Marked by his awakened sensibility for depth in sound, Feral consistently carries a thread of spirituality throughout his work. Through his passion for audio engineering, hardware experimentation and a fascination for percussive instruments, he has come to embody the deep techno spirit as defined by Hypnus Records. Feral’s affinity for the shamanic calls of the tribal drum have taken him across the world to discover and nurture his defining sound. Finding comfort in the solitude of his studio, Feral’s vision emerged at dusk in his native city, Rome. With a heightened sense of spatial awareness, the sounds of Feral unearth the path of his multidimensional world, transporting the listener to a haunting, yet grounding refuge.
How long have you been active as a DJ and producer? Have you always been interested in electronic music?
When I was younger, in high school, I used to play guitar in a band with friends from my school. I was already going out to clubs at the time, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the music. I was going out to have a good time with my friends.
I got interested in electronic music around the age of 23 or 24. My interest started while I was Dj-ing in a local bar in Rome. I would play bossanova, jazz and things like that. One day, another Dj from the bar introduced me to Traktor and the possibilities offered by the software peeked my interest. It’s from there that I discovered techno.
As a producer I’ve been active for about 6 years.
You’ve released a lot of music on Hypnus Records. When did the collaboration with the label start and what’s your relationship with the members of the team?
Our collaboration started a few years ago. It all went quite quickly for me actually. I don’t have the traditional story of the guy who started playing vinyl and so on.
While I was searching for music online, I came across Hypnus and Luigi’s release: Geonosis.
He had a different name at the time but I figured he was probably Italian and so I went onto Facebook to look for him and found he was from Rome. After sending Luigi my music, we met for the first time in 2014 at a Northern Electronics showcase and he introduced me to Ntogn from Hypnus and from there I entered the artist roster of the label.
The other members I met for the first time during a Hypnus showcase in Paris. We got along well from the start. I mean we all make similar music so I think our personalities naturally work together and we became friends quite quickly.
A few weeks ago, you released a live for « The memoir » on Soundcloud. When listening to your music it seems you have a weakness for droning and hypnotising textures. How do you approach making music? What is your process?
I usually start with an ambient element like a big drone/textures or something like that that I chop and add effects to. But sometimes I’d start with a kick drum. It kind of depends what I want and what I am looking for. But generally, I’d start with an element that catches my attention or something I’ve been inspired from in the previous days.
What kind of tools do you like using in the studio?
Well, my workflow at the moment is pretty much all computer based. Sometimes I’d route things through an external mixer or through some pedals I have but really a part from the 303 I don’t use much outboard gear anymore.
On Souncloud you talked about your upcoming label. Do you have the project of launching your own label?
Yes, actually I sent some tracks for mastering a few days ago. I wanted to start my own label because I have a lot of unreleased material and even though I have no wish of releasing on any other label I though creating my own would be a good way of releasing music that is a bit different to what I would make for Hypnus.
I’m not sure when everything will come out but it will be after the summer.
How would you describe the involvement of mystic imagery and symbolism in your artist identity?
Well I like classical Tibetan art and I am interested in the philosophy behind it but I don’t have any spiritual connection to these ideas. I am not a spiritual person but I really appreciate the art and the ideas behind it. And I like to listen to music from Nepal, Tibet and India, I feel very connected to the instruments they use in those countries in particular.
What do you think of the current techno scene worldwide ? (And how do you think it’s evolving?)
I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask this question because I don’t know much about it. I can only speak for what I see and it seems to me that things are changing very quickly. You know, in a short amount of time we went from only vinyl releases to Beatport or other big digital platforms. And with softwares like Ableton, music making is now accessible to everybody so there is a lot more music being made than ever before and it’s also easier to release it too. I find all this to be a bit of a double-edged sword.
How did your collaboration with Luigi Tozzi begin?
We had talked about doing something together for a long time and the chance came up in Prague last year. We had a showcase in collaboration with the Harmony rec. crew, our friends Ntogn and Birds ov Paradise were preparing a live set together so we thought it would have been a good idea to do the same.
In the end it all happened very naturally. We had the will, the chance and the time to do something, and we did.
Last but not least: Do you have any upcoming plans, gigs or projects, you would like to share with us?
Well I would just like to come back to my label to say that the releases will be focused on my productions only. But I won’t say anymore about it before everything is in place.
Otherwise I am working on an album that’s going to be a bit different to what I’ve done so far. It has a lot of vocals, acoustic elements and has a cinematic feel. Generally it won’t be music specifically made for the dance-floor.
A co-realized interview with Dominic Ryan.