Vincent Casanova has been immersed in Electronic Music since 2000— though he began playing the drums and guitar long before he acquired a synthesiser. His first vinyl release arrived in 2004 on New York’s Sifted Recordings; since then, he’s worked hard in the studio to compile a sizeable discography that consists of four full-lengths and many more EPs, shared between labels including Tip Tap Records, Tzinah Records, and Archipel —the latter of which will also release his Esoterica album in 2017. He is also beginning to DJ in clubs across Europe, having refined his skills playing at smaller venues and after-parties in New York city, just a few hours from his birthplace of Connecticut. In addition to this, he has performed at Montreal’s Piknic Electronic and Berlin’s Love Parade.
Production, however, has remained his focus during much of this period, and it is only now that he feels ready to bring his studio sound into the club environment. Check out his more recent releases and it’s easy to spot the evolution of his groove-based sound into more abstract territories; indeed, it’s no coincidence that tracks like “365” and “Sway” were supported by some of the world’s leading selectors. While maintaining a warm and melodic feel, often with a strong bassline and dreamy elements, his productions range from house and techno to more breakbeat cuts with fragmented vocals and elements of pop. As a result, it’s hard to place Casanova in any single genre—though you can often identify one of his tracks when you hear it.
As a DJ, too, Casanova aims to meld various styles to construct different moods—and his exceptionally smooth 2016 XLR8R podcast is a perfect demonstration of his talents in blending woozy, meandering states with an irresistible groove. Many of his earlier bookings came either early or late in the night, allowing him the freedom to delve into the more experimental realms of his record collection; but he loves to play harder sounds when required.
Tzinah Records: To start with, please, recommend us something to listen to while we go through this interview. It can be anything.
Vincent Casanova: Quick Canal (feat. Laetitia Sadier) by ATLAS SOUND
Tzinah Records: Could you remember when and where have you felt it for the first time that you were to become a music artist?
Vincent Casanova: When I was around 13 years old I remember coming home from school every day and sitting alone in my room for hours, directly in front of my speakers listening to music at pretty high volume levels. I would, at the same time, feverishly read the album notes and try to learn everything about who was behind the SOUND of the particular album. I knew I wanted to be somebody who made music and produced it in a studio.
Tzinah Records: Why did you choose to create and play this particular type of music? Are there any artists that touched you deeply while developing your own style?
Vincent Casanova: Yes, when I heard more minimalistic sounds on big club systems by NYC’s skilled warm-up DJs (circa 2000), I realized that “less is more” and I wanted to achieve that subtle energy and depth in my own music. Still chasing the dream, it’s very elusive and it’s always moving.
Tzinah Records: Without giving out too much about your secret weapons, please tell us how does the magic work in your production routine. Software? Analog? What does your DJ set-up imply?
Vincent Casanova: These days I’m all software, I believe that the sound you can get inside the box, is practically unlimited. Since everything can and is recorded- all sound ends up in the digital realm as recordings (samples). You just have to know what you are looking for and you can either make it or find it.
DJing I learned on vinyl and used to play exclusively wax- but nowadays I love the precision and power of Traktor. With the F1 and soon the S5 I can trigger my own loops and sounds to add layers to the tracks I’m mixing. The FX are so clean as well. CDJs are also a lot of fun as you get to play with the jog wheels and make small adjustments, there is something so satisfying in that.
Tzinah Records: Which underground house DJ or producer would you love to take out for a summer picnic? With which artist (from any music genre) would you spend 24 hours stuck in an elevator?
Vincent Casanova: A summer picnic with Dan from Tzinah Records! And as far as the elevator? I think I’ll keep that one to myself…lol.
Tzinah Records: Have you already played in your most-dreamed about venue? Which one is that?
Vincent Casanova: NO I haven’t played at Club Midi yet
Tzinah Records: What motivates you to be an active part of the underground movement?
Vincent Casanova: I really want this music to live on because it represents freedom on many levels, non-conformity and true artistic pursuit. Therefore, I really want to see it live on and go down to the next generations, which happily, it seems to be doing. This is one of the reasons I like to release music on new, boutique labels run by young people who come on to the scene with the right intentions, to push our art forward. Dancing is one of the most ancient human rituals and we need to have it as a foundation for our well-being on so many levels.
Tzinah Records: What’s your favorite type of breakfast?
Vincent Casanova: Well, It’s called the “Tom Langusi breakfast of champions” and it consists of Nutella on white toast, washed down by cold Peroni beer. *Must be consumed outdoors in summertime though.
Tzinah Records: What’s the story behind your Tzinah Family Podcast? How did you record it and are there released or unreleased tracks?
Vincent Casanova: I recorded the podcast on the first try with no idea about what I was going to play except for the first track. I felt so happy to record a podcast for Tzinah because the label is so eclectic yet at the same time focused on a certain vibe- I felt I could do really just go with my intuition without constraints. What you get is an authentic, spontaneous mix. Several unreleased gems in there as well!
Tzinah Records: Are there any of your plans/upcoming projects that you would like to share with us? Where can we see you play next?
Vincent Casanova: I’m looking forward to playing at Golden Gate in Berlin in about a month And I have some vinyl coming up on Whostroyo among several remixes for a variety of labels. I’m also working on new material for Tzinah- something special.
Tzinah Records: Supposing you come back reading this interview in 10 years from now; could you try saying something to your future-self?
Vincent Casanova: Chill out Vincent!
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