Stamp Mix 104: Don Carlos


“Probably the most famous Italian house song” – Deep88

“I opened my set with this at Panorama Bar on Sunday morning; I haven’t had that many goosebumps since I stepped off Nemesis aged 14.” – Palms Trax

“This one is – for sure – one of the most legendary tracks ever released and produced in Italy, it was the tune that opened the world up to the Italian house sound.” – Marco Faraone

“The kind of song that makes the tribulations of life seem distant at worst, nonexistent at best” – Insomniac

‘Alone’ by Don Carlos is one of those records that unites a dance floor, no matter how  diverse its collective tastes are. Originally released in 1991, it has stood the test of time, through countless reincarnations of house and the renaissance of the paradise movement he spearheaded. 40 years into his career, the man behind the iconic work, Carlo Troya, continues to DJ and produce to this day. In anticipation for his new 12″ on Ilija Rudman’s Imogen Recordings, he’s has put together an hour of paradise house favourites and answered a few questions.

Alina is out 20th May. Follow Imogen Recordings for updates.

Despite coming out many years ago, it’s hard to shake off the legacy of a record as iconic as ‘Alone. How has your relationship with it changed over the years? Do you go through different periods of affection and rejection, taking new inspiration or comfort from it, or wanting to distance yourself from it altogether?

Alone for me is like a child, I could never refuse it. I love it today like when I released it. The difficulty is reconfirming over time, but since I’m still here after 30 years as a producer and more than 40 as a DJ, something will mean me and my sound.

How did you come to link up with Imogen Recordings for your new EP?

Ilija Rudman contacted me on Facebook a couple of years ago because he wanted a remix for one of his tracks produced by him called ‘Motion’. During a party he invited me to in Zagreb and told me he wanted my own track for his label Imogen. I want to say that both Ilija and Antonio Zuza are two rare people in this world, that they immediately behave like brothers and although I know them recently I have a special bond with them.

What would you like listeners to take away from both mixes of ‘Alina’?

I would like them to appreciate my sound that has naturally evolved over the years. I will never forget my old productions, but as it happens in life, we change appearance we become old in the exterior. Inside I remained that of 30 years ago. I would like them to understand my musical evolution while keeping my sound

Are you continuing to make new music? What’s your studio set-up at the moment?

Even the instruments have changed since then in effects etc. We have held the historical keyboards of those years – DX7 and Moog synthesisers, 808, 707 and 909 Roland drum machines and other hardware that Luca Marchegiani has always worked with me.

Do you keep across new releases and DJs? What new / young talent should we be keeping an eye on at the moment?

At the moment I do not see any phenomena that at this moment are creating music that lasts over the years. They seem to me things dictated by fashion not by the real desire to amaze the world and create a masterpiece.

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us.

In my DJ sets I try to combine music that doesn’t have time with recent things that can be good together with the historical ones of the sound of Chicago, Italo house and the classic disco maybe re-edited for the new generations. I think this is the right way that has always characterised the times that gave me the first fruits. A few years ago I lost the musical path and I no longer recognised myself and I didn’t appreciate me for what I really am. This mix I recorded, as I often do, for a radio program that I hold once a month on a radio in Milan called Rocket Radio. My space is called livin ‘a dream. For this occasion I gave it to you and I went live on the radio.

What’s coming up on the horizon we should look out for?

Shortly, besides ‘Alina’, an album will come out with some of my tracks made in the historical period of Italian house, recorded before and after ‘Alone’ but that I never did release. I had too much material at that time and so I had to choose. Today I will go out with songs already released but in an integral version, and others with different mixes from the original but never released. I hope they can please the world

Alina is out 20th May on Imogen Recordings.

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