Ahead of tonight's live set the talented Italian producer talks us through his devotion to the classic house sound
Nicholas Iammatteo is one of the talented new producers that keep house music interesting. He adapts the genre to the sound-waves of today, creating a unique and energizing strand, clearly recognizable by his enthusiastic following. His devotion to the old sound and its roots is evident not only in his music but also in his self-created, vinyl only label, No More Hits, where the importance of content is placed far above the presence of technology.
His own deep house vibe oozes funk and disco whilst soul and Diva samples characteristically litter the arrangements. At just 25 he has already churned out a vast catalogue of work on a variety of labels, and tonight he'll be celebrated as one of ‘the game’s freshest talents’ by Simmer as he plays live alongside John Heckles on The Kingsland Road. Dazed had a chat with him about his music, his influences and his recommendations.
Dazed Digital: What can we expect from your live performance at Simmer? Do you DJ as well?
Nicholas: No I don’t Deejay, although I’m a passionate record collector, probably I have much more records than a lot of people who say they deejay. My live set at Simmer is going to be exciting as I’m going to be testing for the first time a lot of new material that I’ve been working on most recently, some stuff that has never been released or heard yet. So I guess there will be plenty of secret bombs! Anyways sometimes after the live set I play a few old records from my collection and one that never fails to work is “Lil Mo Ying Yang – Reach” on Strictly Rhythm, that one can tear down the club!
DD: They have recently had the likes of Chez Damier, Jerome Sydenham and Kenny Larkin to play. How much, if at all, were these icons and sounds an influence on your own classic house sound? How can you explain this resurgence and who do you think is making the most fresh sounding music?
Nicholas: It’s really a coincidence they had Chez & Sydenham to play. I could consider them and their labels the greatest influence on my music, although in diverse moments of my living. When I first got into proper underground dance music it was about late 90s and I remember the biggest thing for me was Ibadan records. I was very much into the so called NYC spiritual house music scene, so several of my personal classics are Ibadan12”s like Vera Mara – Orixas, Sydenham & Ferrer – Koko, Joe Clausell – Je ka Jo and the list could go on evermore. I was also very pleased when they moved to a new direction releasing “Sandcastles”, a record that set a standard in dance music and that I was always looking up to throughout my first production attempts which were very more orientated on that kind of murky African house-techno vibe. On the other hand Chez Damier and his Prescription label together with Ron Trent is still sharing a big influence on the music I make nowadays, take my last record “Looking” on X–masters, I was very influenced by Chez & Trent tunes when making that, especially “Ron & Chez D - KMS 054”. I see that right now I’m not the only producer out there inspired by that kind of classic house aesthetics, although I try to keep it fresh and sounding as a new record and not just a replica of a vintage house classic. I don’t like to name people but for me one producer that is making the finest stuff out there is Gerd, he’s been around for ages but I think right now he is in great shape and I’m happy to team up with him and his labels. Also Quell is making some hot music, that’s why I suggested him for a remix on my next single.
DD: If in doubt, play?
Nicholas: Mike Oldfield – Sentinel (Satoshi Tomiie Interpretation).
DD: Current top 5 records?
Nicholas: Kai Alce feat Azulu Phantom – Willow EP - Deep Explorer
Jason Grove – 313.4 Ever – Skylax
The Mekanism – Can’t Believe – Needwant
Toby Tobias – One Night On Mare Street – Quintessentials
Two Armadillos – Golden Age Thinking pt. 2 – Two Armadillos
DD: What are you excited about next?
Nicholas: There is a lot of stuff going on, I have some rather interesting bookings I’m looking forward to, especially excited about going to Barcelona during Sonar were I’ll be playing at a very special rooftop party. I also have some new and fresh singles that will soon drop on 4lux with some nice remixes by the likes of Quell, Mark E and others. Also a special edition Nu groove remixes 12” is coming out on Needwant for record store day with some unreleased “NU Groove” remixes of mine. I’m also working to do something with a vocalist, hopefully that will happen too.
Nicholas plays Simmer tonight, Friday 30 March, at Basing House, 25 Kingsland Road, London, E28AA