A chat with Ichinen
Italian producers Roberto Bosco and Kiny are Ichinen, an experimental techno project reflecting their long-standing friendship and complementary musical styles. After years spent focusing on their solo work, the duo first earned acclaim for last year’s A Morning Without Glory, a dance floor-oriented EP with remixes from techno heavyweights Dasha Rush and Etapp Kyle.
Since then, their music has taken a more experimental turn. As long-time friends but more recent collaborators, Bosco and Kiny set up their label Last Drop Records to release the kind of music both were craving to make. Their first LP Dual Craters, set for release on March 31, fuses Bosco’s rhythmic elements with Kiny’s more experimental sounds.
Ahead of the release, we sat down with Bosco and Kiny to chat about what made them switch from techno made for the dance floor to the dubby, experimental ambient that characterises Dual Craters.
The two of you first met in your home town of Salerno, a seaside city in Campania, Italy. Can you tell us the story of how you met? Where did this all start?
Kiny: We are friends since the youngest age. We live in a suburb near Salerno. At the end of the 90s, some friends and I created a place under my home, in a garage where there were two turntables and a mixer and a lot of records. It was a space to have fun, and to remedy the boredom and monotony of the city. This place was called Last Drop and Roberto began visiting at the age of 15. It was useful for him to escape and dream there, too.
Roberto: Then during 2013, after living about a year in Berlin, I came back disappointed to Italy. It was very hard this change, having lost the passion to make music. Having found Kiny again as a friend was like travelling back in time, to when I experienced music in a carefree way. The rest of the story happened by itself.
You’re both independent artists in your own right. How did Ichinen as a project come about?
Roberto: We spend a lot of hours in the studio making music together. Quite simply, we found that we really enjoyed it, despite our different personal music inclinations. Certainly we’ve experimented a lot, and the result was this really intimate music and a very personal sound. We enjoy our mental journeys. Simply, we have fun making music together and we divide the roles easily: Kiny makes the ambient part and I stay focused more on the rhythm.
Kiny: First and foremost, an important factor for this collaboration was the friendship between us. And working on this project also helped us both overcome more difficult moments within our everyday lives.
What were your main influences or inspirations for this project?
Kiny: We have different backgrounds but these still meet in this project. The sounds range from electronic minimal techno to dub, and even reaching an industrial level. We mix all this together in a very personal and experimental way.
For the Ichinen project, we have kept our two different identities, but still manage to arrive at a common point. Finding the right feeling and common ground with another person can be really hard, but in our case it was quite natural.
Roberto: We don’t really have one particular influence but rather several influences. Our journey was inspired first by our feelings and our daily experiences. Certainly there is more experimentation and the novelty of using synthesizers like Elektron since we have always produced music only with computers.
On Dual Craters, you explore a much more experimental sound than you’ve offered in the past. What drove you to make music that’s less inclined towards the dance floor?
Roberto: We don’t necessarily want to stay away from dance floor music, though we were tired of that sound to some extent and we wanted an ‘escape’. So we just tried to experiment with our music and the idea for this Ichinen LP just came out.
Kiny: We both always listened to ambient and experimental music, and for sure in recent years it’s become more popular among connoisseurs. But certainly it remains a more niche musical style.
You founded Last Drop Records in 2014 – taking the name of the studio where you first met. What led you to set up the label? What have been your biggest challenges?
Roberto: Personally I really felt the need to found my own label for some time. Then I met Kiny and, after listening to his stuff, I thought to combine our forces and bet on something new and personal. Our biggest challenge was to put out Kiny’s Damaged Memory EP. He was very unknown some years ago in the music industry, mostly because today’s market mainly demands dance floor music. Labels tend to push new producers down this road, rather than direct them to produce something that really expresses their own style and their taste. And often this leads us to always listen to the same stuff. Personally, I think there is a lot of amazing music out of there that isn’t always earning recognition but which should do.
Kiny: Basically, we created the label Last Drop with the intent of putting personality into our music, trying to create a unique product, regardless of the current market.
Tell us about having A Morning Without Glory remixed by Dasha Rush and Etapp Kyle. Were you happy with how each interpreted your track?
Kiny: They certainly helped to increase the visibility of the project, keeping in line with our concept for the label, and we are really grateful for their support.
Roberto: We wanted two different versions of A Morning Without Glory – we are very tied to this track. Dasha maintained the energy of the original version and also gave a very personal interpretation. On the other hand, Etapp completely overwhelmed the track, having a personal vision more based on minimal electronic dub. We are really satisfied with both interpretations.
Ichinen’s Dual Craters is out on Last Drop Records on March 31. Pre-order the album over on Bandcamp