Interview: Fabrizio Rat


Following EP, ‘’La Machina’’ and ‘’Technopiano’’, Fabrizio Rat releases his first album of hybrid techno, with an innovative sound palette. We got the chance to speak with this techno mastermind about his new LP The Pianist and to discover his vision of techno. If you want to see master at work, you can check Fabrizio Rat’s performance at Exit Festival this week and check his album here.

To start can you shortly describe your work to our readers?

I transform the  acoustic piano sound with object on strings and special playing techniques. I try to make it sound as a ‘special’ synthesizer, and mix it with drum machine to do techno music.

Tell us something about your ‘La Machina’ project?

La Machina starts from my fascination for the analogue machines on which techno music was invented, and particularly the 909. These machines are far from being perfect, they have almost a human feeling, and behave sometimes unpredictably. This aspect makes them unique and so difficult to imitate with computers. I studied their behaviour and tried to imitate some of their characteristics, I want to transform the piano and myself into a machine and to reach the hypnotic power machines posses.

How would you describe your sound and what influenced on it the most?

My sound… a sort of hand made techno, mixing acoustic instruments and analogue ones.
Two main influences: the great doublebass player Stefano Scodanibbio who inspired to me practically all the sounds and techniques I developed on the piano. And Jeff Mills for the incredible sonic exploration.

What tracks or artists made you fall in love with electronic music?

It was my great friend and musician Alessandro Arianti who opened up the door of electronic music to me when we were at high school together , many  years ago… I can’t remember of a particular artist in that period, but for sure in more recent years I fell in love with the music by  Jeff Mills, Mike Parker, Donato Dozzy, O Phase.

As you are merging the classical and electro elements, what is your personal vision of music?

I’m not sure I merge classical and electronic music. I would say I do techno music by using an instrument that is not so common in the genre, not the way I use it at least. I want to transform the piano sound and to throw it as far as possible from the romantic clichés usually associated to it. I want it to be a powerful ‘acoustic’ synthesizer, with shorter noted with high envelope amount, strange harmonics which reminds to  ring modulation sounds, moving cut-off filter, all done by hand or with objects, physically, on the strings.
I’m much fond of techno music because of his hypnotic power and endless research in the sound exploration domain. It’s a really pure music to me. I don’t really listen to classical music any more.

Your new album The Pianist is out now on The Parisian label Blackstrobe Records, what can you tell us about the creative process behind it?

The piano and 909 patterns were recorded really fast in a few days, then the production process was quite long. Arnaud Rebotini produced the album with me and his support has been essential to the final result. He pushed me to simplify the rhythmical parts and give importance to every single element, towards a more minimalistic and radical approach, putting the piano really on the forefront. It really helped a lot to shape the global sound of the album. To simplify and clarify ideas to give them more power.

What was your starting goal with this album and how are you satisfied with feedback?

The starting idea was to do a techno album with only prepared piano and 909, with each track dedicated and called with the name of a great classical music pianist. That’s what we get here in the and, but I used the 303 as well!

What in your opinion makes a track great? Whether it’s classical or electronic?

The atmosphere it has, I don’t really care about form, as long as it can transport you far from reality.

Do you remember your first performance ever? Tell us a bit about that, how was it?

My very first…I think I was really a child , 6-7 years old, playing classical music at the piano, so scary….

My first performance with this solo project is quite recent, one year ago at Fabbrica festival in Florence. For me it was a kind of experiment – I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to tour it before that gig – but it was such a great experience and people went so crazy that…

You are playing at the infamous Exit Dance Arena this week, so what can the audience expect to hear from you and do you have a message for them?

So excited about that! I am not really good to explain music to people with words, but I will say it all with sound, this for sure!


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