Credits: Lidia Tirri

If there’s one duo that marked the first half of 2011, it’s Matteo Milleri and Karm Conte aka Tale Of Us. You’ve already heard their Thugfucker remix released last December, and if you haven’t you know at least the WhoMadeWho one, that Seth Troxler played for months over and over again in clubs around the world. Thanks to these two remixes Karm and Matteo have acquired a certain notoriety, so that they are now releasing music on Get Physical, BPitch Control and Visionquest, on which they’ve just dropped an excellent EP called Dark Song. What’s more, they are also developing the Life And Death label since last year, alongside other promising artists such as Clockwork and Massprod: they are now about to release the third EP of the label, produced by dOP and coming with a remix by Le Loup. In brief, there’s a lot to say on Tale Of Us, but you’ll know everything about them by reading the following interview.

- Version Française -

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Hey guys, what’s up today ?

Matteo: Looking at the length of this interview this is pretty much our day taken care of…

Karm: …Seriously though we are at home in Berlin working on music.

Where does the name ‘Tale Of Us’ come from ?

Karm: The name ‘Tale of Us’ comes from the research of love and feelings brought forward by sound, we try to give a specific reason and story to every single track we make. It’s a concept of music bringing emotion and moving people from the inside, the techno concept of clubbing is still alive and present but we want to tell stories and tales in our art, so we had to introduce more sounds and genres into the house vibe.

Matteo: In other words our music reflects the visions we have of love, life and death and that’s why it is a ‘Tale of Us’.

How do you guys know each other, and how long have you been producing together ?

Matteo: We met in Milan three years ago at sound engineering school, we soon started sharing ideas and thoughts on how we would want the music to be in clubs.

Karm: We left the sound engineering school after just one month and dedicated ourselves creating our own specific sound.

And what are your respective musical backgrounds ?

Matteo: I was into the electro clash movement, also nineties downtempo and Indierock which later evolved into a love of nineties house.

Karm: I draw inspiration from Masters At Work, classical house and Claudio Simonetti.

After your first EP on Barraca Music last year, you just released Dark Song on Visionquest…How did you get in touch with the Visionquest crew and decided to work together ?

Matteo: I first met Seth at Tenax in Florence and we ended up spending the weekend together and during this time he really changed the way I felt about making music. I decided to stop trying to make music to fit in the scene and to make music just for me instead. I then met Ryan and Shaun hanging out in Berlin and was blown away at how open and friendly both they and all their friends and extended family were.

Karm: These guys had already started doing music and approaching DJ sets in a much more pop and soulful way than was usual on the ordinary techno scene, we couldn’t believe that we shared so much in common and had never met before…

Anyway, since the release of your Thugfucker remix in late 2010 you became one of the most promising duos in the underground techno scene…How does it feel to gain such fame so quickly ? Do you already feel the consequences of this new success or not yet ?

Karm: We feel that we still have to give a lot artistically and we will definitely not stop here, and evolve our style and performances. We are currently blown away at how quickly things are moving forward for us but we are very conscious of still maintaining a close balance between gigging and making time to spend in the studio.

Matteo: At the end of the day we are driven by a deep love for the music itself not the consequences that it brings.

How would you explain the instant massive success of some of your tracks and remixes, such as the WhoMadeWho or the Thugfucker remix ?

Matteo: Huge bassline, catchy edgy vocals, an indie aesthetic with driving rock synthesis… it looks like a winning combination to me!

Karm: Thanks also to Thugfucker and WhoMadeWho for giving us such great material to work with.

So what do you have in the pipeline for 2011, apart from the Dark Song EP on Visionquest ?

Karm: We just released a remix for DJ T. on Get Physical. We also signed a track to Crosstown Rebels which we are really pleased about and we have a remix coming out on BPitch Control.

Matteo: We also got a remix for Moodmusic for Martin Dawson’s album plus a remix for Clockwork on Jonny White from Art Department’s No. 19.

You both released solo EPs in the past mainly on the Spanish label Barraca…Are you going to release new stuff in solo, or is it all about Tale Of Us from now on ?

Karm: We are solely focusing on Tale Of Us right now.

You are now based in Berlin but you used to live in Milan…What’s the Milanese nightlife like ? Is there a lot of good electronic music there, or is it mostly shitty commercial stuff ?

Matteo: There’s the Elita Festival, the Tunnel Club and the ‘Just This’ loft/warehouse parties that we throw from time to time which are pretty much all there is…

Karm: We have headliners all the time in town but generally both the crowd and atmosphere is crap.

I guess there’s a pretty big audience for underground house and techno in Italy, right ? Because there are so many good producers that are Italian like Marco Carola, Donato Dozzy, Italoboyz, the Life And Death crew…

Matteo: Is there ? We’re certainly no seeing it in Milan…

Karm: We didn’t feel such enthusiasm and if there is there is no connection between the members, everyone is for himself. This is exactly the reason why we left and came to Germany…

Matteo: We are now currently trying to link some Italian artists with the Life and Death label: namely Clockwork, Massprod, Tale Of Us, we also recently signed a track from the Clover for our upcoming sampler which is really dark and dope.

Speaking of Life And Death, tell us about this label which after only two EPs has become one of the most interesting new house/techno structures out there…Do you have a particular role in this label ? What new releases can we expect from it in the next few months ?

Karm: We are currently running the Art Direction of the label together with our manager Manfredi Romano and Greg from Thugfucker. The next release is from dOP with a Clockwork remix.

Matteo: And we definitely have a new Indie/house banger coming in before the fall. Also we will announce soon about the new directions and musicality that Life and Death will take. We are going to put a lot of effort in this project so please stay tuned.

What other current DJs and producers do you feel close to, and who really inspires you at the moment ?

Karm & Matteo: Visionquest, Art Department, Donato Dozzy, Mathew Johnson, and Ricardo (always).

I just remembered that you produced an amazing track with Ilario Alicante called Falling Into Grace, but I think it’s still unreleased right ? When did you make this track, and are you planning to release it someday ?

Matteo: We just made it for fun, it will not be released because the Hangdrum is a sample and it’s not our style to steal someone else’s ideas…

You also teamed up with Shaun Reeves for some remixes, who is part of the Visionquest crew. What’s the production process like when you’re with him in the studio ?

Karm: Making music with Shaun is really fun and interesting, we started loops and ideas on his Ableton setup and made the final layouts on Logic.

Matteo: The end results have turned out to work really well… our favourite remix is for Terence:Terry:’s Time Doesn’t Count.

Do you have any more collaborations planned with Shaun or Ilario Alicante ? Or maybe with some other artists ?

Karm: Not really we are going solo for the moment.

Matteo: We are working on an album project on which we’ll have some collaborations for sure, but mainly with indie and rock bands…

I noticed that most of your tracks and remixes have vocals in them, is there a special reason for that ? Where do you get all these cool vocals, do you use samples or do you sing yourself or have friends who sing for you ?

Matteo: We get vocals from all over the place…

Karm: Some are from singers, some are from Youtube, some we shout in the microphone… it’s not about the vocal itself but about the extra dimension and depth that a cool dark vocal can give to a piece of music.

Thanks for your time guys! Oh and also, what are you doing this summer ?

Karm: We will be spending a lot of time at Circo Loco at DC10 and doing parties with Visionquest.

Matteo: We will also stay in Berlin as a base anyway to focus on production and our upcoming live set.

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  1. Interview | Tale Of Us - Trace A Line says:

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