Describing his music as “downtempo and spaced out nu disco prog shoegaze fusion”, and “80’s inspired ethereal downtempo electronica music”, you know you’re in for something awesome when you listen to Audioglider.
Inspired by the emerging electronic music of the 80’s in the UK, Roberto Sodano released his first tracks in the 90’s under a variety of pseudonyms, until settling on a name that best defined his sleek and stylish sound: Audioglider. As Audioglider his music has had a global impact, especially when two of his tracks made an appearance on Nick Warren’s Global Underground 030 Paris. Representing on labels like Morrison Recordings, Stellar Fountain, FOEM, Clinique Recordings, ICONYC, and Mirabilis Records, Audioglider considers himself a “musical magpie”: covering the Electronica, Progressive House, Techno, Deep and Tech House genres (to name a few) with his own distinctive perspective on melody and drive without rules or limits.
I don’t stick to a formula so I can explore and develop my musical identity without boundaries.
While he has years of experience under his belt he still keeps his eyes to the future, with a return to the decks at ADE this year inspiring him to keep the DJing coming, and originals and remixes for Modern Agenda, BC2 and more on the horizon. Add to this list the launch of Interstellar on FRISKY’s DEEP channel on December 27th, and 2019 is sure to be an exciting year for Audioglider.
Ready to take the listeners “on a regular journey inside my head”, Audioglider’s Interstellar will feature the eclectic and electric sounds that come from a place of passion and lifetime of love for the music. Be sure to tune into the premiere on December 27th @ 5PM EST [convert timezone] and listen anytime after on-demand. You can get a sneak peek of what’s to come by checking out his popular guest mixes on Universal & The Prog Lab.
It was so much fun to catch up with him before the launch, and a pleasure to learn more about the man behind the music:
First off, how are you? What is new and exciting in your world? (Besides your new show on FRISKY of course. ;))
Hi Lauren – let me say I’m thrilled to be joining the FRISKY roster. It’s an honour to be sharing the airwaves with some of my heroes and mentors in the progressive and electronica scenes. I’m currently tying up loads of loose ends music wise before the end of 2018 – premastering a couple of originals for Amber Long’s/Robert Mason’s/Priya Sen’s label Modern Agenda, an end of year label mix showcase for Nick Lewis’ Emotional Content label, premastering a couple of remixes for BC2 and putting together a podcast for Golan Zocher’s Bloom label. I start a new day job 2nd week of January, so I’m on a bit of a time crunch! Christmas is also fast approaching and there’s still loads to do….eeek!
I’d love to start by hearing about those 80’s days when you first saw Kraftwerk and The Human League, can you share some favorite moments that shaped your music future?
I’d always been a bit of a music nerd at school and while others were listening to mainstream rock, I was into all sorts of leftfield sounds – postpunk, punkfunk and later on shoegaze on the one side – where it wasn’t about being a virtuoso on your chosen instrument, it was about what new sounds you could coax out of what you had. Similarly, electronica was starting to be made other than by established players like Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream, as synths were more accessible and better priced – Cabaret Voltaire, Human League, Vice Versa, Rough Trade, 4AD and Mute Records were all a huge influence on me. I was also a trained drummer – I was in the school orchestra, but had a hankering to combine my passion for rhythm with melody – though I didn’t play any other instruments at the time.
I saw Kraftwerk and The Human League (in their pre pop incarnation), on the Computer World tour and I was blown away by the spectacle. Machine funk, cold and distant, warm and accessible. There was no macho posturing from either band – it was a completely different paradigm and I was hooked. Similarly, I saw the Cocteau Twins a gazillion times – Elizabeth Frazer a captivating siren with an otherworldly tone and intonation, Robin Guthrie a mad scientist with his guitar and FX board. Simon Raymonde an amazing bassist. Again they changed the game of what a concert experience could be.
And then in the 90s when we needed it, Acid House arrived with a bang in the UK. I was living in Camden in London at the time and went to the Electric Ballroom with a good friend of mine. They dropped Papua New Guinea by Future Sound of London, and Chime by Orbital and I had several ‘eureka’ moments, goosebumps – it’s what I had been waiting for – it combined everything I had filed away in my memory banks and created something new, AND you could dance to it. Sorted!
How did you decide to start diving into DJing & producing your own tracks?
Being in Camden, I was lucky enough to have Zoom Records on my doorstep and went there religiously every Friday when a new shipment of vinyl came in and I could listen to the freshest local and imported music about. Camden Market was also selling weekly mixtapes from the county’s finest talent – Sasha, Billy Nasty, Fabi Paras were faves of mine – they all had different styles and I was captivated. One weekend I went to the Ministry of Sound where I had met some Germans from Berlin and somehow, in my advanced state of refreshment, I blagged my way into a DJ slot at a party they were running 2 weeks later in a warehouse in East Berlin. I had a bunch of vinyl but no turntables and I got a quick couple of afternoons on 1200s at Zoom Records with Billy Nasty giving me a crash course. Berlin was an amazing gig and the connection between the DJ and the crowd was tangible – two sides of the same experience inextricably linked. I loved it!
