How did you get into making music?
Anthony: I started DJing when I was 19, which was 27 years ago. I had an opportunity to play in the south of Spain during the summers straight out of school. I was doing pop music, pop band sound engineering, working with big engineers, and polishing that side of the craft, when then I blagged my way into a gig. I never stopped from there.
Luca: For me it started in Sicily on the radio. A friend of mine had a radio programme on local FM radio. I was playing music with him, but nothing professional until I went to London. I started to take it seriously and started to DJ in little bars and clubs. Then Anthony and I met; we started making music together, and people started to pick it up. We decided to form this band, Audiofly.
So you clicked together right from the beginning?
Anthony: Yeah, it was super easy. I was doing this live band with a surround sound concept and Luca offered his services to DJ in-between the performances.
Luca: I was like, “This is perfect, I’m super happy to do this for you, but maybe in the future we do something together?”
Anthony: Literally the next week he knocked on my door with a remix that he had to work on. And we did it together, it took like five minutes.
Luca: This was almost 14 years ago, and we were in completely different places musically, but we managed to pull ourselves together. He was making completely different music than I, but we came together, and had this synergy that allowed us to carry on from that.
What was your breakthrough moment as a duo?
Luca: The first Winter Music Conference we did. Satoshi Tomiie invited us to play at a Saw Recording nights, and for some reason he gave us one of the main set times. We were very nervous, but the crowd was very receptive, especially when we played our own music.
What does DJing mean to you, personally?
Anthony: It’s a way of life. I don’t really think much about the whole popularity side of it, but it’s always changing and you are chasing it. Channelling and making a lot of people feel the same thing. It’s a beautiful thing.
Luca: Music is the language that everybody understands from every culture, from every sexuality, from every walk of life; if you present your audience with music as a way to interact with one another, it takes away all the barriers that we create to really be okay with one another.
Could you describe your DJ setup?
Luca: It’s two MacBook Pros, with the latest versions of Traktor connected directly with USB into the CDJ 2000, so we have two CDJs on one side, two on the other side.
Anthony: We never wanted to lose the DJing side. We are at our best when there is that kind of back-to-back DJ style going on.
How would you describe finding your sound while using music as a tool to achieve a sense of unity between the two of you?
Anthony: Being in a duo is like being in a small band. There’s a certain amount of syncopation that’s going on between the musicians. You are trying to be yourself as you play, and at the same time working with someone else, so there’s this beautiful mini orchestral thing going. We don’t examine each other’s music, or talk about what we are going to play beforehand, so there is always this discovery for us, too.
Did the way you play together change once you had switched to TRAKTOR?
Luca: Traktor is something we use as a vehicle. We try to not complicate it too much because we want to get to the basis of it, which is the music, and keep the music very simple. With Traktor we discovered this way of playing with four channels and keeping it very simple, but at the same time very, very clean. Traktor gave us the opportunity to not concentrate too much on the mixing, but more on the creativity within our DJing, which gave us a new lease of life. When we started Traktor is when we really got to 100%.
Anthony: Sometimes it’s two channels, sometimes it’s four; there’s no kind of pre-programming. We don’t sync; we have two separate instances of Traktor, so that kind of keeps us still in the DJ field.
Luca: I don’t like for it to be too perfect because we still want to maintain the human side of it, you know, and the DJ side of it.
What are some of your other favourite TRAKTOR features?
Anthony: I like the hot cue, the 32 bar jumping. Sometimes rather than playing a whole track at an intro I would rather just play with a set loop of it, depending on whether we are trying to maintain intensity or create a dip.
Luca: I use the reverb set at about 55% on the master, and then I keep the reverb, let’s say at 3 o’clock, and I push the button every now and then when Anthony is mixing. As a track is finishing, I push that just to give a little bit more emphasis.
Anthony: We are really happy with the way that Traktor works for us. We feel like we are keeping it real within what we are doing, and we also feel a little bit techy and cool, even though we are not.