Temple San Francisco
Friday, March 27, 2015 10:00 PMElectronic, After Hours, Rap / Hip-Hop
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Just when you think you know Riva Starr... He’ll probably confuse you with yet another side to his musical personality. Don’t call him fickle, though. Try bored. Try excitable. Try unpredictable... And then some! As Philippe Stark once famously said “I do not try to please everybody, I make what I can, how I can, when I can. […] I try to deserve to exist by doing my job well. I have this sickness called creativity and I exploit this sickness to offer new meaning in things to my friends. That’s it, very simple” Riva humbly subscribes…. Driven from his Italian motherland by a compelling desire to reinvent, innovate (?) and progress (!), Riva has made London his home since 2008: A breath of freedom and fresh beats that allowed to him to wear his inspirations proudly beyond the sleeve and deep, deep, deep into the groove. A Neapolitan cultural exile with a degree in Chinese literature; a passionate family guy who still manages to juggle a DJ schedule of over 200 international gigs a year, a label and production duties. How can you pigeonhole a man who never sits still? From the dolce vita to Dalston, the Big Smoke’s open eared community and exciting cauldron of influences finally allowed him to truly make the records he wanted to make. In the past he’d produced house, techno, breakbeat, electro, pop, folk and everything in between. Here was the city where he could bring them together. As the very name of his own label Snatch suggests, Riva’s unpredictable “Magic Hat” selection keeps both him and us listeners on our toes. It’s kept him relevant, but more importantly, it’s kept him alive and kicking… To Riva, though, he’s just doing his job, hoping to pick up new friends along the way. It’s been like this from the very first releases. Having taken his previous guises as far as he could, his infamous debuts on Made To Play and DirtyBird were the result of anonymous MySpace demo entries. Refusing to rely on any kudos he’d developed before, Riva took a brave dive into a whole new world of beats and let the music speak for itself. Since then he’s strutted with acts as varied as Noze and Balkan Beat Box, remixed Dennis Ferrer, Usher, Gossip and Estelle (to name a few) while future fix-ups include Fatboy Slim and Beardyman. Never forgetting his roots, Riva records range with the wily eclecticism of all the ages; he strikes chords we can all relate to: from the DJs that have appreciated his work (from Tiesto to A-Trak, Jesse Rose to Annie Mac and Giles Peterson to David Rodigan) to you, me and everyone in between. Throughout this mayhem, he’s been hard at work on the DJ circuit – with over 190 gigs in 2010 alone – strutting his stuff in some of the coolest venues on the planet such as Panorama Bar, Space, Womb and Fabric as well as some of the biggest festivals in the world from Fuji Rock to Global Gathering to Exit and beyond. But enough of the past: second album “Freak Like Me” (tbc) takes off where If Live Gives You Lemons left us. A vibrant manifesto of enthusiastic eclecticism, it promises to be fun, futurebound and full of surprises. Backing up Data Transmission’s recent description of him being “one of house music’s brightest, chirpiest and talented DJs and producers”, it’s loaded with electrifying new ideas, fresh experiments and unexpected collaborations. Each one a reminder of Riva’s consistent curiosity and unpredictable style.