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STAYAROUND.COM > ARTISTS > CRICCO CASTELLI

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Cricco Castelli

Label: Kult Records

Artists Genre: Dance

When the opening strains of “Life is Changing” waft into your ears, you realize it doesn't get much better than this. The purveyor of this and other fine house classics, is Cricco Castelli, an Italian producer based in London, who is destined for super-stardom. Since his US debut on the Kult Records imprint, he has set the dance music world alight with astring of tracks that have garnered props from DJs, producers and critics alike. Tracks like “No Name” mesh chunky, drum kicks and snares, with lush melodies, courtesy of Castelli's virtuoso piano skills, while still retaining an edge that fits into the underground club aesthetic. His beautifully crafted tunes are rich, warm and have a surreal quality that Castelli has made very much his trademark. A classically-trained pianist for five years, Cristiano Castelli made his DJing debut back in 1983. As an adolescent, he listened to funk, R&B and disco, with a record collection that included Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang and Rufus & Chaka Khan. At aged 13, he was playing clubs in his native Rome, spinning a smooth set of funk. His growing reputation as a DJ resulted in frequent gigs. “I can't remember the names of the DJs, in my home town, who inspired me,” he says. “but I got into DJing hearing them.” Known for his funky, kinetic sets, Castelli soon became a regular fixture around Rome, DJing at many of the hottest parties. One such gig proved to be prophetic. “I met up with Lilla (Vietri, Kult's president) in the years before the label, when she was doing parties in Italy. I didn't realize that nearly 10 years later, we'd be working together again, but with me as a producer.” In 1991, Castelli started sampling soundbites from the radio. He eventually bought his first sampler and began experimenting. The first fruits of his labor was “Underground Shock,” a deep, funky house cut, which was released on a small, independent label based in Italy. Castelli left his homeland for pastures new. He moved to London, as the already thriving club scene there continued its boom, and set about establishing a well-equipped studio. He also continued to DJ both in the UK and in his former domicile. Castelli began to experiment with his sound, putting out tracks on small independents. In the beginning of 1997, Castelli finally hit pay dirt. The track was “Life is Changing,” which appeared on volume 4 of Kult's DJ Sampler series, caused a major quake on the club scene. Employing well known jazzy samples, driving bass and tinkly pianos, “Life is Changing,” was an aural revelation. Demand for the cut was such, that prior to Kult's six-month hiatus, the label put out the appropriately titled “You Asked for It” E.P. which featured the original cut, plus three new tracks. “The track started out as a little experiment.” he recalls. “I took a little hook, sampled it and came up with my own interpretation of the original cut. I couldn't understand why people went so crazy over the track, but it got me a lot of respect!” Castelli went on to prove that he definitely wasn't a one-trick pony, with luscious cuts like ”No Name” and remixes that include Mila's “Keep On Giving.” The success of “Life is Changing,” also led to Farley & Heller enlisting the Italian talent to produce a track for the Junior Boys Own imprint. Castelli finally made his US DJing debut at the Winter Music Conference '98 in Miami, where he played alongside Terry Hunter and Doc Martin at the Kult Records party. Luminaries such as DJ Sneak, Masters at Work, Daft Punk and Tommy Musto were attendance, as Castelli played one of the most talked about sets at the conference. The Italian producer says he tried not to get intimidated by the whole affair. “While I was playing, I could see people like Kenny Dope and Louis Vega, but I played without thinking about any of them being there. After it was over, that's when I got excited...” Life is definitely changing for the London-based producer, who is currently working on tracks with kultivated flavor. He plans to venture into more vocal-driven tracks, but promises to stay true to the style that is distinctly his. “When I make tracks, I don't go for the standard way of doing things. I try to go beyond that. If it works and people like it, then I'm happy.”




Top tracks from this artist:
Artist/TrackBuy
Listen to a previewCricco Castelli
NEXT E.P. [You Never Know] [125bpm]
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Listen to a previewCricco Castelli
FUNKY SKUNKER E.P. [Spying Rome Inst.] [126bpm]
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Listen to a previewCricco Castelli
YOU ASKED 4 IT E.P. [Tropical Fruit Salad] [126bpm]
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Listen to a previewCricco Castelli
4 SPICE E.P. [Top Floor Grooves] [125bpm]
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