But for all of his dancefloor mastery, Squillace has been greatly influenced by sounds that transcend the club. When we asked him to talk about some of the music that’s impacted him for our latest Cornerstone Tracks feature, he replied by focussing on an artist whose coveted back catalogue work crosses electrolatino, ambient, techno and experimental: Uwe Schmidt.
Salvation – Geeez 'N' Gosh [Mille Plateaux]
Avant-garde gospel, disassembled and stripped down to its core and rearranged in a genius way. The technical is as perfect and beautiful as the feeling.
This record is filled with religious connotations. Do you ever make similar references in your own music?
It is but I don’t think it has a religious intention, I think for him it’s more about “OK, I can make something even out of this.” It’s an artistic challenge.
Was it a hit record at the time? The price on Discogs suggests it was once quite sought after.
I don’t think you could commercially describe it as a hit, but for me it was a huge artistic milestone. Fuck the hit concept!
Bosco's Disposable Driver – Flanger [Ntone]
I’m a big fan of this project. Uwe Schmidt with Bernd Friedmann (another master of composition) come together to create a meaningful collision of genres, atmosphere and forward-thinking rhythms.
This has a broken beat quality, but it’s not necessarily something you’d play in a club. Do you remember where you first heard it?
I don’t get to play in the environment where I'm able to go that sideways, I do play it home and in the car and on flights, it opens up different feelings to techno. I heard it when it first came out.
Stereo Cocktail – The Lisa Carbon Trio [Rephlex]
A more organic and acoustic project, creating this sexy vibe. Almost like something you would see played in a Russ Meyer movie.
A lesser known one from the Rephlex camp. Were you quite familiar with the likes of Aphex and DMX Krew too?
Absolutely, I was a teenager in the late 90s so I was into that wave of music.
Around The World (Intro) (Rumba) – Señor Coconut And His Orchestra [PIAS]
Here we can hear where Uwe was influenced by moving to Santiago in Chile, getting closer to the Latino world. It’s a pure reinterpretation of a beautiful masterpiece in Latino key. The first time I heard the project live was in Greece, and I shed a tear. The whole band and the soul of it had a huge impact on me.
It’s amazing how different this sounds to the Rephlex record. Do you think it’s important as an artist to have an extensive body of sounds in your back catalogue?
There are many different types of artist, the ones that keep on doing the same sound successfully, artistically and commercially, and others that challenge themselves for higher purposes. I’m a fan of the latter for different reasons, especially for the imprint it leaves on people and will leave in the books of music.
Pop HD – Atom™ [Raster-Noton]
From robots to Mr. Schmidt, the track has a kind of musical political message in it. Sonically it’s very 8-bit, but with his arranging and programming perfection. I would give up a finger to spend some time watching him work in the studio, he’s one of my favourite artists – such a chameleon!
Arguably Schmidt’s best-known project. Was Atom™ the gateway to the rest of his discography for you?
I’m not sure about that one!
Do you remember any other artists that made you interested in writing your own electronic music?
Lots of them from different genres: from Battiato to Caetano Veloso, arriving at Atom™… the list is endless.