Q&A: Mattia Trani Announces Debut Album
‘The Hi-Tech Mission’ is out May 13.
Italian producer Mattia Trani has revealed details of his forthcoming album (The Hi-Tech Mission), which is set for a May release.
Trani has been representing the Detroit sound in Italy for some years now, with releases on Minimalsoul Recordings, as well as his own Pushmaster Discs (a label that has also hosted the likes of Ilario Alicante, Myles Sergé and Percyl). His latest outing will be his first full-length, an album inspired space travel, that continues to push Detroit sounds, as well as venturing into some jungle rhythms.
The Hi-Tech Mission is due for release on May 13. Check out some video teasers for the album below, and what happened when we caught up with Trani to speak about the album.
What you’re known for is a sound indebted to classic Detroit techno, but on your new album, The Hi-Tech Mission, there are several tracks with which you step into the faster UK-centered territory of jungle or drum & bass. Taking this into consideration, can you introduce yourself to listeners who are becoming familiar with you now in relation to the forthcoming album?
On this album my philosophy was to show my perception of techno, with the classic Detroit 90s atmospheric pads and raw basslines. On “Low Tech Descending,” it’s through the classic 808 beat and vocoder robot sound that recalls old Aux 88 or Kraftwerk tracks, whilst on “Metaphysic State” I revisited keyboard and piano modulations, and applied them to a classic dancefloor heavy 909 beat. When I arranged all of the tracks in the end, I tried to complete the album with two additional different-sounding tracks, which I chose to make with jungle moods. I’m a big fan of the old Wax Doctor classic works, so the track “Traffic 2 Traffic” was inspired by them, but I added some Rhodes parts to incorporate my studies of blues and jazz into the song. “Future Funk Return” on the other hand recalls 90’s PlayStation game theme songs, cruising at 170 BPM, with voice samples and futuristic strings: just pure, raw jungle, nothing else.
The The Hi-Tech Mission revolves around a concept about space travel. Could you tell us more about this theme? Was the album conceived with the theme in mind or did the concept appear along the way?
The idea of space travel was always in mind. When I started to write the tracks my vision became complete—I love space, I love the planets, I love this unknown universe around us, and so for my listeners the idea is to imagine going into a space shuttle for an unknown destination. The music accompanies the listener’s entering of the “Hi-Tech Shuttle” together with me.
How did you initially become influenced by Detroit techno?
I always studied piano, and at the moment I’m studying jazz and blues, so my approach with music was always to use melody and harmony (with pads, strings, piano, synth, and lead), with big analog drum machine rhythms (such as Roland). The first artists who did this sound were the 313 artists of the Motor City—Juan Atkins, Mad Mike, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Underground Resistance, and Drexciya, who 30 years ago did what I’m doing today. Maybe in another life I was born in Detroit. I feel like an heir of these big Detroit musicians and this is my mission—the Hi-Tech Mission.