It has been almost exactly three years since the release of Chapter I by the esoterically titled duo A Sacred Geometry surfaced through their own self-titled label. Since then we’ve seen three more chapters hit the shelves and we’ve enjoyed the emotional timbre that is laced through all of them. Therefore it is a pleasure for us to have them featured as we turn the 20th page of the Memoir tome.
Now please, press play and read on as we’ve asked a few questions to this very talented producer:
Hello Nicolò! I’m glad to have you here as I’ve been a big fan of your music since your first record. When did you start enjoying electronic music? Can you recall any early influences?
I started to listen to electronic music when I was 16. As for many others, at the very beginning it was Aphex Twin, soon after that came drum’n’bass and only after a couple of years I started listening to some techno. I grew up in Rome, and even if my city has an important techno heritage, my influences became darker just after moving in Berlin in 2012.
So you’re still based in Berlin then? If yes, what do you think of the scene there? Has it changed a lot since you first got there?
Yes I am. I think that nowadays my idea of musical scene it’s deeply influenced by social networks and internet. For sure there are a lot of things happening in Berlin, not only in terms of techno or club culture, and this is why the city is still so inspiring for many producers and artists. Anyway things changed a lot during the last 5 years, barely getting better.
Are there any producers or musicians in particular today who inspire your creativity?
Nowadays, my main sources aren’t related to techno music. During the last couple of months I listened to a lot of organic grooves, like African Head Charge. I’ve also been inspired a lot by a performance of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto during the last Berlinale. It was a wonderful experience, especially in terms of improvisation.
Interesting! It seems to me you have only released music so far as a duo, is that right?
ASG (A Sacred Geometry) was born as a duo project. Me and Fabrizio started to work together in 2013 and after producing some music together, we decided to launch our own label to release exclusively our own tracks. After a while we wanted to expand the concept behind the label with some more experimental sounds, so we put out a couple of tapes from my solo project: Nors.
Since the beginning of 2018 the project changed a bit; Fabrizio is still working for the label but he took a pause from performing live. That’s why at the moment I’m carrying out the musical project alone.
I see! How did you guys meet?
We met in 2013 in Berlin. We had some mutual friends in Rome but we were both living in Berlin at the time. We immediately found some common interested in music and we started to work as sound designers together. After one year we founded our own studio “Nichton”. Meanwhile we started to release music as ASG.
That sounds great. Could you tell us a bit more about this studio?
At the beginning Nichton was a recording studio. We produced sample-pack for several companies as well as a couple of expansions for Native Instruments.
Since last year we joined the forces with Gio, former Dadub and owner of Artefacts Mastering. We merged our spaces to create a multi-purpose studio: we have a mastering and post-production room and a spot for tracking/recording, that we use for our own production and to host our clients.
Tell us a bit about the idea of ASG. Is there a specific underlying concept that drive you to pursue a certain sound? Your name implies some esoteric influences, does geometry have a role in your creative process?
Actually it was the opposite process. We started to produce music with the idea of going beyond the dancefloor. We aimed to produce something that should not be restricted to a club experience, something that you can enjoy also at home with a pair of earphones.
The atmospheres and the evolution of the sounds in our first productions gave us the idea for the name. We liked the concept of space and time behind it, that is actually something that is constantly present in our music.
You seem to work mainly with analog gear, is that right? Would you like to tell us a bit more about your set-up?
At the beginning we had nothing but softwares. Then during these years things changed completely. We bought a lot of hardware, but our approach was always to achieve the best results from a combination of hardware and software.
I love hardware because it is much more direct and intuitive than software. It makes much more fun to me play and record something straight from a drum machine, instead of programming a beat on Ableton. But at the end I still process every sound “in the box”, because modern DAW’s have such a wide range of possibilities, especially in terms of spatialization of sounds, which would be difficult to achieve just on synths or stompboxes.
Ok, so, if you could add two pieces of hardware to your studio, which would it be?
I’d probably add a Midas Venice mixer and the new Sequential Prophet X by Dave Smith Instruments.
Hah, great picks! That new Prophet seem incredible for sure. So far you’ve released four records on your own self-titled label. Do you have plans to continue with this or are there any exterior collaborations on the horizon?
As I said before we had to rearrange a bit the project since the beginning of 2018. Probably there will be a new EP later this year and it will extend a bit the concept behind the label. We are still trying to find the right output for our ideas, that’s why I can’t be clearer at the moment. For sure the label will be renewed and we’ll expand our productions to new platforms.
Do we have any chance to see you guys play live this year?
I’ll perform live next week at Orbits Festival in Portugal, alongside a lot of huge artists. The concept behind the festival is really amazing and the guys are doing a fantastic work to provide a unique experience to the people attending. They are also trying to expand the concept behind techno, giving it a more natural and organic feel, and I believe that it’s a consideration that lately is growing more and more.
Then, in July, I’ll be in Sicily for an art residency organised by the Berlin based publishing platform “Mare Nero”. I’ll produce an audio installation inside a necropolis from the 4th century BC nearby the town of Calascibetta.
That sounds really exciting. I’ve seen the line-up for Orbits and it surely seems to have a great deal of potential. To wrap this up; could you tell us a bit about your experience recording your Memoir? Did you have any specific thoughts behind the composition of it?
I really enjoyed the recording session! I used an hybrid setup combining live and dj-set. Some of the tracks are edits performed and recorded live, with part of different records melted together to create new grooves, while sometimes you can recognize just a couple of elements and the rest is completely new. I like this configuration because it allows me to take different directions during the set, changing bpm and mood depending on the situation.
Lastly, name your favorite…
… effects pedal: Tough question! My favourite is probably the Strymon Big Sky (reverb)
.… instrument: Probably the Elektron Analog Rytm!
- A Sacred Geometry – Untitled [Unreleased]
- A Sacred Geometry – Earendel (Live Edit) [Unreleased]
- A Sacred Geometry – Nineveh (Live Edit) [Unreleased]
- A Sacred Geometry – Vega [ASG]
- A Sacred Geometry – Atheres [ASG]
- A Sacred Geometry – Hyades [ASG]
- A Sacred Geometry – Sædís (Live Edit) [Unreleased]
- A Sacred Geometry – At the Gates [ASG]
- A Sacred Geometry – Nyr [ASG]
- A Sacred Geometry – Maroush (Dub Edit) [ASG]