mlat34: Madteo
[New York by way of Padova, Italy. October 20th, 2010] - Politics, crate digging, and sound design... split between two entries.

♫ mlat34 - Madteo (part 1).mp3

♫ mlat34 - Madteo (part 2).mp3

First and foremost, where do you come from musically? What were your formative years like in listening, deejaying, and production?

Wow... Well... first, where I come from wasn't a 'musically' inclined family in the proper sense... but we all loved it. The family on my pop's side comes from a unit of small artisans/furniture makers for over a century and a half... never as a cohesive 'brand name' operation - its just one of those family traditions that stretches generations in a local, regional way. I am pretty sure that if you saw some of the furniture my grandfather cut and carved with his own hands you'd rightly call him an artist, but I dont know of any musician to have existed in any of their families. But, there are some 'events' which I seriously now consider crucial for having turned me on to music at a very early age. One of my earliest musical inner-tiations... (that word I jus made up... a contraction of 'inner' and 'initiation'... like a private-personal-initiation), was very personal. One of these moments was when there's only YOU who can be sure of the strength of a profound relationship to music... but I (you) didn't understand what that meant... except the coming to terms with the feeling, the emotion generated, thoughts/inspiration, a mental journey which could conjure up images of the future and perpetual daydreams.

Music is the connection with your inner, private self. It might probably be what religion tries to achieve... maybe... before I was 10, I was with my dad's friend in his car while he played a casette of E.Morricone from the Sergio Leone Italo-Westerns soundtracks. Those movies for family and probably for most Italians were legendary! I'd often heard the story of my parents on a date in the 60s, watching ''The Good, The Bad, and The Ulgy" with that final scene where the frustrated 'Ugly' tells 'the Good' something like "Hey, you know what you are?" By that time, the whole theater is in a cloud of smoke (almost everyone heavily smoked in theaters) so, since there's a crucial pause before 'the Ugly' lets 'the Good' know, my dad got up and shouted "Un gran figlio di puttana'' ("You are a big s.o.b." )... cant remember now if there was an applause, but I think so... eheh... it was obvious and the timing was perfect anyway. I always liked the sounds in those films but hearing them on their own and while driving down the Dolomitic (tempted to pun this one too... Dolomythical?) landscape of the Trentino region where my folks go to cool off in the summer; the famous whistling and those long, somber sounds forecasting the inevitable duels, the ambushes, etc... I made a tape off him and listened to those scores for years. It also gave me a great introduction to soundtracks. I had no idea what 'library music' was til much later but I knew that the music made for film could be some of the best music to listen to with NO films!

By 14, I was doing worse and worse in school, spending all my free time (...this is so 'cliche') blasting my stereo (volume was always important!). My parents, luckily for them, were always busy. Basically I had ample time TO NOT DO homework and was literally tryin' to learn English by singin or rapping along with the songs I listened to, reading and learning by figuring out how at to least pronounciation if not the meaning of the words... Those continuous, tightly spaced typewritten lyrics in the Paul's Boutique LP... I spent countless hours rapping along trying to keep up with their flow and delivery. (As I write I'm actually discovering newer and better meanings to a lot of this). I got sent away during the summer to try and learn English (by age 11 I flunked my 2nd year of Junior High School. It was humiliating having to re-do a year with kids a whole year younger than me. It probably turned me OFF completely to a traditional educational system). But, as most other kids I heard were being sent abroad to study English (first sent to the UK) - I had no interest at all of learning English in England - it was clear in my mind where I wanted to go.

I wanted to go to the land where people like Malcolm X lived - no doubts about it! I mention him as the "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was the very 1st boook I'd ever read. When I say my 1st book, I'm of course referring to the things I was exposed to after children's books or school texts and shit like that. I must've been 7-8 or around there. At that age I wasnt really 'into' reading so all I was doing was looking for something about a book that inspired me, piqued my curiosity etc. When I saw the cover of that bio with that big red 'X' and the serious, scholarly way he looked with those bookish type glasses, I was sold! Also, I didnt want to end up with a bunch of other Italian kids and the way I thought was, "the further I go, the less Italians I'll have to deal with!" So I ended up in the greater LA area in June '91.

I was 15 and staying inside Pitzer College campus in Claremont. Pitzer is part of Claremont Colleges and is known to be a liberal-arts type school. During summer, English language organizations would take over campus and the dorm-rooms will keep some regular students who'd stay and act as tutors for the foreign students in the adjoining rooms. You were supposed to attend 4 hours of classes each morning and then participate in group actvities, field trips etc... But you know that never happened! Crucial to understanding the environment I was suddenly immersed in is that campus gave the foreign language organizations a No-Age Limit, totally unrestricted, which meant I was dealing with affluent 30 year old sleaze bags from S. America cruising on rented convertible Corvettes and collecting beer-kegs for money from all under-age kids for their parties (which happen at night in various areas of campus). Think a 'So-Cal Int. Animal House' type scenario and you won't be too far off. Amazingly, that "No Age Limit" was actually changed the next year. I found out the year after when I went back to So-Cal but ended up in a totally different school: Pepperdine University in Malibu. Nice school in a fantastic natural setting but the vibe was much more controlled and strict. (Not that that it made me less of a truant, as I never went). One day I did a crazy thing of trying to go from Malibu to Claremont by public transport (which in LA means buses), which would be considered a joke to anyone from there. Took about 5 hours and numerous line changes but I got there... The point of the whole trip to me was the 'experience' and I knew I wasn't really going to get that much of an experience sitting in a classroom, biting my nails from the excitement while thinking "I'm in motherfucking Southern California, I'm 15, there is no way I'll be 'studying' English like this!" Claremont being 30 miles from Downtown LA, Hollywood and the beaches etc, was a small problem but some older kids drove us in to LA. a bunch of times. Another crucial musical inner-tiation happened there - my discovery of "dub."

