Voice Of London takes you inside one of the emerging Techno crews in London, to show you how much we care about Techno!
Words: Mattia Bosio, Subeditor: Cerys Kenneally
Sometimes life gives you gifts you can’t even imagine. One of the best things you can get is to share passions and interests with people you love. It’s when that happen that you can give your best, pursuit your dreams and why not..realise them!
This is what happened to the Under My Feet crew.
Under My Feet is a project born earlier this year with the intention to create international, collaborative events, joining together the best emerging DJs in the Techno scene. UMF have organised and hosted nights and events such Pride in London and Record Store day and played in venues like SPACE Ibiza, EGG, Loghtbox, Ministry of Sound Hysteria Club, Bar 512 and Trafik.
We take you inside the crew to show you how big is the work behind the project.
Edgar Gallan, a.k.a Mauro Porera
After his 9 years career in the North of Italy, the ‘old fashion’ Dj moved to London nearly 3 years ago, exporting his deepest and darkest sounds, the ones that made the Italian Techno scene one of the biggest in Europe in the past 10 years.
What’s Under My Feet?
“It’s passion for electronic music and nightlife. Promote a night, organise it, prepare the set and believe in it gives you an amazing feeling. That’s even more when you see the crowd happy, having fun and a good time. It definitely makes you feel better!“
How did it start?
“A first embryo of project was born at the very end of 2014. Unfortunately it didn’t work. It is not always easy. Wait! It’s actually never easy. The crew moved on and founded Under My Feet, and the results so far are amazing. I saw this project growing fast in the last few months, and I’m sure sooner or later will be something big”.
What about you? How did you start?
“It was my friend’s 18 birthday and I was playing. It was a joke! However I realised I was enjoining that moment. A few weeks later, I got a mixer and a couple of cd players for my birthday, so that was the very beginning of my career. At the time all I was playing was commercial music. Then, a few years later I went to a club in Turin where Sven Vath was playing, from that moment i decided that Techno was my choice. From the time on he realized he couldn’t live without that anymore”.
How did you music change in the time? How do you describe it now? And how important is for you the relationship artist/audience?
“It shifted from the commercial to a deeper groovy house and darker techno. It’s hard to describe my music. It’s a bit of a mess actually. But I love when I see people dancing to my music. To me the audience is simply essential, that’s how you see you’re doing a good job.”
Top 3 Dj’s that shaped your style?
“Papa Sven Vath, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex. If I had a bit more space I would say Richie Hawtin , but definitely many more.”
What’s the biggest challenge for UMF?
“Working every day and using your spare time for your project is quite hard. I think just being able to keep UMF going on is quite an hard challenge itself”.
What are your feelings about the technological advances in music related to the art of being a DJ?
“I play with computer, sounds card and controllers even if I used to play with vinyls… I love this new technologies, help you to modulate the sound as you want, it makes your music more personal”.
Sanna Albinsson, Communication and Social Media curator
What’s your role in the crew? How important is it?
“Apart from advising on strategy and creative ideas, I look after all communication and social media for the brand. The strategy is extremely important. I come from a background in media and communications, and from my experience the brand strategy and identity is the most important part of a project. Without a clear brand and a defined target audience, it’s impossible to create an effective marketing strategy. The same goes for the social media.”
How important it is the social media promotion nowadays?
“Brand communication has moved online and a huge part of creating a strong brand identity comes from social networks. It’s incredibly important to have a visible and relevant presence online these days. That’ s where the crowd is, so that’s where brands need to be. Social media also offer leverage when it comes to growing your audience. If you do it right, it’s a really strong promotion tool.”
How hard it is to find venues and DJs to collaborate with in the London music scene?
“I’m a rookie in the techno field, so that’s definitely the hardest part of my job. Although there is no shortage of clubs in London, the techno scene is a different thing. It’s a very small field in comparison to more commercial genres and that makes it harder to get in. You need to have a strong profile, which I would say UMF has. Artists are another story. There are loads of great techno DJs out there. We are always looking for people who do strictly techno and essentially, we want to work with friendly and supportive people who really believe in what we do. Under My Feet is, and always will be, a collaborative project”.
Ireen Amnes, a.k.a. Irene Maggiore
Ireen Amnes, a Roman singer, multi-instrumentalist,Dj and producer who comes from a rock background and moves into the contrasting world of electronic music. Ireen, with her unique and various style, brings together heavy sound, big beats and eternal vocals.
What new aspects does UMF bring to the London Techno scene?
“The initial vision I had for this project was to create something totally underground and artsy. The idea was born a long time ago in connection with my own artistic growth. My ambition is to experiment with new ways of thinking and going in the opposite direction of what is trendy at the moment. Not only to create a club night, but something different and new that the audience will remember and think about for a long time. Having live performances together with visual arts really gives it something extra and in the future I would also like to incorporate real-time painting.
