In the second instalment of our Label Watch series, we head to Ivrea, Italy population 26,000. The commune town on the road running through the Aosta valley is hardly an epicentre for dance music. However a collective of DJ’s, producers & promoters operating under the name, Ivreatronic are reimagining, reshaping & redefining the musical landscape.
Born out of an illegal party back in 2017 the brand has gone from strength to strength. Two DJ’s have turned into a collective. A party has become an event series, label and political movement intent on delivering their take on melodic techno across Italy.
We sat down with the team behind the collective to tap into their mindset and attempt to piece together the elements behind their rapid rise in profile.
For those that don’t know can you tell us in two sentences what the concept is behind Ivreatronic & who is involved?
The residents/founding members are Enea Pascal, Foresta (aka Fabio Fabio), Cosmo and SPLENDORE. Ivreatronic was born as a party in early 2017 in our small town of Ivrea, but soon it became an opportunity to create something more. Some friends of ours were producing very good music, so we also turned into a label. In Italy right now the popularity of our parties is growing fast, but we’re also pushing a political statement with these events.
The rave scene began in the UK back in the 1980s with DIY parties & illegal raves and there is still a strong contingent of promoters in the UK pushing these parties away from the mainstream. We know your first event was an illegal party in a wine cellar. Can you tell us a bit about your parties & where you take your inspiration?
Actually, our first 10 parties took place in an old cellar, in the basement of a wine bar in Ivrea. Let’s be honest: they were pretty illegal. But they were the beginning of something quite new to our area. We wanted our people to listen (and dance) to music that nobody would play in this town.
Our inspiration was both from rave culture and clubbing in northern Europe, which is far more open, informal and intense than in most of the Italian “discotheques”. Then the police stopped us. Same old story, but we’re looking for some other unusual venue to organize our parties, maybe a restaurant? We’re working on it.
The Ivreatronic label so far has only released music from the collective. Are there plans to open it up to the wider community or is it important it remains a space for you as artists to express yourself?
Of course, we will keep on supporting our local artists, but we already started opening to other artists we love. Italian friends, for the moment.
First of all, we want to develop a sense of community, of course with our ravers, but also with other artists, we love. Some examples are Bawrut, Underspreche, Fabrizio Mammarella and Front de Cadeaux, these are just a few.
We would describe Ivreatronic’s sound as downtempo, trippy with elements of pop. Is this the path the label will follow for the foreseeable future or do you see the sound evolving on a different trajectory?
Well, some of us are developing a harsh and edgy sound, while others are experimenting with ambient music. The dancefloor is still the main focus, but we want to experiment more and more. Even in a “pop” direction, with some weird upcoming acts.
While doing our research we concluded that as a group you appear to be ‘musical educators.’ Your home town Ivrea lacked a real music scene until the introduction of Ivreatronic. As a group you regularly open & close Cosmo’s gigs showcasing sounds the audience would not normally hear. How important is it to explore the full spectrum of music & as a group? Is this something you are actively trying to achieve?
Cosmo’s success was the starting point of this journey. But we never used this attention around us to please the audience. Considering that most of the people attending our parties were not “professional” clubbers, for a while, we were afraid they wouldn’t understand our music. However magic happens sometimes. Right now something big is happening.
Yes, we’re teaching them somehow. We’re making them realize that music is not only concerts and singalongs and so on. Music can be a ritual, a deep journey, something that frees your body.
What does the future hold for Ivreatronic on both the label and event side?
Right now we’re touring some big festivals in Italy, but we want to again start organizing more esoteric and underground parties around here. The label is on fire, we have so many good releases ready for the end of the year. First of all, a new Bitch Volley single and the second EP from Fabio Fabio.