I understood years later that I discovered 'dub' through a really "non-dub" record. "Jerusalem" by Alpha Blondy is (just a) 'reggae' LP but the backing tracks have that deeper, more sparse sound I later learnt to associate with proper 'dub' records... Like millions of kids (and Alpha Blondy himself!), I was introduced and fell in love with reggae because of B. Marley, which interestingly enough was backed by the same musicians that made that Alpha Blondy LP. Some of the same were also part of the Lee Perry outfit known as the Upsetters, and we all (should by now) know that Lee Perry is one of the inventors of 'dub', with his Black Ark studio, wizardry, and collective of inspired musicians, initially with landmarks like "Blackboard Jungle Dub," then on to thousands of more recordings and many more 'versions.' So I didn't know much about that revolutionary post-modern Jamaican sound 'til that mid-80s Wailers backed AB LP which turned me on to 'dub.' Even if I didn't know then, it feels like that to me today. Just the start of an unending process stoked by such and such experiences. Like the hangars raves in Marina del Rey near LAX. A scene quite different to what I later started seeing in NY and I can tell you I wasn't really into that early tenhno-rave stuff right away. I liked the modernity of it and the energy I felt all around; that was special. The way I actually discovered I already had Energy Flash in my collection from those years was when in '07 I found one of the early CD compilations on React with techno classix while visiting my folks. Those two summers in (not quite) LA introduced me also to NWA, Fishbone, REM's "Losing My Religion." (That might sound like a guilty pleasure or someting). Listening to whatever, studying, never! It wasn't until I got back to Italy and at that point figured out that school wasn't happening that I started getting into the whole underground club music thing - heavily. In the Italian North East, 1991-92-93 that sector was florid! We had a healthy inventory of (mostly country side) '60s discos turned crazy after-hours party venues; amazing spaces really. Matter of fact, it's well known that Italy had the highest number of per/sq-km discoteques of any country. Coming out of the post war, Italy, especially my home region of the Veneto, was dirt poor - the poorest region of Northern Italy- so poor that up 'til the early '60s many thousands of families still emigrated to places like the southern part of Brasil and Australia (where I have family). But that decade saw also the rising from the ashes of the abject poverty of post-war Italy. People were buying Vespas en masse, TVs were in almost all homes, so the 'lil Fiat 500 and 600, ubiquitous 'til the late 80s. What happened in the '50s in America, the beginning of the post-homo-sapiens into the 'homo-videns' era (homo-videns is the TV and 'screen'-driven hominid type :) happened largely in the '60 and '70s in Italy. At least a decade or more later than in America. From the '60s on it was a big all ball. For most only on weekends.

That's basic for understanding a lot about Italian culture TODAY... there are double meanings and might as well be talking about the US but in different ways. Fellini told that story beautifully with La Dolce Vita. To understand what I mean all you need to do is watch the opening scene, aka the "Jesus over Rome." The first 2 minutes of that movie explains Italian society and culture most eloquently, even and especially today's one. Keep in mind that film was probably written a while before its release in 1959-60! The baby boomers really bloomed and BOOMED! Coincidence is just lazy thinking as we only illude ourselves they do exist for convenience. Maybe its my obsession/habit/bug with finding links/connections to and with everything. Nothing in the way of culture, its creators and its develpoment and history can be taken out of context as they are all part of a bigger context (universal evlution which can also be D-evolution). That is why for example the whole Italo Disco thing was huge. The triggers were a) the 1st time ever that regular people had some disposable income, b) imports got prohibitively expensive for Italian distribution (pretty sure Wall St. had something to do with that), c) young musicians had been spellbound by the emergence of all-synthesized records whether it was Giorgio Moroder or other pioneers, d) Italians just love the good life; they can hang out, tell hilarious stories, gesticulate like a deafmute having a fit and laugh their asses off with friends using their hands like it's a tool of the trade, but they like to do it in style, right? Old story. Most also know that too-much style can overdo it and gets real tacky fast, right? Perfect and that's exactly what Jaques Fred-Petrus from Macho Music/Goody Music said to explain the Italo sound: too much melody! All that Italo disco thing was part of everyone's life growing up in the '70s and '80s Italy. I mostly hated it and thought it was just stuff for cheesy radio but some of the tracks I loved anyway as they were so catchy and in heavy rotaton on the radio, it was impossible not to have one or the other stuck in your head. Tracks like Gazebo "I Like Chopin." A group called Righeira who had a couple big hits sung in Spanish. As many who dig the Italo sound know, there was a lot of shrewd and keen marketing to it. In the case of Righeira's (the La Bionda Bros. produced them) hits like "Vamos a la playa" and "No tengo dinero," they were sung in Spanish and were summertime smashes. You bet that Spain had a big market for spaghetti disco, labels like Blanco Y Negro in fact are still making those 'disco comps' and including many classic Italo.

You currently live in Queens, NY (which has been both a rewarding and bitter experience), but where were you born and raised?

Padova in the Veneto region, known as the City of Saint Anthony and the place where Giotto's masterpiece is. Padova is one of those cities with ancient history and was the most important northern outpost during the Roman Empire. Later, in the 14th century, it became a very important city for the arts which attracted some of the best of the Renaissance. For example, Giotto, who was Tuscan, was commissioned to paint the famed 'lil chapel there. Also the Petrarch, founder of Humanism was another Tuscan who spent the last part of his life in a town outside of Padua called 'Arqua' (known since as 'Arqua Petrarca'). Another person from there was Tullio Levi-Civita, the Jewish mathematician whose work on the tensors was crucial in enabling Einstein to complete his work on relativity. When asked what he loved most about Italy, Einstein used to reply: "Spaghetti and Levi-Civita." The city lost a lot of its prestige when it became part of the Venetian Republic and then later of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And I was doing stuff at 15 that most people thrice my age had never done. After my experience in 1991 and having been caught getting high and my parents being old fashoned, I was literally cut off from the group of kids I had been running with. I was seen as a bad influence among the group's parents, and my own parents basically went around ratting on me (they didn't like my friends and thought they could force a change by doing that dirty lil biz)! They did, and there it is, another huge thing which had life-altering consequences. So I would cruise up at the 'piazza' in the center on my Vespa Special 50cc and my 'friends' would get on their's and vanish! That was one of the earliest traumas. After that, I always felt like I wasn't part of any group and I subsequently always struggled to fit into one, trust issues developed, etc. (go figure?).

In the '70s and '80s we were in the middle of the "Strategy of Tension", the "Years of Lead." Toni Negri is a political scientist from Padova who was the spiritual leader of the "Autonomia Operaia" (Workers Autnomy). He's now a very sccesful author who had a bestseller in the US a few years ago titled "Empire" (?!!) These times in Italy were really exploding with terror filled tension. Americans pretty much only know of the Weather Underground which was a 'terrorist group,' and maybe the Symbionese Liberation Army but that's nothing compare to what was (is?) happening in Italy! The armed struggle was the agenda for many so called 'extra-parliamentarian groups.' There was Negri and his radical-left-wing communist group, plus the infamous Red Brigades and many more but then on the other side there were groups like the (black) Ordine Nuovo, (New Order) connection, plus sundry others, which were far right. These intellectuals saw armed struggle as the ONLY alternative for change. Keep in mind that all of this has been known to be more or less subordinate to a larger operation: the previously mentioned "Strategy of Tension," part of GLADIO, or Stay-Behind network, a NATO sponsored project which saw to 'train' NATO forces to counter subversive groups and react to potential attck by the red! Little did anyone know that there were puppet-masters controlling most of it. Italy was ground zero for all this parallel-geo-politically manipulated maneuvering as we had the biggest Communist Party on this side of the Iron Curtain. Americans should know after all that State Sponsored Terrorism is a very factual, corroborated, normal thing! Actally, all terrorism can only be 'state-sponsored' in one way or another as it is used to attain political/ideological goals. Historically, the beginning of the "Years of Lead" is considered the bombing of Piazza Fontana in Milan, the Wall Street of Italy. The attache' case that contained the TNT used for that also came from Padova. The person who made that purchase is Franco Freda an author, publisher and bookstore owner from Padova who's alive and well. Very few people of these "terrorists" stayed or even went to jail for very long (there's a saying in the Veneto language that literally translates as: "If you only steal a 'lil you go to jail, if you steal a whole lot you'll get ahead and it never fails."

