City Guide: Clap! Clap! presents Florence

florence

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Clap! Clap!‘s music is as brilliant as it is diverse. The Italian producer dedicates himself to researching and sampling the sounds of tribes, bands and singers originating from Africa; as well as drawing upon musical influences from all around the world. His latest LP uses sounds of footwork, hip-hop and house and includes contributions by artists from South Africa to Berlin. His city guide to his hometown of Florence, is no less impressive, truly, this mix is ama-zing. Who knew that so much incredible contemporary music has come out of Florence? We thought it was just good for pizza and Cathedrals. Then again, when a city is home to Michaelaneglo’s ‘David’ and Boticelli’s ‘ The Birth of Venus’, you know there’s good shit in the water. Clap! Clap! pays homage to his Italian city with unbelievable finesse, he mixes from a mad 2010 drum n’bass tune into mellow jazz from 1959 without us barely noticing. No joke, this mix will take you down the cobbled streets and smokey basements you never knew Florence had.

Clap! Clap!’s new album, ‘A Thousand Skies’ is available now on Black Acre

Check out the map above and interview below for Clap! Clap!’s favourite spots, while you listen to a 100% Florence mix.

Favourite place to buy records?

MOVE ONMove On is situated in the heart of Florence. When you visit the Battistero di San Giovanni, you will find it directly in front of it. There is no better place to drink a cold beer and listen to some good vinyl than overlooking the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore right in the centre of the historic Piazza del Duomo!

Favourite live music venue?

Sala VanniTenaxAuditorium FlogViper and Obi Hall.

Sala Vanni is an amazing place located in the centre of the city and is attached to a wonderful church in Piazza del Carmine. Two of my most memorable concerts there were Fon Byron and Cody Chesnutt. Tenax is a very old venue and is located outside the city. It was famous during the 90s as they ran a record label under the same name, Tenax Recordings. I played some of their tracks in the mix! It was the home of Alex Neri but I also saw a few good concerts there like At The Drive-In and Jamie Lidell.

Auditorium flog is the best place to see alternative or reggae/ska/rocksteady live shows in Florence. I saw New York ska jazz ensemble, Black Uhuru and also The bluebeaters plus lots of other amazing bands including the famous Giles, Giles and Fripp. Viper is located on the outskirts of the city. Obi hall is one of the biggest concert venues, second only to the Stadium or Palazzetto dello Sport, where you can also find great performances. I saw a wide range of artists there from Lagwagon to Herbalize to Foreign Beggars performing there but PJ Harvey at Obi Hall remains a standout performance for me!

Best soundsystem / favourite club?

KLIK (r.i.p.), MUD (r.i.p.), YAB and FULL UPKLIK was my fave, I spent lot of time there. It was an amazing club right  in the centre of the city! It was a very very small venue and I still remember Drexciya playing there. It was too good to survive! MUD was an integral part of the underground music history of Florence. It hosted the Numa Crew parties and played drumnbass from the very beginning, which was very difficult to find in Italy so it became a historic venue in Florence for that reason as well. YAB put on Hip-Hop parties and is located in a very central zone of Florence. FULL UP is another great club that hosted international artists such as Egyptian Lovers.

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Best party in the city?

It has to either be Musicus Concentus or Lattex + or possibly Autentica!

Best view of the city?

Piazzale Michelangelo – it’s one of the more touristy places but it still got one of the best views of the city. Another great view is from the other side stretches all the way to Bologna and the views from Dragon Garden!

Favourite Cafe’s and Restaurants?

PerseusLampredottaio di Sant Ambrogio, Lampredottaio di Porta Romana, IL Santino and Nuvoli.

There are many amazing typical local dishes available in Florence. From Ribollita to Florentine Steak to Lampredotto sandwich to millions of different kind of salami and cheeses. If you want to try the Florentine Steak, head to Perseus. For Ribollita or Pappa al Pomodoro and cheese with salami, definitely pop to Il Santo Bevitore or to try Lampredotto go to Sant’ambrogio or Porta Romana. For a good glass of wine you can find easily all around you but Nuvoli is my fave.

Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?

Florence is surrounded by wonderful hills! Each of them are perfect! If hills are not enough, there are the Appennini Mountains which are amazing!!

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Best place to experience something unique to Florence?

Corridoio Vasariano in Uffizi – it was built by Master Vasari and was used to escape from the War. It has a  wonderful lane that starts straight from Uffizi and finishes in another part of the city, Boboli Garden.

First thing you miss after leaving Florence?

Sun, Food, Green

Best place to see another medium of art other than music?

Strozzina is a nice museum located right in the centre of the city where the main exhibitions are. 

