From All Inn, with Love: Music and Words by Giovanni Verrina
- Published on Friday, 13 March 2015 12:05
Giovanni Verrina is based in Italy, but seems to be more of a wandering spirit, collaborating with artists and playing in countries in Europe and beyond. Two countries that do deserve particular mention is Hungary and Russia. He co-runs the Hungarian based record label All Inn with his partners Coldfish and Polarize, and in Russia, he used to regularly play at the infamous Arma17. Even after the club was forced to close down, his ties with Moscow continued, and after playing at Rodyna, one of the capital’s most intimate of venues, he just couldn’t wait to share a part of his set to the enthusiastic clubbers that partied with him until the early afternoon, and of course, to the global audience of dance music fans. In the following interview we ask his thougts about Italy and Russia, about All Inn and its sublabels, and also about his very conceptual, artistic productions. Read on, and tune in to his mix on Meoko!
You are based in your home country, Italy, and even give your releases Italian names. It seems like you have a strong connection, despite your negative view about its present economic situation. Can you describe this relationship? Would you ever consider moving elsewhere?
Not only the economic situation is destroyed by Berlusconi and friends here, but consequently also the cultural situation. I see most of the people lobotomized in front of these realities (made by Berlusconi). They are blind from seeing the beauty of their country, and they just spend their lives throwing away money that they don't really have, and buying unnecessary shiny objects.
For now, I really can't relocate, as I have another job by day, but I think I wouldn't move anyway because I see the same shit in other countries too, so it’s not about the country you live in that can make you satisfied with your life, but the small circle of people that you care and respect all around the world.
The titles of your album, La Terra Trema, and the tracks that make up the EP, are all named after 1950s – 1960s Italian Neorealist films. You explained,“The neorealism was a time of cultural change and social progress in Italy”. To what extent do you wish for an “older” Italy?
The neorealism was a time of cultural change and social progress in Italy, these films presented contemporary stories and ideas, free of any sort of agenda, but more of a reflection of the times we’re living. This approach comes through in our music, no judgement, just observation ; without any influence or comparisons, without following any scheme, it just is.
Would you recommend your EP, La Terra Trema to a global audience?
Sure, music is for everybody, we use music as a unique language to connect people everywhere, then it is only a matter of taste.
Let’s talk a bit about Neorealist techniques and styles. In your productions, do you tend to avoid a structure? Your use of live instruments and recordings of real situations, would these techniques be considered “neorealist”?
I used that parallelism with Neorealism only for that album, that was a really important project for us, we worked on this for more than 2 years. As in every arts the techniques are just finalized to explain an idea/concept,it was just like an ideological comparison. We made that album in the classical way of making music with everything we have from an old analog machine like 808, 707, 303 or new stuff like electribe or OP-1 and of course sample.
Where do you usually look for and find inspiration?
I’m mostly inspired from the smallest things that surround me, like a simple walk, as I’m too lazy to run, but as Onur Ozer told me once I need to try it because it could be one of the biggest inspirations ever. Tomorrow i'll ask to my partner Ventura and I’ll let you know his thoughts as well :)
"I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery."
- from Aldous Huxley - Those Barren Leaves (1925).
What have been some of your most special releases?
I have to say "ll Pavone di Oz" out on O300f, the release was planned almost one year before the release date, and I was waiting for this for a really long time. The sound is pretty different compared to "La Terra Trema”. Definitely more housy, I think it was a spontaneous and natural evolution after that minimal, dark, hypnotic journey.
Of course I am looking forward to see on wax some very interesting stuff coming out in the next months.
You run All Inn Records with Hungarian artists Coldfish and Polarize. How did you three meet and how and why did you start collaborating together?
One of the first tracks I made was played by someone, and the guy from All Inn heard it and he started to ask people around if they know this track or the producer. Someone eventually put us in contact through Skype and Norbert and I started talking and sharing music. Soon after they forgot about that first track as it was a bit too raw and they released two EPs under the name, Sailor Mood (Giovanni Verrina and Orazio Bongiovanni) instead. As each day went by, my enjoyment of the label and the sound continued to grow, so I started to organize a showcase around Italy only because I really cared about the project. By this time Norbert and I had become friends and soon after the partner left All Inn, I came in as co-owner. Soon after that, a lovely friend of mine, Coldfish also came on to join us and has become a very important part of the label.
What release on the label has particularly struck you as something special?
I'd like to talk about a future release that I really care about. We are working since months on a very interesting remix album of La Terra Trema. We would like to do a triple vinyl once again like it was in the original, but as all the artists have different delivery times, I think we will do part 1 and part 2 and maybe 3 if we have enough special material. For now we have selected some very nice tunes from Molly, Coldfish, Sergio Moreira and that lovely guy called John Dimas and we are waiting for all the others artists are working on it like Kamran Sadeghi, Maayan Nidam, Sonja Moonear, and Isherwood. All of them have the remix parts and they will work on it compatibly with their other commitments.
All Inn is the mother and as it is reflected in the name, the label is a container filled with all the music that we fall in love with. We started to receive tons of music. Some of this was really amazing and we wanted to put it on wax, but we cannot have one release every week, so we decided to open other sublabels with a more specific sound:
How do you pick “new talents”? What new artists have impressed you lately?
We only care about music and we are trying to find the best innovative sound all around the world, and trying to find the best music without focusing only on names. The best successes have come from releasing some unknown names, and seeing incredible pre-orders at the distributor. We are glad to see that people are caring about music, not just about the name or fame. Normally it's a nice combination about human relationship. We spend time with some artists, we share music, ideas just for pleasure, not necessarily thinking about a future release and then we build up the eps in a very spontaneous way; about names, you will see in the next few months!
The mix you sent us was recorded at the All Inn Records showcase and Rodnya in Moscow. How was the event? Why did you choose to share this particular recorded set?
I simply really really enjoyed a lot that party, I felt home thanks to the incredible kindness of my friend Melik Simonyan, that even if it wasn't his own party, he took care of me and the other guys for all that night/day. After the party a lot of people asked me if that set was recorded somewhere and if I could share with them. At the same time you guys kindly asked me to do a podcast for you, so I thought it would be a perfect combo. For different reasons that night I played many many hours, this set is a small cut of the entire recording.
What significance does playing in Russia have for you?
Well it's not exactly about the entire country, but only one city for now. Moscow and in particular a really amazing crowd that comes from Arma17.
Since that club closed I miss a lot the mystic mood you can find inside that old building, but every time I play in that city, I really enjoy it even if I play in other venues. I try to reconstruct the atmosphere with my music and with that really clued up crowd.
Can you share one track that you enjoy playing particularly in Moscow?
One of the most emotional moments was when I played our edit from Franco Battiato, but I don't have any link of this track yet. It will soon be released on Keyall.
So I can show you another track that still holds a place in my memory for the special atmosphere it created in the morning. It was this pretty old Plus8 from 1996
Listen to more of Verrina's records in his very special mix, recorded at dawn in Rodnya with love...Exclusively for Meoko: