Matteo Vallicelli

The heavy influence of Berlin’s pumping techno landscape sparked the plug for Matteo Vallicelli’s experimentation with synthesizers and drum machines. After years of Italian punk bands and post-punk roles in Death Index and The Soft Moon, Vallicelli took refuge in his apartment to mess around with sounds, samples and loops. These nightly undertakings metamorphosed his (post-)punk, hardcore and garage existence into an electronic debut, which dropped on 3 February via Captured Tracks. We asked him to paint us a picture of nightly experimentation and his inspirations. Dig into the playlist below, with words by Matteo Vallicelli. For his live sounds, head over to Amsterdam’s Melkweg on Wednesday, 12 April.



Jeff Mills is one of the reasons why I initially got into electronic music, and techno was definitely one of my main sources of inspiration during the writing of Primo. When I first heard his work a bunch of years ago, I couldn’t believe myself. You really have to be a ‘Wizard’ to write such powerful and elegant music using only few elements. And later, as I’ve gotten more familiar with this music genre, I realized that he’s got his own style. Which is very rare for a techno artist I believe. When you hear one of his tracks in a club you can definitely say: ‘this is Mills’.

WHITE NOISE – Love Without Sound

Hard to believe this is from 1969. I got familiar with White Noise and Delia Derbyshire back when I was a 1960’s garage / psych music addict. I remember being shocked by the (ab)use of delay and effects on vocals and the fact they were trying to write a pop song using so many unconventional sounds. Then, year later, as I got more and more into electronic music, I went back at it, to sort of study it. And I’ve been slightly obsessed with this song until this very day. It’s just so perfect.

NINO ROTA – The Awards

This song is taken from Rota’s soundtrack to Federico Fellini’s ‘Toby Dammit’, which is a short episode from a collaborative movie called Tre Passi Nel Delirio from 1967. The soundtrack appears on a compilation called ‘Nino Rota LSD Roma’, which is one of the records I’ve listened to the most while I was writing Primo. I love how this theme is able to instantly drive your imagination somewhere else. That’s one of the biggest powers of music.


Another techno favorite. This might be one of the roughest songs ever written. There’s not much going on besides a ‘four to the floor’ 909 kick and Green Velvet’s voice. He recorded the song onto a four-track tape when he was a university student and I believe he didn’t spend much time mixing it. Yet he was able to build a unique atmosphere and this song became a classic that was often imitated. This
was very inspiring and taught me that limitation is actually a good thing.

MORT GARSON – Plantasia

When I first started messing around with synthesizers, in the beginning the idea was to play hard, dance floor-oriented stuff. I think this was the record that put me on a different road. Officially it was released (in 1976) as ‘warm earth music for plants’, meaning you should play it to your plants to help them grow. It’s such a crazy idea, but the result is just so beautiful and magical.

KRAFTWERK – Computer Love

I consider Kraftwerk like The Beatles of electronic music. I love their whole discography and all of their melodies. I am a fan of melody and honestly think there’s too few in contemporary electronic music. Most of it is sound design. A lot of artists focus on constantly searching for new sounds, and I understand that, but that’s not what I’m looking for in my music. I think that melody deserves more space.

Matteo Vallicelli will perform at Melkweg, Amsterdam on Wednesday, 12 April