I’m pretty confident in Under My Feet as a product, we just need a bigger platform to showcase our creativity.”
When did you start playing? Who influenced you the most?
“I started DJing about three years ago even though I’ve always been into the raving scene. I would say the most influential artists for me are Trentemøller and Richie Hawtin”.
How would you describe your music?
“The music I produce is definitely different to the music I play. Producing is like meditation for me, meaning that all my original tracks are quite minimal and almost a bit psychedelic in some ways. Definitely trippy!
But when I play live gigs, it’s pure energy. My mood changes and from being chilled I end up dropping quite dark and heavy beats.”
An incisive moment for you career?
“Playing at Carl Cox’s Revolution party at Space Ibiza. I don’t think I need to explain why, as the name of the event speaks for itself!”
What’s your approach to the new technologies in music?
“That’s a good question. Overall I think that the development of technology makes it possible to express creativity in totally different ways and experiment more, pushing the limits even further.
DJing-wise, I think there is so much you can do. For example, I like to play four tracks at the same time looped and try to take some elements from each one, making a sort of live production on the go. In addition to this, I like to sync a drum machine via midi clock for example or even use Ableton Live and triggering samples in real time. This way of playing wouldn’t be possible without using technology obviously”.
How important is the venue for a DJ? Ad the audience?
“For a DJ the venue is not that important I think, but the audience in the venue really makes the difference. My past as a lead vocalist in bands gave me the right training as an entertainer as well. I love to interact with the audience and I truly believe that when a DJ does that, the reaction from the audience is totally unexpected and cool. I found myself many times playing in the right venue with the right sound system but the audience wasn’t the right target for my music, or maybe I wasn’t right for the audience!”
Federico Bellini, Promoter and bookings curator
What’s the project for you? What’s your role in the UMF crew?
“London born underground music event, the project consists in a techno club night with different influences from music artists from all over the world and, especially, of live sets with instrumentalists. I take care of promotions and bookings. Music is one of my greatest passion. I can’t live without it! When the occasion showed up, I just grabbed it”.
Future score with this project?
“Work, have fun, meet people, or basically live, surrounded by music, is what I want to do in my next future. Creating a web of public relations with people involved in the music business or not and promote something we do create by ourself give a great push to my will to make”.
What are the hardest points of your job?
We are a good team, we exchange duties on different needs and up to now we accomplished a great result. Most definitely the toughest part of my job is to combine my organizing skills and be persuasive and good in negotiating with people. And find time for it!!”
This is the amazing Under My Feet crew. Four guys, one love. Techno music.
Under My Feet likes to be surrounded by new people everytime. Many are the collaborations between various artists and the crew. Coco Cole is one of their special guests.
Coco Cole is undoubtedly one of the big names of the UK’s dance culture. The DJ has already took the stage in various club in Europe as well as holding six times a week a show on Radio Capital Xtra. Between legendary clubs, festivals and record labels, Coco spent a few words with us about her personal experience.
What are your feelings about Under My Feet?
“I’m excited to see where Under My Feet is going. I played it for Halloween and thought the calibre of artists and the vibe of the crowd was perfect. Looking forward to seeing this one grow”.
When did you start as a DJ? What were your influences and passions at the time?
“Oh gosh. Umm, I worked overtime for weeks and invested in my first DJ controller when I was 19 but I guess I’d wanted to be a DJ since I was a kid. My older brother is really into music too so we’d jam together a lot. He brought me up on a diet of UKG & 90s trance and house”.
A moment you’ll never forget about your career?
“Being offered my radio show two years ago really changed the game for me. It went from being a dream in my head to a tangible career where people began listening to me and giving me respect. This is it now. I’m a woman on a mission”.
How much audience ad social media matter for an emerging DJ?
“The audience is everything. It’s so important to try and understand them, get under their skin. Play with them, tease them and then ultimately give them what they want. Bit like sex innit. Social media are an absolute necessity. I don’t really like the whole self-promotion thing as I’d rather just hide in my burrow and work away quietly. However, you can only reach a certain point in your career without it. It’s like tax. You’ve just got to learn how to do it. To be honest as well, social media is a very good connecting tool. Most of my new career relationships have been formed over social media”.
What about the venue?
“Obviously when you play a big, renowned venues it’s great for a DJ’s reputation and helps you get more bookings, but for me it’s more the crowd that’s important. Some of my favourite gigs have been in tiny underground venues in small towns with a crowd that have been totally going for it”.
Little secrets. What music you listen to beside techno?
“Ha! It’s no secret that I play lots of different genres. So let me give you one… I don’t like conflict or arguments so whenever I get a bit stressed at people and need to vent my frustration, I listen to this electro-punk band called Neon Blonde really really loudly and swear at things”.