During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a hustle and bustle of musicians from all over the world, some of whom remained our guests for a few days, in my house. My father was called Mario Luzzi and he was a journalist and music critic specializing in jazz, it often happened that he took me with him to listen to concerts, to carry out interviews or to participate in record presentations, I was used to being very late at night and every day I discovered something new. At the time, his interviews (from Sun Ra to Miles Davis, without forgetting Herbie Hancock) and the many discographies he edited, were a point of reference for the entire music sector. When he was young, he started a significant vinyl collection that I still carry on after his untimely death at just fifty-two years old.
Another reference figure was undoubtedly that of my uncle, a professional barman. When he had already been working for a few years at the Papillon nightclub, a stone’s throw from the Pantheon, I began to frequent that place and to be next to the DJ on the console, observing him at work, this happened in 1977. Then, in that same discotheque, a second room, much smaller, was opened in the early 1980s, and I stepped forward to manage it on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. I played a bit of everything, from new wave to black music. I didn’t earn a penny, but I enjoyed it a lot of fun while learning a job and had the chance to meet many people whose only goal was to dance and have fun. My life as a DJ has been going on for some years and I’m happy to have made thousands of people dance in clubs such as Black Out, Supersonic and Le Gambit, in Rome and in many other places.
I studied piano for many years, followed by masters such as Enrico Pieranunzi and Martin Joseph, and I also studied harmony, arrangement and electronic music. For everything else, I relied on my ear. On the record level, in 1985, I composed, arranged and played a track for the soundtrack of the film “A Me Mi Piace” by Enrico Montesano. Then, in the 1990s, I was asked to make a demo for the remix of Dolce Vita by Ryan Paris. Once I received the approval from the Dutch label Arcade, I began work on Atari which I completed in Holland and took the name of Downtown Version. In 1991, I sent UMM a demo with the four tracks and then the DAT with the final mix, the pseudonym Onirico came to my mind thinking about how my music reminded me of the atmosphere of certain dreams in which I was able to overlap the typical images of the dreamlike phase with the music itself.
For the tracks I used many Roland machines (D-70, MKS-50, TB-303, TR-909, TR-808, TR-606, DEP-5, S-550, Jupiter-6) as well as a Korg KMS- 30, an Alesis MidiVerb II and an Oberheim Matrix 1000. The computer was an Atari 1040 STF, while the mixer was a Fostex 1840, to which were added a Simmons SDS8 control unit, Tannoy TP-1 loudspeakers and other self-built coaxials. No compressor was used and everything was mixed live on a Tascam DA-30 DAT. I have always adopted this live recording technique in all my records, because I feel it is more human. It took me almost five months to finalize the tracks, a slowness mainly due to the need to be precise and manic. I was inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yellow Magic Orchestra and New Musik. In particular, the final twenty seconds of Herbie Hancock’s Tell Me A Bedtime Story influenced Stolen Moments in some way.
With love… Emanuele Luzzi aka Onirico