We are always glad to present new projects, labels, and ideas spreading vibes all around and with their own strong identity from the very beginning. Today we introduce Jazz-O-Tech, a label based in Berlin which, according to the press release, “takes the listeners on an emotional, hypnotic, and intense journey, making us think that the future is not that far away.”
We had a talk with them about their identity, the future plans and much more below.
Tell us about the idea behind the label. How are you aiming to combine electronica, jazz and techno?
“The fundamental intuition behind our project is that Jazz and electronic music share many similarities. First of all jazz music and techno-electronica were initially meant to make people dance. The big bands of the swing era in the ’30s and the House and Techno DJs of the ’90s wanted to make people move and have fun. However, in both cases, some artists turned into Avant-gard musicians who wanted to experiment with music improvisation and sound sculpting, artists who want to expand music boundaries and test the limits of what can be accepted by the public through an extreme and provocative creative process.
We then said, well, let’s try to put together a jazz musician with a techno producer and let’s see what happens: well our initial intuition was right! When you put together such different artistic backgrounds but with the same open-minded approach to experimentation then the result is amazing! But as said JoT it’s not only about complicated experimental sounds… we also want to make people dance when we can, so we always keep an eye on maintaining the right balance between some projects that are more meant for home listening and others which are more club orientated.
Who are the founders of the projects, and how did you come up together?
Alessandro Settepani, who is the founder of the label, based in Milan, came up with the initial idea and he represents the jazz heritage of the label, whereas Mattia Prete, based in Berlin, is the label manager and infuses the label with its techno Berlin soul and its cutting edge identity. Mattia is also an upcoming techno producer and one of the artists of the label.
How did you build the identity of your label and what drove your choices over the years?
Well, since the start, we were determined in being very ambitious regarding the an art project that we wanted to propose, something innovative and uncompromising. We were aware that there have been a number of attempts to create a blend between very conventional electronica and lounge jazz resulting in easy listening music, ending up mostly as a background for aperitives in cool bars. It was very clear to us that that stuff was something that we definitely didn’t want to do. We want to create a new genre “techno jazz” by putting together instrumental musicians and electronic producers happy to experiment and we wanted to create a new sound, something that makes people turn their heads and ask “hey what’s that?”, maybe at the beginning, they might not be sure if they really like it but… hey, they are captivated by it! Probably our true identity comes out during live performances when the producers and musicians are free to improvise and create on the fly… we really love it when the public is carefully listening to the intricated improvisation of a sax player and the pounding techno noises created by the analog gear of the electronic producer! We also have some really great DJs who can blend seaming less jazz and techno influences in their Dj sets.
You work between Milan and Berlin, right? Is It a limit or an opportunity?
Well, we think it’s an opportunity, we can take the best of the two worlds. Most of our
techno artists are based in Berlin anyway, whereas jazz musicians come from all over Europe. Probably our identity is more rooted in Berlin’s underground scene but with a touch of Milan’s style on top if you want. Mattia our manager is also based in Berlin.
How do you choose the artists to collaborate with?
Well on the techno-electronica side we choose artists that we respect, who work a lot on creating new cutting edge sounds and we also have a clear preference for those who perform with a live setup. That’s vital for our techno-jazz live performances. For jazz players it’s probably easier: we look for those who love electronic music (most of them) and who are also willing to experiment (basically all of them as by definition a jazz musician is always ready for any form of avant-garde experimentation).
With what words could you describe the mix of genres and styles you propose?
Well, we think that “Futuristic Music for Brain, Body, and Soul” could give an idea.
Which releases are you most proud of?
Well, the one about to come is always the best release for us! However, we had also some great success in the past, just one recent example among many others: Torino Unlimited Noise’s “Jason” EP has been featured and programmed by Laurent Garnier’s PBB radio!
What are your plans for 2020? Can you reveal the next steps?
Yes, we are going to release a double vinyl LP and digital release with more than 20 techno and jazz artists involved: “This is Techno Jazz” is the title and we consider it a sort of Manifesto of the label. We are really proud of it because we think we are really defining a new genre and a new sound in it. That should be out between July and September… so watch this space!