All of this information is to say that I came up in highly political times and in a very political city with both extremities of the spectrum being extremely active. For this reason I think I never voted in my life! But also for the same reason I think I was fascinated and remained curious and always tried to keep better informed than the 'informed.' The story of post-war Italy, GLADIO, the P2 Masonic Lodge, the I.O.R. (Institute of Religious Works aka The Vatican's Bank) have created a long and dark series of events riddled with intrigues and mysteries that spread far and wide and hold inherent Pandora's Boxes which, as ugly as they appear, hold information crucial to understanding how the world is run! Curiously, crucial chapters of history everywhere are left alone by historians, journalists etc. Why rock the boat? I presume that that must be the general attitude, plus many professors, journalists, pols and their livelyhoods depend on them NOT going into 'this or that' subject. It would be like 'spitting in the plate...' so they "just go along to get along!" I never accepted the concept of voting "for the lesser of the evils," so...

All of that, and my wanting to disassociate with it pushed me to find a way to get back to the states so after the two summer camps experiences I spent a year in Arlington, Texas as a senior in a public HS (I still knew almost no English at that point) in the DFW Metroplex. Texas was also big musically for me, spending afternoons pushing barbells, smoking copious amounts of Oregonian 'pine-weed' (it literally smelled and looked the color of pine trees..) with Fugazi blasting, or Alice in Chains, the 1st Danzig LP (huge). Texas in '93 was rock orientated, we loved Fugazi and other punk or grunge bands (got to see Nirvana on their "In Utero" tour) but also loved listening to Cypress Hill, the 1st Rage Against the Machine LP which hit us all pretty hard. Dallas, Texas, on one hand it is the world's capital of Born-Again Christians, Cowboy culture, The Family International, Big Oil money and the home of many of the biggest corporations. On the other hand it has had an incredibly rich musical history from Blind Lemon Williams, Leadbelly, K. Kristofferson to King Curtis, Buddy Holly, Ornette Coleman, Janis Joplin, Z.Z. Hill, Steve Miller, Edie Brickell, ZZ Top, Erikah Badhu, Beyonce, to the Butthole Surfers and many more. I wasn't able to learn all of that until long after I left the Lonestar State though. Oh, I also turned 18 in Texas and spent the day in the county jail as, having cut class, I was caught shoplifting a pack of 90min TDK cassettes and a pair of cheap sunglasses. I was branded as a bad foreign high exchange student and later banned from the Republic of Texas and had my Visa rescinded.

Three months after the end of my Texan experience, and still 18, I got to NY wearing Justin cowboy boots! The plan was to find a way to get a sponsor for a working Visa. I got it through Bethann Hardison, a famous black agent, who was reppin' the big black models at the time (Tyson was one I remebember bumping into all the time). Bethann was the one who helped me out getting the H1-B Visa with which I was able to stay, legally, in NY. It was cool for a time being with her but 2 years into that industry was enough! You get 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in all industries but in that specific one you are pretty much setting yourself up. But like they say, "good work if you can get it" :)

Since my 'dub-nitiation' with a non-dub LP (eheh) I'd caught the dub bug and started scouring the used/promo CD racks at "Mondo Kim" for anything looking interesting in any genre I was investigating. I bought many hundreds of great CDs from Kim's through the years, much of my Blood & Fire collection comes from there. Then one night that winter when I checked Mad Proffessor at a show I heard the opening act which was a Wordsound showcase. I remember it vaguely as we were all a 'lil phased out by the Dutch Masters clouds. I think I'm now remembering that that night I probably heard "Pillars of Smoke," one of Spectre's all time signature tunes. I love the Mad Proffessor but I walked out of that show thinking the opening act had been like the 'next shit' (or The Other Side as in the Wordsound parlance) for me. So I handwrote a letter addressed to WS offices letting them know I was available to help do whatever they needed! That was how I got introduced to the great label that was WS in those years. I went from 'Ol Dirty & his "Brooklyn Zoo" to something that for lack of a better word we could call 'dub-hop' - a dubbed out form of mostly instrumental hip-hop and dub evolutions (Bill Laswell, Style Scott, Tony Maimone are some of the veteran rittim masters involved in many on WS). I dont think there were any labels at that time which tapped into that tension filled, conspiratorial ambiance in their hiphop/dub sounds. I was basically the mailing guy as those were the crucial yrs when the first solo LPs by Sensational started coming out. (I could extend this Sensational paragraph a lot but much has been written on him already). After a couple years doing mailings there I started an internship at the offices of !K7 (the Berlin label), which also started a distribution ('Studio,' now gone). Studio Distribution had been fastly building an impressive label roster of small, indy, all European electronic imprints. I mostly did mailings there also and filing/cabinet/invoices-organizing (I get nauseated thinking about it). Mind numbing, hardly enjoyable work, that at least gave me an opportunity to grab stax of promo CDs. By the 90's end I noticed an increase in the amount of compilations that focused more and more on 'old music,' out of print or previously only available on wax. That was conducive to me becoming increasingly thirsty for more music(al) knowledge and eventually of going back-to-wax.

In the early to mid '90s I lived in that grid-like quadrant of Lower Manhattan called "Alphabet City." All you heard was hardcore Salsa from the golden years of FANIA Records (like a STAX or MOTOWN of urban Latin sounds) and the kind of hiphop that at the time was making all of NY proud as the birthplace of it. NAS's 'Illmatic,' Biggie's "Ready to Die," the Wu, Smif-n-Wesson. That was the rawest, most urban music you could be listening to then. When heat was hot and also hip. I was still buying CDs, whatever vinyl LPs I had were in Italy but one of my new roommates there was a kid who had the same enthusiasm I had but he actually went ahead and bought a DJ setup. We both worked at restaurants in the East Village but his spot was much busier and he made great ca$h money every night so he was buying vinyl daily, bringing home misterious looking wax. We lived on the easternmost end of E. 9th St and 3 Ave. blocks (big blocks) west was the birth of Fat Beats, that tiny basement store that later moved to its famous location on 6th Ave. That was the time when we'd spent EVERY THURSDAY NITE, 1am to 5am listening, often taping real time the Stretch & Bobbito radio show on 89.9 WKCR (aka 89-Tec-9). It was a whole NY mind-state, hard to describe but I guess it could be definable as being in a place where something unique is happening. Early-mid '90s NY hiphop is known as the 2nd Golden Age of hip-hop. A lot of that stuff really felt like gold (!!!) you have to keep in mind I was still the Italian kid who devised a strategy to escape the predictabilities of a petit-bourgeoisie Italian existence and having to finish high school!

I am basically a huge music fan who, having had the fortune to see places on his own at an early phase, knew he wanted to be around music as much as possible. I didnt know how as I couldn't see myself 'studying music' and by the time I was 19-20 I thought it was too late.

I'd like you to describe your collection and recording process. How do you search out your tunes, and what is your studio process?

