Some things really do run in the family: Fede and Edo are quick to highlight their fathers’ respective record collections, which clock in at a combined 10,000. It’s no surprise then that the duo between Eternal Love developed obsessions of their own. They established their YouTube channel as an outlet for their finds, which grew organically out of a compulsion to share the music they care about. It’s the same impulse that has inspired them to put together a surfeit of incredible mixes for series and stations across the globe, as well as hosting their own show on Rocket Radio – a format that sees them tap other collectors and DJs across their network of like-minded nerds.
In this feature, the two of them talk about their paternal influences, the community they’ve developed, and their anticipation for a studio debut on the ever-reliable Planet Trip. They’ve entitled their mix “Biblioteca Italiana”, and, as you might’ve deduced, it’s sourced from Italian library records. But not the endlessly fetishised records of the 60s and 70s. No, this is not your father’s library music. Instead they’ve drawn from an equally deep reservoir of Library records from the 80s, selecting cuts for a sprightly mix of boogie, Latin freestyle and house. It’s full of great, unheralded music that the duo have a knack for spotlighting, so listen up!
DJs and producers often mention their musical education came through their family’s record collection. Was this the case for you? Can you pick out any pivotal records from your upbringing that informed your musical journey?
We are definitely no exception in this one. It’s funny that we both have super music nerdy fathers who obsessed us with records from our earliest years…and this is the result. My father (Edo) is a collector of AOR, City Pop and everything related to the American west coast and Japanese scene of those years. Fede’s father on the other hand is a big collector of Italian 70’s and 80’s music. Combining the two collections we would arrive at something like ten thousand records which obviously neither of us has access to, except under strict control. I remember with terror the day I lost an OBI (those paper strips attached to Japanese prints) in one of my father’s records… he didn’t speak to me for two days ahaha.
It will sound cheesy but for me ‘Georgy Porgy’ and in general the first Toto album was an obsession when I was 8/9 years old ahhahah. For Fede it’s definitely Bill LaBounty, which he’s still buying copies of when he finds some.
People buy records for a multiple of reasons. What first drew you to collecting records and what motivates you to continue digging after all these years?
Having grown up in such a musical environment, record collecting has always been something natural for both of us. As if it was normal for people to plan every trip based on record stores, or spend their vacations in some lost and dusty basement looking for a copy of a rare record… (spoiler: it’s not normal and we should not do that).
Where do you store your records and how do you file them?
While we are obsessed with buying records, neither of us are very attached to the object itself as a collectible. We’re both pretty messy and leave records scattered all over the place – friends, parents, girlfriend’s houses etc. Most of the collection, however, resides at Fede’s house (where we recorded the mix) also because I (Edo), having moved a lot in the last two years, have never had a fixed place where to have a dedicated room for it.
What are your favourite spots to go digging and why?
At risk of sounding like an obvious answer since I imagine many in this series of interviews have mentioned it, but without any doubt the answer is Japan. Disk Union remains the best place in the world to buy records of any genre, year or country. It’s always impressive to see how busy it is at all hours of the day and late into the evening. Long live Disk Union.
In second place is Brazil, also because we are extremely passionate about Brazilian music. We just got back from a little tour in Sao Paulo and Rio a few days ago and we can’t wait to play our finds!
Digging isn’t just about the records you find, but the people who help you find them. Who are some of the colourful characters you’ve met on your travels in record stores round the world? Any unsung heroes you’d like to shout out?
Uhh so many colorful characters ahaha. Starting with the old owner of a book shop in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands who, being totally blind, could never see the price of the records. Then of course there’s our friend from one of the Nova Barao Gallery stores in Sao Paulo with whom we communicate in an obscure hybrid language. He has a huge knowledge but of course he’s always trying to sell you the most expensive records and Fede always gets mad! As for the diggers, we can’t not mention Danilo Plessow with whom we spent a very busy day looking for records recently and immediately after he left for Fortaleza (probably the most dangerous city in Brazil) for a stopover of six hours before returning to Paris just to buy records ahaha crazy guy.
Is there a record (or records), that has continued to be elusive over the years?
I honestly don’t think there is. We are not big fans of super holy grail records. Sure there are records that we would like to buy for a while but we certainly do not write the titles here ehehehehe the diggers world is harsh.
Do you prefer record shopping as a solitary process or with friends to nerd out with and search or strange sounds together? If the latter, who do you like to go digging with?
The best thing for us is definitely to go together, the two of us, because usually one looks at one corner of the store and the other listens and vice versa… we are very connected in that respect, we trust each other’s taste a lot.
Walking into a record shop can be quite a daunting experience. Do you have a digging process that helps you hone in on what you’re after?
Usually as I said before, we go diggin together. We start by looking around the store or warehouse or flea market and then one of us focuses on pulling out records and the other on listening to them with the portable turntable. After a while we switch until we have scanned the entire place. Sure we always let ourselves be attracted by the cheapest sections, the classic one euro bin; partly because we are always short of money and partly because it gives us more satisfaction!
How big a role does album artwork play in your digging?
Mmm yes. Although we definitely give more importance to the year in which the record was produced and the instruments present, synthesizers, musicians we know who have played in other records that we like, labels etc…. The artwork plays its part of course, but it is not essential in our diggin process, especially because in many of the 1 euro sections, the records are often without covers or with very damaged covers so you always have to check the record itself.
Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve done for us?
When we were asked to record a thematic mix we wondered a lot about what kind of sound to bring. We wanted to pick a theme that had something to do with Italy and that was different from what we usually do, something that would fully reflect the nerdy spirit of this mix series. And what could be more nerdy than 90 minutes of obscure Italian library from the 80’s?
That said, Biblioteca Italiana is by no means a boring, slow, pretentious mix, quite the contrary! It’s our attempt to show that library music is not necessarily as boring as it sometimes seems, but it hides infinite sounds from boogie to house, disco and ambient. We tried to encompass them all. And we had a lot of fun recording it! It’s been such a long time since we recorded a mix on vinyl!
Any standouts in the mix you’d like to mention?
There are so many good ones in our opinion (probably because we made it ehehhehe). We are so in love with Club Tropicana – Cuba Libre, a hard to find really fun record with so many good tracks in it (we played two in this mix). Then for sure also Franca Poli – Jungla which will be re-issued in a compilation in the next months by our friends at Ultimo Tango (grazie amici for the tip!).
Casting the net wider now, who are some of the record collectors you most admire and why?
Definitely regarding this kind of music, Luca from Ultimo tango is a great source of valuable tips. From the very first moment our boss Mike Who, Millos Kaiser, Trujillo and JAZ have been a great source of inspiration for us, incredible diggers and selectors whose mixes we have consumed and consumed over the years. Our brother Remi (zzbr) from Paris is also amazing digger of 90’s stuffs and he always get mad when we steal tracks from his mixes (it happens a lot of times ehhehe).
Are there any young collectors emerging who we should keep a close eye on?
It is a bit difficult to say because we are also kind of young and emerging and many of these names have definitely more experience than us. But for sure we have to mention our buddy Phuk Hugh from Modern Art, Kayne The Hermit from Bristol, the boyzz from Heels and Souls, Dar Disku, Gabriele (Sunny Crypt) and many many more with whom we shared music in the years.
Anything on the horizon you’re excited about?
We are definitely looking forward to the release of our first EP on Planet Trip (Mike Who’s label). It’s our debut in the original production world and we’ve been waiting a long time to get it out! With parties and gigs we have a lot of exciting things ahead of us between summer festivals and clubs. We can’t wait to go around the world, buy records and eat everything we can (as usual).