When it comes to crafting genuinely irresistible dancefloor moments, few contemporary duos are as consistently excellent as Luca Saporito and Anthony Middleton, best known to you and I as Audiofly. A prolific and extremely talented pair, the lads have been ripping up dancefloors with gusto over the past couple of years, with their typically melodic take on house and techno winning them fans aplenty. Suffice to say, the past year-or-so has affected them significantly, meaning Anthony and Luca have been forced to spend a significant time apart. But fret not: rather than rest on their laurels, they’ve both thrived and adapted, which explains why Anthony has recently released a thrilling record via Behrouz’s always on-point Do Not Sit. We decided to pick his brain recently, touching on his experiences of the past year, his new restaurant in Barcelona, and his thoughts and hopes for the future of electronic music…
WWD: Hey Anthony, How are you, what’s good and bad?
Hi… all is well in my world right now. Nothing bad on the horizon. Not a cloud in sight today!
WWD: What would you like to see change about the dance world once we all return?
I’d love to see two things, actually three:
Firstly, a return to cellphone-free dancefloors. The rise of Instagram and the need to strut and post has affected the connectivity we all feel when we share music. Sound opens and sight divides. When there’s nobody watching and we are all focused on the music, we are all closer to each other.
Secondly, I’d love to see a positive change to the way DJs and musicians market themselves. I’d like to see less photos of business class seats and more content that inspires or challenges if you know what I mean. I’m quite bored of seeing these towering shop fronts of the ‘Persona’. Show me the “Anima’… I want to know more about what makes us us.
Thirdly, I’d like to see more innovative lineups not based on money calculations, because that’s cancer. Actually, I have a long list. How Much time do we have?!
WWD: There has been a flurry of solo stuff from you recently – why is that?
I am just the kind of person that needs to be writing all time… it doesn’t matter if I’m on the road on an airplane, at home with Luca or not, I just need to be writing. Unfortunately, during Covid Luca and I spent a lot of time separated but the need to keep creating continues, so this is just a result of my time alone recently.
WWD: Does this mean Audiofly is on hiatus? Or is it more the case that it’s harder for you guys to catch up right now?
No, absolutely not, Audiofly is not on hiatus. It’s just been a very, very strange time in human history and unfortunately, the world situation left everybody just trying to work it out on their own wherever they landed. For me, I landed in a completely different part of the world to Luca and consequently, for the first time in 18 years, we both had to just look after ourselves.
I spent a lot of the time very sick from Covid and then after that, I spent a lot of time recuperating, reevaluating, and experimenting with music. Luca was sadly on the other side of the world.
Most recently we finally ended up living in the same part of the world but nowhere near a good writing environment or studio, so instead, we’ve just been enjoying each other’s company a lot. Catching up on the other important aspects of our relationship….buuut… there’s something in the works!
WWD: How different do you sound when making music alone? Do you take a different approach?
It’s a very different process working alone and working with another person. When I work alone I am kind of surfing. very non-attached to ideas, just looking for the right wave. I’ll look at the piece of music as a sculpture, you more or less know the feel of the shape that’s inside but you don’t know the details yet. You chip away at it until it reveals itself.
Luca and I working together become more like dancing than surfing. There’s a certain amount of paying attention to and working with the other person’s rhythm to achieve a hybrid that couldn’t be achieved alone. It can be a little more volatile as a creative experience but can produce more elaborate concepts that you wouldn’t have arrived at without being with another person. They are both very enjoyable.
WWD: What is the most important part of a tune to get right for you?
I like to find the musical content first and foremost. I try not to lose myself in beats until I have identified the musicality in the track. A lot of the time I just sit there and play keys until I find a hook I like. Then I start to experiment sonically with the melody till I find a nice unique expression.
WWD: Can you tell us a bit about the production process behind the latest record?
As I said, I focus on the musical aspect of it first. I worked on it until I had too many vocals and instrumental content and then “sculpted” it back down to what was absolutely necessary. Then just you just rely on the beats, subs and rhythmic sounds to do the work and only reveal the musical elements where needed 🙂
WWD: And what inspired it?
Literally, I was just jamming till it made sense.
WWD: Do you have a routine when you’re in the studio?
Well, I’m a daytime producer but nighttime writer so I like to do all of my focus stuff (mixing, cleaning, and perfecting) during the daytime. I get up in the morning and I do my meditation and yoga, coffee (a lot of coffee) and then I just throw myself into the details. As the day goes on my ears get more tired but ideas get less clinical and more interesting. I often forget where I was the night before as my mind gets looser so when I wake up in the morning I spend some time kind of being surprised by whatever my last thoughts were the day before. Then I just clean it up and go wherever the wind sends me next.
WWD: And do you generally know what sort of track you’ll be making that day?
It’s a wonderful surprise most days.
WWD: You have a long relationship with that label right? how did it start, what does it mean to you?.
I have a long relationship with Behrouz, Megan, and Do Not Sit. We have been very friends for the long while now. He was one of my favorite DJ’s from the US before I was even traveling there. I think it’s lovely when you find out the people you admire are genuinely lovely and then becoming friends is a joy. Anyway, I’ve been happy to spend a lot of time with Behrouz on the road, in his home, and at Burning Man too. So I’m just very very grateful to be included now in his musical concepts. This business is all about friendship and supporting your friends and everyone being a pillar for everybody else’s cause… so ,well, it’s a happy closed circle.
WWD: We understand that you are involved with a restaurant in Barcelona – tell us about that and how it has managed the last year?
Yes we have this beautiful project called Arigato which is a space dedicated to Artesanal Gelato and Japanese Inspired dining.
Just before the pandemic hit us all, my partners (Chanel Deberge, Sussie Villarico and Chef Sebastian Mazzola aka Cooking in Motion) opened what was going to be a high-end artisanal Gelato bar serving vegan and experimental gelatos and an ever-changing lunch menu accompanied by fresh made aguas de sabores, speciality teas and coffees etc. Three days after opening Covid literally shut down the whole city and the restaurant industry burned down. It seems inconceivable that a three-day-old business would manage to survive even a month but we did.
Thanks to some ingenuity, creativity and quick thinking of Sebastian and Sussie (who instantly evolved the menu and innovated a high end Japanese-inspired home delivery and Gelato service during those early days of lockdown) we managed to keep our heads above water.
Since then, Arigato has received so much praise from food lovers,bloggers and critics even though the restaurant has only been open for sometimes 2 hours a day.
I’m just ever so grateful for all my amazing partners. The most ironic thing about the restaurant is that with this whole Covid ordeal I have yet to be able to return to Barcelona and just sit in our restaurant, experience the magic and eat the delicious food! Go figure.
WWD: What sort of meal are you most looking forward to when things open again?
I’m going to eat everything vegetarian on the menu at Arigato! You have no idea how excited I am.
WWD: Why is food such a popular side passion for DJs do you think? When did yours start?
I’ve always cooked since I left home. I cook well but not on a professional level. I admire chefs a lot. They are like conductors of taste. On the one side there’s the aspect of mixing ingredients, balancing flavors, presentation,experience…science and spirit. Also there’s a certain creative state of mind that you enter both when cooking or making music. Lastly the way that food and music convoke gatherings and sharing … they are almost twins. It’s a natural direction for a DJ or musician to move towards.
WWD: What else are you working on/are you and Luca looking forward to?
I have been working on an alternative musical concept. A passion project which I made during lockdown. It’s a leftfield thing, a listening experience,now a live startup oriented towards psychedelia.
I think a lot of people jumped on the ambient bandwagon during lockdown as it seemed appropriate to the mood (of zero dancefloors and no job lol). I’m so happy about that! but I also wanted to explore polyrhythms, interesting time signatures and melt them all into a leftfield ambient space. It’s full of acoustic contributions from some excellent musicians and all In all. It might be my best work ever. I’m so happy with it.
Now I’m working with some amazing visual collaborators on realizing eye experience to complement the ear. And then maybe next… a concert?…let’s see how the world shapes up.
Audiofly are very much looking forward to getting back on the road and back to our lovely recording studio in Ibiza when the island finally let’s us back In.
There’s some amazing music coming up on the labels this summer which we are very excited about and we have a couple of new concepts up our sleeves which we can’t wait to share …but all in good time.