The account opener comes from one of the nicest guys in the biz; Panorama Bar resident Massimiliano Pagliara!
As a vigorous purveyor of good vibes, Massi has been laying down well-informed house and techno sets for 15 plus years. The long-standing figurehead operates with a silky smooth panache for well-structured soundscapes, gaining worldwide acclaim with outings on Live At Robert Johnson, Rush Hour, Cocktail d’Amore, Love On The Rocks and, most recently, Permanent Vacation, just to sling a couple your way.
Pair that with the fact that he holds a longtime residency at Panorama Bar, recently ventured into the role of record label owner and is one of the nicest guys around, it’s understandable why we’re ecstatic Massi’s doing us the honour of delivering our first featured podcast. True to form, the Berlin-based dance floor romancer finesses his way through a 100-minute transmission and shares his thoughts on current developments. Tune in, zone out!
Hey Massi, thanks for kicking things off for us! With all that has been unfolding, how’s life in Berlin at the moment and what’s been keeping you busy?
My pleasure, honoured to be the one kicking things off! I guess it is hard and dark times for all of us, everywhere right now. This was somewhat unexpected and thus quite shocking. I still remember when I first started hearing about the Corona virus in China, that I was not worried at all and thought that it was just like a “normal” flu. Only a few weeks later, it started spreading then getting closer and closer and this is where we’re all at: stuck at home. So yeah, I am also kind of stuck, no gigs, no traveling, but with plenty of free time, which I am using to write new music, read books and exercise.
With the ongoing global crisis affecting the whole electronic music scene, can you share some of your views on what can be done to support the community. And how will you be spending your spare time?
I guess at this point the most important thing is that everyone needs to understand the situation and stay at home as much as possible, to prevent this virus spreading even more. However, if you look at this, from another angle, maybe it’s also good to take advantage of this moment for some inner-reflection, new thoughts and creativity. So for instance and as I just mentioned above, I am using the time in to write new music. Reading books, cooking, exercising and facetiming with friends all over the world.
On a brighter note you recently graced Munich-based powerhouse Permanent Vacation for the first time. I have to say, I was surprised to find out that it was your first EP for Tom and Benji.. how did the release come together, and can you tell us a bit about the record?
Yes, that is true and it was about time, I guess 🙂 Although, I did release a couple of remixes for them before such as my project together with Daniel Wang, when we remixed that wonderful disco song by Wolfram “Out Of Control” with the legendary Paul Parker singing on it. And a couple months before my EP came out, I did another remix for Benjamin, under the name “The Big Sun – M. Pagliara Telephone Call RMX”.
The four tracks on the new EP were made at different times and places. I started both tracks on the A-side when I relocated to Los Angeles early 2018 and finished them in Berlin. The inspiration for the B-side, came from one of my trips to San Francisco, when my dear friend Wink took me on a beautiful drive to Treasure Island and I saw this spectacular avenue with huge palm trees, but both tracks were actually made here in Berlin.
So eventually, I had these 4 quite different tracks which I decided to put together on this same EP, and this became the concept for it: Nothing stays in one place for long and this stands for keeping on moving and evolving into new things. Always challenge yourself and try to be as flexible as possible.
Next to that you launched Funnuvojere Records around a year ago.. what’s the ethos powering the imprint? Were there certain hurdles you encountered venturing into the role of record label owner?
The main reason why I decided to create the label was because I had so many people (friends or fans) sending me their new material and asked for feedback. A few times I was so impressed with what I heard that I was like: If I had my own label, I totally would put this out! So I started fantasising more and more and eventually I just did it. Of course being aware of the fact that this would not be an easy thing, and especially, financially wise, more of a loss than a gain. One year has now passed and still no break even, but I am happy to do it. In the end, I am trying not to look at numbers, rather focus on the quality level.
What about the artists you decide to work with on Funnuvojere.. tell us a bit about your curation process for the label? And what do you have in the pipeline? I can remember you talking about a remix package for Jules Etienne’s blissful ambient cut ‘Thyle II’ a while back..
People send me music all the time and I try to listen to everything I get sent and answer each person, even though it may take a little while. Whenever there is something which pleases my ears, I listen more carefully and try to imagine if this is something I could release. When I decide to do so, then I start going into the details with the artist and my little team such as my assistant James Booth (first artist I released), Michael Satter (my graphic designer) and Clone Records (my distributor).
This year is fully scheduled already and I’ve got 4 EPs by the following artists coming up: Armonics, Goodbye Mirage, Reformed Society, Gacha Bakradze. Whilst, the remix package you are referring to, is still happening, but probably early 2021. Things are going slow, and right now, because of this situation, even slower.
What can you tell us about the mix you’ve recorded for us? Any particular themes behind its selection, special tracks you would like to mention, etc.?
When you guys approached me regarding this, you said you were looking for an opening set, thus something which kind of sets the mood for the night and guides the listeners through its progression. So, with that in mind, I tried to select music accordingly. The mix has a slow build up, starting at 115 BPM and going up to 123. It’s like a warm-up set. Not too crazy peaky, yet groovy enough to get people started I think 🙂
How are the coming months looking for you and Funnuvojere?
Well, first off, hopefully this situation will get better very soon. Right now it is unfortunately very much depending on that. Especially regarding my DJ gigs. For the rest, I will definitely keep working on new music like always, a new album is on its way, as well as other exciting projects. So, stay tuned and safe!
01. The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe (Anthony Naples Remix)
02. Donato Dozzy – Sotto ma sotto (Lucy Remix)
03. Sleazy McQueen & Terry Grant – Daikaya (Gilb’R Stripped Mix)
04. Panorama Channel & Pletenev – Blavatsky (Yu Su Remix)
05. Love Will Say No – And That’s Why We Forget
06. Aimes – We are eternal (M. Pagliara Remix)
07. Benedikt Frey – Interlinked
08. Maurice Fulton – One itself
09. Franz Scala – Chrono
10. Peaking Lights – Soft Escape (Sleaze Mix)
11. Linkwood & Foat – Pressure
12. Iori – Galaxy (Lord Of The Isles Remix)
13. Alexander Robotnick – Winter
14. Opal Sunn – Holy Mountain
15. Ability II – Pressure Dub
16. Joal – The Wall
17. Armonics – Starlight Keeper
18. Prins Thomas – Bringing Mum to Panorama Bar
19. Omri Smadar – Kivun
20. Jennifer Touch – Attic