Omar Contri – Interview

Shinoby: “It’s not a strategy, for an DIY artist like me it’s a question of surviving. “

Omar Contri (Photo: Elena Botti)

Sónar 2018, it´s around 6am in the morning and Helena Hauff is driving the dance floor completely crazy. This doesn’t even leave a full professional colleague such as Scottish house DJ and enfant terrible Jackmaster cold. From the dancefloor he comments on the set: “Helena Hauff just blew my fuckin heed aff” and posts a video in which it just rattles and rumbles – Hauff is playing “Cruelry” by Shinoby, a project by Omar Contri.
Six month later Contri is about to release three 12-inches back to back, each coming in with a very special remix: DMX Krew, Frak and Unit Moebius.

Omar, you are from Verona, Italy. As I’ve never been to the city: what should the kaput readers know about your hometown?
Omar Contri: Verona is for everyone the tragic scenario of the love history between Romeo and Juliet. It’s located in the North-Eastern part of Italy. It’s a small city to live in. There is no real music scene. Some small pubs offer electronic music and some rock concerts. The city would have a lot of potential, but the institutions and the whole Italian government forbid or block any cultural project. it is a pity. Probably no one yet considers music in my city as an art form.

You are posting on a regular basis when djs drop your music in their sets and mixes, like, for example, Helena Hauff does quite a lot. How important is such a thing for you as a producer? I mean, recently Avalon Emerson started the Buy Music Club on Bandcamp to showcase the somehow blind spot of the electronic music scene – while the djs get all the attention (and money), a lot of the producers contributing the essentiell elements to their set are often unknown and unpaid. Is that also one of the reasons you started your label ISTHEWAY?
It’s a direct message to the people who don’t care about DIY producers and indipendent labels. But it isn’t the reason why I started ISTHEWAY. The idea was something different and interactive: My own open platform where I can feel free. It is very stimulating because this makes you very prolific. Sometimes it is difficult to find a meaning, but this is also a personal reflection. Since your work has meaning you must be vulnerable, it is the only way to let others enter.
Big up to Avalon about that great spot to promote indipendent producers!

Right now you are in process of releasing three eps. One could say this looks like a real rollout strategy. Maybe you could tell us a bit how those three releases interact to you?
Well, as we all know, the record pressing plants are very overbooked these days. Lots of artists press records but then play with usb. So everythings is busy and very slow and I decided to keep my times and start an invasion of EPs in the first part of 2019.
It’s not a strategy; for an DIY artist like me it’s survivor!

On each of the records one finds a remix: DMX Krew, Frak and Unit Moebius. What’s your relation to these artists? What do you love about their music? How did the remixes come together?
Their music is connected in the sense that all three are very prolific artists. Each of them has its own style, but in an ipotetic djset you could mix all these track together. That’s the point. To make things work, both balance and madness are needed.

On your SoundCloud site I found as the style reference House. Well, by listening to the eps I more likely think of Electro and Techno. But then again, it seems you are pretty open minded when it comes to music productions, right?
I collaborate in the past with Parris Mitchell (Dancemania-Chicago), thats where the House is coming from. Maybe these days the people might get confused by the reference. But then again:  ISTHEWAY is defined as the manifesto of my open mind. Since the launch of my imprint in 2015, I have laid the foundations to a fruitful body of work that negates categories and easy classifications.

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