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Interview:

WITH Deejay Legend Beppe Loda, FROM Dr. Nischimura (Cisco Rec./Japan),

ENGLISH VERSION

Questions and answers 1-7 FROM 16
>> CONTINUE WITH No.# 8-16 FROM 16

 

1) When did you start djing? What was the reason why you started dj at the first time?

I' ve got to start it off with a precise fundamental statement: my style isn't "cosmic music" but "afro style".

I started working as a dj in the public sector even though I had been working in the private one for friends towards the end of 1973 at the Manerbio (BS) based "Kinky" Club. It was the great passion for music which encouraged me to start such a new experience.

At the age of 11, I had already been listening to my sister's 7" records on "Mangiadischi". Almost all the artistes were Italians: Lucio Battisti, Mina, Adriano Celentano, etc. and I'm however still in possession of some of these records.

I lived with my parents in a popular quarter and in a group of youngsters, we used to pay visits in turn to one another's home to listen to various records we could fetch somewhere. You can figure out where mine came from!

 

2) It's quite famous that you were resident dj in "Typhoon", could you tell us anything about "Typhoon"? What is the capacity like? Where was it located? How did it look like inside of the building and outside of the building? What about sound system? Any interesting audience? We would like to know everything about "Typhoon".

I started working at "Typhoon" long before it was even opened, thus when it was transformed from a movie house into a club.

During the club renovation project, I took part in choosing and setting up the sound system, not to mention many other decisions of structural
importance; for instance the dj sound control counter was set up in a tailored manner upon the basis of my height.

I was therefore the resident dj of "Typhoon" all its life long from 1980 to 1987 except for two short periods that I spent at "Cosmic", "Chicago" and "Futura".

The club owners were four local businessmen who wanted to diversify their activity and had besides, found my artistic and musical proposals quite interesting.

"Typhoon", a 450 people capacity club, was situated at Gambara, a provincial township of Brescia.

The sound and lighting systems were of a high level quality, thus the best so far that could by then be bought in Italy:

3 "MacIntosh" amplifiers.

8 "JBL" loud speakers.

2 "Tascam M30" mixers.

4 "Seiki Micro 1000" turntables.

"Coemar" lighting system with a highly powerful laser.

 

At the beginning, the people who frequented "Typhoon" came from the neighbouring cities of Brescia, Verona, Cremona and Mantova. A part of the audience had even followed me up when I worked in other clubs before
"Typhoon"; I still today meet lots of them around and some others have even become my friends.

As the club became more and more famous, the places of origin of the audience got more extended with the club fans coming from all over Italy and quite frequently, it was easy to find audience arriving from Germany and Austria.

The look of the people who frequented "Typhoon" could be defined as the "70' s post hippy ".

In order to have a clear idea of what really "Typhoon" was, it would be worth listening to the dj set over the entire seven living years of the
club; there would even be adequate materials, thus sufficient enough to write a book.

I hereby however, attach some of the few existing photos.

 

3) Your dj style is so unique and so deep. especialy when you mix 8 beat... Could you tell us about your character or any special technique about your dj style? What makes your dj style so unique and deep?

Yeah, I also claim my style is unique and profound since I have always maintained my identity as well as stuck with determination to my professional choices which I have always considered the best.

Of course, both the experience and acquaintance with other djs have helped me become professionally mature.

For further clarification, I claim the reference points to be always taken into consideration are as follows:

a) the quality of the chosen music;

b) the creativity and filing the dj is capable of establishing with the
public;

c) the song sequence;

d) the mixage techniques.

I have personally never sacrificed the first three in favour of the fourth. In short, I rather than programming, prefer creating and I adopt various techniques upon the basis of the music I'm programming in that particular moment and these are the factors or features which differentiate some djs from others.

Concerning my character, I believe the most appropriate person to talk about it is my wife Patrizia: "Beppe is very creative and determined even though he can sometimes be stubborn or hard headed. He is however a very good and positive guy".

 

4) Disco scene was supposed to be commercialised but we are surprised that your type of experimental dj mix caught people's heart around that time. Could you tell us what is the reason why people like your dj? There is a rumor which said that all people in disco around that time was taking heroin and they were all stoned and moved so slow. That's why when dj played music, they had to play with very slow BPM... is this true story?

One of the greatest merits of the owners of "Typhoon" was that of having wanted as well as through a great risk, having set up a club which truly and exclusively constituted an alternative. Alternative even with respect to the other such defined clubs.

During the 80's and till the second half of the 90's, the only alternative to commercial music was "afro" music. The audience of "Typhoon" therefore consisted of all those people who refused that music pre-packaged and already exploited by commercial discos and radios.

"Typhoon" didn't just program different music but also got its fans so much involved to the extent of making them outstanding!

Considering the fact that the owners of "Typhoon" were very much known and their professional status being very important, checks and controls inside the club were very accurate and severe, purposely to prevent the introduction and the use of drugs from taking place in it. Unlike many others which were closed down due to the massive presence of all sorts of drugs, "Typhoon" was closed as a result of excessive success and the consequent problems of public order.

During the 1987 post-summer-break re-opening of the club in September, 10,000 people turned up, yeah! you've got me right; I mean 10,000 people. Such a state in which not all the fans were able to enter, created a hellish congestion at Gambara, a 4,000 inhabitant township which hosted "Typhoon" and you can imagine what was the reaction of the local security forces.

