We catched up with Sardinian music producer and label owner Alessio Mereu about some inspiration and music production techniques from the studio. With an unique sound and style his productions have been released on various labels such as Cocoon, Poker Flat, Jay Haze’s Tuning Spork and Contexterrior. He also is behind the concept of AMAM, a well respected imprint with productions from Losoul, Thomas Brinkmann, Ion Ludwig, Polder, Konrad Black, Basti Grub, Lauhaus, Doubtingthomas, Argenis Brito, Re-up and many more.
Tell me about your musical background. How did you wind up producing electronic music?
Since I was really young I’ve always listened to lots of music: Classical Music, Hip Hop, Rock/Punk (my first serious girlfriend brainwashed my mind with Clash, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Rolling Stones, Ramones and Sex Pistols. I have to thank her for that. Ciao Andrea!).
My friends and I were used to spend entire evenings inside our car listening to artists like Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and others.
I studied Piano for 7 years; at the age of 15 I had an accident that has caused me a spinal injury. After that, I was not able to play the Piano anymore, so I had to search new ways to approach music in my different condition.. Thanks to a very passionate friend, i’ ve listened to albums that also have been my first contact with minimal techno like Sensual by Steve Bug, My way by Akufen, Alcachofa by Ricardo Villalobos, Tanto Quanto EP by Renato Figoli and many more.. About this last I mentioned, I came to know that Renato was living in my own city, thanks to a common friend, I met him and we became good friends and he teached me the basis of Logic Pro 7.
For someone who has never heard Alessio Mereu’s music before, can you explain what they can expect?
Since I have started making music I tasted different influences and different sounds. Within my discography (it is possible to find styles really different from one to another: At the beginning I released many “hypnotic “ techno EP’S, after years something more Tech House melodic like my EP “Parallel Universe” on Poker Flat but lately I’m more into Minimal groovy and mental music like my last EP “GG” .. every time is like if I restarted from zero, it is a kind of challenge for me to change sometimes and try new things.
Usually, I put inside my EP’s or albums my state of mind and my mood. it is possible to find within my work tracks which show emotions that I felt during the most “marking” and important moments of my life. This is a double-edge sword because people expect from me a kind of stuff that was normally released 9 or 5 years ago. But that’s the way I am 🙂
Also I like to listen to new and old releases, to buy vinyls although I can not play them (but I can listen to them) and, in general, anything that can be an inspirations for me.
What DAW you prefer?
Logix Pro X, sometimes with Ableton in rewire
What’s your opinion in using loops and samples
Honestly, I never used loops but I think there is nothing bad in using them..why? they can be good instruments and their usefulness is strictly related with how using them. In my opinion, making music means to create something original and personal; using a loop without any tweaks or adaptations doesn’t show a complete expression of the artist. Otherwise, extracting sounds, shaping and adapting them in the project you are working on is a nice way to find new inspirations and to “taste” new styles.
About single samples I used a lot in the past when I had no hardware machines with Native Instruments Battery.. and I think that samples could be helpful also for people who use sampler machines likes MPC, Elektron Analog Rythm, Octatrack etc.
What piece of hardware you can’t live without? Why?
Everything I have 🙂 every instrument has its own role.. lately I have fallen in love with Miami by AcidLab (808 clone) for grooves and Roland System 100 for bass.. also both Elektron Analog Rythm and Analog Four are really cool and fun to use.. about external effects I use a lot the Sherman Filterbank 2 and Eventide. And i use my Manley compressor everywhere.. maybe too much 🙂
Tell us a little secret about a technique you are using in your music?
No secrets. Normally I record for 15 / 25 minutes with many variations/automations on each instrument then I cut the parts of each one I like the most and I start to edit and arrange on Logic.. fast and fun.
Can you give an advice for new producers and sound designers ?
When I started to make music I used to stay hours and hours doing it. I considered it a kind of revenge against the trick Fate had played to me. I wanted to show everyone that I had something to give, even from my wheelchair. I could communicate something and leave a trace on this world.
Maybe in 60 years time somebody will end up with one of my vinyls in his hands and say “what the hell is this?” It was a passion which helped me to let off all my anger. It was me who had to be the winner. I turned my anger into passion, constance and love for what I was doing so, getting back to the question, these last 3 I mentioned are (in my opinion) the 3 key factors for music.
Suggestion: listen to a lot of music, whatever genre it is.
Find more about Alessio Mereu and AMAM here:
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