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.