Out of nature's chaos crawl patterns that catch the eye and make ideas of grand designs play on the mind. I'm not sure that Italian producer Vaghe Stelle—pronounced vag-he stel-lay—was thinking about the natural world when he made this week's FADER Mix, but the way it flows from seemingly disconnected, discordant textures into happy puddles of harmony certainly encourages the comparison. Stelle's latest solo release, the Abstract Speed + Sound EP, is out now on Other People and is similarly texturally challenging yet offers rich reward for those willing to stray from the path of established musical canons. While based in Turin, Stelle is connected to the Milan experimental electronic scene that writer Lisa Blanning documented for The FADER last year, as one third of One Circle with Presto!? label founder Lorenzo Senni and fellow producer A:RA. Listen to his FADER Mix below, and scroll down to find out how Italian Futurism helped shaped his sound, as well as the recipe for a perfect Italian risotto.
Where are you right now? Please describe your surroundings.
I’m in my studio in Turin right now. Michel Platini is staring at me from a photo hung on the wall beside my computer. It’s hot as hell, but the most annoying thing is the sound of the two fans that are cooling down my computer and the rack module on my right.
Tell us a bit about this mix. What do you imagine people doing while listening to it?
This mix is a sampler of what I’m playing at my DJ shows. Inside, you will find some new music of mine and a lot of tracks that I love to dance to. I imagine people dancing to it, or at least I hope they will.
The PR for your latest EP talks about Italian Futurism being a big influence. In what way does it inform your approach to music making?
I always felt a similar need to break up with the old canons and move forward. Of course, I can’t say I’m making something as revolutionary as Marinetti and company did, but it’s definitely influencing my approach in the studio. I don’t like to make music that can be defined with a genre that already exists, just like futurist artists were trying to break away from all the past canons.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you?
I guess it would be Neuromancer by Gibson. I read it a long time ago, and it introduced me to the cyberpunk culture. Inside, I found most of the things I always dreamt of: from a dystopian future ruled by big corporations and ubiquitous technology, to hackers, and a huge urban sprawl that blew my mind. I read this book when I was a teenager and it made me even more passionate about all the possible and impossible futures a human mind can think of.
And finally, what's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it?
This is my favorite—and yet completely unrelated to my music—question. First of all, I have to say that I’m vegetarian, celiac, and that my favorite hobby is cooking. I love to prepare risotto with every kind of seasonal vegetable. This morning, I bought a load of zucchini flowers and I’m going to cook a risotto with them.
The first thing you have to learn in order to prepare a proper risotto is that that most of the ingredients, rice included, are cooking together in the same pot.
I begin preparing a broth by boiling some vegetables: onion, carrots, zucchini and maybe some other vegetables I have in the fridge.
I start to brown some shallot (much better than onion) with unsalted butter, add the rice, and let it toast a little bit. After that, I pour in some white dry wine. Once the rice is dry again, I cover it in broth, let it dry and repeat the broth thing. When the rice gets a bit more cooked, I add zucchini flowers and repeat the broth ritual until it’s almost ready. Before serving, I put some Parmigiano cheese in the dish and mix it properly.