The cat is out of the bag: when you’re looking for local excellence and one-of-a-kind beats, listen to your inner FELINE FUNK and the fun will follow. Feline Funk is a Florentine event organisation that showcases some of the city’s best venues and artists and rest assured that on Friday December 9 at Combo Club you’re in for a pre-Christmas treat. The party’s line-up features Turin-based electronica duo Niagara, deejays Ckrono and Biga and, last but not least, the live launch of experimenter extraordinaire Fricat‘s new LP “Fricatism”. We enjoyed a virtual chat with Giordano “Joe Antani” Dini – the creator of both Fricat and “Fricatism”, a philosophy that glorifies joyous and unbridled musical contamination. Prepare yourself to enter his goulishly delightful trap-hop world where masterfully patchworked melodies collide and opposites wonkily dance hand in hand.
Michelle Davis: So according to your bio this all started in 1988, when you received a commodore 64 at only 6 years of age. What have you lost and what have you gained, both sound-wise and on a more personal level, in this technologically charged time lapse?
Joe Antani: Well, I’ve lost a lot of hair, a few teeth and surely some vision, but I’ve gained confidence in my approach to computers and machines, managing however to maintain the same attitude that kickstarted my interest when I first set my eyes on that commodore 64.
MD: Fricat is your solo adventure. Our readers might not be aware of your past so I’d like to shine a light on another sublime project of yours: Apes on Tapes. Are you working on something new? In a nutshell – how did you, Shapka and Dyami Young come up with the groundbreaking glitch bass sound that also earned the international attention of prestigious NME magazine?
JA: I met Shapka in 2005 in Bologna, where I was attending university at the time. After a festival, we decided that we wanted to join forces to create a new “instrumental electronic hip hop” sound that would later characterise our first EP and album. After a few years we met Dyami during an interview at the Elettrowave festival in Livorno and from that moment onward he became a fundamental part of Apes on Tapes. As for the future, we’re planning on releasing new material next Spring.
MD: “Fricatism” was released on November 18th… tell us a bit about Fricat’s cryptic world, the cover and your experience of working with the mysterious Wasbridge Philarmonic Orchestra collective.
JA: I wanted to create an obscure carnival of sounds and danceable rituals. I had been harbouring this project for quite a while before I actually began working on it a year ago. I asked Luca Albino (aka Capibara – another noteworthy beat-maker) to come up with a cover and he totally managed to capture the album’s essence in his artwork. Recording with an orchestra brought the recording process to a whole other level, which revealed itself to be quite an interesting and fascinating ordeal. I cannot say more about the WPO, the name was created to hide the identity of its members.
MD: Your album was released under a number of Tuscan labels (Burnow, Fresh yo! Vodoorebels and Wasbridge Council), which kind of makes it a unique manifestation of our region’s underground scene. Do you think that Tuscany still has a lot to offer, musically and creatively? Would you say that Florence can still be considered a cultural hotbed for the contemporary? After all, your album was funded by the region’s talent-scouting project Toscana100Band…
JA: I would say that it’s slow-growing – it will take time but the scene is definitely on the rise. Looking back at the past, nowadays there are so many more active networks, even though what we appear to be lacking are the adequate structures. But I do know many people and organisations that strive constantly to contribute to the country’s cultural enrichment. Florence fosters a simmering creative scene – lesser on an institutional level perhaps but that’s Italy: our country rarely shows interest towards what hasn’t found previous fame or recognition abroad. In this tiresome framework, Toscana100band represented a bit of a breaking point, a chance that I took up immediately. I hope that there will be similar initiatives in the future, to truly bring out our region’s potential. They would have to have an annual turnover and benefit multiple art fields.
MD: What should our readers expect from your live album launch at Combo Club on December 9th?
JA: I will be presenting my new album in full, but I also plan on performing some of my oldies-but-goldies before entering the obscure realm of Fricatism… you’re all invited to join me! The future holds new videos and a tour. I’m already planning a number of collaborations and surprises that I can’t reveal yet…
Follow Fricat to see what he has in store!