The Detroit-Bologna connection isn’t one that’s mentioned a whole lot, so Nas1 could potentially boast to be the originators, thanks to their collaboration with Kyle Hall on his 2013 12″ The Boat Party Bonus. Francesco and Federico formed in 2010, joined by a passion for the spaces in between raw techno and soulful house. Their Revolver parties have welcomed plenty patrons of that sound – FunkinEven, Marcellus Pittman, DJ Sotofett – as do their own productions, which have found a home on Money $ex Records, Odd Socks and their Italian family Bosconi.
As part of a series profiling the 2018 recruits for Dimensions Festival’s DJ Directory, we speak to F+F about what’s moving and motivating them, alongside a first listen to a mix that collects The Abstract Eye, K15 and Waajeed. For more info on last year’s Directory DJ’s check our Frequently Asked Questions feature.
What’s been your musical upbringing, self-taught, schooled or otherwise?
Self-taught, both for djing and production. It took a while and sometimes was frustrating, especially for what concern music making, but now we are very proud of our path.
Can you think back to a key moment that made you want to take music seriously?
Growing up, music became little by little more serious while remaining the most enjoyable thing for us, but every time we got the desire to improve and do better.
How did you first meet and what gave birth to Nas1?
We met smoking cigarettes in high school bathroom. After few years we started making music in a dusty band room, then we found a spot at Kitchenstudio3 where our love for synths, tape recorders and samplers began. That is the place where we started build our sound and get more confident with machines and recording techniques.
Rather than focusing on a specific sound, are there a key principle or philosophy that drives you as a DJ?
Be inspired by the people and the club we are playing at, this is the key for us. Each place, each dancefloor got his own atmosphere and we try to interpretate it and empathize with it throught our records selection. This is why we do not prepare our set as much, but we try to bring as more records as possible to a have a good field of choice. Be a duo really helps it.
Have there been any people or collectives who have empowered you or helped you find your feet as a DJs?
Clubbing scene in Bologna was very cool back in the days and had a big influence on us. Later when we were running our party at Bologna modern art museum lounge bar we had a chance to host a lot of our favorite djs and producers for almost four years. It was really inspiring to meet and share the console with great artists, no better experience to grow up as dj!
What’s the biggest challenge you face as DJs?
Try to get people involved even in the most odd situations. It’s not every day we play in the perfect club with the boomiest soundsystem and the warmest open minded crowd. Sometimes we find our self to play in unconventional places and make people join the music is always challenging.
And what’s your biggest source of optimism or inner strength?
People showing love and appreciation for our music are the best thing to keep it up! See folks buying our records or dropping supporting messages always give us unique and positive energy.
What’s your greatest musical achievement to date?
Every record we released was a big achievement, but the first Ep and the track we recorded with Kyle Hall were both very special. Also the first time we played out of Italy was big a thig for us: feel that unknown people in the far Russia was into what we was doing with music meant a lot to us.
What goals have you set yourself this year?
Work on new music is always our main goal. We are moving our gear to a new studio and we would like to focus more on acoustic instruments and improve our live recording techniques.
What’s your favourite party to dance at?
We like to discover new dancefloors all over the world, find new clubs and unconventional situation with good music is always exciting but overall we pick the infamous Gaaza Club in Bologna, Stackenschneider in Saint Petersbourg, and CYK in Tokyo.
What’s your perfect party to play at?
Small, obscure and smoky club where people don’t look at the djs all the time! A good sound system is fine as well.
Where do you get your inspiration from outside of music?
Movies, people and basketball!
How does your work in the studio together inform your DJing?
They are two very different process, but in some way they have few common things. In songs we like up-and-down moments and we try to avoid flatness as well as during djset. Another common point is that we know where we start but is always hard to say what direction things will take: a chilled soulfull jam could became very sharp and raw just like a techno set could turn into downtempo one, it’s all about the vibes we get and what we get inspired with.
How’s things cooking in Bologna at the moment? Who are some of the people doing good things for underground music culture there?
Bologna has seen better days, but there are few good things going on: Ex Forno Mambo and Habitat are still rocking with good club nights and L’Archivio records store spreads good vinyls in town! There are some cool music producers that keep the vibes up, shout out to BrotherMartino, E.L.I.O. and D’Arabia!
What’s coming up this year for you that you’re excited about?
Spinning records at Dimensions Festival is on the list together with some new releases.
And finally, turning back the clock, what advice would you give to your younger self before you started pursuing music properly?
Buy an 808 now that is still quite cheap!