Selection Section: Smartbar Resident, Savile
Chicago Smartbar resident DJ and Michigan native, Savile (aka Gianpaolo Dieli) creates music with deeper intentions than making you move. He wants you to think. The hard electronic and metallic beats of midwestern techno are not about hypnosis, they’re about creation, connection and conglomeration.
With production titles like ‘Effort Won’t Betray You’, and ‘The Only Rule Is Work’, Savile is not afraid of getting his hands dirty. As well as his coveted Smartbar residency, he’s also label manager at Argot and Tasteful Nudes, and has just released a new EP, ‘Compersion’ on 2MR on November 17. This latest EP – born out of introspective analysis – is his most succinct and starkest exploration to date.
Savile says of Compersion; “[It’s] a record about wrestling my own beliefs, both personal and political. It’s about experiencing the anxiety and absurdity of loving a partner and ultimately myself. The sounds, tempos and arrangements found here are a result of further experiments with editing tracks to their absolute minimum. I tried to work these songs like I am working on me. Less thought, more direction and purpose. Less catering, more expression.”
2MR call it a provocative model of deep self-construction and, above all, three damn fine pieces of techno.
Get to know Savile through his record collection:
First Record You Ever Bought: Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty
Beastie Boys were introduced to me by counselors at a summer camp I spent most of my childhood attending. As a 10 year old, the samples, rhyme patterns and content where unlike anything I’d heard before. Coupled with how “cool” I thought our teenage counselors were, I begged my mom to buy the album and must of played “Intergalactic” 5x a day for that whole year.
Record on high rotation at the moment: Celestial Trax – Nothing Is Real
I’m not sure how I found my way to it, but this record struck the immediately. From what I’ve read, these tracks were made of found sounds, field recordings from NYC and samples from YouTube, cassettes and vinyl. What reads as a bit much in fact translates into a quite organic palette, with a good mix of non 4/4 patterns, chugging synths and a quite lush experience overall.
Last record you listened to: Aleksi Perälä – Simulation
I’ve had a bit of a Aleksi Perälä obsession this year. I spent a few weeks working my way through the Colundi Sequence releases on his Bandcamp and found the sounds, intervals and sheer amount of material completely fascinating. This might be my favorite work of his, yet – it’s hard to describe but it’s more driving, a bit more grounded and overall it’s fucking beautiful. Crystalline.
Record that’s got you through a hard time: Stars Of The Lid – The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid
In a way, this one has gotten me through dark spots by pushing me deeper. It’s meditative music unlike any I’ve heard. Like being hugged for two hours. An immense work, and after years of listening to it I still hear new things. I don’t know much about drone but this one takes me somewhere else entirely.
Record that transports you to a different time or place: My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Stone cold classic, but one way before my time. I didn’t find it until much later, just after I graduated high school, 2006. It was hard for me to grasp the depth of this record at first but eventually it hit me like a ton of bricks. The opening notes of “Sometimes” hit and I’m 17, stoned and driving on country roads in the fall.
Favorite record store: Gramaphone Records
Gramaphone Records, without hesitation. Obviously I have hometown bias, but this store has done more to sculpt my taste and that of my peers than any one place besides Smartbar. The staff has rotated through the years but each buyer that Michael selects has had a clear and specific taste. I’m consistently surprised by what I come home with. A place where you’re taught to keep your voice down and respect those around you, because you never know who you’re talking to.
Record you still recall your first time hearing: Radiohead – In Rainbows
I am unabashed Radiohead fan. The night In Rainbows was released I waited patiently for the email to hit my inbox with the link to download the album. I have a wonderful and vivid memory of sitting in my living room at 5am and hearing the drum machine on “15 Step” kick in and cracking the biggest grin. The feeling of knowing you were hearing this album in tandem with the rest of the world in (somewhat) real time was an experience I treasure.
Record you wish you’d made: Underground Resistance – Illuminator
Not a lot to say about this one. Perfect.