I don't believe there is any link between the use of drugs and the BPM of the programmed music.

Spinning a 33 rpm record, the normal speed of which was 45 and or playing a 45 rpm record with a normal speed of 33 rpm was another way of proving to be alternative and differentiating oneself from all the others.

Personally, I have always as a reference point, kept the rhythmic cadence of reggae /dub music.

 

5) Which turntable were you using when you djed? When we listen your mix, the general turntable like TECHNIQUES SL-1200 can not change the pitch like the way you did in your mix...

In those years, the "Technics SL-1200" record players weren't yet in existence and I used some "Micro Seiki 1000". These turntables constituted a true magical beauty of the Japanese technology for they had within them an incorporated regulator which allowed the speed axis to be shifted at one's own taste, ranging from +20% right down to roughly -20%.

Only a few people know that there is so much of Japan in my style, thus in my personal taste as well as the sport I have practised.

 

6) When you picked up the record, was there any rule or any special thing to pick up certain records? Where did you buy your record at that time? Please tell us your favourite artist around that time?

I've never been conditioned, neither have I ever wanted to be, in my musical choices and I have always purchased just the records I liked or fancied.

Having to cover at least a 3 hour dj set, the time to dedicate to the research of the ever changing new music has always been quite a lot. It's impossible for me to list all the shops where I have bought records but I can claim to have toured record shops almost all over Europe and part of the USA purposely in search of music that is suitable for my programs.

As from 1983 to 1986, I together with my wife and a friend in Brescia, ran a record shop called "Senor Salsa" which paved the way for me to have access to all the biggest wholesale shops of Italian importers; wholesale shops which usually precluded the non-shop owners. "Senor Salsa" soon became an important reference point for those interested in buying alternative music.

Besides everything, Milan has always been the most significant core all over Italy with respect to record importation and in this city, I got to know dealers, operators of the sector and record collectors worldwide. Among these personalities, I wish to cite Andrea Anzani, a dear old time friend and a fine music connoisseur to whom I owe part of my success.

 

7) It seems now the legend about italian disco scene in 80s are spreaded in all over the world. we think your dj style has a lot of common thing with Daniele Baldelli who was djing in "Cosmic". Was there any special reason why people started this unique style dj around that time? And why this unique dj style was so much loved by people around that time?

The fact that the legend of the Italian record scene is getting diffused all over the world fills me up with great joy and pleasure. My thinking of all that I have done to distinguish myself from the "italo disco" however makes me smile and now as it especially stands abroad, people ask me to program specifically "italo music".

There were obviously among these productions of easy going listening, some very interesting tracks such as those of the "Peter Jacques Band" and "Macho", both of which were produced by Mauro Malavasi, as well as "Easy Going" by Claudio Simonetti or Celso Valli's productions.

On the contrary, I'm not at all surprised by the constant success of the electro/new wave of the 80's since it's a question of extremely high level quality and quality never dies out.

Absolutely not!!! Perhaps we have some kind of musical genre in common but my approach and executing strategies are the exact opposite.

I never in advance prepare the song list for I prefer creating it instantly upon the basis of the atmosphere that sets in during the evening session.

By 1979, I had started a weird mix of musical genres at "Le cupole" discotheque at Manerbio and proceeded with such musical proposals at "Bisbi" and "Good moon", all resulting into a great achievement of success in audience.

I kept these same vibes at "Typhoon" thereby improving both the proposal and the techniques and in 1982, "Afro" music got to an explosive climax together with all its force, thereby reaching an incredible level of success thanks in the beginning, also to a series of my tapes known of course as "Afro".

The term "Afro" was born out of the need to define with a single keyword, the mix of various alternative musical genres the other djs and I used to play in that period.

"Afro" is therefore a container holding various alternative musical genres and which well identifies the dj's mixed style.

The first "Afro gathering" of the legend was idealized and proposed by me in
19.; it was then organized by "Typhoon" and held at Gambara communal stadium.

The "Afro gathering" consisted of the dj sets of 4 djs who after that incredible alternative music festival, must have officially sparked off the "Afro" era: thus Mozart, Ebreo, Fari, and myself. There was also Tony Esposito and his band's concert with their well marked percussion and tribal rhythm to round up the evening program.

About 7,000 people took part in the gathering; those were the golden years!

Thanks to such a success, the concept of the dj myth strongly set in and consequently the cult of the "Afro" discotheques. The tendency to attribute a mythical value to a dj and a discotheque had already started with Mozart, the resident dj of "Baia degli angeli" and it got reinforced by the coming of this absolute novelty in the form of "Afro" music.

We were invited to play in other clubs and treated as superstars, a situation which still proceeds today. Being the best djs around, we were called to revitalize the evening sessions in the most famous Italian discotheques.

We in a team of 4 or 5, succeeded in drawing in 4,000 to 5,000 people in the stadiums or the sport halls: thus the right djs with the right music at the right moment in the right clubs. This is why many djs followed up the "Afro" style.

This in my opinion, is the reason for so much success. Had this phenomenon taken place in the USA or England, we would have become famous all over the world.


>> CONTINUE WITH No.# 8-16