We had the chance to get an exclusive interview with Angela and Daniele, in which we talked, among other interesting things, about their EP signed with Tresor, about the production process of the tracks, and a little about how they conform the duo Fireground.
Last month (May 21, 2021), Tresor announced the first in a series of digital releases to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary and the next generation to come. First release of the series was a powerful 6-track EP titled ‘Dualism’ by Fireground.
Fireground is the collaboration of Angela and Daniele, who are predominantly known for their output of Techno and Electro via their own label R12 Records. With ‘Dualism‘, the Napolitan duo delivered a timeless release that’s expertly connecting classic Birmingham sound of the 90s and early 2000s – think Surgeon’s Tresor trilogy – with current research in Techno. The EP was released the past May 21, 2021 and you can get the digital release in Bandcamp.
Find below more information about the Dualism EP and very interesting answers in our exclusive interview with Fireground.
Hello Angela and Daniele, thanks for taking this interview. First of all, how are you guys and where in the world are you taking this interview?
Hello Luis, Thank you! We are really happy to take this interview; we are in our apartment in Berlin!
Where did the duo name “Fireground” come from?
During the last two years we got interested and have been reading many books about traditional Chinese medicine and the five elements. Without deepening too much on the topic now, we both liked the combination of the elements of Fire and Earth (ground).The name come exactly from this association in this order.
When and why did you guys decide to conform the duo “Fireground”?
Our meeting took place thanks to music, in Naples. (Daniele): One evening I invited some friends over to my place, to talk about music, play synthesizers and listen to some records. That evening in particular I met Angela, who came by pure chance with another friend. (Angela): a friend of mine phoned me that evening, saying that he was in my neighborhood, because he could not find parking near Daniele’s place (which is in a zone of Naples where the difficulty in finding parking is a cliché) and said: Let’s go to a friend of mine! and so we met.
Over time we started dating and making music together. In the meantime we continued to work on our individual projects, supporting and helping each other, until one day, about two years ago, we tried to work on some productions together, imagining that we could start a project as a duo, and above all because the idea of being able to play together particularly appealed to us.
Angela has a productive approach which tends towards unlimited sound exploration, she can spend whole days on a single instrument for sound research; Daniele tends to favor the rhythmic part and, when he deals with the melodic or harmonic part, it is essential for him to be able to play on the keyboard. In addition to being thrilled to work together, our union made it possible for us to achieve a certain type of sound that we did not reach individually. This all happened well before we gave our duo a name.
Tell us a little about your label “R12 Records”, and what can we expect from it this year?
We are happy with the work done with R12 in previous years, the connections established and the first releases published. In 2019 we were starting to take the first important steps and also planning a series of events for 2020. Unfortunately we were unable to continue implementing plans and, despite this was quite frustrating at first, we feel that everything went for the best, because we had the opportunity to renew ideas and we really can’t wait to get back to release with R12 soon.
We find out your collaborations are predominantly known for their output of Techno and Electro, would you guys agree on that? Also would you guys describe the “Fireground” sound for us?
The definition of techno and electro certainly matches our works published so far and we are happy about it, moreover as Fireground we like to consult electronic music also under other aspects and other genres.
When we make music it is essential for us to focus on a memory linked to a place, a sensation. For example, the sound of Fireground was heavily influenced by seeing our home town again, recently, after a year of living away. The last time we were there was in “normal” times, not in pandemic, and seeing again the places where we grew up in the current conditions has strongly stirred our memories. It has greatly influenced our sound, the desire to return to the crowded streets and crowded clubs, as in the past.
How’s this and the last year been for you guys, all things considered?
The closing of clubs and cultural venues had a tremendous impact on us. We have always relied on being able to go to places where you could hear live music, meet people, feel connected with others, something which is particularly needed today more than ever.
Live music cannot be stopped forever, together with human contact, it is a fundamental prerogative of clubs and of this culture itself.
We really hope to be able to relive the good old normality in which we can all be close to each other again, dancing without worrying about having to distance ourselves from others and living the same moment in harmony.
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP ‘Dualism’ on Tresor, we definitely think it is a big achievement to sign music with a legendary label like Tresor. ¿Can you guys tell us about the production processes and inspiration behind each track of the EP?
Thank you a lot for this, of course we are happy at the highest levels for this new release and collaboration with Tresor. It was really exciting for us to work on this EP.
We were very inspired by some sounds of Tresor records, including the Classic Birmingham, the powerful grooves of The advent, the vast world of Detroit music and the imprint of Chain Reaction is also very important to us. Our inspirations are not limited to techno or electronics: we also listen to other kinds of music and this is essential for allowing us to openly wander across a wider sound spectrum.
The EP Dualism was born around the pad of the homonymous track on which Daniele was working.
(Angela): By listening to that sound I said: “Hold on, we absolutely have to do a track!” and I conceived a whole series of percussions and tribal elements that could be inserted to the point of working together and thus creating the first track.
