Launching his progressive EP, “Solaris,” David Castellani is on a roll with staking his claim in today’s techno scene. With full force, Solaris exposes the true nature, style, and talent of Castellani. The EP also features a remix from the French, techno-maestro, Voiski. With the magical touch of Voiski, the rendition of the EP, “Solaris” is manipulated in a heavier, dubbed-out version. This heavier version has endless deep kick drums and more percussive leads, as well as sharp acid lines becoming sunken and more robust. 6AM caught up with the techno artist ahead of his Halloween performance alongside Scuba and Alejandro Franco.
Welcome David, 6AM is glad to have you. Where in the world are you writing us from and have lockdown restrictions been lifted?
Hello, glad to be here. I am currently writing from Los Angeles where the majority of Covid-related restrictions have been lifted, and only keeping an indoor mask mandate in place. As of October 7, there will be a new mandatory vaccine mandate for indoor bars and clubs which will force patrons and employees to be vaccinated.
What are you most looking forward to about playing your first gig?
What excites me most about getting back to gigging is the crowd’s energy, which I get to feed off of when performing live. There is a powerful transfer of information and excitement between you and the people absorbing the music that is unlike any other experience on this planet.
I always think about an author/pseudo-scientist named Masaru Emoto who discovered that there is conscious energy that is emitted from our brains and can affect the molecular structure of water. He also pointed out that the emotional intent of this conscious energy can wildly change how the water molecules are affected. So considering that we are 90% water, you can quickly start to see how the transfer of energy that we have between one another can be so impactful.
You’ve been busy with creating your EP Solaris, as well as launching your new label, Noetic. How has this creative journey been for you?
I’ve had an amazing time focusing on the label, as well as all the new music. I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been challenging at times.
“But I believe that nothing great comes without hard work and the ability to overcome problems. There are so many responsibilities of birthing a record label which appeal to my personality type. From the creative to the administrative side, I find it rewarding and exciting being able to mold and shape the vibe of Noetic.”
Creativity and working hard go hand-in-hand when birthing success.
Having the opportunity to be creative is what I always look for in my life, and though you can’t force creativity, you can cultivate and harness it so that it gives you what you look for in return.
Your EP has a mixture of different sound elements that are deep, hypnotic, and progressive. With creative developments, how was it like working with Voiski? How’d the remix come about?
Voiski was such a pleasure to work with. He is one of my favorite artists because of his dedication to unconventional structure and his ability to push his creative boundaries. I find myself being attracted to so many different facets of music and when you see an artist that can so masterfully push their sound in many directions, but still stays true to their underlying meaning. I think that is what makes music the most magical. I need to give so much credit to Spike Management who had the opportunity to bring Voiski to the table and connect us. I feel truly blessed to have him on the EP and obviously, his cut is a standout part of the release.
From what we’ve seen from you artistically, that you don’t waste any time with creating your projects, and rightfully so, you’re crushing it. Is there something new that’s brewing on the horizon? If so, can you give us a hint on what we can expect from you?
Right now my main focus is on continuing to build momentum for Noetic focusing on quality releases and really nurturing standout live performances. I have a long way to go before I feel I can take a breath, and maybe there will never be a time where a time-out is warranted.
So the plan is to keep my head down and stay focused as long as I can. Having said that, I am very excited for the next EP which will include an inspiring remix by the mighty Matrixxman. And alongside this third release, I will be debuting a very special taping of a live modular performance which I’ve recently recorded.
Separate from Noetic and my original music, there are a few different music-related projects that I have in the works but which are unfortunately still on the hush-hush. All I can say is that there is a special eurorack-related project which I’ve had in the works for over a year now, and will be announced very soon.”
They say that when you find your dream job, you will never work a day in your life. What’s something in your life as DJ and producer that made you think, “wow, I’m living my best dream?
Out of all the responsibilities I have in being an electronic musician and running a label, my absolute favorite part is performing live with modular synthesizers.
“The experience of being behind a modular rig, and immersing myself completely into the process is such an emotionally rewarding experience which can’t easily be described.”
Castellani experiences music from a humble perspective.
When I am truly in sync with the sounds, the process, and the gear, my mind and body become part of a much bigger collective. It’s almost as if I get linked into an external organism of which I become an important piece of — but still, there is so much more at work besides my part. And so, I find myself working in unison with these external forces, and together we cultivate an experience which is incomparable to anything else.”
We know that being an artist takes a lot of discipline and motivation. How do you create balance in the studio, so you don’t overwork yourself?
This is a great question and not-so-easy to answer. I think everyone has a different way in which they deal with this. You can’t force creativity and true motivation is a tricky thing. For me, I find that compartmentalizing things helps a lot. I do that by placing time limits on tasks, which allows me to have different types of stimuli during the work day.
For instance – I may place a three-hour time window for working on a track, then two hours performing live, followed by an hour of admin work. And by doing this, I can let the part of my brain that needs rest take a breather, while getting inspired to use a different part of my brain for the new task at hand.
Another trick I’ve learned over the years is to take breaks, especially for my ears. So throughout any extended period where I’m listening to music (usually loudly), I force 5-15 minute silent breaks where I let my ears and brain rest. This is wildly beneficial to longevity for me.
On those days you’re not feeling so hot, how do you stay motivated?
Unfortunately, this can happen more than I may wish. What I try to do when I’m not feeling up to a specific task is trying to still be productive but in other ways. Maybe I don’t feel motivated to work on a specific track today, I may instead decide to focus on a design for the label instead or to clean my studio. There are always a mountain of tasks in my peripheral thoughts and one way or another, I’ll find a way to take one on if another does not suit my current vibe.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I feel very grateful to have music in my life. I would like to point out the importance of all the wonderful people around me with whom I get to share the magic of music every day. Even more importantly, all the support I’ve gotten from the people that have encouraged and supported me through the years. From family and friends to teachers and coworkers, there are truly too many to list – but my gratitude and heart will always remain with them.