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The Juice with... Federico Molinari

New take on the compilation idea with Federico Molinari's 'no tracklist' effort, much inspired by home label Oslo.

The Plug

Your Oslo mix album arrived recently. What made you decide to release it without a tracklist?

“It was like a process from ideas, you know, everything began from the idea that I wanted to do a CD, but I was thinking if you release a CD there are so many out there. I didn't want to do a compilation on vinyl and on CD either, because then the CD wouldn't be so special. So that was the starting point.

“Then I thought OK, I'll make a mix. But if I do that there are so many labels releasing mixes at the moment, so how do we make this one special? That's when I decided it would be unreleased, exclusive music, because you hardly ever get that with a CD.

“So, if we did that it would make the release like the first mix CD from Oslo, but also a label compilation. Then I thought we could make it even more special, more unique, if nobody knew what the tracks were. That way's it's really important that the music is good, but not necessarily who made it.”

It's the first mix from Oslo. Why now?

“I think we did many things in the past, but never a mix CD. But you need time for things, in my opinion. In your first year or so you're all developing as a group of artists. To make quality things you need time, so after four years it felt like the right time to do something different from what we had already released, so it was a good point for the CD.”

How did you pick the tracks, and was it difficult to persuade the producers to get involved?

“Actually it was kind of hard you know. Because from the artists, of whom I think there are 20 on the album, I'd say maybe 14 are regular Oslo faces. So for the rest it was difficult as normally when someone makes a good track they want to release it properly, meaning persuading them to give a great track as an exclusive in this way needed a lot of careful explaining.

“At the end of it though they were all happy to be involved, but you had to be clear on the process and the idea for the project. Actually the hardest thing was that if you make a mix normally you choose from all your record collection, find what works best for the job. Here people were only giving me one track each, maybe two, so from there you really had to imagine if you could use it, and when, because obviously it has to fit in with the mix.”

So, is it a label compilation, or a mix album to you?

“I think both, because it's not a regular mix, or a normal compilation. With a compilation you'd have vinyl too, or separated tracks on the CD, so I'd like people to see it in that way really.”

The Issues

In the wake of superstar producers then, is the art of DJing overlooked?

“To be honest everything changed to much after the internet. I mean all of a sudden it's like the main form of communication and information. So technology, access to it, and access to music production equipment has become easier, but personally I think that's a good thing.

“Right now though you do need to put in less effort to become a DJ, or even make music, than ten years ago. And because of that you don't need so much effort like back in the days, which is also good in some ways, but not everyone does it with the passion or energy they once did.

“You can now press a button and mix, without knowing what you're doing, so from that point I think for sure DJing is less respected as a job than it was some years ago. But then that just means we all have to look for new things to improve on ourselves with, like this CD- we need to do something different, and challenge ourselves.”

Will the Oslo mix help reignite people's passion for the ‘humble' DJ?

“I try not to put too many expectations on my work. It's like you have to take everything as it comes, step by step.

“If a big name does something different they get a lot of attention, whether it's good or bad. If you don't have that kind of influence though things need to be allowed to work much more slowly. It's important not to think too much about how it will be received, just be sure about it and then put it out.”

If everyone started bringing out mix albums without a tracklist, would that be a good thing?

“It's funny, actually, as I was just talking to my friend about this. I think it would be a case that if they all did that we would maybe need to start putting the tracklist back. What's more important is that we try to make something different.

“If all the CDs were put out like this it wouldn't be special anymore, and that's the point. But for now it's certainly very interesting, and if I see others like this I'll probably think they're also good ideas, but that's not the same as if they all began doing it. Then maybe it would be time to change again.”

Federico Molinari's No Way To Norway mix is out now on Oslo.

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