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"I was lucky enough to grow up in the 90's and be exposed to all the crazy Detroit, Dutch & German Techno that was coming out during that era…,” Albert Chiovenda types. His is a road story, a geographical journey that spanned the best years of the 90’s and would result in the moniker XXX, long before the Hollywood film of the same name. XXX has been a Sydney staple playing at a who’s who of ‘you-had-to-have-been-there’ events such as 10th Planet, Jungle Punks, Acid Faction, Deep Space, Fuzz Box, Strange Signals, Anomaly, and the infamous Trench events that he continues to produce with partner Gabriel Fernandez. But years before in the year 1992 Chiovenda was a young man who defied both his parents and the law. Frustrated with their son’s disobedience, his parents sent him away to live with relatives in Rome, Italy. “I was living in Sydney when i was younger when my parents sent me overseas - i got totally schooled when i was there in the early 90's..musically & culturally.” It was here that the seeds of what was to be XXX was born and the young Chiovenda, only 17 in 1992, experienced the burgeoning sound of European techno. “Well all the raves i went to, they were quiet big. Pretty crazy, I was quite young so it was all new to me, so may radio stations playing techno 24/7.” In a city of ancient ruins and Papal monuments, a city that had seen thousands of years of trend and change, Chiovenda found himself exploring the tech rave underbelly hidden from the tourist view and located amongst the squalor and danger that came along with a Europe yet to refocus social policy toward the new millennium. "It was that period when all the UR & Detroit stuff was pretty fresh, plus it was a culture shock for me! Coming from Australia then going to Rome was pretty full on. That’s when the penny dropped for me musically...thats when i got schooled!” In 1994, at the age of 19, Chiovenda returned to Australia, his horizons expanded, his musical fancy tickled, and his eyes having been opened. He turned to reflecting on his experience by continuing his pursuit of the techno he fell for when in Rome, a pursuit that would not only shape his coming years but the way he approached them.
“The music is quiet internal, which i love. I love that whole mind separation when people connect with what I play, but this does not happen all the time. People like predictability in music, I don’t, and sometimes they don't like the feeling of not being in control musically. For fucks sake, open your mind and close your eyes!” Unlike a great number of DJ’s who judge a sets success on the external reactions of the audience, Chiovenda is driven to move your inner psyche. His love of ambient music is pronounced in his sets with musical influences that bend genre: Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Brian Eno, Thomas Koner, Phillip Glass & Steve Reich. Combine this with his techno heroes Stanislav Tolkachev, Inigo Kennedy, Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Jay Denham, Female, Regis, Claude Young, Shake, Diego Hostettler, Heiko Laux, Susumo Yokota, Oliver Ho, Surgeon, Max Duley, James Ruskin & Developer - you have a performer that redefines the notion of DJ as party room hero, to DJ as cognitive musical therapist. “You know what i mean about internal music yeah? Yeah thats thing, my mixes are always unpredictable like not dropped on the 4th kick - just random - and it works! I never plan my mixes...but you still need to be musically cultured to do this, and not fuck up!” Chiovenda believes the music is more about what it makes you think than how it sounds, and with his sets he challenges the audience to let their own guard down, and become one with everything they have internalised.
Words by - Jack Byrnes
Comments by .XXX. [Albert Chiovenda]
@audio-portmanning: thanks for listening, glad you enjoyed :)
@michaeljaye: thanks foor listening Mike!
nice, sounds like jeff!
@audio-portmanning: always :)
Nice mix Matt, really enjoyed this one :)