15 Minutes And A Mix: Nick Olivetti
Nick Olivetti’s resume speaks for itself. The former sound engineer has worked with some of the biggest names in music with remixes for Radiohead and Claude Von Stroke who signed him to his own imprint Dirtybird Records. So with the Italian in such hot demand we’re delighted to reveal his exclusive DT mix of the day ahead of his upcoming appearance on the Dirty Bird Players Compilation Mix out on March 26th. We’re sure you’ll be hearing a lot more of Nick in the coming months and find out a whole manner of things about the talented Roman…
If I could take you back to the beginning and ask you what first drew you to electronic music and what do you think has changed about the scene since your involvement?
Everything started when I was about 12 years old, my father came back from a electronic store with a turntable he got for free because the store was unable to repair his VHS player. He didn’t know what to do with it so he gave it to me as a present, and from there I started buying my first vinyls. It was love at first sight! I started playing at friends’ parties at first, and then I slowly made it into proper clubs.
Where was your first gig?
My first gig was in a club in my home town, Rome. The club is named ‘Gilda’; it used to be a really trendy club for teenagers lol. I remember the first time I played there my hands were shaking! And we are talking about late 90’s so it still was all about the vinyls, no cds, no tracktor sync…
What do you do to relax?
If I answer that when I need to relax I make music, that would be too easy right? Just kidding, let’s just say when it’s sunny, I love to walk my dogs in the park and when is rainy some heavy playstation sessions will do it!
You’ve signed for a massive label in dirtybird. How did that come about?
I’ve been following dirtybird and Barclay for a long time, I used to live in London and I went to several parties at fabric where Barclay was playing and I just loved the way he mixed genres, always experimenting, it’s been really inspiring. So I started sending demos to him and eventually he finally replied to me. I believe dirtybird is probably the perfect match for producers who love to experiment, who don’t stick to one genre only, and have lots of ideas.
Can we expect any collaborations with label mates or others?
I really love the styles of my mates, they all have their own personal characteristics which makes them special and unique, I really look forward to working with them!
You’ve also remixed some massive acts such as Radiohead. How did that come about and do you enjoy reworking bands songs?
Back in 2008, with my fresh diploma from SAE I was working as an engineers assistant in a very cool recording studio in London. Because of that I was listening to brit pop pretty much 24/7 during that period lol. Anyway, looking for a challenge, I decided to take part in a remixing contest for radiohead, and it so happened that somehow my remix got to the top of the list, and stayed there until the end of the competition, so I was the winner! After that I have to say I gained a bit of exposure which allowed me to start sending demos to labels and finally get a reply.
I had lot of fun remixing Radiohead , I just love messing with someone else’s melodies, and the melodies of their “Reckoner” track were so weird and quirky, it was so easy to remix it , it almost felt like the track remixed itself.
Have you any interesting/bizarre stories to tell from your time touring?
I remember I was in a cool club in London, it was 2006 and Italy won the world cup, so this guy approached me while I was playing and gave me a huge plastic world golden cup. It’s was really funny and unexpected but at the same time I really enjoyed it as I love football and I’m a massive supporter.
Who’s music are you enjoying at the moment?
I just love everything Shadow Child releases, that guy is amazing. Also Justin Martin is a bomber, his last track with Ardalan “wheelgunner” is just super crazy, I love it.
Is there anybody we should look out for?
Lately I’m really digging East End Dubs. It’s a guy from London who is making very slow techno, sort of British underground dub, really really cool and sexy stuff you should check him out.
Could you tell us about the processes that you go through when creating new music?
Well there are several processes, sometimes I start with the drums and then I start adding stuff on top until I get to the hook. Sometimes it’s the other way around, maybe I find a hook that I love and I build the drums on top of it, it really depends on what you are trying to do.
Is there a formula you adhere to or a looser organic process?
It really depends on what you are trying to do. If you have something in your mind that you want to stick to, it might be better in order to achieve it, or at least to get close to it, to work step by step, as you said like a formula. But it really depends on the mood. It’s also good to just go crazy and forget where the track is heading, those are the best tracks most of the time.
There has been a massive resurgence in analogue equipment being used and sales of vinyl are increasing, do you think this will stifle the rise of younger digital producers?
I’m a firm believer that the digital sound can now recreate any analogue sound without anybody being able to recognize which is which. That said, no I don’t believe this analogue resurrection will stop younger minds, I’m just happy this is happening because I’m definitely a vinyl junkie!
What does the future hold for Nick Olivetti?
Definitely more and more and more music… I just moved my studio to a much better location so I will definitely focus on new productions this year.
Do you have any ambitions outside of music that you’d like to pursue?
I definitely do, we all have secret dreams, but right now I’m 100% into music.
Now you’ve got to know a bit about Nick, check out this awesome exclusive mix he did for DT available for free download! Don’t say we don’t spoil you guys!
Nick Olivetti features on the forthcoming dirtybird Players compilation, out on March 26th 2013.