The concepts of either 'deejaing' or (even more farfetched) "producing," were like a dream I had for as long as I can remember - I just had no idea what to do about it 'til 'the other day!' I didn't know about any drum machines, synths, and didn't know anyone who had anything like that. So I just listened and daydreamed. Even deejaying wasn't something I considered possible for myself 'til the late 90s'. At that point I had been buying music for close to 20 years. But all I had were stacks and books with ton of music on CD. 'New' to me is never about 'new music' vs. 'old music,' its something that's just New-to-me. Every musical discovery has been like 'a piece of a puzzle,' but even if I completed a puzzle, which could be an entire history, catalog, discography, alphabetical, chronological or other, of a music kind/era/artist/label, etc.. only serves as pieces of much bigger, vaster puzzlez. Like the X in Malcolm of earlier.

Ok... so picture me picking up the gatefold LPs of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin On," Stevie's "Fulfillingness 1st Finale" or his "Innervision" or all the amazing LPs I got from bands like SKYY, all that Randy Muller stuff, or the slew of amazing LPs The Crusaders did or that Kudu, CTI, the earliest Clivilles & Cole, or the Shep Pettibone master mixes, the amazing Prelude, Salsoul catalogs etc... Because of all the amazing records I own, I know that I can never compete with this kind of production.

But first things first: Ra.H and Morphine Records.... I have to thank Ra.H first and foremost (and forever) for giving me the chance to see my 'lil productions on wax. The way I met him is also very odd (say co-incidences are a converging-of-incidents?). After years and years of trying to find a way to get close to a studio, somewhere, someway in any way, and always ending up disappointed because NOBODY helped me, nobody taught me this or that about music. NO one. Although I did learn a few things about running labels, promotion and 'the industry' etc... but that's the reason why I don't want a label, I don't like the biz, and also why I'm perennially on the verge of economic/emotional/psychological breakdowns!!! All I cared for, as far as 'interning' etc. was to get access to the music and the makers, hoping they'd spot my enthusiasm and odd (or off lol) ears and take me under their wings. Since that never happened, now some shit needed to be said. Ra.H (aka Morphosis aka Upperground Orchestra) is the one who heard somethign that inspired him to start working with me and I say 'workin' cause he actually was key in helping me visualize where I could go with my trax... He didnt just say, "ok I like this, this and that." I'd be on the phone with him, he'd play me parts of my trax and would tell me what he thoguht I should do... And guess what? Every time that happeend I tot. saw what he was talking about. SO it was never really taken as jus 'crticism' , him pointing those things out to me were just confirmation of 'doubts' I already had, in most cases at least. That kind of attention to detail and the willingness to drive an artist isn't soo common. It is also something that as a producer is going to be with you and help you for a long time. Even if I never, EVER released anything ever again, the point is that Ra.H went ALL OUT with me on that. Think about it: someone gives you a chance, you hear your shit, you're very grateful but what happens then is that, being self-critical, you're never happy, and you struggle, constantly. Also, cause I'm doing this unorthodoxically as I'm not after any analog gear, or even worrying about the whole engineering aspect of it. I mean, I looove the clarity of pure analog sound, I respect it, but I just don't have the space nor the money to buy machine$ like that. I sheepishly admit I also do not have the patience to learn the mathematics. I just sit down, make noises and try to get an arrangement that works to me. Many of the things I come up with are like by-products of tracks I made, then left there and forgotten about, then I take them and mess with them any way I can If I hear something in it that I like. There's absolutely no planning of a "style" or genre. If I was in that league then I'd be making disco, techno, house, and/or hiphop or whatever. My shit comes out the way it does because I'm 'working in complete darkness." If I was locked in a pitched black room trying desperately to get out but not knowing which way the fucking door is, I'd get increasingly frustrated as I keep hitting my head against the walls. It hurts and irritates me but then, if I'm eventually able to get out of this tight dark room, you might understand why I'm all roughed up, scruffy and angry, etc.

I know I CANNOT COMPETE with all these amazing producers out there.. your Jamals, Theos, Omars, Carls, your Sprinkles, your Juju and Jordashes, the list is soo long and I am telling you again I can't compete with any of these! Like the new Detroit, NYC, the Dutch vanguard like NWAQ, Aardvark, the Delsin, Rush Hour people in Amsterdam, Clone in The Hague, all these people churning out amazing productions. I am not gonna try to match them cuz I can't! Studio heads will know right away by hearing the stuff, that there ain't no studio! I don't know anything about 'music theory', chord progression etc. My shit is probably some of the most un-musical stuff out there. But then I think am not sure if people like a Luigi Russolo (oh, btw I discovered he's another Venetian, from a 'lil town 20 miles from Padova) were thinking about all of that. Russolo the creator of 'the art of noise' manifesto and the 'intonarumori' was actually NOT a musician but a painter! I've been getting the feeling that that's what makes some people like something coming from the "outside," like an "outsider" approach. Apropos of 'outsider' art, once I saw what people like Henry Danger were able to do on their own, in their own way, with no input from anybody. I once saw a retrospective of his work at the American Folk Art Museum in NY and was totally captivated. Awesome work. A long lingering question I've had was this: Do you need a piece of paper, or that piece of gear to be able express something, even if it's in your own way? If some bum wrote a beautiful poem with a barely working ballpoint pen on a dirty ass crumply piece of paper, does that make that poem not as good?

The way I got into production has been (also) cliche' in that I first procrastinated 'til close to my middle age (was like 27 or 28). Story goes that my ex-wife bought me a Boss 303 Dr. Sample in the early '00s. Right then and there I knew that was it, I couldn't procrastinate anymore! But it did take me a few months to get to the point of no return, so to speak. Where I got enough of a handle on it that I became increasingly more obsessed and selfishly motivated to spend all and any free time to make sounds. I say 'selfishly motivated' because what happens is like this: you get sooo fed up, frustrated, beatdown, heartbroken, dejected, grumpy, you got a huge chip on your shoulder, you hate everything, yourself included, and you hate the city you live in and most people in it!! Also, everybody who might have encouraged you first then let you down (human revealtion: we feel better when our friends aren't doing so well, less pressure on us). So then it's like, "Ok, either I do it now or I just won't." I know this is controversial and might be seen as counter productive but I try not to worry about gear, engineering etc. If I worried about being able to beatmatch when I first made that cassette mixtape in the '90s, I wouldn't have never gotten that 'lil gig, and then the others that lasted the whole of 10 years and allowed me to discover a ton of music and develop whatever 'lil skill and knowledge I (might) have.

The way I feel is we are on a course of self destruction as a society since the late '60s. Any honest historian, sociologists or economist will tell you this. We have been in a breaking point phase for a while. That's why people in Detroit have stayed ahead of the pack musically all this time. They figured that out way back!! So they built their own world staying true to their visions and understanding history better and before most. And watch Detroit become the next Berlin. I've been thinking about it for years. After all, didn't people move to Berlin mainly for cheap rent? I'm sure it wasn't cuz they were DYING to learn the German language, don't you think? (And I'mm joking, some might have honestly liked that prospect, but... ahah). Rent is way cheaper in Detroit than anywhere in Berlin. I'll move to Detroit before I move to Berlin, we'll understand each other better there :) And I like the idea of having less distraction, not more! I'm not really sure I wanna be in a city, now that I'm 35, where I can go into a club and stay in it 3 days straight!! I been there and done that. Now I don't even want to be tempted as I'm way passed my afterhours phase! I still live after-hours and vibe off those wild weekends. My Electric Kool Aid Acid was no Test but a fest!