Are there any markets in your city worth checking out?

Sant AmbrogioSan Lorenzo and CiompiSant Ambrogio is my favourite out of the three. I don’t like San Lorenzo that much but maybe you will. Ciompi is a popular vintage market.

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What’s the best and worst thing about living in Florence?

The best thing that Florence offers you is it’s incredible sense of inspiration. The rhythm of life here is very slow and this city allows you enough time to enjoy its fruits and its endless pieces of art that are distributed widely across the entire city. The worst thing is that Florence is a very small city and like all small cities, there are crazy dynamics that need to be understood. Everyone knows everyone, which sometimes is a wonderful thing and sometimes is not!

Who’s doing good things for Florence music right now, who you’d like to shout out?

Musicus Concentus has given us the opportunity to see incredible performances and live shows for many years. I saw the best live show in Florence at their party at Sala Vanni with Don Byron and another with Cody Chesnutt. Numa Crew is a crucial page within the history book of this city. They export Florentine high quality bass music to the whole world! In the bass music scene there is also Voodoo Rebel, which is a cool record label where I did my first Debut as Clap! Clap! remixing Lorenzo BITW’s Savana. Lattex + and Autentica both organised very special parties with Pittman and Egyptian Lover. Florence has a strong Dub / Reggae scene as well. Everyone here enjoys parties with great Soundsystems like Skoolbwoy Sound, Jah Station, Joker Smoker, Banpay, La Svolta and TNT.

Fresh YO! Is a record label and events promoter crew who do lots of nice things for Florence. A few years ago, they were organising ‘Yes We Jam’ at the Florence Jazz Club, where the Florentine Jazz world mixed with the Hip-Hop scene. So there were Jazz musicians improvising instrumentals for the MCs on stage. It was very interesting and funny at the same time! Florence Radio Network is cool as well! There are two nice FM stations, Controradio and Novaradio both pushing good vibes! Shows like Mixology, Ragnampiza, Alpha Beat, Or Ganji Killah’s Previsioni Del Tempo are all really good! Andrea Mi is a historical DJ who has many radio shows. One of my favourite is Mixology which has hundreds of international artist exclusive mixes!

Ragnampiza is another cool show. They also have a blog where it is possible to find a super cool collection of Italian Beatmakers EP’s. They did a feature called Beats A Confronto. A last big shout to the Squats CPA where in the old building was where I saw live bands Fugazi, Breach, Botch, Dillinger Escape Plan and Shelter at the age of 16! And to Ex Emerson, where I spent a long part of my life.

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Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Florence right now?

Herva and Colossius are my favourite artists. I love all the Numa Crew music and Voodoo Rebel stuff as well! I also love Bosconi Records releases.

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?

I had to try to capture the best music from this town but it was not easy and I have definitely missed out a lot of great stuff. Piero Umiliani was born in Florence so I think that I should do a 10 hours mix only using his incredible masterpieces! Florence has a strong musical side in its history. Stornellatori were born here. The Stornello style is based on lyric rhymes. So it’s like an ancestral form of rap, where people were communicating singing with rhymes. We also had great musicians that I didn’t play in the mix like historical singers such as Carlo Buti, Riccardo Marasco, Narciso Parigi, Mario Del Monaco, Otello Boccaccini. Florence is kind of a capital for no wave culture. I play stuff from Neon, Pankow, Litfiba, which are significant bands in this genre! Another side that I have missed out is pop. If you’re interested in that, thereare some great pop singers here like Irene grandi Aleandro Baldi, Ginevra Di Marco, Marco Masini, I Califfi, Pupo. Last thing that I have not played as I don’t really like it is all is the folk rock scene like Bandabardo and Similars – I thought I should mention them as they’re from Florence. The good side of the rock scene in Florence is represented by bands like Squarcicatrici, Motocilclica Tellacci, Sex Pizzul, Tribuna Ludu, Lampreda. There are also bands like Campo Di Marte, which were an incredible prog reality in the 70s.

Another key genre I have missed in the mix is the Punk HC and Metal scene. From the 90s, there has a been huge scene that led to the emergence of bands like Disquieted By, Nativist, To The Asaphone, Cleaver, Bitch Sons, Mrs Fletcher, May I Refused, The Plebs, Velvet Score, Cryogen, Bud Spencer Drunk Explosion and Spastic Vampire, to name just a few. There was also Miss The Ska / Rocksteady Side with bands like Brenton Woods. Florence has a very cool Jazz scene. Within this scene, I had to unfortunately miss out some of the greats, which included Cantini or the drummer Rapicavoli, as master Franco Santarenecchi, who runs the amazing orchestra, Wave Orchestra, who Daretta (present in the mix) rapped over. You’ll find a lot of old school producers, from Alexander Robotnick and Ludus Pinsky, who still record their incredible analog sessions with their modular synthesizers in their basement. But also Gabry Fasano, who was a local and national hero of the progressive house scene during the 90s. For the analog lovers, there are also other projects like Bellariva Gladiators and Koolmorf Widesen or the more dance oriented Dukwa. Coming from the beat scene, I had to play a lot of beatmakers and bass music producers. You will indeed find the forthcoming tracks from the amazing Lapo and Ago of Numa Crew (featuring XI Mad) and unreleased Colossius as well!

