Berlin-based Budino serves up a psychedelic tapestry of high energy, cosmic sounds.

Hailing from Brescia in Italy, few match the mixing abilities and selections of the self-professed music obsessive and record collector Budino. The much admired artist synonymous for her fresh selections, that weave together dark trance inducing beats, tribal percussion and rich cosmic textures. The Cocktail d’Amore resident has become hot property in Berlin and indeed much further afield for her free spirited and inventive sets. As Berlin reopened this year you could find her at Else and Berghain open air events and for those in the know continues to be one of the most exciting emerging artists of the moment.

It goes without saying we’re big fans and were delighted to catch up with Valentina to discuss her new projects, reminisce on better times, her musical evolution and how she’s navigated this challenging year.

Hey Valentina, how are you today?

I am very good, thanks. Last night I dreamt I was flying on a rainbow. Felt great!

It’s of course been an incredibly challenging year for the whole scene, how have you personally navigated this period?

It is a big challenge for sure.. It is hard to find your own balance and creativity in such a situation. I constantly try to find new and interesting things to do and learn to keep myself busy and don’t think too much about the current situation. That’s probably the only way, at least for my personal prospective, to navigate into this dark period. Since the first moment I tried to use the time to be focussed, especially on a project I started to work on in January. It began as joke but the lockdown was the perfect condition to make it bigger than I’ve expected.

I started collecting interviews of DJs and people who took part in the evolution of the Italian club scene and DJing from the middle of the ’70s till the end of the ’80s. It was something new to me, spending hours talking to them on the phone, writing down, learning things, listening to stories.. every interview made me look forward to the next one and the whole process was just amazing and gave me a daily dose of excitement! The project will come out in the next months through Test Pressing which I thank a lot for supporting my idea and to help me to make it happen.

We see in recent weeks you’ve played in the gardens at Else and Berghain, it must have felt good after the long hiatus, to be playing music in front of people again. How is life in Berlin and the experience of being back behind the decks? If Amsterdam is comparable, we presume they are more relaxed listening sessions than parties, if so what has been inspiring your sets?

Finding myself behind the decks again felt very strange, but after playing the first record everything felt like nothing has ever happened. In Berlin we have been quite lucky. There are few parties and venues that organise open air. Obviously things are different, you have to wear a mask and you might find a disinfection stand at the entrance of the dance floor, but at least we have the chance to dance and considering the time we are living in, already feels as an huge step. Finding inspiration after such a long time of not having contact with people on the dance floor was hard but I never stopped listening to records and I think that’s where I got my inspiration.

Before Covid arrived, there was of course an emotional goodbye to Griessmuehle, where Cocktail D’Amore built somewhat of a cult following for their amazing parties. We read a beautiful post by you a few weeks ago about an evening there with your father. Can you share that story with our readers? And tell us a bit about what the club and events meant to you?

Griessmuehle has been always a reference to me. It was the first real club where I had the chance to play in Berlin by hosting with two friends, Trent and Dama, from 2014 till 2017 our party Oscillator. I immediately felt at home. I loved the industrial vibe, the garden, the Silo floor.. Everything was very characteristic and even if sometimes it looked somehow messy it seemed that everything was just in the right place. Cocktail d’Amore became my regular one-time-a-month party and family reunion. I have enjoyed every single party and gig there and I am very thankful with Giacomo and Giovanni for including me as one of the resident DJ in the last years. What Cocktail built during the years is absolutely amazing. The sense of community that I felt was and it is still is very special. I am really looking forward to play for Cocktail again in the new location.

Beside that I have also a lot of great memories of my dad at Griessmuehle. He moved to Berlin for few months in 2017 and his question was always: When is the next Cocktail? He loved it. I think it is very special when you can share and experience what you love with your parents. At the beginning I was very embarrassed, not feeling comfortable of having my dad next to the DJ booth for 10 hours but after a while I realised how great it was to have the chance to show him why I left Italy and what I love to do. He could finally understand and it was amazing to see how comfortable he felt in the middle of that craziness.

We’re also really interested to hear more about Dancing for Mental Health which we understand you co-founded and were hosting events before lockdown, how did that came about?

DFMH is a party that started with Tom Bolas and Dama in 2014 at Sameheads. Me and Dama met Tom during our very first Oscillator party that took place there. Since then we started to run a regular party and we never stopped. We had amazing artists and we put a lot of attention on having alternative DJs playing. They always play the music they want without thinking that the dancers won’t understand. They play every kind of genre and style and every time the crowd enjoy, follow the beats of strange tracks, dance and scream. That basement is very special.

And what’s next of the horizon for you? We’re of course all hoping parties start again but anything else going on behind the scenes?

I have a lot of ideas in my mind and I hope I will be able to make them happen. One of this is to release a record. I spent quite sometime to learn and develop things in the last months. I finally fixed my Poly 800 for the second time. Hopefully I will start using it now. I bought myself an electronic drum which I definitely want to learn to use. During my trip in Italy this summer I had the chance to ‘play’ drums one evening at my friend’s place. They have a small band and the drummer was not there so I improvised myself as one. I have got so excited that when I came back in Berlin the first thing I’ve done was to buy and E-Drum. Hopefully something will come out from this 😉 I would love to learn how to play an instrument and be part of a band one day. Definitely a different vision of music but very exciting and I am very open to explore new things.

Finally, what can you tell us about the mix you’ve recorded for us. Any specific vibe channelled, special bits in there you’d like to mention, etc.?

First of all, thank you very much for inviting me to contribute to your podcast series. The mix I recorded shows a new introduction in my sound which is more industrial oriented. I love spending time finding early 90’s industrial tunes and editing them in the way I want them to take part of my journey with all the other styles I put together. I like to see how my sound develops and expands and to know that there is still so much music to discover. This is what makes me excited and the reason why I love digging so much.