My perspective is coherent with many of the eastern philosophies, that shit is heading to doom and a big boom, it's a cycle, that aspect won't change, we pushed it back but now all signals are telling us is the time of 'reckoning' has arrived (or is it wreckoning? ahah...). It's practically happening as I'm typing now. Obviously TMZ, Facebook etc. don't help. Or maybe they do, as an efficient way of diverting attention and avoiding mass-panic? That's it. Anyways, I'm like a gypsy in my own home, there isn't anything other than wax I'm trying to accumulate in the sphere of material things cluttering my apartment. As our civilization is on its last legs, what am I worrying about not having analog gear in my (non existing) studio? You know what I'm REALLY worrying about? I'm worrying about not having enough money to keep a roof over my head. I'm certainly VERY lucky to have it still as I'm in a favourable situation compared to most but I don't get welfare checks, or 'artistes stipends' and need 2 gigss a month just to pay the few bills I got. First half of my life was in Europe and I left it cuz it looks beautiful but 'not all that glitters is gold.' I love America, the first and only "true" republic of the modern world. It's just been dealing with that virus known as Liberalism (aka Imperialism, people will go "WTF is he talking about, that's not the same thing..." I could easily explain...) which doesn't come from here but from Old Europe. Europeans got it from the Orient, but there's nothing Imperialist in the historical make up of the USA until the beginning of the 20th century (Teddy Roosevelt's military adventures in Cuba and central America jump started that phase of the (un)US's history. Should be curious enough to find out why that is/was? (Just look who's T.Roosevelt uncle on his mother's side, then add 1+1). There have always been "tories" or "loyalists" to the old powers, and that is the main problem with the USA, there are "slaves of the ancient system of Feudalism" which come straight out of Europe and have a grip on the USA with their "financial institutions," systems of education, health care (I call it the 'HellCare Cystem') etc. All of that is straight up EU, philosophical empiricist, Free Market (which ought to be looked at as a euphemism for Corporatism aka Fascism) crap which has stumped development everywhere as it is based solely on the principles of sensorial experiences, pleasure and pain. Private Vices for Public Benefits. (that's a tall tale which oughta be more aptly known as Pubic-Vices for Private Benefits).

So you run outta options on what to do to feel better. And since music is such a constant, you are like "I have no doubts this is it then the choice is FINALLY FINAL. I sold that 'lil thing [the sampler] I got for a Sp-505 and used it for a year then got a MC-909 off eBay. Great machine. I used that 10 hours a day for 2 years. This all happened while the relationship with the person who gave me that other machine was deteriorating. It's pathetic but I had started to think that death would have been the outcome. The music kept me going while everything else broke down; my heart, the furniture business I started in late 90s, my relationship etc. I'm artgumentative, polemical and drama prone as I often take everyhting way too seriously and get caught up in the grip of emotions which have led to a few disasters (hence the slight punning in 'Mad..').

I was offered to share an apartment in Rio with a friend and spent 4 months there with that MC 909. That's when I started using Protools as a way to record myself live, playing the sequences I programmed on the Groovebox. Not a bad way to record as I was trying to be able to record live, slow parameter tweaks etc. That's when I got Ableton, sold the 909 for as much as I bought it on eBay and bought a mint blue MPC2000XL for less than that.

How radically has your record buying changed over the years?

I was never a DJ til in my early 20s and from the late '80s to late '90s I didn't buy any vinyl. I stopped buying wax as I was around 10 when CDs came out and had no idea about 12"s back then! Always bought LPs. I don't think I bought a 12" 'til 1998! Over the past 12 years I certainly have been making up for lost wax buying time though! But as soon as I knew I was going to play out I started buying a lot of vinyl. I felt there was no OTHER way. I don't wanna get into the whole vinyl/digital thing. I think that's a non issue as long as we understand that most of the music on wax IS STILL UNAVAILABLE in any other formats. That's why If you are a DJ or just a big music fan and buyer, I feel like I need to buy both CD and wax. CD compilations are great for giving you an introduction to stuff, and to tap into these wells of historical info. Like if you get a CD of Motown Hits, there you go, you have an idea of the 'who's who' and you get some basic understanding of that label, that time in music history, the sense of this or that label. Then you head to the vinyl shop and next time you come across some Motown wax 'u might remember a certain name, producer, player, remixer etc. that makes you go like, "hmm lemme check that... you might have found some hot shit you never knew about!

Same thing with Blood & Fire. As I said, I was a huge dub fan but as I wasn't buying wax 'til the late '90s how did I get to know and form a basic understanding and archive of classic dub, or rockers or rock steady music? Through labels like Trojan, Frontline, and Blood & Fire? This kind of work should be subsidized by the government! Shit is too valuable and good for humanity man! Listen to Alton Ellis or Ken Boothe, you can't tell me that is not beneficial to society at large! How would I own some of best music ever produced by people like Sir Clement Coxsone Dodd and released by his label STUDIO ONE if I hadn't been buying those Studio One Soul Jazz compilations? I was buying from a few great stores in the City but also from eBay, webshops etc... After that 2nd Hiphop golden age phase and the NY D&B thing (which also lost a lot of steam, for me anyways), my friend was bugging out about this new 'house' LP he got. That Moodymann 'Silent Intro' collection put me back into that "vibe" I remembered in the records I heard in my earliest 'house' phase, 90-93. KDJs sound has become a benchmark these days but hearing it back then was like the freshest shit I'd ever heard! It felt like he was able to wrap the whole history of 'undergound dance, club culture and the Afro-American experience of those times into dope ass, raw, deep trax that were as unafraid to take chances as they were to show the classiest and most effective way in a) the use of samples, b) teach history of recorded music and beyond while doing it (I learn history by listening to Gil Scott Heron "B-movie"). I was transported in a smokey basement afterhours, with sweaty, horny and sexy dames E'ed up giving me that lusty gaze. You can safely say that 'Silent Introduction' gave me back my faith in house or whatever you wanna call it after having lost a bit of interest from approximately 1993-98. Right then I became a 'completist' for all things related to KDJ, Sound Signature, 3 Chairs and that whole Detroit house thing which (in the way I felt it) was a bit overshadowed by the stuff coming from Chicago, NY etc...

I know I CANNOT COMPETE with all these amazing producers out there.. your Jamals, Theos, Omars, Carls, your Sprinkles, your Juju and Jordashes, the list is soo long and I am telling you again I can't compete with any of these! Like the new Detroit, NYC, the Dutch vanguard like NWAQ, Aardvark, the Delsin, Rush Hour people in Amsterdam, Clone in The Hague, all these people churning out amazing productions. I am not gonna try to match them cuz I can't! Studio heads will know right away by hearing the stuff, that there ain't no studio!