As a result, all the others came out with different approaches: “Return” was born by playing with the Analog Rytm and then improvising melodies on the keys until we found the one that most reflected our thinking; “Napoli Modica” has had a process similar to that of “Dualism”, but we decided to ensure that the rhythmic part could emerge only when the track has already begun, not from the very start.
“It’s Time to leave”, was the most complicated but also the most satisfying to make. We wanted to express our thoughts in a specific way by adopting different sound nuances in a single piece and giving each one its own space, creating a continuous evolution in the score.
“Signal Detected”, on the other hand, was almost entirely sequenced, working on small variations in the structure.
Also can you guys tell us about some of the highs and lows in writing and producing it?
Dualism was born rather quickly, we can say that the entire period of its realization was a “high” period, as we felt very inspired and motivated. The “low” moments of course are not lacking: they occur when everything does not go as expected, or at least when you can not get the most out of the situations. Maybe these are the most important moments, they are the ones that, in order to be overcome and, so return to a “high” phase, we must necessarily recognize and overcome our limits.
Before starting the production of Dualism, we experimented a lot with various genres and different techniques; we were looking for, at all costs, to take a leap forward, this same feeling makes you realize that you are in one of those “low” moments, when you feel the need to go beyond what you are already doing. Perhaps thanks to this we can always overcome it.
How do you guys feel about releasing an EP with Tresor Records, especially when it’s the occasion of the label’s 30 years anniversary?
For us, Tresor Records has always been a point of reference for our inspiration and so has the Club. 30 years of history! This is a really important year and we are honored to become part of this family in this period.
Tell us the story, how did the “Dualism” EP end up being released on Tresor Records?
A few years ago we started talking with Udo Heitfeld (TV VICTOR). We have always been very interested in his works, like the legendary releases on Tresor: Moondance, Trancology, Timeless Deceleration and we were also impressed by his most recent ambient works.
After a few months we met in Berlin, and in front of a bottle of wine in an Italian restaurant in his neighborhood we established a beautiful friendship, talking about music and we were very impressed by the stories of Berlin in the 80s and 90s, which he told us.
Udo liked our music and we were delighted about it. Right from the start he encouraged us to follow this path. His words were fundamental in our choices.
After a year that we met, he introduced us to Paulo, from Tresor Records. Paulo immediately knew how to read inside the two of us, he immediately understood how we were musically marked and, thanks to his great sensitivity, he was able to teach us a lot, pushing us to always do our best, overcoming our limits and, if we have so far evolved over time, we owe a lot to him. We are really delighted to have friends like them and to be able to work with Tresor Records.
This is a question that maybe we shouldn’t ask, but is there a favorite track or do any of the tracks on the EP hold a particular special feeling for you guys?
Surely the track we are most fond of is “Joy of life”, of which we had conceived several versions, including one with a group of winds, which maybe in the future we will be able to realize.
The track started by working on the pads (Daniele) and the Wood percussion (Angela) and gradually we added the other elements. This track in particular was born with the intention of reminding us of some of our happiest moments in our city and at the same time of the clubs, Tresor in particular and how much we missed certain views, the stairs, the walls, the smells, the people and everything that characterizes the identity of that place.
Other than being artists, are there any other passions/hobbies you guys have?
Among our hobbies, plant care certainly prevails, we have our own little tropical nest at home. Absolutely not to be underestimated, our passion for cooking and for good food.
In your experience, how would you guys describe the evolution of music after more than three decades of Techno, what has changed, ¿what has been constantly evolving, and what has been left in the past?
Having both been born in the late 90s, we can say that our first approach to techno was in a period in which the music had already undergone many changes.
It would be really interesting to be able to jump back 30 years and witness what this musical sphere has been in the past, to fully live and understand its origins.
Of course, music is constantly evolving, as are technology and the media.
What music do you guys listen to besides electronic music? ¿Can you recommend some artists to follow?
Listening to non-electronic music is essential for us.
(Angela): I have always had a strong passion for ballet which I studied for years when I was just a kid and then teenager; this made it possible for me to immerse myself in classical music.
(Daniele): since I was a child I have always played the piano, guitar and other instruments imitating my father, I have always focused a lot on jazz since I was a teenager.
We often listen to jazz, especially artists such as Bill Evans, for its unique harmonic conception, such as the song “Waltz for Debby”, Thelonious Monk of which we love.
“Round Midnight”, and Pat Metheny, especially the works of the 80s of the “Group” as “Letter from home “
There’s any other Fireground releases planned to come out this year that you can tell us a little about?
We are currently working on new tracks and new releases. Especially in this period we are working very hard and experimenting a lot. Our goal now is to perfect our live set by progressively inserting each new track we produce.
Thank you Guys, for taking this interview.
Photos used: Credit: Kathrin_Leisch_TRESOR_DANIELO_ANGELA_I0A3445-1