Spotlight On: Alessio Mereu
Vibrant Italian producer Alessio Mereu has come a long way since his beginnings as a DJ/producer/live performer in 2007. Mereu’s music has graced labels such as Cocoon, CMYK, and Poker Flat, and DJ sets from the likes of Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, and Laurent Garnier to name a few. The Sardinian native founded AMAM Records in 2010, based around a necessity for freedom and a passion for good music, regardless of specific style. Now striding towards its 100th release, it continues to build a strong following in the underground dance music community. We had a chance to chat we Mereu following his latest release to find out more about his productions, the label, and his life behind the scenes.
RP: Hi Alessio! Tell us about your new EP, ThreeplusOne. How does it stand apart from your previous releases? What do you want people to feel when listening to it?
AM: Hi everyone. This is always the most difficult question… Or the most difficult answer. First of all I’ll answer the second question. Everyone can feel whatever she or he likes. I can’t imagine what they feel. Of course I hope they do feel something! It is hard to answer your first question because usually I do not think about differences with my previous works. When I am working on new stuff I just try to experiment and try to find something new. The first idea was just to release three tracks each one with its peculiarities, very different from the others, plus three remixes. One evening I found in my Mac all the parts/stems I sent to the remixer so I decided to write one more track using and mixing parts of the other three tracks which makes a new track different from the others. In about three hours I finished the track “Three In One.”
ThreeplusOne features remixes from three very talented producers, Martinez, Andrea Ferlin, and John Tejada. Who else would you like to have remix your work?
There are really many big producers I would like to remix my tracks. But since I work on very different stuffs sometimes it is difficult to choose the remixer. I really would like people like: Akufen/Horror Inc., Audio Werner, Roman Flügel, So Inagawa, Seuil and many more.
What sorts of gear are you currently enjoying playing with in the studio and on the stage?
Usually in the studio I mainly use Native Instruments tools, the Arturia collection plus Universal audio plugins which makes Arturia synths and Native stuffs warmer and also Nord Lead synth. Unfortunately I can’t play vinyls or with CD-Js on the stage. I would love to but physically I can’t. Too long of a story to explain it here. On stage I usually play live with Ableton or a kind of DJ/live with tracks and grooves/sounds. At the moment I am studying a method to work on a pure DJ set.
Your label AMAM has made quite the name for itself in the scene. What made you want to found it?
Probably I was searching for a way to lose money! Seriously I wanted to be free to make the music I like without having to satisfy the requests of the other labels. Among everything I love creating a team of people (friends or not) who can express themselves on Amam. If you pay attention you will notice Amam doesn’t have a specific direction. I just focus on the quality of the music without putting too many limits of style choosing it. Probably what I choose for Amam mirrors my personality and my decision not to have just one fixed style.
It must be hard to balance producing, managing the label, and playing live. What do you do to maintain order and stay focused?
This is a very hot point for me these days. I am totally out of control. Fortunately now there are some people working with me and it can help me a lot staying focused on my music and live sets.
Aside from producing solo under several different guises, you’re part of the band P.O.O.F. What made you want to play in a group? Have you enjoyed being in the studio with other musicians?
Yes it was and still is fun! It is great! They are all musicians older than me and they have been studying music all their lives so it is very stimulating working with them. I feel I have a lot to learn from them. I like their attitude towards life. Starting from the next week we will be again together in the studio as we never made to finish our new EP and work on something new. We have a lot of material to finish 😉
If you weren’t in the music scene, what would you be doing?
Probably I would be renting cars, vans and buses. My family has owned a car rental and transportation company for the last 60 years and they all work in it. By the way… do you need a 9 seats minivan? Or maybe I would be far away from my island (Sardinia) doing something else. I really don’t know.