The club scene has been severely affected by this strange situation caused by the pandemic, is a sector that has disappeared completely but, there was life and will emerge again when our planet recovers, this is temporary.
Each city has its own cultural structure, each city has its own history, and this is what Brainchain Records wants to tell about the Milan scene in the form of a documentary and also with an album that shows how this city sounds in these exceptional times.
Brainchain Records is a label created by a group of artists from Milan, how was it born and what are the main purposes of this project?
The Label was born in 2019 from the convergence of musicians and artists coming from different backgrounds, but all nonetheless connected to each other by years of organizing events and parties in the city of Milan, both legally as well as illegally. Precisely this experience, rooted in our city and in its contradictions, led us to immediately understand that the label should somehow tell the city of Milan, or at least try to do it, involving the most interesting and active artists of the urban panorama. A very ambitious goal from which we are probably still distant, but we are rowing in the right direction.
In the first reference of the label you refer to it as a typical Milanese sound, how is this sound?
We don’t say that, but rather that we’d like to describe how Milan sounds. The city does not have a typical sound, but it does have a very rich and varied scene, where original influences and tastes converge. What we wish to do is to convey a coherent idea of it through our releases and our events (when we’ll be able to do them again).
Looking at the most recent releases, it seems that Brainchain has evolved towards a harder sound, is this a definitive change or does this mean that the label is constantly evolving?
The intention to represent the different tastes and different Milanese musical facets does not bind us to a specific sound, as many other labels do. This makes us free to experiment and each release will have its own defined and original character. Our dream is to one day become a benchmark for what happens in the music scene in the city. However, despite being dreamers, we know very well that it is impossible to convey the idea of everything that is the vast world of electronic music and, due to our personal musical paths, we are very oriented towards techno and its countless subgenres. That’s why you’ll get a lot of hard noises in our releases.
We are currently experiencing a hard situation for the artistic sector, in a few months the world has changed a lot, in fact, your last project is about this. Leaving aside this scourge that we are experiencing today, can you tell us what the music scene or the club scene in Milan is like for those of us who do not know it, and
In our latest project, A Pandemic Rave, among the many topics covered, there is also a large part dedicated to the Milanese scene. We asked independent labels, event organizers, music magazines and clubs for their opinions, trying to trace and describe it through the various points of view. The city of Milan is divided in half for what regards electronic music. On the one hand, there is the “fancy” scene that is indissolubly linked to the world of fashion and that of major events: it is the one that supports the most commercial DJs and is inevitably linked to profit. On the other hand, there is a very rich scene of independent labels and event organizers that creates counterculture, musical quality and values. We try to carry out the second one, together with the squats and clubs that are interested in it. The purpose of the documentary A Pandemic Rave is to create a collective awareness of the value of these projects and to network, because often these realities do not communicate and do not collaborate with each other and sometimes there is an excessive but yet similar musical offer in a single night. Ironically, one of the interviewees defines the multitude of independent companies operating in Milan as “clusters”.
A Pandemic Rave is an ambitious project with which you want to show that even if we cannot enjoy concerts, festivals and club sessions, artists, producers and record companies will continue to work and programme new music. Do you think that the public needs extra motivation like this type of project so that they are aware of what is happening in this sector?
Yes, absolutely! The project was born out of the frustration of being completely left aside during the first wave of the pandemic. Music and culture in general is a necessary field, yet taken for granted by the public on the one hand, and abandoned by Italian institutions on the other. What we want to do with this project is to give a face and a voice to those who create the Milanese electronic scene and who continue to do so despite adversity.
We can divide Pandemic Rave in two parts, the first one is an album with 8 tracks from different authors and with a quite peculiar sound, how would you define it?
In our opinion, this Various Artists is a first step towards a tighter collaboration among the Milanese music realities. All the participant artists have their own projects and labels. Our aim is to create connections and describe Milan: certainly the right direction in order to taste the sound of the city.
The second part of this project is a documentary that illustrates the various realities that make up the electronic music scene in Milan, what format will it have and what themes are dealt with?
The documentary is definitely the focus of the project. The different realities were asked the same questions to try and gather various viewpoints on crucial themes such as: questioning the musical scene itself, the spaces of the city (legal and illegal), the relationship with institutions and what it means making music in Italy. And, obviously, also to give testimony of the pandemic and try to imagine possible future scenarios. The result is that of a choral discussion between the many interviewed realities, supported by the music and images of the Milenese nights of which we are very proud.
We would like to thank all the projects that have joined the documentary and the place that hosted us (Macao):
Ansia, Brainchain Records, Dance Affliction, Die Sekte, Discosizer, EK4T3, Fu.Me Rec, Hibrida, Intersezioni, La Sabbia, Lobo, Macao, Millesuoni, Mondonero.org, Haunter Records, Orbiter, Segmenti, Taste Rec, Zero.eu.
However, there are many other realities that make the city of Milan culturally rich, but we were unfortunately not able to involve all of them due to budget and time restrictions.
Is this documentary a consequence of the pandemic, or did you already plan to make this project?
The documentary was certainly born from the need to do something during the pandemic, but the topics covered are of absolute value and also have value for the pre-covid situation.
With such a dire situation for the electronic music scene, do you think that all the labels and artists should be more united?
Yes. It is the creed of our label and the goal of the documentary. Creating awareness and joining paths can only lead to something good, even if it is not always easy to collaborate.
What are your plans for the near future?
Finish the final stages of post-production of the documentary and make sure that as many people as possible watch it, because we are very proud of our work. At the same time, continue with our releases and create a network between the realities of Milan.
We also hope, like everyone else, to be able to start organizing events again, even if the optimism for this prospect becomes less and less.