As for making music, I started to dabble using basic loop based programs like eJay in early 2000s – Friends of mine had Cubase and I couldn’t get my head around it at the time – but eJay was easy – drag and drop, tweak, edit, reverse. I then graduated to using Acid (the DAW of course 😊) – which was more advanced but still intuitive and you could work quickly with tangible results. My most successful tracks at the time were downtempo and I was fortunate enough to sign a couple of them to Global Underground for Nick Warren’s GU30 Paris compilation. It was then that I started to think I should try my hand at developing some more uptempo styles, weaving in the sonics that I had loved over the years – and the closest to that are the wide ranging soundscapes of progressive house.
Do you have a favorite moment in your career? And / or one of your most proud accomplishments?
Apart from getting on GU30 (which still blows my mind), being mentored by all round good guy and talented musician, producer and now friend, Tripswitch, has to be a highlight. Since he contacted me on Soundcloud I have released two solo albums, and one collab (w/ Xspance) on his Section Records imprint. The other moment I am most proud of is DJing at the Modern Agenda label showcase this year at ADE – I’d had taken a hiatus from playing out for a while, and in spite of my nerves, I had a blast playing for punters and in front of my peers. A big shout out to Amber Long for her guidance and faith that I could do this…. my goal in 2019 is to do more of it!
It seems like you have a lot of fun with your music, never fitting into a rigid set of rules. Could you share some of your thoughts or philosophy on how you approach creating and working with music?
I’m a bit of a musical magpie, borrowing styles, and echoes or influences from everywhere. I usually don’t really have a plan for what or how a track should sound like before I start. I’m not really a gear head at all and I keep things really lean. Most of what I do it done on my laptop and I find that most of the sketching for a track is done at anytime of day, or in any room in my house. I love the flexibility of working in this way. When it comes to the mixdown, it’s then I finesse the different parts and listen over speakers and iterate. Being an ex drummer I do tend toward lots of percussive elements and a lot of syncopation. Basslines are really important to me too – they’ve got to have a funk about them for me. I can then wrap all the melodies and counter melodies around this framework. I also love to experiment with haunting vocal hooks. More of that to come in 2019!
What keeps you still excited about the music? Has there ever been a point for you when your enthusiasm wavered?
Crikey! Music is life isn’t it? It’s a friend that doesn’t judge you and a comfort blanket when you need it. It’s always there for you. I’m a creative person that needs an outlet, and I need to feed and nourish that side of me, otherwise I feel lost. Whether listening to it, DJing, or composing, I need it to feel complete. There was a time when music software packages were costly and clunky and I couldn’t imagine how I would translate what I was hearing in my head into something tangible, listenable and danceable. Nowadays, I’ve found what works for me, my workflow and my imagination.
With a variety of styles that you enjoy, is there a particular “sound” that you love the most?
Wow. That’s a tricky one. I lean toward a melodic progressive house sound these days, but it’s got to have tough beats and a great bassline. Surprising elements or instruments used in different ways always intrigue me. I love surprises and while there is a time and place for average transitional tracks in a set, I think it’s important for tracks to stand out to showcase the personality of the producer and to grab the attention of the DJ and the crowd.
Do you have a favorite track of yours?
My favorite track is always my next one! It’s like trying to choose your favorite child if you have kids! An impossible task! In all seriousness I think I try to squeeze as much out as possible for each track or remix I produce and learn more about structure and production each time. Each track is a reflection of life’s circumstances at that particular time. Once it’s out there it’s not mine anymore but everybody’s.
What is most important to you as a producer and DJ? What do you aim to communicate or accomplish with your music?
These questions are getting tougher! I guess I like to create in equal measures for the head, heart and hips. You know, something that connects with the listener in their head for a tangible reason, something that connects with the heart without reason, and connects with the hips so it’s danceable and creates positively infectious vibes. Whether on the dancefloor, at home, or on your way to work, if you feel connected with and lost in music, even for just a moment, then I feel I have done a good job. If it gives you goosebumps (or the feels as some people call it), then its mission accomplished!
What are you most looking forward to with your new show Interstellar?
Having the opportunity to showcase what I love about music in an hour every month will be a challenge as there is so much great music coming out every single week these days. But I’m definitely up for the challenge. I can’t wait to take FRISKY’s listeners on a regular journey inside my head – it might not always be perfect, but perfection is overrated; perfection is a myth, so why not embrace the unexpected once in a while.