Laurine and Cecilio describe Slow Life as “a way of living, not rushing for things to happen, letting life flow organically.” As two of the key members of the Berlin-based house and techno collective, it’s an ethos that goes hand in hand with their approach to music. Slow Life is comprised of a small group of dedicated diggers from Italy and Spain, all of whom have been collecting records for most of their lives. For them, digging is a job, where the discovery of new electronic music to play is part of an ongoing journey. This outlook was inspired by watching artists like Zip and Nicolas Lutz when they first settled in the German capital, but these days, Slow Life themselves are widely venerated both in Berlin and across the European scene (like Zip and Lutz, they’re often found spinning at Club der Visionaere and Hoppetosse, Berlin’s adopted headquarters for stripped-back, esoteric club sounds). The crew also runs a label, with a body of sought-after vinyl releases from both collective members and 90s legends like Bigeneric and 100 Hz. On their mix for us ahead of Picnic’s 8th birthday next weekend, Laurine and Cecilio string together a collection of smooth and delicate electronic gems with no restriction for style, mood or era – the classic Slow Life approach.
We wanted to do something fresh in terms of vibe, but deep and emotional enough. We usually make mixes with a home listening approach, but this time we also wanted it to be a bit groovier, never too intense.
Where did you source the records from?
Many of the records selected, we both have them in our collection. When doing a mix together, we like to include music that represents both of us. Most of them vary in terms of period and origin, with just a couple being from recent years.
The two of you play together pretty often. How have you ended up gravitating so close to each other?
We met 10 years ago, instantly becoming best friends, and starting to play together. We’ve always had a special connection and a similar understanding of life and music, and over the years the relationship evolved to a point where we eventually became a couple. All very natural.
What exactly does “Slow Life” mean?
The Slow Life concept as a lifestyle showed up one day, and since then we embraced it. Over time, we realised that it could be related to different aspects of our life, and it has a significant attribute to our attitude towards the scene. Mainly, we could say it’s a way of living, not rushing for things to happen, letting life flow organically. Also, nowadays, it has a very strong meaning as a label to our sound… we find ourselves saying very often: “this is very Slow Life.”
How did you all first meet one another?
We all moved to Berlin during the same period, and met each other almost straight away via common friends, apart from Laurine and DJ Tree, who met in London. We started to spend time together, sharing music and thoughts, and the idea of making our own parties and label came up naturally.
Can you recall any formative clubbing experiences you had prior to moving to Berlin that inspired you to pick up DJing?
We were both clubbers and dancers way before the legal age. There are plenty of memories that inspired us, so it’s hard to recall one in particular. For Laura [Laurine], it was the need to have the club experience at home that pushed her to start playing. And Cecilio found himself being the one who always took care of the music amongst friends, so DJing was a logical step up.
Can you name some of the artists you were inspired by?
We both have different backgrounds, and some main inspirations in common, depending on the period. In the early stage of living in Berlin, Zip, Nicolas Lutz, Binh, Raresh, Ricardo [Villalobos], Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman and Donato Dozzy are some names that pop up quickly. But once we heard that “to grow up, the myths must fall”, and nowadays we mostly get inspired by each other and friends around us.
How do you think you rally each other – does being in a collective of several people add a healthy level of competition?
More than competition, it’s an extra motivation to dig harder, to keep surprising each other. It really does help maintain a high standard. We all have a similar taste in music, but everyone has his own strong personality which complement one another.
How does living among so many other likeminded artists in Berlin help what you do?
Berlin is the best network for meeting likeminded people in the music scene. It’s thanks to moving here that we found ourselves (not only musically speaking), so definitely all the surrounding info has been and still is key for what we do. Although it keeps changing, and is not as accessible as it used to, Berlin is still the most inspirational city in the world for a DJ (and probably all kinds of musicians).
Where do you go out when you want to find inspiration in Berlin?
In 10 years, things (and clubs) have changed. Some of our favourite spots are no longer open, like Horst or Tape. Actually we met in the latter, on a Wednesday during an Underground Quality party. We used to go very often to Panorama Bar years ago, and OHM is a club we like and enjoy from time to time. But for sure, CDV and Hoppetosse (which we call home) have been, and still are, our biggest sources of inspiration.
What's your favourite club you've played outside of Berlin?
Klub K4 and Closer instantly come to mind, the energy in these two places is pretty special. But honestly, some of our best parties and experiences so far have been in non “club” situations, usually during the daylight or in the open air surrounded by nature, like Breakfast in Paris, and 0db in Brazil.
Can you offer one lesser heard or expected tip you would give to any aspiring diggers who may be reading?
Finding your own personality is way more important than having the most obscure, rare or expensive collection. So we would like to insist: don’t just buy records because whatever DJ plays it, and what’s worse, for an absurd amount of money…
How long do you spend digging each week?
It’s a daily job for us. But there is no boss, so it depends on our mood and time during the week, and also if there are attractive records shops in the cities we visit.
What are you up to through the rest of 2020?
Some great clubs we haven’t played yet, like fabric this month, and repeating with some of our favourite promoters around the world. Kala festival is also looking good, with many friends joining us. And some exciting tours to happen too.