Photos: Laia Flynn
Tapefeed is the electronic music project that came out of a collaboration between the two Italian artists, Alessandro Boni and Rick Vayo. We spoke with the duo about their story, the difference between London and Berlin as well as their hopes and dreams for the future.
Take us back in time, how did Tapefeed start and how did the two of you meet?
Even though we both come from Italy, we met in London in 2014 through a friend we had in common who thought we would really get along, mostly because of our passion for music.
So we actually did like each other and started to play b2b:s mostly at private parties and afters, and we had a radio show for a little less than a year. After only a couple of months that we were meeting up to play and make music, we decided it was gonna be better to continue doing this as one collective project.. And here we are.
How has working together impacted your relationship?
At first, it mostly helped us bond more quickly. It would be interesting to know how our relationship would have evolved if music wasn’t involved as we have quite different characters... Extremely different really.
It’s crazy to see how music can create deep connections, plus when you work very hard on music and sets and then you have some good rewards from it, such as an epic gig or a nice release that is appreciated, it feels amazing when you can share it with someone else.
But also our relationship vice versa really affected our music in the sense that I don’t think we would have got to where we are not if we continued things alone. You constantly feed each other with ideas and new discoveries and this has made our individual music paths more unique.
Pros and Cons about Berlin and London?
There are lots of pros and cons for both cities. Generally speaking, the rhythms of the two cities are completely different, in terms of daily routine and also on the dance floor.
London will always be a city close to our hearts, we’ve both lived there for around eight years and it has definitely shaped us into what we are right now.
The city has this orientation of having more of a corporate structure, especially in the creative field, something that Berlin doesn’t have. Berlin is way more laidback and chilled in general.
In terms of lifestyle, Berlin is more sustainable than London. It’s a lot cheaper, quality of life is better, quality of food is better, even though some of our favourite restaurants are in London.
Lots of artists are living in Berlin so you are always aware of “what’s going on”. There is this feeling of being connected to the scene, you are close to people and there is this constant exchange of valuable feedback to improve and put yourself in discussion, which allows you to see things from a different perspective – which is such a huge inspiration.
Also, London is better when you wanna play breaks. Berlin is better when you wanna play 4 to 4...
When you create music together, what does the process look like?
Rick has always been the one more involved and interested in producing so most of the times ideas would come from him and then we would complete things together or we would just meet up and do things from scratch less often (this was pre-pandemic really). There is never a specific route we follow as sometimes you would just work on designing sounds and then creativity is triggered in the process and you end up doing a production session. Some other times you start by playing with hardware samplers and synths, some other times you start with virtual instruments... Sometimes with the drums... Sometimes with melodies and synth sequences. Depends on the day.
In most recent times, it’s mostly only Rick that focuses on music and then we bounce projects or share only feedback to finalize.
What are your thoughts on the techno and underground scene today, and what is your predictions for the future?
After the pandemic, a lot of dynamics in the scene have changed and there are a range of consequences that are now emerging, which is to be expected after two years of lockdown.
On one hand, the new generation of 18 to 22 year old has missed their first fundamental years of clubbing, and this impacts their approach to club culture. During Covid, live streams got big, where artists often got limited by one-hour sets. It feels like this trend now spilled over into clubs too, with a younger audience not being used to longer “journeys” and as a result, DJs tend to play faster.
At the same time, a lot of artists had time to reflect on what they really like, how they want to express themselves and how they want to shape their musical identity.
We went through this period of reflection ourselves and our style in both production and sets has evolved, from a more edgy industrial broken sound, to a brighter and groovier vibe, whilst keeping our distinctive elements.
After many years of heavier and faster industrial sounds, we feel there is currently this general vibe of bringing back the groove and the sexiness to techno. We’ve been hearing more and more artists that mix techno with many other different genres, which is bringing a lot of freshness and new influences. This is something we feel very much part of and it keeps us super excited for how the scene will shape in 2023.
What is your plans and goals?
As our favourites, Pinky and the Brain are saying:“Try to take over the world” – LOL.
Jokes apart, we want to keep establishing our vision of being versatile and of not sticking to the ordinary, of always thinking outside the box and of staying true to who we are. We hope that this vision can inspire other artists and keep this genre fresh and evolving.
Our label Inveterate allows us to present our musical vision in a more eclectic way, and we can push new artists that share those same ideas and values. In terms of upcoming releases, we have a new VA coming out on vinyl in Q1 2023, where we will showcase a range of talented upcoming artists. We will also have some new Tapefeed releases throughout the year.
In addition to DJ sets, we will also present a new hybrid set next year where Ale will be DJing with 3 to 4 decks, whilst Rick will be improvising with Elektron Octatrack and Digitak.
We are also planning to present more All night long sets. After our first one at fabric back in July we can’t wait to have the opportunity again to connect with the crowd in such a beautiful way, creating a journey from the beginning until the end of the night.
In addition, we have another exciting project in the pipeline for summer 2023, where we will be involved in the launch of a new party in Berlin. We can’t say much about it yet, but stay tuned as it will be something very spicy!
Where can we catch you in the end of 2022/beginning of 2023?
You can catch us at Tresor on the 26 of November, we are really excited to get back behind the cage together with Headless Horseman and Norbak and also our new Inveterate affiliated Sha Ru performing at Globus.
On the 3rd of December, we are presenting our curated lineup at Fabric with Cressida (we’ll be going b2b with him), Cora Novoa Live and DJ Tool b2b Hyperactivist. Gonna be quite nuts.
Then 10th of December we debut in Stockholm for Kink Vibe with Lego and our dear friend CC Luna and Rick is playing solo at Renate on the 16th of December alongside Carmen Electro.
Finally, things we can announce for next year is the 14th of January in Zurich with Adroit (big love to these fellas), we have an India tour in the making for February and quite some dates TBC between London and Berlin as usual.