Here for a night to share with some of us the true taste of Italian disco music, Rodion promised a night of quirky, romantic, moustached fun (and he delivered!). We got to know him a little better before his gig last Merdeka Eve at Bedroom and found out where he drew his inspirations for his music, style and persona from.
Are you currently touring? Where was your last stop and where are you heading next?
Yes, I am currently touring Asia. I started from Beijing on 17 August then moved to Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and now I’m in KL. Next and last stop will be Shanghai, then I’ll be heading back to Europe for a gig in Paris.
For those new listeners, how would you describe your music? What exactly is casiocore romantic disco?
My music is quite a freaky blend of many influences, ranging from classic italo disco to synthesised funk through classical music, druggy house, cyber techno and even videotape music. The term casiocore comes from my liking of cheap Japanese synthesisers, romantic comes from my liking of chopin’s stuff and disco, well no need to explain.
What’s the biggest gig you’ve ever done in all your professional career? Any ones which are exceptionally memorable?
I did many live and DJ gigs in the last few years, in many different countries and places. There is usually not a strict correlation between how big a crowd is and how funny the night goes. I like very much intimate and freaky after-hour parties where people usually feel more relaxed and abandon themselves to the music. I played in an abandoned train station together with Mr. Oizo, on a huge marble rooftop together with Alexander Robotnick in front of a big crowd. That has been great, but I also had memorable fun in a small Greek pole dancer’s club or in a decadent 60’s disco in Mallorca.
Why the quirky get-up and the moustache persona?
I would feel lost without my quirkiness and my mustaches. I think there’s quite a lot of humour in my music and I love to make it clear from the very beginning.
In your opinion, how is Italian dance music different from rest?
There has been a much revered wave of Italian disco producers who influenced the current trends pretty much, from Giorgio Moroder to Alexander Robotnick to Kano and Gazebo (who were both produced by Italian people). Italian dance music had quite a huge impact on the American early house and breakdance scenes and we’re currently experiencing an italo disco revival. Also the new generation of Italian producers, like Bottin, Francisco, Fabrizio Mammarella and his Slowmotion label in Berlin are doing pretty amazing things worldwide. I’d say that there has always been a lot of soul and creativity behind Italian dance stuff.
Are you trying to bring back the music from the peak of the ’70s disco era with your brand of mix?
I’m deeply influenced by the work of electronic pioneers like Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley back in the late 70’s, when synthesizers met disco for the first time. But my music is not all about revival, so I like to throw also many other ingredients in the mix.
Would it be safe to say that you’ve infused some form of Latin jazz into your sound, given how a lot of it is very romantic? And how do you deal with people who refer to it as “hipster music”?
Well being Italian there’s some Latin influences in my music,especially in terms of soul. But I m not very much into Latin jazz, nor would I like to define my music as hipster music. There’s a lot of romanticism into it,but it probably comes out of my classical background and my Italian DNA.
If you had to name one other DJ whose sound you personally looked up to, who would it be?
I’ve relased some EPs with my Italian mates Bottin, Francisco and Fabrizio Mammarella. We’re good friends in life and we shared a lot of mutual music influences in the past few years.
Last one, if you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing instead?
I think I could be quite a good chef in my own restaurant on the beach!
A romantic and quirky Italian man who loves to cook! What’s not to love?