Surrounded by an Underground Culture: Catching Up with Switzerland’s Alci

alci

In the last few years, Swiss alchemist Alci has has made a lasting impression among the electronic music industry. Having released his music on impressive labels like Robsoul, Be As One and Infuse, many of the industry’s sought-after producers have become captivated by Alci’s sound, along with his rapidly growing fan-base.

A few months back, Apollonia released Alci’s The Travelling Soul EP on 12” vinyl. Staying true to his passion for classic formatting verses digital, Alci’s release is one that music lovers should definitely add to their collection! The pace driven, 3 track collection highlights his mastered minimalistic approach to production, while keeping each track utterly diverse. Alci’s impressive ability to incorporate a myriad of strange and vastly organic sounds works just perfectly. The EP’s title alone lures us into a state of wonderment, while the record keeps us absorbed with catchy rhythms, a touch of vocals, some delightful aquatic and naturalistic sounds; not to mention, that beyond gripping baseline speaks for itself! Overall, The Travelling Soul is a great collaboration between Apollonia and Alci.

Following up with another solid collaboration alongside German techno leader, Robert Dietz on his Truth be Told label, 2015 proves to be a ground breaking year for Alci. With these last two releases, the young producer has left us with nothing but anticipation and excitement for what is yet to come! We caught up with Alci to talk sound and production, touring, his biggest influences, and how he got his start in the industry, which he was so clearly born to be a part of.

You were surrounded by underground culture from an early age…graffiti, breakdancing, and then finding yourself behind the turntables. What were some of the biggest influences for getting your start in the industry?

I was really into hip hop when I was young and I still love the golden nineties. One day after school when I was walking home, I saw some friends of my brother who danced on the streets. I was really impressed because they were really good. I walked the same route home every day to see those guys in action. It wasn’t long before they showed me some moves, so I began to dance too. Through those guys, I learned about all the hip hop elements; Breakdance, Graffiti, MCing and DJing.

My biggest influences were Africa Bambaata and Run DMC. DJing was the element that really fascinated me, but buying two turntables and a mixer is not cheap. It took a while, but I managed to get those things with my first pay cheque…

Having strong hip-hop roots earlier on, what was it about electronic music that initially attracted you? Who were some of you biggest influences in both genres? 

I think these days, you automatically come into contact with the electronic scene when you go out. I was really Influenced by Loco Dice in the beginning. Me and my friends were like, “This hip hop dude is playing electronic music, WTF?” After him I discovered artists like ar:pi:ar, Villalobos and Luciano.

You have been strongly involved and known in the Zurich scene since your teens, how has the industry there influenced your career? Do you plan on staying based in Switzerland? 

Most of my influences come from outside of Zurich. For example at Robert Johnson, Time Warp or Ibiza. The most influential party for me was when I went to Robert Johnson to see ar:pi:ar all night long. Crazy.

Going back two years, 2013 was a huge year for you. You began releasing music on major labels like Robsoul Recordings, Be As One, as well as Infuse, and it seems that things have really taken off from there. What have been a few of your biggest highlights so far? 

I did my first season in Ibiza after these releases. I played for tINI & the gang, Rex Club, Modernity in Switzerland and Village Underground for Fuse… To be honest, all the gigs were kind of special to me.

You are a self-processed “vintage head” while DJ-ing and in the studio. What is it about the classic formats that keep you intrigued? 

Well, you need more time and effort to be able to use the older equipment competently, you know. It’s not as easy as some of the digital gear can be. I’m also very passionate about the fact  that you can touch or feel it. Having something tangible to work with is crucial.

Your latest EP, The Travelling Soul was just released on Apollonia’s label. Tell us a little bit about the production and sound of this EP, and how the collaboration with Apollonia came about?

I’m working in my studio with a good mix between analog and digital equipment. I’m in that studio every day and I’m working on tracks, of course. The tracks for Apollonia were made after spending some time in Ibiza. My influence came straight from the island at this time. We’re on the same agency, Lola ED, I’ve been sharing music with them for a  long time and they decided to choose three of my tracks to release on Apollonia.

Breaking down genre walls, you have this incredible mix between groovy and funky house, while having a strong minimalistic techno influence in your sound. How would you personally describe your music? 

Self-made, strange, and uncommon sounds that make sense when in combination with others. And, of course, you can hear my hip-hop roots throughout… I love to sample old funk and soul tracks! You can really hear it on my new EP with Apollonia.

You just released a powerhouse EP alongside German techno leader Robert Dietz on his Truth Be Told label. The sounds both of you immerse compliment each other so well, and the EP is very impressive. Can you tell us a little bit more about the collaboration and can we expect any other possible projects between you and Robert?

I met Robert in Ibiza 2013. It’s been good vibes since the beginning, I guess because we speak the same language and of course the musical roots we have.

We became good friends. We share music and talk about shit. We’ve also spent a lot of time in the studio together, shared ideas/skills and did of course some music, too. I will also play at his Truth Be Told parties. The next one will happen at Ipse at end of November.

Where do you see your music in 5 years from now? Are there any artists or labels in particular you would love to work with?

I don’t know. It depends where my efforts will bring me. I would like to work with many artists and labels! There’s so much good quality stuff out there at the moment.


Alci is on Facebook// Soundcloud// Instagram

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.41.15 PM