Welcome back to a new episode of our interview series dedicated to the art of disco edit. Today we have an italian guest who is constantly rising since the past two years, earning a worldwide exposure for the quality of his edits. Ladies and gentleman, meet Tommaso AKA Suonho. As usual, we prepared a few tracks for you to listen to get you in the proper vibe while you read the words.
So let’s go, here a few highlights from his bio:
“Tracks released on Wack Records, Wass, Resense, Bastard Jazz, Funky Juice, G.A.M.M., Kolour LTD, Editorial, Irma, Cinedelic, Infracom, Boyù-Sony, Cool D:Vision-Energy, Budabeats, Organically Grown Sound, Urban World Records, Hiperbole, Etc.. part of The DJ Shadow Remix Project CD, recently selected by gillespeterson as one of those 12 lucky winners of the HAVANA GP REMIX contest! ……still groovin’ heavy!”
First of all, please introduce yourself.
Suonho as a producer and Dj, is essentially what he releases and plays. A real music addicted guy, in love with those kind grooves that touch soul and shake body.
1- What is the first piece of music ever you can remember listening to?
James Brown i think, “I Feel Good”, also the first piece of wax i’ve got…
2- Tell us a little bit about how you started doing what you do, and how your love for music was born.
Radios made my love for music, big part of my music knowledge come from seminal radio show (“Planet Rock” and “Suoni & Ultrasuoni”) … after Dj Shadown’s “Entroducing” LP release, i’ve started teawking here and there in the mid 90′s, 14 years after i’ve remixed him officially and i’m pretty proud of that. Now i have my own way to follow… i’m thankful for what i’ve got so far.
3- In your opinion, who is the best ever in doing disco edits, the one who inspired you most?
Mmmh, choosing just one will make no justice to all great producers out there. I usually found inspiration on old music i discover, i like to buy many records and dig deeper, many genres of music from latin-soul-jazz to discofunk, raregrooves , etc. mostly 20th century music but also contemporary stuff as well.
4- What grabs your attention when you hear a track for the first time? Do you ever come across tracks that you don’t like the first time, but then hear again and change your mind?
It’s that kind feeling of a tune that grabs my attention, the way a song is able capture my immagination and mooving my feet @ tempo.. It happened a lot of times indeed to listen music without a strong impact to me at the first listen… sometimes music require more time for being assimilated properly.
5- When a DJ creates an edit, we can assume the aim is making the best DJ tool possible. What else? What other characteristics are important in your opinion for an edit to be a killer one?
Yes an edit is made for djing essentially. For being a real killer, the original tune should have a big potential on itself first, a strong “feedstock” is the 1st important thing i think, then it sould get the powerful sections emphasized, and if needed the structure should be reinforced with additional production, without touching the spirit and that specific feeling of the original track. An edit should be respectful in my humble opinion. A remix, is another thing, it can be a complete reinterpretation.
6- What is your relationship with new technologies? How do you think technology has affected the job of djs making edits for the dancefloor?
A good relationship, since technology is intended to make our lives easier. Infact working on edits is much much easier in a digital enviroment with today’s sequencers.. As Dj i like to play vinyl only, it’s much easier and funnier to me than finding a track through thousands files in the hard-drive, i like that analog warm sound, i love to touch a record phisically with my hands….
7- Do you listen to music that you might not play in the club? If yes, what are you listening now?
Yes of course very often, too many to mention from jazz (Verve, Blue Note, Jazzman reissue) to soul (Stax, Motown, Atlantic, Chess, etc. ) and even dub-techno… i basically listen to music of all genres, without any boundaries.
8- Tell us a little bit about your creative process in making an edit, like where do you start from and how you decide the job is complete.
I usually start from a song that captured my soul deeply and let me imagine how good can be for those soulful clabbing occasions, it can be a very short track, or a beatless tune, an underrated masterpiece… I put much care on my reworks ..some edit of mines took me months for get it finished! When i have a first take i like test on a big system to see how it goes, and i also let few friends doing the same before sending for mastering/pressing stage. When everyone happy about it, well .. its done.
9- When you play, how do you choose the balance between what the crowd wants and what you want to play?
Usually a promoter books me for that specific kind of blend of sound he can get out of me, so i just drop record that works for me, no problem if is know or less known … when i’m on the console i just want to have fun as much i can with my records, because when i have fun.. the people can feel it and have fun too ..it’s all about feedback and good feeling.
10- What is the release you’re most proud of? Tell us a little bit about how it was born.
My re-edit of Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto” without any of doubt:
i’ve (re)discovered this gem through my Atlantic vinyl collection.. i couldn’t believe no one did a retouch before: the original is a true masterpiece. It just needed some more “body” for today’s dancefloor standards, then i’ve sequenced it completely, sliced, quantized and reassembled with much care, adding kicks, snares, hi-hats, and so on, leaving structure an original feeling intact. Very successful, It’s much much loved! And from Nicola Conte to Greg Wilson it’s widely supported.
Tell us more about your current projects…
Vol1 of “suonho In Brasil” on vinyl 12inch and “Guajira Reboogaloo” on yellow vinyl 7inch, both EPs should get a released in june 2012, fresh summer vibes.. other releases planned on Agogo, Wack, Wass, Resense, Infracom, Hiperbole.. Also working hard on original tunes! collaborating with many singers and musician from around the globe. Expect the unexpected ;-)
Well, thats all, now everybody let’s go to your nearest record store or on Juno to purchase a Suohno record! And stay in touch because we might post a mix right here in the next days, to end this interview properly….