MIXED BY/ Fabio Monesi


Over the last decade Milan-born London-based producer Fabio Monesi has carved a secure place for himself among the upper echelons of classic house music. Monesi is a true house maestro whose hardware-driven productions bring timeless rhythm to the dancefloor through their gritty Chicago vibe.  Most of these productions have landed on his own imprint, Wilson Records, with other releases finding their way to labels that share his distinctly raw club-based sound such as L.I.E.S. Russian Torrent Versions, Skylax Records, and Crème Organization. Monesi also operates under his Hissman alias, where he indulges in his even more underground side, having delivered dusty cuts on his other label Hardmoon London, as well as Dog in the Night and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. Beyond the studio, Monesi’s biography as a DJ is equally as impressive. 2014 saw the launch of his analogue live set, and his busy touring schedule has helped keep him in demand as a hot booking among some of Europe’s finest lineups. If you hail from London, you can catch him at Five Miles on June 22, playing an Axe on Wax party alongside Florian Kupfer and Fede Lng – bring a towel.


In between all this, Monesi managed to squeeze us in to spin some yarns and some records for our MIXED BY/ series. You can read the full interview below:

 

INTERVIEW



As usual, let’s kick things off with where it all began. Growing up in Milan in an era where house music was still very underground, we’d love to know about your early experiences in the scene and its influence on you. Were there any parties that were particularly memorable?
Well the house music scene in Italy was very popular in the 90s so all the thing that arrived when I started playing were influenced by the past and by those italian dj who played very hi quality house music. Some of these dj are still very popular as they gave a big contribute to the world scene.

I had so many good memories from those years so I cannot choose a specific party right now. I remember that in Italy, we used to have some kind of shows with dancers dressed in a particular way during the night, something special for each night and this is something we are missing nowadays as all the attention is focussed just on the guest dj.

Your music is known for drawing inspiration from the golden era of house in Chicago, Detroit and New York. What is it about the producers from these scenes that attracts you most? Are there any other genres or scenes that are worth a mention?
Since I am a machines lover I draw inspiration from those producers who used to make music with hardwares. All the process is more fascinating to me, it doesnt matter where they were/are from, what counts to me is the process. I like to know how they arrived to make certain sounds/tracks. Which machines they used to play and how they processed the sounds.

Hip hop is definetely the genre I listen to most.

While we’re on the topic of your distinct sound, it’s no secret that you’re a hardware whiz. What was the first piece of hardware you bought? Do you still use a lot of your original machines?
The first drum machines I bought was a roland R8, I’m still using it sometimes while the first synth was a Korg M1, I still remember how excited I was.

Still speaking production, I have to say that your samples are out of this world. Can you talk a bit about your approach to sampling?
I sample everything, when I listen to something suddently something happen in my mind and I say ohhh man, this is something I could use in some way.

It’s not a simply process, I’m quite messy with samples and sounds but this helps me to be different all the time, in all of my tracks, as I never use the same sound.

Wilson records has featured quite a lot of stuff from unknown artists. Is this an intentional part of the way you curate your label?
If you are refering to the wilson limited series, it’s a series born in order to support physical record shop and I decided to let the music speak. This kind of releases have always fascinated me as they drive my fantasy.

Can you tell us the story of the Hissman alias? Where did the idea come from and how would you describe the difference between a Hissman track and a Fabio one?
As I said, I’ve always been attracted by the past and the process the old producers used to have in their home studios. Those dirty sonorities inspired this project. When Hissman was born I felt I still had a lot to give to the new wave of the new jersey deep house scene so I decided to create another project in order to show my passion for the darker/rawer sonorities.
Nowadays I could say Fabio Monesi is more club oriented while Hissman remain a experimental/raw/ project probabily much darker than Fabio Monesi but I have to say sometimes I don’t know who is Fabio and who is Hissman. I am also thinking about launching new projects but I cannot say much at the moment.

Running two labels, producing your own material, and touring must have your schedule pretty packed. Outside of music, is there anything you do to unwind?
Nowadays I run 3 labels, the third one is not pushed at all trought my socials but it’s going very well and I’m keeping it more underground.

As you said I already have so many things to think about and so I don’t have much time to focuss on something else.

In terms of your own crate digging adventures, what are some of your favourite records you’ve picked up over the years?
The best records are those that are still underrated and relatively unknow. :)

What about out of your own music? Do you have a favourite track or EP? (mine is 623, by the way.)
Oh 623 was dedicated to Kerri Chandler who was my main inspiration source at the time, I have to say I’m not into that mood anymore I think I gave my contribution to that sound and now I’m looking for something else.

Probably my favorite EP is Pipe Dreams on Wilson Records. And Abduction EP on Hardmoon London.

Your career trajectory has been pretty stellar so far, what does the future look like? Can you let us in on any exciting plans?
Well thank you, I am never satisfied so I work hard everyday in order to build something stronger and stronger. My dj gigs are going very well so I wish to continue this direction.

Finally, let’s talk about the mix itself. How and where was it recorded and was there any particular mood or theme you wanted to convey?
I recorded the mix while I was choosing records for my gig at Il muretto.

The good things of podcast is that you don’t need to bang all the time, I like to play something that I will be pleased to listen to in every situation, like at home while cooking for example, so decided to play something I don’t play often in clubs, alongside some unreleased and upcoming tracks.


Lily