Cioz on his Jodi Bush collaboration with Super Flu, Knobs Bergamo and more | Soundspace

Cioz on his Jodi Bush collaboration with Super Flu, Knobs Bergamo and more

Interview: Cioz

Italian artist Cioz probably had no idea the impact moving from Bergamo to Berlin would have on his career when he ventured a little under 1,100km’s north to the German capital, but since then his music has landed on Einmusika, Monaberry, Get Physical, and Stil Vor Talent.

One of the most recent labels to find themselves added to his catalogue is Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels, thanks to a two-sided Super Flu collaboration titled Jodi Bush.

We spoke to the emerging talent about his success as a house producer, what he might have coming in the near future, his Knobs Bergamo project and more. Read the full conversation below.

Cioz! How are things? Did you enjoy the summer?

Hello Soundspace, things are good. Summer was grrreat! Next summer, better!

You just released your Jodi Bush EP with Super Flu on Crosstown Rebels, how did the collaboration come to be?

I think I was at Ritter Butzke when Mathias asked me to do an EP together with them. I thought he was joking but actually he was very serious about that.

So I went in their Monaberry office in Halle Saale and then to Feliks’ studio, that it’s actually the place where he grew up (super cool). I brought an Elektron and I linked it to his setup. I put it on the floor and I laid down next to it. He was sitting at his desk with several synths. Mega cozy situation. We started jamming and the first idea that came out was Jodi Bush.

The Body Juice main idea instead was more or less ready when I arrived there. It was coming from an old remix I did that never came out. After some Super Flu’s touches it was al dente and ready to rock.

Then Damian Lazarus was playing Cookie Man a lot in that period and he asked me on Instagram if I had new tracks for him to play. That’s when I sent him Jodi Bush and we got the request for Crosstown Rebels. After talking to them we decided it was the best home for the tracks.

It was really fast and fun. We were jamming as we did it many times before. Feliks is a genius producer. I learned so many things from him. I wish to do more stuff with Super Flu in the future.

(Also because I forgot the power supply of my Elektron in his studio. So, you know, that would be a good excuse to come back).

And Get Physical and Stil Vor Talent are also among the list of labels you have released with, what do you look for in a record label when thinking about sending demos?

Actually I’m not sending many demos right now. My tracks are magically making their way to the right labels on their own. Through podcasts, or sharing tracks with DJ friends. Then, if they’re good enough, they spread around and someone asks to release them.

I feel it’s more natural like this. There’s more interest and respect for the them. Sending demos is also good. But the final success depends a lot on how tired are the ears of the label manager or the A&R. It’s very relative.

It’s always good to send the tracks to DJ friends, and then, step by step, you will be surrounded by nice people that only want to push you.

Music is always the main thing. Then comes the release package: if it’s on vinyl, if the artwork is amazing and if it can reach many people. For sure these are triggers. But it’s always better to put the music first.

What I really like when I think about a label is which artists are involved. Last Get Physical showcase in Watergate was just great. I spent a lot of time with Djuma Soundsystem, Yulia Niko (for which I did a remix out soon on Crosstown), M.A.N.D.Y and so on and they are all lovely. We planned to do something together.

And from the Stil Vor Talent side I got to know Sam Shure, who is an incredibly talented producer with which I’m producing constantly together. He is a mine of inspiration. Then I also had a collaboration with Oliver Koletzki himself for his album. He is super nice and humble. Lots of golden advice from him. Then Kellerkind who always makes me happy. He could sell real happiness in the streets and become rich.

I feel fortunate that the labels I released on are quite strong and with a large and welcoming family. So many talented producers are involved. And the funny thing is that they chose me! I feel surrounded by positive energy only and I like to think that nothing happens by chance.

You’re Italian but currently live in Berlin, what inspired the move to the German capital?

Berlin is so attractive and I always wanted to move here so badly. One day Anika (Bebetta) invited me to her studio in Berlin. We had a really good time together and we produced Elephant On eBay. The whole EP, in three days!

It was a great get together because I think both of us had a strong positive impact on each other. I let her hear “Arbol” and she loved it and sent it directly to Super Flu cause she was feeling the potential. Since they reacted good, and they wanted to do an Ep with me on Monaberry, I considered the move to Berlin more seriously.

She started inviting me to Berlin more often, until I found a really small room in a shared flat in Neukölln and a safe part time job as a music producer for Music Maker Jam, a fun app to create music for beginners. That was a lucky shot.

And the Knobs Bergamo project, can you tell us more about that? Do you have a longterm vision for it?

Knobs Bergamo was a project I started 4 years ago in Bergamo with my friend and very talented producer Giacomo Corpino. The goal was to create a night where we presented the sound of a live act, coming along with live visuals. We had interviews with the guests and nerd talks about music production.

After 6 or 7 events, two of the guests started joining me spontaneously mostly every time, jamming together (I was always doing an improvised live electronic opening). Jodi Pedrali (Joud Iscariout) with his Korg MS10 and Nicola Buttafuoco (Nairobi D) with his guitar and his looper.

After that we threw a small festival inviting Populous as the main act, and Knobs became more an interaction moment between us. We were started improvising with external professional musicians, violinists, singers, handpan players, etc.

We had a residency in front of a modern art gallery called GAMeC. We used to do 8 hours of improvisation or so. That was huge training for us. I personally learned to jam properly with others. (hint: Jam with other musicians/producers if you want to get better! You learn sooo many things, and you will have the best fun when you find the right groove!)

After that we collaborated with the Bergamo main Theater Donizetti and AEGEE. It was one for the books. They asked us to remix live the Hymn of Joy from Friedrich Schiller in front of the whole theater. Goosebumps.

But then the good news arrived. I moved to Berlin, Nicola started touring a lot as a guitarist with the band Pinguini Tattici Nucleari, Giacomo went to London and began his career as a mixing and mastering engineer and Jodi stayed in Bergamo’s bushes throwing live-act electronic parties.

So Knobs actually stopped. Hopefully we can do a live show together soon. In the meantime it would be cool to create something in Berlin as well. Why not?

Thanks a lot for talking to us, before we go, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in the past?

Uuuh. The best advice ever was from a stranger. I was in a pub in Bergamo. The bartender, Stefano, a friend of mine, used to play tracks of mine in the bar, even if they sucked. We were at the bar, and Stefano said to this guy, who was a musician – “You know. This track, is his track” – looking at me.

At the end of the song the guy turned at me and asked – “would you ever let God listen this track?” That felt like a headshot.

It was damned true. Surely that track couldn’t compete in any way with top productions. From that day the quality of my tracks just raised dramatically.

Before finishing something I started comparing them with other tracks, testing them on several different soundsystems, starting listening to them from the corner of the room, under the table or even outside the room. That worked pretty well finally!

I learned that doing music it’s like making a gift to the people that listen to it. You need to put a lot of effort in to it. It’s fun, for sure. But also serious. You are doing it for them. If you do it for yourself, keep it for yourself.

You know. In the moment that the track is out, it’s out. Forever. And, as the famous brazilian philosopher Gui Boratto once said: “there’s no turning back”.

Cioz & Super Flu’s Jodi Bush EP is out now on Crosstown Rebels.