Interview with Alessandro Cortini

Hello, Alessandro. Where are you right now and what have you been up to last weekend?
I am taking a quick break visiting my parents after a show in Bologna, Italy.

Can you talk a little about the concept behind Volume Massimo?
There is no concept behind the record. It’s simply a collection of compositions that made sense together out of the daily recordings that I keep on collecting in my studio. Works tend to gravitate together into playlists and sometimes they become records, like for Volume Massimo.

I absolutely adore the striking cover art. What is the intersection between this visual and your sonic message of the album?
There is no intersection aside from feeling it makes sense if you look at it and listen to the record. I find it hard to try and build a narrative if there isn’t one, to be honest. Aside from the complexity and richness of the cover going hand in hand to their counterparts on the record, I don’t think there’s much more that can be said. But, if you look at it and listen to the record, it just makes sense, as it should.

What new production techniques have you discovered and used on Volume Massimo?
None that I can think of. My way of working is very basic and hardly new. I just tend to do it every day one way or another, without setting goals or expectations. Just making sounds that make me feel engaged and present.

Can you share a few of your favourite hardware or software synths that appear on the album?
Waldorf Quantum, Buchla 100, 200,700. Ondomo, Metasonix D1000, EMS SYNTHI and VCS3, TR808, Overstayer Modular Channel, guitars… I think that’s all I used on the record.

What does your live setup look like when you go on a tour?
It’s a much more streamlined setup, a hybrid between Ableton and hardware. It’s easy to travel with, reliable, and malleable enough to keep the show interesting for me when played over and over.

How does it feel being signed to Mute?
It’s a great family. I’m happy being with them. It feels like I can bounce ideas off and that there’s always a two-way conversation, a complicity.

How do you feel you have musically evolved through the years?
I spend less time questioning myself and thinking and more time making music. A lot of it is direct with very little editing and formatting.

What gets you inspired?
Everything and nothing. Again, I don’t think in terms of inspiration. I believe that when you don’t set expectations, inspiration is unnecessary and creativity flows unregulated.