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Marco Carola: From Italy via Frankfurt to London- London Has Everything

Author: Benedetta Ferraro
Sunday, November 25, 2001
Aged 13, Naples born Italian Marco started hanging around studios and clubs courtesy of a friend's father, who owned the city's top FM radio station Kiss FM. By 1996 (when he was 21) he'd already set up his own label Design Music, swiftly followed by his "1,000" imprint (both run from Italy). In 1999, he relocated to Frankfurt (Germany) to launch two more labels Question and Zenit, both of which he continues to run with Corrado Izzo (also known as Gadgets). Open System, Marco's new album, is out on Zenit now and is an impressively funky, techno record that he's specifically produced for home listening.

"I wanted to venture onto different styles and that's what I've been doing for the past year whilst recording it," her told Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro this week.

Skrufff: How long have you been working on "Open System"-

Marco Carola: "I've been thinking, not just working on it for two years. It's easy for me to produce dance floor tracks, but this time I wanted to give my audience something they can actually listen to, that wouldn't be just a pure loop. It was hard for me to go on this tangent but ultimately I'm very happy with the end result."

Skrufff: Your album comes out on Zenit at the beginning of December, what's your specific involvement with this label-

Marco Carola: "I actually run the label together with Corrado Izzo, who's German from Italian parents. I formed my first label 'Design Music' back in '96, because at the time there weren't any Italian labels interested in releasing my music, so I was forced into it. Those were difficult times for me because despite my intention of moving abroad, I had to face the fact that at the time nobody was interested in Italian techno producers. Techno had to come from Detroit, Germany or Belgium.

I formed the label anyway, pressed 1,000 copies and eventually I received some feedback from Corrado, who at the time was working for the Frankfurt based label Neurton. He organised the distribution and to my great surprise the record sold extremely well. I then relocated to Frankfurt and together we started two labels 'Question' and 'Zenit'. We also now run a venture called ELP (Electronic Label Pool), which covers several different labels, distribution, promotion and so on."

Skrufff: Naples is the only place in Italy where techno has ever been seriously extremely why has it stayed just in Naples-

Marco Carola: "The (political) division between the north and south of Italy has played a major role in this, since there's never been unity between the two regions, even over musical tastes. Artists who do well up north aren't as well received down south, but in the meantime Naples has developed it's own musical scene which originally came from abroad. Naples is a city in a league of it's own that has never followed trends just to be seen as fashionable. Neapolitans usually don't trust anyone else, and have always preferred to book underground DJs from the States and the UK directly. That means they've built personal, long lasting relationships with artists who would only come to play in Naples. This has given Neapolitan punters the opportunity to create a unique scene that relates only to their area."

Skrufff: Romans also used to be quite into techno, I believe…

Marco Carola: "Rome had a staggering scene for just a year or so, and then it died. Admittedly though, Roman promoters did bring out people including Underground Resistance, Joey Beltram, CJ Bolland, and Robert Armani who at the time were really, really hot…"

Skrufff: So what would a current dance music map of Italy look like-

Marco Carola: "Naples loves house and techno and we have at least one techno party a week. Rome has a thriving gay scene and they love uplifting, vocal house. In the north, trance and progressive house is very strong."

Skrufff: You're well-known for mixing on three decks, how did you learn this technique-
Marco Carola: "To me it's normal, becau