We Play Wax launched on November 1, 2013, as an online musical exhibition dedicated to the most enduring audio medium of all time: vinyl. In just over 3 years, WPW has grown slowly and steadily going through all from a record reviews site to a more robust, fully realized brand – replete with in-depth artist interviews and a monthly podcast, that has also expanded into event production in both Bucharest and Rotterdam. This spring, after the successful debut EP from 2015, We Play Wax brings you their second release: a showcase of one of Italy’s most talented new-kid-on-the-block: Degio’s, that also sees his good friend Alessio Collina on the remixing duties.
We Play Wax make a welcome return with their 2nd vinyl release. The series this time fronted by Italy’s Degio’s with his new EP - 'Questione Interiore'.
On the A1 we have Sigaretta, featuring a classic stabbing staccato piano that plays call and response with a beautifully resonate bassline allowing this track to ebb and flow making the playful energy of the track roll and roll. Moving into the A2 we find Alessio Collina on remix duties. The man brings a slightly more tripped-out take on the original allowing his effortlessly cool riff to meander whilst his snappy drum work and acid bassline punctuate the groove.
Flipping the record, we find Degio’s Civico 3, a more raw and tracky affair and surely a winning tool for dance floor action. Solid Machine groove vibes with a tough 909 hat complement the bubbly acid bassline set to carve any dance floor out. For the final track on the record, Binari Paralleli, we have a lovely dark twist on the genre as the producer strips back a Chicago inspired acid jam with some serious swagger about it. This record drops on the 12th of May just in time for the summer and those long hot parties that inspired this sun-drenched EP.
Back in December, the day before Xmas to be more precise, we received a mystery package on our doorstep. We have been speaking a couple weeks earlier to someone from SGOL Records who kindly offered us a promo record, but we didn't think too much about it as we know sending out physical promos is a lucrative and expensive thing to do. Because the package landed in full holiday season, it got lost with all the presents, family dinners, NYE head-bashing and extended hangovers and when we finally dug it out, it was way too late for any kind of worthy promotion. And for that we are extremely apologetic.
The release in question was a double debut from both Vincent Vedat as the artist and S.G.O.L. as the label. What struck us about 'Hustle EP' was the unique blend between modern deep sounds and the classical side of house music that sounded extremely well produced for a new name on the scene. What was even more impressive is that the release was pressed on a limited batch of vinyl with no plans for a digital release, a bold statement to say the least. As it's the case with so many releases today, Vincent's debut EP didn't see too much media action and got quickly buried down the stream of hyped-up over-marketed records that were half as good, even after a decent covering by XLR8R back in January. Which is a shame considering that with the proper PR mechanism in place, S.G.O.L.'s very first release could have easily reached the top of the sales and buzz charts.
Around the same time in winter, Vincent decided to also play the digital market with a polar-opposite release for which he ditched the dark deep tech sounds for a warmer and more playful approach. Each track on 'Push Me' features the same female vocals and the retro influences are felt across the entire release from chunky electric organs to trancey synth arpeggios. I know we don't usually deal with digital releases here on WPW, but this EP deserves a bit of love, even if just from your mp3 player.
Fast forward to present times and we are greeted by another message from Vincent, this time in a much happier and sunny note. His latest single 'High Times' got recently released and it comes at the right time as the first major heatwave is about to struck Europe in full scorch. Keeping with the warm and playful tone of his previous work, Vincent employs the same soft female vocals from his second release, but mixes them up with a thumping kick and snappy drum elements reminiscent from his debut EP. The result is a simmering poolside love song that will melt even the coldest of the hearts.
Make sure to follow Vincent and keep an eye out on SGOL in the near future because we have a feeling this is only scratching the surface of Vedat's potential ;)
There would be no Nicky Siano without Studio 54, no Larry Levan without Paradise Garage, no Hewan Clarke without Hacienda and the list could go on forever. It's the club, not the studio that bends, shapes and moulds the very fabric of dj-ing, it's that melting pot of people, music and culture that forges a simple record collector into a fully fledged resident DJ that given the right circumstance can also make it big in the international club scene. That's why this month we've taken a slight turn from our usual artist interview and decided to sit down and a have a chat with the founding fathers one one the most unique clubs in Italy at the moment: Verona's own VNCBRG. With an artist roster catered to the underground, a dancefloor space of just about 200 people, a local custom built sound-system, vinyl-dedicated dj booth and top notch modern industrial design, VNCBRG is a crossroad of contemporary music and art, of people and culture, of memories and emotions.
So let's find out what the fuss is all about straight from the horse's mouth!
Hello Miche, Frank. Please tell the world what exactly is VNCBRG and most importantly who are the people behind it?
VNCBRG is an underground club and future label. It started from us Miche and Frank, but soon assumed a larger group that stands behind it, composed mainly from the resident djs that we decided to support as a club, and other people oriented in quality and research music.
What sets it apart from other venues, what makes it so special that all the coolest DJs want to play there?
I suppose that it’s thanks to the harsh road that we decided to take: we meant to heave a proper club fully dedicated first of all to the sound quality. We invested time and efforts to have a Real sound system and a proper acoustic treatment of the room, and a fully equipped and safe console. This allows us to have dis playing vinyls with a 10kw sound system in an 80sqmt. dancefloor, with an enjoyable pressure and definition of sound, for the visitors and the djs too.
