Out-ER’s soundscapes, driven by real research into the feels - Create Digital Music


Out-ER’s soundscapes, driven by real research into the feels We’ve stepped into a music party at OHM, the Berlin venue constructed from a power plant battery room. And it’s clear that the label behind the event, Italian imprint Out-ER, is something out of the ordinary. For one thing, instead of a normal DJ set, we’re treated to what’s described as a “workshop.” And there are regular pauses that announce the link between tracks and the feelings that inspired them. But then, Out-ER’s Simone Gatto (seen, top) is not your typical label chief. Gatto is a philosophy graduate who has researched emotions and empathy, linking them to music and perception. He draws on the work of Swiss composer/educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze – the man behind Eurythmics (the 19th century movement-based music pedadgogy, not the 80s duo with Annie Lennox). And Gatto is also researching how musicians emotionally engage with their audience when they play. He’s interested in how DJs can intentionally trigger specific emotions. With Gatto at the helm, Out-ER defies predictable categorization. The label’s music ranges from energetic techno to ambient depths – eschewing the darkness that’s all the rage these days for more playful twists. That includes jazzier and more percussive notes from collaborators like Marieu (The Analogue Cops) and Christopher Rau (as Colours of Obseration), plus outings by Orlando Voorn, Mirror1, Andrea Santoro, and Regen. If that didn’t catch your attention, bigger names Legowelt and Conforce have authored remixes. This is a label on the rise. Next: “Nuove Sessioni” (“new sessions”), a four-track EP out on December 10th with three contributions by Alessandro Stefanio (aka Buck) and a remix from Ed Davenport as Inland, Inland’s only remix this year. Listen in its entirety: Having staged the oddball debut event earlier this year, Out-ER is returning to Berlin to celebrate that release with a party and panel at OHM. On the eve of the event, Gatto and Buck talk to CDM about what motivates them. CDM: Where exactly is based your label, when and with who have you founded it? Simone Gatto: I founded Out-ER in 2011 together with Andrea Santoro, Buck, and other friends. We were a group of Italian producers based in Berlin. We spent every single day together in the studio making music and sharing a common vision, trying to define a new sound — our sound. In 2013, we’ve moved back to Lecce, Italy, but we often are in Berlin because we have to take care of label-related activities. How would someone grasp the musical direction of your label – can you put it in few words/sentences? Out-ER music is an uncommon platform extending through various declinations of electronic music (house, techno, ambient). We try to keep a creative imprint in short and long terms because our goal is to release music including everything in between mellow and deep sounds and supporting the artists’ ample inspirations. How do you choose new artists and collaborators for remixes? I’ve always chosen artists mostly considering the strong emotions I felt by listening to their productions and performances. Recently, you joined a conference in Amsterdam, where you talked about how to emotionally manage having a record label. Is owning a label emotionally difficult and what are the main helpers, which conclusions did you get to? Since 2013, I’ve been running research together with some experts from the University of Lecce about the relationship between music and emotions. In Amsterdam, I talked about this topic explaining various aspects – the relationship between sounds and sensations, the empathic process linking performances and audience, specific notes and chords stimulating specific neural areas. It will convey into a book to be published in 2017 and these findings are my main helpers for my personal career and for Out-ER. Managing a record label in the right way requires dedication and knowledge of the aspects just mentioned plus many others, everything needs to convey in the concept of the sound that express the platform at its best. Pressing plant, promotion, distribution, all needs to be coordinated. Press and communication might have a strong role for a right push to the label in long term and that’s why I decided to have a dedicated professional who cares about it all. This way I can focus on my music, on the artist relation and on the management of the bureaucracy questions. You’ve organized two parties in Berlin before. What’s special about the event on 26th November? This time from 10 pm, I’ll introduce the label’s previous and future activities, releases and researches linked to the topic “Music & Emotions”, kicking off a panel discussion together with all the artists. I’ll ask the artists some specific questions which will let them to expose their emotional side of music. Buck will introduce his second EP on Out-ER and will play an experimental jam session with LIMO (head of Transition LAB and part of F…

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