A 'Flashback' with Cricco Castelli

Talented artist & producer Cricco Castelli took some time out to chat about his recent ‘Flashback’ album, producing with ancient gear, new recording methods and even running a pizza shop in his native town Rome.

Hey Cricco, thanks for chatting with us. What have you been up to the last few years & how did you end up back up in Rome?

When I moved back to Italy in 2006, back in my native town Rome, my life took a slightly different direction – far away from my eclectic lifestyle with my English friends in London. Somehow in Rome I developed an interest for the fine art of cooking – so I started attending various types of courses and lessons to learn more about food. 10 years later, I can say I am a decent cook but more importantly, I’ve fulfilled an old dream of mine – the dream was to make unique Italian pizza. Today I have made it real by opening a pizza shop called “Pizza Box” right here in Rome.

I don’t want to bore you by talking about olive oil, dough, tomatoes and all ingredient that goes into making pizza. However, I have been invited at the pizza world championship and we will be there with our very own recipe and will fight hard to win!

Let’s talk a little about the Flashback Album. What where the main influences behind its conception?

I never stopped making music and beats. Whenever I have a little time, I do try to record some new material. This album covers a time span of 16 years – some of the tracks on this project were written and recorded back in 2000 when I was in London. The newest one is called “So Good” which was made in Rome a few months ago. If you listen to the album you can tell that my musical influences are Funk and Jazz and that groovy is my style.

To record this music I still use my Jurassic set up: my software of choice is an old version of Cubase back from 2014 my computer is a Mac G4 10 inch Powerbook laptop and of course I have some outboard gear. I always use my “Rhodes K80” for most of my piano sounds and most of the songs on this album were done on the move with my portable set up. Last year I was in Brasil for 3 months and over there I recorded two tracks of the album (made on a private island in the middle of nowhere) under the jurisdiction of Florianopolis, a city in the south of Brasil. In some of the ‘Flashback’ songs, I used my iPhone to catch nice sounds when I walked around the island and recorded as close as possible to the source, I then passed it through my studio to fix it.

I am almost 47 years old and I still do exactly the same things that I was doing when I was 20 years old, the only difference is that back then I use to record everything in my portable Casio DAT Machine – nowadays I use the digital format, life never changed [for me] after all.

I can use 3 words to describe ‘Flasjhblack’; it’s groovy, dirty and funky. One last thing, Cricco Castelli is finally back! Even with the pizza shop, if this album generates some hype and I get calls to DJ, I will close up the shop and go on tour to play my music again. I never stop making music and never will, I still have the same enthusiasm and drive that I had 20 years ago…