Interview: Santorini

Hi Andrea, so if you could just start off by telling us a bit about yourself and Santorini?
I come from Italy and I started DJing very young. I’ve been in love with House and Techno music for over 15 years.

What’s behind the name Santorini? Have you been there before?
Actually I’ve never been in Greece, and I know it may sound weird having this alias. The name comes from my surname “Santoro” but I’ll explain better. When I started DJing I was the youngest DJ in my crew and so everyone started calling me “Santorino/Santorini” due to my age. After a while everyone started knowing me under that name and nowadays, after so many years I can’t get rid of it!!

Did you start DJing House & Techno straight away or did you go through other types of music first? And what first got you into electronic music?
I started with progressive techno at 14 years old. I started to discover all the different shapes of club music, passing through House, Deep House, Minimal, Tech-House and Techno.

You were Berlin based for a while, how do you feel the Italian electronic music scene is different from the Berlin one?
I’m living in Italy at the moment after spending several years living in Berlin. The scene here is totally different from Berlin but I think that underground clubs also sometimes burgeon in cities with lesser expectations too. Berlin is the world capital for dance/electronic music, where you an express yourself freely, thanks to the huge amount of clubbers that have a big culture and passion for listening and dancing to club music. When you are a DJ you can feel the vibes from the dance-floor and that is the connection that brings your DJ set higher following a continuous flow. In Italy I’m really proud to be part of a strong collective that is doing very well and that is composed from different organizations. OUT-ER, Transition Lab and Sound Department is the brotherhood to which I belong. These are the groups that are collaborating with me and other DJ’s, helping spread a message that is based on passion for music instead of business.

Is there one city in Italy which is particularly renowned for House/Techno?
As I said before, I think that underground phenomenons start in a random way, so there is not a specific famous city in Italy. Circumstances are happening in different cities where you can find very good parties.

Which cities and parties would you recommend for people who are visiting Italy?
Of course you should come in Puglia and check-out Transition Lab, Sound Department, Reset and loads of the festivals that happen during the summer. You can enjoy a very good holiday with sun, sea, sand and music.

So can you tell us a bit about your Wax not wax release?
The Wax not Wax EP is a release that I’m really proud of. I made it at a time when I was looking for my own sound, mixing broken beats with a Techno feel, warm sounds and a strong groove. Seeing the reactions, I am very happy with the result!

The Conforce remodel is very interesting. I like how it goes in very dark from the start and then evolves from there. Apart from the bouncy kick, it really sounds nothing like the original track, what do you think? What are you looking for when you ask an artist to remix you?
I am not the kind of guy that asks for a remix and then knows what to expect or has special requests about it. I ask for a remix when I trust the producer, when I love his music and so I like to let him free to do whatever he feels. The remix sounds pretty much different from the original but it works fine for me and that’s enough since it is a bomb.

On the b-side you’ve got Savvy and Ringtone which are also good tracks. Savvy contrasts nicely with the rest of the EP which is harsher sounding and it’s become my cycling back home from clubs tune because of its repetitive hypnotic feel and the way the theme develops slowly (it brings to mind the way The Field develops his songs). Do you have any go-to songs for these kind of situations (when you just need to sink into motivational music to get stuff done)?
Savvy and Ringtone are tracks where I experimented more. I tried to mix Techno, broken, hypnotic atmospheres and melodies all together with a House and club feel. I realized that I did something different and so we decided to release them and people are liking them very much. My inspiration comes from all the music I listen to everyday. I like to listen to a wide range of genres, from Indie psychedelic rock, to experimental electronic music as well as Industrial techno, Folk… During that period I was in love with Martyn, Scuba, Four Tet, Shed, Anstam… I find them very inspiring.

When we have a look at your profile on Out-ER we can see that your music has been played out and supported by an impressive amount of big names (Luciano, Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier, Steve Bug…), which artist would you be the most proud of for playing your music?
Well, I received very good feedback and to say it true, this is one of my most important goals when I produce music. I do music for the passion of it, because I imagine what it would look like when other DJ’s play my tracks in clubs. It happens to me that I go to clubs and DJs play my tracks and that is one of the most magical moments for me, to be in the crowd and to dance with everyone to my productions. I should name all the DJs honestly, to thank them all from the smallest to the biggest!

You also started the Out-ER label, what’s the story behind it? How do you deal with competition in Berlin considering the considerable amount of quality House/Techno labels?
OUT-ER started in 2011 with a bunch of friends and our only goal was to release good music on vinyl. We’ve gradually grown bigger and nowadays we get very strong feedback and good reactions for each release. We are proud of what we are doing and our passion keeps our souls high even if vinyl is expensive and the competition is tough. We think that if competition is a motivation to do better then it is always good!

What are your next releases as Santorini?
I don’t have anything planned yet. I have a couple of things which are not yet confirmed, but you’ll hear something new soon.

And what releases are you most excited about this year?
On OUT-ER we have a lot of good releases coming up from Orlando Voorn, LaChriz and Buck as well as great remixers. Keep your eyes open and follow us because they are already getting great feedback!

When can people next catch you playing in Berlin?
I still don’t have gigs planned in Berlin because I’ll be playing a lot through New York, Miami, Paris, London and down in Italy till the summer.

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