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Luca Bacchetti is the first to admit it. Just as musical inspiration runs through his veins and is his very lifeblood, so too is a certain restlessness and a propensity for boredom for a singular musical output that accompanies it. There’s simply too much music to draw from and too much beauty in life that inspires creative expression – whether it be from art or through travel, both of which he embraces with the same lust that accompanies his inspiring sonic shapeshifting career over the past decade.
Pay a visit to his apartment in Barrio Gotico in Barcelona and you’ll see artistic inspiration runs deep; it’s expressed via the paintings on the walls, or the photographic stills and videos he’s taken while travelling or the vast collection of music spanning everything from Miles Davis to The Doors, all of which make the Italian’s eye sparkle with excitement when mentioned.
When there’s so much varying beauty and inspiration to mine from, you can understand why Luca Bacchetti the producer and DJ could never be defined or even confined to one thing. Or why Luca Bacchetti the label owner named his imprint ENDLESS, as a way of acknowledging the fact that you can never experience everything in life. It doesn’t stop. From birth to death you can never listen to every piece of music or travel to every corner of the earth…so with so much to absorb, how could one possibly limit themselves to anything in life, particularly music?
For this reason the Italian has remained a kind of square peg in a round hole for much of his career; constantly evolving his sound, confounding expectations and very frequently hopping onto the next sonic discovery.
Cutting his teeth on ‘80s New York hip hop from the likes of Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, Luca followed his musical nose to embrace the seminal trip hop sounds emanating out of Bristol throughout the ‘90s when Massive Attack and Portishead were at their peak. Little surprise that a deep love of drum’n’bass was to accompany this – and still remains in Luca’s heart with the likes of Roni Size, Fabio and Grooverider, Goldie becoming heroes. To this day, don’t be surprised to hear him end a set with a classic jungle roller.
It was in the mid-2000s that he begun a relationship with the iconic Italian brand Tenax, playing at the Florence-based institution and releasing a string of key releases on the imprint. It was his remix of Bini & Martini’s ‘Stop’ that signaled the Italian’s first major production landmark in 2006, the deftly crafted cut hitting no.1 on the Beatport Minimal charts commanding the attention of industry colleagues and dancefloor dwellers alike.
It wasn’t long before Mathew Jonson’s respected Wagon Repair caught onto the Tuscan’s vibe and three pivotal EPs on the label were to follow, led by the lauded Nelson Mandela-inspired ‘Night Over Kwazulu’ taking the prevailing minimal groove of the time and imbuing it with a rich tribal rhythm and organic soul, while crafting a sublimely woozy horn-infused hypnotic break – something that’s become his trademark in ensuing years.
Three key EPs were to come on Josh Wink’s seminal Ovum imprint and ever the musical shapeshifter, Luca would again push his sound forward, leading with the vocal-led ‘Afrikaans’ featured on 2008’s ‘No Time To Get Back’ EP, that expertly balanced tribal funk and hypnotic atmosphere.
Luca’s free-flowing, almost stream-of-consciousness approach to music creation has seen him explore many subsequent sonic shades over the course of his career, always striving to challenge himself creatively in the studio.
‘Tango’ the 2011 Latin-driven houser that was snapped up by Damian Lazarus for his Crosstown Rebels imprint within minutes of hearing the track remains one of his biggest releases to date, while the always adventurous Italian decided to mine early influences of Sade and Massive Attack with ‘A Night In Nassau’ that flirts with atmospheric electro via the inspired ‘Bahamas’ EP for Droog’s Culprit EP. A release with Guti on Defected, ‘Finale’, saw more soulful territory explored, with the feel-good vocal cut still getting rinsed today, while the attitude-packed ‘Grab Ya Hips’ off his Bloom EP on Saved gave more than a cursory nod back to his hip hop roots.
In 2012 he begun ENDLESS, not just as a platform for his own productions and those of colleagues he finds inspiring (Guti, Andrey Pushkarev and Alix Alvarez), but a deeper symbolic creative outlet that expresses infinite possibilities of both music and travel, his two prime passions. An early landmark track for the label was the sublime ‘Loneliness’ created with Guti, inspired by the famous colourful staircase in the Rio De Janeiro district of Lapa, where renowned Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. Luca travelled to the Brazilian capital and met with him just a few weeks before his untimely death and the resulting track is poignant homage to the enigmatic artist, featuring vocal samples from Jorge himself and was included in Guti’s Essential Mix that aired in 2012.
Says Luca: “I was fortunate to be able to meet this unique artist just a few weeks before his tragic death. An artist who expressed a sense of solitude, together with restlessness and even madness, in the sole company of his faithful obsession: his stairs! Was it intuition or just coincidence to have called the track ‘Loneliness’? Listening to it now it sounds even more true and emotional. “
As artists come, Luca is as humble as they come. But when describing his remix of Maher Daniel’s & Jon Charnis’ ‘Lonely Stars in Open Skies’ released on All Day I Dream in early 2014, even he is a little lost for words describing it as one of those special studio ‘miracles’. An ethereal techno gem that pushes the blissful dancefloor barometer into the red, it was famously played twice in one night at Panorama Bar by both Âme and Dixon and is liable to make any of the most po-faced of folk a little weepy such is the raw beauty it encapsulates.
Always looking to re-invent the creative wheel for himself, his latest EP on ENDLESS ‘OVO’, is a three-tracker that traverses expansive melodic soundscapes, tinged with psychedelia, minimalism and even drops the tempo down to ambient for ‘The Space Between Us’ that made Beatport’s Top 10 Electronica chart for seven weeks, rubbing shoulders with DJ Koze, Bonobo and Jon Hopkins.
Produced while basing himself in the tranquil mountainous area of Tosco Emiliano Apennines in Italy, it represents a duality that is often present in his work; that of two worlds overlapping and the real and imagined intertwined. He explains: “When I’m in New York I think of these mountains and when I’m here I think of the bustle of life…but it’s up here I find the seed.”
Further material on the label in 2014 comes in the form of a gorgeous EP from All Is Well, a new project from an experienced hand in the music industry preferring to remain anonymous with a back catalogue stretching back two decades, a new record from Cadenza-linked artist Eduardo De La Calle, while an ENDLESS remix series is also on the horizon.
On the artist front, Luca has a stunning new remix for Livio & Roby due to drop on VIVa Music in September 2014.
On the touring front, Luca continues to inspire with his journey-laden DJ sets and has been a fixture at all the world’s most respected clubbing hotspots including fabric (London), DC10 (Ibiza), Panorama Bar (Berlin), Womb (Tokyo), Output (NYC), Space (Miami), Story (Miami), La Huaka (Lima), D-Edge (Sao Paulo), Arma 17 (Moscow), Stereo (Montreal), Lotus (Honolulu), Beta (Denver) and many more.
Where will Luca Bacchetti go next? If the Italian was honest, probably he couldn’t even guess. But being led by his heart, keen sense of musical instinct and a love for the new and inspiring is a not a bad place to start. Equal parts restless and ENDLESS, the journey is never ending….Best Luca Bacchetti Songs of All Time
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