William Blakes Songs of Experience, and their diametrically
opposed counterparts Songs of Innocence, evoke all the deep and
lovely sentiment necessary to understand the precocious DJ Vincenzo,
who, at 26, has already torn the roof off of the deep house scene
in Hamburg. And, with his newest compilation, Strip Joint Grooves
II, your living room is clearly next.
So lets just start with the fact that
both of your albums [Strip Joint Grooves I and II] are fantastic.
I also think your original stuff essentially stands out as the best
tunes on both of the albums. Describe to me what your process is
when you sit down to do your own stuff. And what feeling do you
want to get from someone elses music that makes you say, yeah,
Id put this on a compilation Im putting together.
When I do my own music, its not that I have so
many [ideas]. When I do music, I start with something. I dont
really have a vision or anything. I start and I see what I can do.
I see what mood Im in, and it just goes on [from there]. Its
not like, I see somebody and they make me feel a certain way and
that made me make this track. [Any day] I just get up, I go to the
studio, I sit down and I start making music.
And when youre picking other
[With] the last two Strip Joint Groove compilations
have so much work to do that I didnt really get to put them
together until the last minute. The records I pick are actually
the records I really like. The label [that put these out] doesnt
have the biggest budget for licensing. So I was concentrating on
getting stuff from Germany and France and other places in Europe.
I always look to people I know that I know make good music or that
have good labels or something.
Why is it that, like, youre
I live in New York and theres this perception
that, when you live in New York, its the hippest place in
the world. But why is this dope music coming out of Hamburg [instead]?
Im not sure. I lived in New York for a year and I was doing
some music with some friends, one of whom worked with the Basement
Boys. And I always knew that one day Id go to New York and
check out what the magic was. And I learned a lot during the studio
sessions I had in New York. I had a great time. And when I came
back to Hamburg I [used what I learned] to do what I do now. Actually,
Hamburg is not the sunniest place on earth. We have loads of clouds
and rain. So I always wanted to do music that reminded me of a sunny
place with nice weather.
Where do you feel deep houses
place is in the larger house music scene. When I go out [in New
York City], more often than not I just hear that thump, thump, thumpwhich,
I believe, is partly because people in New York cant dance.
[laughter] But I always feel theres more of a commitment from
a listener to listen to a deep-house album, which tends to be more
melodic and more musically challenging, than there is to listen
to progressive. But of course, here, progressive is what sells.
Its the same in Germany. We have little scenes
with loads of labels, actually, who do deep house. It doesnt
really sell a lot. But if you want to have a deep house party in
Hamburg, or in Berlin, and you do some promotion around it, itll
be successful. And people are dancing and [having a good time].
And they dance all night and no one comes up and asks you to play
something harder. [laughter] I think you have that in New York also.
But its different. Its more like small places.
Im a big fan of that scene.
And if you want to hear it normally youre in a smaller, more
intimate place where you can go up and shake hands with the DJ and
tell him how great he is. But a lot of big places here
dont play it, and its kind of sad. If there was a big
place, like you said, that would promote a deep-house night, it
would probably blow up. And from a consumer side, its frustrating,
because thats what a lot of listeners want to hear.
Here, we have a bunch of clubs that have some deep-house
nightsand its not like their deep-house parties are
famous parties or anythingbut it works out actually. Some
people come and sometimes its a good party
its not. And we have some smaller clubs. Like the resident
club Ive been spinning at for almost four years now. There,
it really works out on weekends as well. And its not like
[people are] just there for deep house, but they can go for it.
They can go with it when it plays the whole night. And sometimes
people ask you to play harder, but thats only once or twice
or night. Hamburg is more like a housey city. And Berlin is more
techno and more 80s style.
Thanks for that segue. There are
so many good labels based in Germany. Compost, JCR, and the rest,
theyre all doing this amazing electronic music. Can you describe
the music scene in Germany? It sounds like its almost culty
It is actually. Stuttgartyou know where Mercedes
is basedthey have loads of hip-hop culture there. Munich is
more like people listening to really progressive shit, and they
have a good techno scene as well. Berlin is really like techno and
80s. And Hamburg
we have one or two techno clubs, but
we dont have any famous techno clubs here.
So youre 26 years old now?
Thats pretty impressive.
I started early. My father is a bass player and he plays
on cruise shipshe plays all the old shit, like old Latin classics
and that stuff. [He was a great influence] so I [wound up releasing]
my first 12-inch when I was 18.
Where you pleased with the reception
the first Strip Joint Grooves compilation received.
I was actually surprised that it was received so well,
since it wasnt something that I had to put all of my effort
into. And it really worked out. It sold a lot in Germany and in
Europe. And I started getting e-mails from people and stuff who
liked it. [laughter] So I was very surprised.
I think your original stuff is really,
really well done. When you mentioned that your dad plays Latin jazz
and that stuffI think you can feel that in your music.
Yeah. When I was a kid, like eight or nine years old,
I was writing some lyrics about [how successful Id be when
I got] older. And when I read them now its so funny because
its total bullshit cheesy stuff. [laughter] But I always had
music in my mind. When I was 13 I did my first session with a friend
and I bought my first stuff and everything. And I just developed