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of live dates or releases we should look out for?

I had my debut with the full live band project I’ve been working towards last week and it was both incredible and amazing! It was like a carnival all the way through! There were two drummers, a bassist and me for the entire hour nonstop! I can’t wait to bring this vibe to your city – straight from Florence, with Love. With regards to releases, ‘A Thousand Skies’ is out now, and I’m showcasing it to the US with a live tour this March!

Tracklist

Luciano Berio – Epifanie (1961)
Moggi – Officina Stellare (1980)
Rovi – Atmosphere (1975)
Dre Love – Hard To Believe (2012)
Herva – Holydays (2014)
Squarcicatrici – Mbizo (2009)
Campo Di Marte – Settimo Tempo (1973)
Johnny Boy – Sp Strollin’ (2010)
Millelemmi – Nosocomio Tungsteno (2010)
Colossius – Epic Deeporto (unreleased)
Ether – Melodio (2006)
Achref Chargui Trio – Relampago (2016)
Tes_La – Cat e veria DeLonghi (2011)
Daretta & El Climatico – Sola (Tes_La Remix) (2012)
Biga – Goonies (feat. Dyami La’cha Young) (2012)
Dj Craim – DMC routine pt.1 (2007)
XL Arge (Numa Crew) – O.J. Skeng (2015)
LSWR – Shitness (Feat. DIGI & Dre Love) (Numa Crew Remix) (2016)
Colossius – Blitz Taylor (2012)
Braille Funk – Gabriel Omar Batucada (2012)
Piero Umiliani – Risaie (1971)
Dukwa – Running (2014)
Minimono – Bring It (2015)
Ludus Pinsky – Lettrobox01 (2010)
Dukwa – Shouting Low (2014)
Teo Naddi & Simone Fluo – Red Room (2009)
Arge (Numa Crew) – Santas Alarmas (2013)
Alexander Robotinck VS Ludus Pinsky – You Need Self Control (2008)
Pankow – Totalità (1996)
Italcimenti – Somewhat you need (2008)
Litfiba – Yassassin (cover) (1984)
Alexander Robotinck – Viens Chez Moi (2003)
Alex Neri – Planet Funk 2 (1997)
NEON – Lobotomy (1982)
Squarcicatrici – Afrotellacci (2009)
Diaframma – Effetto Notte (1989)
LSWR – Cosmic Questions (2014)
Ckrono & Slesh – Hebe (2015)
Gabry Fasano – Jaiss Bangin’ (1999)
Piero Umiliani – Giorno Di Mercato (1975)
A Smile For Timbuctu – Discomutante (2006)
Numa Crew – Red Dub (2015)
Lapo & Ago (Numa Crew) – Broka (feat. XI MAD) (unreleased)
Lapo (Numa Crew) – Out Trip (2012)
Botz (Numa Crew) – Lock (2008)
Botz (Numa Crew) – Gun Factory (2011)
Ganji Killah – Matteo Rancid (2014)
MC Ninjaz (Numa Crew) – TNT x War Lord (2016)
Herva – Nasty MF (2017)
Ether – PRP2 (2004)
Koolmorf Widesen – BOB (2010)
Bellariva Gladiators – BG Jam (2014)
Colossius – ISOL8 (2012)
DIGI – Ivory (2012)
Clap! Clap! – Ngwue (feat. Bongeziwe Mabandla) (2017)
Ganji Killah – Gilf Hunter (2015)
Digi G’Alessio – Clown (2012)
FUCKOWF$KI – Fucked Up (2014)
Simone Graziano – Tre Spirali (2013)
M. Zalla – Produzione (1973)
Dj Craim – DMC routine pt.2 (2007)
Lapo & T Kay (Numa Crew) – Princess (2014)
Franco Santarnecchi – Jamming on You Don’t Know What Love Is Theme (field recording / Roland V Piano) (2010)
Piero Umiliani & Chet Baker – Alone in a crowd (1959)
Il Malva intervistato dai Nipoti dei fiori

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