You have a heavily artistic background. How does that reflect in the venue and in your work as owners and managers?
We come from two different starting points in music, we also have a gap of age that gives us different tastes and feelings about the sound. We think that this mixture of points of view generates the capacity to look a little further to seek and recognise the evolutions of the sound.
The artists you promote in your line-ups are both interesting and diverse, yet all of them are deeply rooted into the underground scene. Is this part of your ethos or simply the logical choice given your limited dance floor space?
We chose everything from the beginning: we wanted to to have underground guests, we like people who run away from the bright lights of fame, we like hard workers that listen and produce music for music, not for fame. So we build the place where we could invite them and provide a real experience to the people, to the djs, and to us too.
Since we’re running a vinyl website and label, we are very interested to know what your thoughts on playing vinyl are. A lot of vinyl DJs are complaining that venues nowadays don’t seem to take it seriously anymore and the setups they provide are crippled at best. How does VNCBRG addresses this issue and makes playing records a joy?
We deeply believe in Vinyl, it’s the origin of dj-ing, and we believe that if you don’t know how to play your music in vinyl, you’ll never be a dj. That’s what we say to ourselves. We structured VNCBRG to be the place where you can play vinyls. To be sincere we are still improving the acoustic response of the room, and we will be taking care of the details probably forever, but that’s what is need to have a precise sound. We have a peculiar console, it’s auto built as most of the club after researches and studies, that it’s precisely made for reducing most of the vibrations on the turntable level. This is the main theme about vinyl: reproducing music that we discovered after years of playing.
Speaking of technical setup, I read that you are boasting a handmade sound system done by a local specialised company. What can you tell us about it? How does it differ from having a Function One or Void setup tailored to your location?
We believe that having a dedicated and adapted venue is what makes a place like no others.
We decided to choose this path with our two technicians, and it’s very satisfying: you could never have the engineer of a Function One or a Void system working with you on frequencies and cuts, just before the night or even during the night if it’s necessary. Having someone who built a sound system is like adopting his baby. We have tons of support and improvements from and with them.
Rumour has it that you are expanding the VNCBRG brand into the record-making business. Can you tell us more about it or is it too soon (or too secret) to spill the beans yet?
It might be a little soon and also secret. But yes, we are developing a way with some producers to start making some releases under the name of Veniceberg Records. The progress is working so good that we might have the first release already with the coming of the new season, hopefully. We cross our fingers, and after that, you’ll tell us what you think.
Let’s wrap this up by telling the world what you got in store for them this year and what are your ideas of pushing the venue, podcast, label and brand further?
We plan to make an even better second season and to have the best time together with the amazing guests we will have and with the crowd too. We are already working on podcasting the nights ride away online for the people who live out of Verona (such a pity), and we mean to play a lot of good records.
Thank you kindly guys!
Thanks to everybody who reads, writes and especially who comes and dance with us.
Keep your faith underground, it will grow high as a tree.
We Play Wax launched on November 1, 2013, as an online musical exhibition dedicated to the most enduring audio medium of all time: vinyl. In less than two years, WPW has grown steadily from its humble origins as a casual record reviews site to a more robust, fully realized page – replete with in-depth artist interviews and a monthly podcast – that has also expanded into streaming radio and occasional event production. This June, WPW takes the next big step towards world club domination with a long-planned and carefully-crafted vinyl release.
Dropping on the first day of summer, 'In the Beginning' is WPW the label’s debut, one that joins together two highly creative producers for a custom-designed, DJ-friendly 12” that sees both artists remixing one other’s original tracks.
Known for the deep, analogue, modern house characteristics of his south Italian heritage, Giovanni Damico opens the release with ‘Satellite’, a rich blend of acoustic percussions, strummed strings, caressing synths, and glistening melodies. The special guest featured is Chicago’s Keter Darker whose warm, saturated, spoken word vocals add a strong narrative element to the track. Tomson, Manchester’s finest house head, smooths things out with his dance-ready version, enhanced with a flowing stream of celestial synth strings, effervescent pads, thick basslines, and steady kicks, hats, and claps. As you’d expect, Keter’s warm, human touch carries through from the original, his storytelling as evocative as ever.
The flipside starts on an energetic note, courtesy of Tomson, whom we just met. ‘The Nod’ is a relentless journey through tight kicks, swinging percussion, groovy bass synths, playful keys, and magnificent pads. The icing on the cake comes in the form of some clever cutting and sampling of Lauryn Hill’s wisdom speech from the turn of this millennium. Taking it a couples notches deeper, Giovanni Damico concludes the inaugural release with his enthralling take on Tomson’s original. Employing the creative use of sustained pads, oscillating synths and eerie melodies, and delaying the vocals and looping certain percussion elements, Giovanni skillfully raises tension to yield an ideal late-night crowd-pleaser.
After more than 1 year in the making, countless emails exchanged, cut-throat negotiations and deep back-rubbings, we have the pleasure of announcing the debut release of our own We Play Wax imprint. The aptly titled 'In The Beginning' joins italian Giovanni Damico and his close english friend Tomson for a special 12" package that has both artists remix each other's original tracks. Gio also employed his friend's Keter Darker trademark vocals on his own track, that successfully made it through on Tomson's remix as well. All this in a custom DJ-friendly package designed by romanian artist Pavlov that features heavyweight 180-gram pressing, high-quality printed covers, poly-lined inner sleeves and a sweet label design to go along with the music.