What started as a collection of singles for Memento Records’ “Dib 00” series quickly transformed into a full-length album from Idriss D. Starting Memento Records with Italian producer, Fabrizio Maurizi, in 2006, Idriss D has conceived a strong catalog of releases with “Amalgamation” marking his first official album.
From the peak time mysticism of “Transition” to down right techno groovers such as “Casa Baratas”, the album feels appropriate for listening both inside and out of the club. With eight tracks clocking in at just under an hour, “Amalgamation” is a strong release from one of the great techno producers of our time.
Idriss D recently took some time to answer some questions for us regarding his debut album, favorite clubs in Italy, how he and Fabrizio Maurizi initially met, among other techno banter.
You can read the full interview below while listening to an exclusive premiere of “Strong Hayet” off the new album
Amalgamation is available December 18th, 2015 through Memento Records on Beatport
Greetings Idriss! Where are you these days? How is the Winter season treating you?
Like always, I spend 2-3 days at home to try and recuperate while I keep touring. Winter for me is going great with a lot of satisfaction.
Can you tell me about the title of the album? What does “Amalgamation” mean to you?
Amalgamation for me is the result of my experience during the last few years music-wise, marketing, and booking-wise…I tried to elaborate on all the knowledge I’ve picked up from the studio until presenting with my team.
The album was initially a collection of singles for the “Dib 00” series, correct? At what point did you feel they could all stand on their own and tell a story with the album?
I decided to start producing music again last year. The release schedule of Memento was pretty busy, so in order to avoid changing anything drastically I created my own series on Memento called Dib. I released two tracks at first and these EPs made me feel more secure about producing again, with all the support and feedback I got. So I started to re-work and go through the songs again, but this time with an album in mind and decided to make this risky jump and new challenge. It’s my baby.
The whole album is really great, and there are a few tracks we can’t stop listening to! What are some of your favorites off the album?
Thank you, happy you like it! I actually love all the tracks. Of course, I play some more than others such as Karma, Amalgamation, Rip ouarda and Strong Hayer.
The title track, “Amalgamation”, is a real gem – a great composition of sounds and arrangement with a hypnotizing atmosphere! It also seems to have a much different vibe then the rest of the album. Can you tell us a little about this track?
I got the idea for the track being at the famous terrace at Amnesia in Ibiza, I think it captures the sunrise after a party mood.
What is your ideal studio set up and essential items to have with you when making music?
I prefer a simple set up, I’m not able to work with a complicated one. I’m not what some would consider a production nerd, so Ableton Live plus some analogue gear like Moog, Prophet and Korg MS20
In what ways were you influenced by Italian nightlife and music culture?
In Italy my start up in a professional way started with Stefano Borelli. Let’s say one of the first and most creative promoters I’ve ever met. The first time was his party at Maffia Club, the line up was just great going from Jazzy Jeff to Massive Attack, Luciano, Marco Carola, Francois K – it was real clubbing. 600 capacity, dark, no tables, just music!
What are some of your favorite venues throughout Italy?
Cocorico, Barn, Ilmuretto, Guendalina, Amnesia Milano, Uncode, Klang, Guernica and many more. They all have different dimensions and in every club I have a piece of my heart.
Your label, Memento Records, will be celebrating 10 years in 2016. Can you tell us about the past few years with the label?
Yes! 10 strong, lovely years. Lots of sacrifices of time and finances along the way, but a lot of great music at the same time. I never accepted any compromise releasing big artists or generic “tech house” records. I always signed records I liked even with a small number of sales and now we’re collecting the fruits of our hard labour, it’s a good result.
How did you and Fabrizio Maurizi meet?
I was hanging in a club where he was playing, we didn’t know each other at the time but I wrote to him on myspace to say: “Wow your set mate was a bombe!” he responded asking if it was really me and thanked me for getting in touch. I think he was so humble and happy to get my message. We fixed a meeting in Mantova straight away, he brought me some tracks and I signed them without even having a label. We created Memento and struggled a lot to find 900 euros in order to pay the first release. We decided to stop working together a few years ago, he was helping me with A&R for the label. We’re still great friends though, and I love him like a brother.
Do you have anything planned to celebrate the labels anniversary?
It’s a secret!
What’s your favorite way to relax when away from music?
I rarely get time to be away from music, if I’m not touring I’m playing with my Rane mixer and some new wax :)
How will you be spending the New Year?
I’ll be in Amsterdam playing for Daniel Sanchez party at Westerunie!
Sounds great! Idriss, thanks for taking the time! Happy holidays and have a great 2016!