Giuliano Lomonte @ Red Dot Festival
Giuliano Lomonte hails from Andria, a town located in the southern part of Italy, but his love for music has taken him far beyond the Mediterranean. A passionate clubber who has traversed Europe, he developed a fondness for electronic music, particularly deep, tech, hypnotic, and extended cuts that are pressed onto vinyl. This is the kind of sound that he pursues as a DJ. Based in Berlin since 12 years now - where he’s really come of age as a DJ and producer - he’s played at virtually all the city’s greatest clubs, from Hoppetosse to Club der Visionaere to Watergate and many others.
First arriving on our radar thanks to his classic track, La Musique (released via his own label Point of View), we’ve since discovered a whole host of Lomonte gems. Indeed, you can experience his musical vision in its purest form through his releases on various labels, including Sammy Dee's Ultrastretch, his own aforementioned label, Point of View, and Arno’s always-excellent Pressure Traxx.
We’re really hyped to have Giuliano deliver a mix for our live mix series, which you can listen to here. A recording from a recent gig at Red Dot V in Cluj, Romania it displays Lomonte’s skills at their very best. Before listening to that one, check out our quick catch-up with Giuliano, which you can read below…
Can you tell us how you first got into electronic music production?
When I started clubbing, I got introduced to the sound of Ricardo Villalobos and Raresh at one point. I immediately felt connected with this particular style of music. I became more and more intrigued by how to produce and build a track expressing my own feelings and personality. So after my daily job, I would go home and start producing music for hours. This became my routine for years. At that time, it was purely a passion and a hobby for me. It became more professional when I moved to Berlin.
How influential has moving to Berlin been to your career do you think?
Moving to Berlin has absolutely been a game changer for my career. Berlin is the hotspot for electronic music. It provides orientation, inspiration, and contacts. Music lovers come to Berlin specifically to listen to their favorite DJs, to live the culture, educate themselves, and stay up to date. I think there are just a few other places in the world where you can express yourself musically like here and have the freedom to explore (electronic) music in so many directions. You can get a lot of inspiration from all the clubs, parties and artists in Berlin, which also stimulate the development of one's own style of music. In my opinion, the influence you get from this city is simply unique in the world.
Your La Musique EP gained strong support. How did that make you feel and what did that mean for your career? Was this the first record that really opened doors for you do you think?
Yes, thankfully “La Musique” gained strong support. A few weeks after the EP was released, "La Musique" was played so many times during Sunwaves that it eventually became known as the anthem of the festival. If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting this kind of success and strong support from so many artists all over the world, and I don't think I can find the right words to explain how it made me feel, especially when I realised the impact the record also had on the crowd. This was just mind-blowing! I produce music expressing my own feelings and personality, and seeing that other people feel the same has had such a big impact on me, making me extremely grateful. Although extremely successful, "La Musique" wasn't the first record that opened doors for me, but it definitely helped to kick-start my career.
When you produce a real ‘bomb’ EP like this, is there a pressure to back it up with something similar? Does this become frustrating in a way?
After the success with “La Musique,” I didn't really feel any pressure. I was so excited that I was able to connect with so many people all over the world through my music that I had the urge to speak through the music even more. Later, when I produced a couple more tracks that got popular and helped me really kick off my career as a DJ, I felt the need to always get better to not disappoint anyone. When I'm producing music now, I'm still trying to just tell a story that will take the listeners on a great and inspiring journey and hope that they will feel the same.
What served as inspiration for point of view. And where is the label right now? You’ve put out some great releases over the past while...
"point of view" was born with the desire to release music creatively, freely, and spontaneously. The inspiration was basically vinyl itself. The label currently has 12 releases, and the last one was an EP that includes two original cuts I produced during the pandemic. There are already some fantastic new EPs lined up, which are set to be released in the coming months.
Do you see it as your responsibility now to assist younger DJs and producers who are coming up?
Definitely! Music is an international language that brings us all together and that everyone on this planet understands. We're one big family. We should all care for each other and support each other and our culture. Competition only produces bad vibes and ruins everything. Whenever I can, I'll always try to assist new talents who deserve attention and support.
How do you approach your DJ sets and what is your process for selecting tracks to play?
That depends on the slot, of course. Playing the warm-up, main, or closing set requires different approaches. But in general, it takes about 5 to 6 tracks to set it up. After that, I try to completely connect with the crowd and follow the vibe and energy.
You’ve been increasingly busy as a DJ over the past few years. What has been your most memorable gig to date and why?
Definitely playing after Raresh & Praslea at Sunwaves. It was always one of my biggest desires to play at Sunwaves. When I actually got the opportunity and realised I had the most challenging slot right after Praslesh, I felt very honoured, moved, and frightened at the same time. A few weeks before, I was kind of nervous, but then I liked the idea more and more, it cheered me on and inspired me. Playing there, on that stage, after Praslesh, at that time of the day, was absolutely one of the most memorable moments of my career!
What makes a memorable gig in your eyes? As you play more and more, are the special ones more rare now?
The soundsystem is one of the principal things that have to be perfectly on point for me. Since I am always trying to connect with the crowd, another very important factor for me is definitely the audience. When you're able to connect with the crowd and fill the location with a vibrating energy, then certainly you’ll experience a memorable gig. It can happen anywhere.
On a similar note, can you tell us a bit about the mix that you’ve recorded for us? Where was it recorded and what was the party like?
The set was recorded live at the latest edition of RED DOT in the beautiful mountains of Cluj in Romania. The event took place for 3 days in the middle of the most beautiful scenery. It's a very special gathering with close friends, great vibes, and just a stunningly natural environment. I can absolutely recommend you to check out this gathering taking place again this year in May for its sixth edition.
Who are some up-and-coming producers that you are currently listening to and would recommend to our readers?
There are so many talented (upcoming) DJs or producers with an incredible taste of music and crazy production skills that it's difficult to pick just a few.
In terms of the future, what are your plans and aspirations for your music career? Any upcoming projects or collaborations you can share with us?
I have a couple of projects in the pipeline that I'm very excited about. There are some upcoming releases on a few labels, and I'm also working on a few collaborations with other artists that I admire. I want to continue growing as an artist, playing more gigs, and expanding my musical horizons. I believe in the power of music to unite people and bring positive energy to the world, so I will keep working hard to share my passion with others and contribute to the global electronic music community.
Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring DJs and electronic music producers who are just starting out?
The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and your sound. Don't try to imitate or copy others, but find your own unique voice and style. Work hard and be persistent, but also be patient – success might not come overnight. Keep learning and improving your skills, and never stop exploring new sounds and ideas. And always remember, music is about passion and connecting with others, so share your love for it with the world, and eventually, the world will embrace you back.