Growing up, I had never really been a "Detroit Techno" fan (or never thought of being one yet!), I never owned any Mad Mike 12" or classic Purpose Maker or UR related stuff. I was listening to Dj Cucumber Slice freestyling live on air at 4am while smoking a coke-laced Dutch Master with a 'lil handwritten note (me & a roommate did that... taking a sharpie pen and would write 'lil messages like "this blunt is dedicated to," ahaha...) so I got into Detroit Techno by way of that 'beatdown' they do like no others over in the D. The archival, re-issue, compilation thing also kept growing. Then one day, while at Academy Records, (great used record store), digging through the $1 or $2 crates, this guy next to me kept tipping me every time I passed a record he thought was dope. So he asked "you don't got that?" "No." "Duude you gotta get that! That's the jam!" And he'd start doing the melody or singing the chorus line, etc... I went like "Oh yeah?" It went on like that for about 30 minutes to the point I'd set aside a good 20 records. This was your somewhat typical Nuyorican. Wiry guy, loose and fiendly, wired, fast talking but laid back. Thanking him for the tips I asked him his name and he said his "the name is Victor, but they call me Classic Vic." Then he said one last thing that led to THE last and most radical change in my records buying. He was like, "oh, you know about that spot on 25th Street right?" (I didn't) He said "that lot on 25th where they have the flea market, they got a lot of wax there." The co-incidental thing about it is that very spot he was talking was 200 feet from the Thai restaurant where I'd been playing for years. So from that following Saturday I started going to that lot and that's when I started really 'diggin.' For the past 3 years it became the norm to get there 2 hours before my gig, be able to find enough records that looked interesting, and would then show up at the gig with a big stack of dirty records off the street. I would clean them up and play them right then. The shit I found was crazy, all sorts of insects, smashed up, flattened like flakes, squeezed against the wax and jackets, pressed up in to milk crates. I once picked up a stack that unbeknownst to me had been urinated on, ahah!!! Later I was spinning a 12" and smelled urine then picked the jacket up and BANG!!! Anyway at this spot I found some 'rarities' every now and then but its mostly non-rare, very cheap music. Unless you already have a billion records in your collection or are a proper 'collector,' 99.9% of great music is not expensive or rare. Much of the stuff I get there were hits in the '70s, '80s and '90s. OK I didn't get most or any of the P&P and those NIA, etc. but I keep finding a ton of stuff that sounds great from the same years.

What I'm stoked about is the longevity that many great artists have had. So many great bands that were popular in the '60s kept churning out great, awesome music. They kept developing the sound and stayed relevant for decades! Bands like The Bar-Keys, I mean that was Otis Redding's backing band! I got records from the '80s where they still at it but in tot. "'80s mode," and its incredible! Also the thing about LPs. 12"s sound FAT, like a different world in the phatness department. BUT, so many incredible songs are to be found in LPs!!! They do sound thin, sure, and often you get an LP with only one cool song but to me that's an essential part of digging; finding that jam tucked in as the last song on the flipside of an LP. One other thing I get off on was the way LP songs sound much thinner than 12" ones is that when you have that great LP cut playing, then you are mixing in a 12", the effect you get is strong as the 12" is sounding bigger - it acts as "new legs" for the thin LP record you're playing. I mean the way the frequency of the 12" cut goes through the LP's cut makes for very cool blends where you are able to 'hear' the 2 different levels of fidelity or whatever and so you can calibrate your blend better. It might be just ME but basically one thing I find VERY BORING is to hear a set with one great 12" record after another. I mean its all good if the shit is dope of course but I find some records sound louder, better, dirtier than others and by the contrast of LP and 12" cuts you are creating your own vibe. Try putting on your favoriter Omar S or Ric Villahuevos records (lol) and blend it with some Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis production. Its like peanut butter & jelly man, (for an Italian like me it is an odd combination), two wildly different textures, consistencies and colors but damn it if it taste good together! The ultimate DJ equation for me is mixing the regular priced records, let's say the $10 12"s with the cheap $1 bin LP shit. Doing so you get the dope new shit or the fat sounding 12" with some spontaneous 'lil find that you gonna try to blend. It's as if you are "trimmin a 'lil fat off your BIG sounding 12", dress it with a 'lil condiment by mixing your cheap old Full Force mix of a Lisa Lisa cut, you know? Plus, the way the drums hit in those old freestyle-New Jack Swing records is gonna make it so much fun trying to sync them with more modern stuff. Might not work at your city's Bergahin, Panorama Bars or Tape Clubs but hey that's far from where I'm at!! I walk out my door and got cars with rolled down windows blasting Latin Freestyle like its 1990!

Your live set and your deejay set certainly show your personality, but widely vary aesthetically and stylistically. Could you descibe your mixing style and approach to deejaying?

Basically, after accumulating a ton of CDs from places like Kim's on St. Marks Pl. I had the urge to try making a mix tape so I bought some cheap CDDJ set up just to try my at hand at making one. Shortly after I put together my first mix ever on a 90 minute TDK cassette. It was a quasi complete mess in terms of blends, but it had enough juice, variety, and a decent flow that I felt OK about it. I sent that cassette to the guy who booked DJs at the big Diesel store on Lexington Ave. I actually got a call back from that guy and he put me on a semi regular schedule that lasted around 2-3 years. I also sent that same tape to this Thai resturant in Brooklyn which I thought was an awesome space that I knew had a DJ 7 days a week. I couldn't believe the people there also called me back and gave me a reguar gig which lasted up until 2 weeks ago. It might sound like I am making a lot of this shit up by now, eh? I did however upgrade to the Pioneer 1000s and 1200 Technics right after getting those lil gigs :)

The word I just thought up for my mixing style is that its 'RAW.NG!' Seriously, I think I am rugged in other ways outside of deejaying too but yeah I can serve as 'The Proof' that beat-matching takes a VERY LONG TIME TO LEARN TO DO (jus) DECENT... It might also well be the case that I'm just quite a slow learner, or am clueless as I have been putting in 40 hours a week mixing sounds one way or another for the past 12 years. I can tell you though I've gotten a whole lot better than I was when I started! So I can guarantee you that there have been improvements, eheh. When people will hear this podcast they will hear quite a few very obvious 'missed takes,' but you will also clearly notice me going back and trying it all over again. I will do that until it works! And I will do it even If I DJ at your party! Obviously, if I need to retry it more than twice then I would expect the whole room to go "boooo" or I would start curling up under the booth, lol. But I am just struggling to get that blend in and I don't see a point going to the next record without at least getting a decent one. I might be the first to advocate a 'rawng' mixing style ehe... So much for Mancuso's 'No-Mixing' style of DJing. If you feel like a record could be great when it surmounts the other, but you never did it before or you might think it hard as one is a disco record and the other a house or a jazz or a rock record or whatever record, then that's what I mean... I like that mixing! That's the kind of playing I learned from hanging out at a few dive bars in the LES where some friends played Monday nights for years. Change up the scene, play some Larry Harlow and his Orchestra, how you going to beatmatch that? Then again, you might find that Willie Colon jam that keeps a beat sort of steady and that's when you/I/we might get tempted to throw a house track and slowly put it under and see what happens. What usually happens is that you find parts of the blend that actually might be GOLD! But then it all goes to shit because you have like 14 musicians playing a song with a classic structure of tension, building, release, chorus, verses, etc... When that blend gets so bad and you make a fool of yourself that's when I start thinking of Macuso and his philosophy of playing ALL songs start to finish with NO mixing... Maybe he had a point there, ahahah. Sarcasm aside, I hope my point is clear enough: you learn by trying out stuff like that, and it's hard but highly effective and fun!

