet that you would like to?
Not so far.

I’ve heard that you’re pretty popular in Japan… what do you make of that?
It’s cause of a chain reaction, and I can explain how that came: in 2007, I was invited
for the first time to the Labyrinth Festival, and the experience literally changed my whole
life. That was the “creme” of an audience (in a context of perfection) that everyone would
have loved to deal with. Sensitivity, kindness and a friendly attitude are only a few words
that can give a sense of definition of what I’m talking about. After that experience I went
back every year. I started being more involved, having friends, I mean real friends;
special people that make you feel so good, and the consequence is that you can play better,
like nowhere else. Every year is more and that is why I’m “pretty popular” in Japan right
now, I guess.

You’ve been to the States now too, correct? What did you think of the US?
I think in the most positive way, thanks to Bryan from Beyond Booking who understood me
and my music well; he sorted things in the most comfortable and professional way possible.
After my last tour, I must say I once again found very inspiring, peaceful and stimulating
crowds to deal with; scenes are growing fast, year by year, in each of the towns I have
been visiting: NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Chicago and Denver. But it’s
not only about gigs: since two years ago, I also started cooperating with a few American
labels (Seattle’s Further Records and Los Angeles’ Absurd). Amazing people out there and
great music vision.

What are you working on next? Any new albums or singles?
I just put together the first Voices From The Lake album together with Neel (who is not
Nuel, just to make it clear) and this is going to be released on Prologue in the beginning
of next year. I’m also currently working on the next Aquaplano release together with Nuel
(who is not Neel) and also this should see the light around January or February of 2012.