I should specify: I have nothing against perfect beat-matching as long as it has the error prone and spontaneous human aspect in it. I archive all the wax in AIFFs (I still absolutely DO NOT get why people feel like they have to play mp3s... I thought mp3s are just for sending emails, uploading mixes online, etc. Why is it that they use mp3s to DJ with Serato? A 1 terabyte external hard drive is like $50-75? Worrying about hard drive space seems a 'lil unreasonable if ya ask me. This can turn into a whole debate too, but not with me. With Serato or other vinyl simulator/interfaces, you dont 'pre-beatmatch,' (can you?) and since discovering the drop-the-needle-at-records-end scroll thing, I don't even touch my computer. So the learning curve of blending 2 pieces of wax with record players has been natural and took as long as it should have since I started using it in '05 (or even longer if you consider that I might be just 'slow' compared to most!!!) I'me also clumsy with my hands and that can't be good! Plus, I see it like this: "sometimes knowing your limitations can help you turn weaknesses into strengths or in another way, it can push you to work harder at some thing instead of another."

I came up with an idea... It might not work, but it sounds like it could be fun in engaging the audience. You get at least 2-3 songs planned out right, then you get on the mic and you let the crowd know which 3 songs you are about to drop so they know the records. Not everyone will know them but then the one who'll know will spread the word. In that way a lot of the audience knows the tracks and if its good shit who don't always like that info? So I figured it's a new take on clubbing, DJing, etc. The "in-the-know" clubbers, DJs, producers are often quite exclusive, pretentious snobs thus this can be a more open, particaptory, educational experience. And it wouldn't hurt if more people knew what's being played. If the records are easy to blend then if you fuck it up you fuck it up, but if they turn out being a bitch then at least you'll have the crowd a lot more into it cause some of them would know what you are doing and at least respect the effort (who knows...).

In production, do you try to make a certain kind of music or accomplish a certain kind of aim?

The aim is always a feeling, especially not knowing much about production, arranging, harmony, chord progression, etc. I don't go by anything else but feeling, listening etc. I get excited at times and start trying to make a hip hop track or a techno track, but shortly after I realize I can't do it. The aim is to search for a sound. By "search" I mean I might have a sound in my head I want (the most frequent of those sounds I hear/search for is bass). That's why I always liked dub, using space as an essential part of the production to creat a movement. Also, you might have this certain sound you're going for, but since you keep on searching then you lose it and who knows when and if you might get it all over. Then again, in most cases, the best things are the ones which happen by accident. You are trying stuff out, some sound being played by an unintended instrument or an effect you had no idea was there. Or a sample pitched way high or low by mistake. Recently I realized I've been making music on a 2005 PB which I found out only lasts a month was one with the 'bad lower ram slot.' For 5 years I was always trying to limit the amount of trax, effects etc. as I dealt with freezes, hiccups, lock ups. And the worse thing about it is I can't do anything (found out too late in the day) but replace the logic board which costs 400$. The computer came with a bad ram slot and now I gotta spend 400$ for it?? Soo pissed.

(Am now thinking of the Tom Moulton story, him going to press a single on a 45 (as was the norm) but they (co-incidentally) were out of 7" wax so why not put it on a 12" instead for this time? For that time?? One thing I never understood and been wanting to find out is that if it happened by chance, (that story has been told in history books) and we know how much better the sound of a track is spread on a 12", how come no 'engineer,' scientist or whatever knew that the wider the groove, the bigger the sound? They could potentially have anticipated the 'discovery' of the 12" record who knows how much sooner? No small discovery. In the 1970's, phonographs had been around for a century already!

Would you say that you're especially political and/or philosophical as compared to many of the other producers active today?

I don't know about other producers. I am dying to meet another 'head' out there with whom to embark on epic debates on the processes which make history and the history of those process. Or even those who simply "make the history up!!" That's been happening forever too. I suppose you could say that process is "damage control." Remember that Prometheus was killed by the Olympian Zeus because of his attempt to divulge the discovery of fire. To me, a person's life, no matter where you live, is for better or worse intrinsically linked with politics. Do we have any doubts that it would all be a big question mark on what the world would look like if, for example, the Confederacy won that war??? Hey, I have a LOT of GRIPE with our current state of affairs which I think has been criminally engineered. People who think this financial Armageddon was inevitable are - hmm - lets say "a bit naive," or maybe not even that, I know most are right minded people who are either without the resources or even more commonly, the time to get to the nitty-gritty or to 'break it down to the bone bristle' (like Method Man rapped on "Shadowboxin off GZA's immortal classic "Liquid Swords"...) but I think we literally breath in and out air that is heavily loaded with politics. And I mean, LITERALLY. The Confederates would have probably turned this whole country into a plantation and make us all slaves bound to the tidewater areas unable to freely move west. If we left it to the British backed Free Traders (Freetraitors in my vocab, lol) who knows if there would be a Space Needle in your town!! The forces which controlled the Confederacy back then are some of the exact same which control Wall St. today. In fact, the slave trade was financed by Boston bankers! You know about the "Hartford Convention?" That's one of those subjects that when you got to Wikipedia it should be shocking to find a skimpy one page about it!! Then you go into ANY pop culture or 'safe' topic and you'll get a shitload of info. It doesn't take a genius to see obscurantism-in-action everywhere!!

I love Wikipedia, making a different point. I'm a walking contradiction as I am reading political intelligence reports daily but have never voted in my life! Someone asked why was I so informed and passionate about politics but didn't vote. That's the point! Getting the info or gaining a perspective or having strong opinions and voting or not voting are two related but parallel things. So many people vote without really knowing about who they're voting for and/or why. I prefer being a non-voter that knows. I'm super informed, but strictly an observer. Am waiting for the guy who'll make me wanna vote for him. But after the 2000 and 2004 elections I just have to agree with George Carlin when he said it is "there to create an illusion." Those two flagrant vote-count crimes and conspiracies confirmed it. Of course I would have voted for this Obama guy if I was a US citizen. It was the best option. We live in the 4th World USA, this is it, we breath politricks, my parents are close to 70 years of age and barely have money to survive after slaving off 50 years to keep a 'lil biz afloat and pay TAXES on top of TAXES (Italy has a 50+ % Tax), loans/interest, mortgages, etc... from the Baby Boomers to the Baby Doomers generation.

How could you not want to be informed or political or have strong opinions on all the lies these criminals are still expecting us to believe? Behold a 'Pale Horse' what??? There's no Manna, Obama or Osama, there's people with ideas and then other people with "other ideas" and their not all on the same level! The problem is the actors who live in the Potemkin villages, ruses etc. How you gonna out them if you don't get informed? I might not be able to change the situation but at least having the info I can make up my mind about this mofo or that s.o.b. you know? Like they say, "keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer."

How do you plan to finish out the year and start out 2011?

Well, I hope to figure out a way to survive, be able to bring my parents over to NY as they haven't been able come for many years now, maybe find a way to write better and express my views in two hundred words what seems to always take me ten times that, improve my DJ skills by contnuining to develop my r.a.w.n.g mixing style by keeping on digging for that cheap dope street wax and get a license to be a NYC tour sightseeing guide; that's one idea that came to me lately. NYC is still The Greatest Fucking City in The World. There are definitely better looking ones, easier and less stressful cities etc. But what a city... a "true melting pot." I don't know if there's one like it in another planet. All I've seen is a few major ones on earth.

People who live here go through phases of love/hate with NY. The accretion of speed of change has happened generally speaking with the whole world, but how it happens here can seem quite brutal. How could 'Devolution' be the Solution? Many of the changes happen so fast in this city that it feels 'shocking,' like its not the same, like you do not belong here anymore, you are 'expired' etc. And it does change of course, but (big disclosure here) my 'lil city in Italy changed as much as NY and it costs the same to live there than to live in NYC today! Surprised ? I bet you are not. What makes NY great ain't just the fucking old buldings (or the skyscrapers) which sadly get torn down to make space for ugly glass towers or pseudo-luxury condominuims, its the effing PEOPLE! Its those Puerto Rican mamas pushing strollers and loudly scolding their sugar-blitzed rambunctious toddlers, Dominican story tellers, hand-ball players, the Mexican taco-stands on Roosevelt Ave. in Queens, the Orthodox Jews, their wits and amazing abilities to stick to their traditon in the midst of all of that is NY, cabbies who never driven a car in their lifetime in their native Pakistan who get here at 19 years old, get a driver license and start driving a cab around NY having no idea how to take me back to Queens! In a situation like that I first get mad, argue with them, but then I make up for it and spend the rest of the drive chatting, learning things about Pakistan or answering whetever question the curious ones might have about language, culture etc. I'm very curious about places, countries etc, and he may be from Pakistan but I'm mad and from Crazystan, understan'?! lol

*A final note on the 50Special Vespa models :) lol... 50specials were 'special' as it was the series of Vespa 50cc's that introduced the 4 gear manual shift and a shorter handlebar with a square front light. Those were THE Vespas to have. You could be alright with 80s models like the 50Pk's and others which changed the look of Vespas radically but the 50special was and still is the freshest Vespa model out there! I don't care what anybody says maybe in other parts of the world, they think different. You can't think, design, and build a better looking, better sounding, better riding, scooter than that. And most 50ccs didn't have the factory-engines. There was a whole pervasive subculture of 'tricked-out' 50 Vespas engines ('truccato' in Italian). Mine in reality had a 75cc, then a 110cc. Kids age 14 to 18 could ride these 50cc engines legally around so when you had one of these incredible machines with a bigger piston inside the carburator, or even a bigger carburator and special exhaust pipes it's impossible to underplay the importance these amazing machines. Add to that the comfort that Vespas afforded, where you are just walking onto your seat instead of mounting on it like a 'bike,' forget it, you are wearing mocassins, sporting Pringles of Scotland v-neck sweaters, lighting a Marlboro red with your Zippo lighter while crusing in 2nd gear! It's like you had your own private-jet! (Next revelation...) I used to steal money off my mother's purse to save up and bring it to the old mechanic who did thousands of those jobs. $300 will get your Vespa from a top speed of 35-40 miles/hour to 70 or faster. But the bigger thing is how those things got to top speed. Gear 1 & 2 you were always ahead of the pack, no Maserati could keep ahead of you in urban traffic, no way. It was a constant rush being on those things. Still have a 50cc (not the Special model though) parked in the back of the same 'lil mechanic. Its been there close to 15 years. Been trying to bring it across to NY since the 90s!

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1. Madteo - Y Does the Pity Never Sleep? (INTRO) [Unreleaseds]
2. Madteo - Who Hath... [Unreleased]
3. Madteo - Bugged in Gaza [Unreleased]
4. Madteo - Science Friction [Unreleaseds]
5. Madteo - No Dancing Shoes Officer [Unreleased]
6. Madteo - Artsy Chicks (From Outta Town Make Me Itch) [Unreleased]
7. Madteo - Theory of Moral Sentients (That East India's A. Smith, Got Rich Off That Diatribe) [Unreleased]
8. Madteo - V.V.'s Noosphere [Unreleased]
9. Madteo - LNT Model 1B [Unreleased]
10. Madteo - Stratajammin [Unreleased]
11. Madteo - Shaken, One Beat (Jus Might Do) [Unreleased]
12. Madteo - Ghost Two-Five-0s [Unreleased]
13. Madteo - Heartsore Vagabond (Co-Incidence) [Unreleased]
14. Madteo - We Don't You (Can't Make it) [Unreleased]
15. Madteo - Capolinea [Unreleased]
16. Madteo - Sorry, No Jack Here [Unreleased]
17. Madteo - A. Einstein: Imagination Encircles the World [Unreleased]
18. Madteo - That Bible Beating Bunko Artist [Unreleased]
19. Madteo - Your Friends (R Your Best Killers) [Unreleased]
20. Madteo - Thinkin About Thinking (Isn't Doing But is Better Than Doing w/out Thinking) [Unreleased]
21. Madteo - Tones Bleed (0utro) [Unreleased]


1. Information Society - Running (Remix Instr.) [Tommy Boy Records]
2. Mink - What Does It Take (Dub Mix) [Sound Pak Records]
3. Royal Orchestra - Git Da Partee Goin (Royal Mix) [Fourth Floor Records]
4. Fascination - Why You Wanna Go ? (Dub Mix) [Vinylmania Records]
5. Amanda Lear - Faboulos (Lover Lover Love Me) [Ariola Records]
6. Bassment Crew Feat Mc Kt - It's Not Over Yet (Stupid Dub) [Easy Street Records]
7. Iudy - Island Of The Sun (Instr.) [Top Flight Records]
8. Urbaniax - Love Dont Grow On Trees [Personal Records]
9. Guy - I Wanna Get Witchu (Club Mix) [???]
10. Dynamo Dreseen - Optimo [Acido Records]
11. Debbie Harry - Feel The Spin (Dub) [Warner Bros. Records]
12. Mink - What Does It Take (Fashion Mix) [Sound Pak Records]
13. Hassan & 7-11 - City Life [Easy Street Records]
14. Bravo - Feel It (Wicked Mix) [Brooklyn Sounds Records]
15. Renee' & Angela - Drive My Love (12in Mix) [Mercury Records]
16. Yolanda - Afro Salad [Sex Tag Amfibia]
17. Bobby Womack - Baby I'm Scared Of You [United Artists]
18. Morphosis - Silent Screamer [Delsin]