For Trushmix 131 we have a special interesting mix by Italian DJ, former record store owner and deep music digger Giovanni Turiaco from Padova. And exciting musical peek into old-school Italian club culture, during the mid eighties till early nineties, when Italy had a strong, influential and also a very interesting period of electronic music and strong club scene, with the super clubs providing a room for an experimental approach, but yet danceable party culture for the bigger masses. Before it all went away. Giovanni Turiaco was part of this and playing alongside the big ones from that era. But he never went along the later commercial club scene, he kept it underground and his passion for good music, deep digging and vinyl never faded away.
A long but interesting introduction by New York residing Italian Madteo. A great and informative read!Thanks to Madteo for providing this mix and also writing a letter for Trush!
Pure Enjoyable mix!
*Sound quality is unfortunately not perfect. But hope you still enjoy this mix!*
A LETTER FROM MADTEO.
I stopped buying vinyl soon after CD's became The Thing in the mid to late 80's and since moving to the USA in the early 90's it took me until the end of that decade to start digging for records on vinyl again. In many ways my approach to digging and love for certain eras of records is rooted in that fact that I did not buy any records from the late 80’s to late 90’s. A ten year hole which correspond to the most important decade for the development of electronic dance music. I love finding old disco, house, techno or even pop records I danced to so much from that magic era in the Veneto and Emila-Romagna regions after-hours but also songs I heard from the radio while staying at my grandfather’s house while my aunts did house chores. That mission to find those same tracks, whether pop or underground hits-not-really-hits comes likely from an unconscious innate desire to melancholically tracing and reliving my own childhood and teenage years by getting my hands to these recordings which soundtracked so many days, nights and 48hrs straight of provincial weekend hedonism. It also helped me realise that many of the records I danced to in the clubs from 90 to 93 were not all from the US, England or other foreign places as I assumed but were actually Made in Italy. In the past few years I was able to experience a live set by Giovanni Turiaco with his 8 to 10 crates where I could see him disappearing into his records crates to pick his next cut with which to create a flawless blend every couple of minutes. What I find invigorating about DJ’s’ like him is that their knowledge of music is so much wider than the typical holds on records histories dance DJ’s have of funk, disco, then electro, hip hop, house, techno etc. I can't count how many times I'll be putting a house or techno record on his deck and all it took would be one maximum two bars for him to spot the sample used to build that track with. Safe to say most of them I would not know. My only excuse for not knowing them, even after three decades plus of buying music, is that at least I didn't grow up in a record store and neither my dad nor grandpa were avid record buyers, let alone merchants.
GIOVANNI TURIACO AN INTRODUCTION.
Giovanni Turiaco is a third generation music merchant from Padova, Veneto where both his father and grandfather owned record shops, first his grandpa in 1957 opened the shop “I Boss del Disco” then his father his “Dischi Arcella” 1962, around Giovanni’s birth. The shop closed the day before Christmas of 2012 and Giovanni practically grew up in, working in the shop along his father, literally all his life till his passing weeks before the shop’s closing. His dad was also a local Radio DJ and a photographer who did passport and ID photos in the shop. Although dance music was the specialty, they sold a wide range of sounds. Including popular music, CD comps etc.
I re-discovered the shop 10 years ago and visited him regularly, eagerly and happily every time I was in Padova visiting family. I visited the shop for the last 4-5 years of its life. But I’ve been visiting as often and as eagerly his attic of his home where he lets me listen to and buy some of the old stock filling a 5m high wall to wall library of records.
What I love about it is that its an hodgepodge of many different genres and eras, and they got shuffled heavily so every stack he hands me can have huge varieties, altho mainly within the ‘dance floor’ range.
It often happen that while there I see a record sitting close by the deck that looks ‘rich’, very curious, so I would put it on, be blown away since it more often than not consists of records I wouldn't easily categorise, even today where we have books with titles like : “Appetite for Definition : The A to Z Guide to Rock Genres” Or maybe shoulda been “Sub-Genres”. But back to the obscure records I sometimes pick from the “wrong pile” and put on the deck : they’re Giovanni’s ‘personals’, stuff that can be rare but whatever they are they are connected by a thread, and defining that thread can be as elusive as said records sound stronger, deeper, trippier, and slower than the gamut of dance music genres and sub-genres. In such an event he would usually runs to tell me : “ No not that one that’s mine !” So I put it back in that ‘wrong’ pile , his pile, the secret-not-so-secret pile that he’s not gonna sell, ever!
In the history of that niche DJ specialist music digging sub-culture, and short lived “scene” known variably as Afro-Funky but more widely known as Cosmic, there are a few names who always get mentioned by the connoisseur and casual fans alike Daniele Baldelli and Beppe Loda, the only two DJ’s of that era who have enjoyed a decades delayed profile boost in the international DJ circuit. Others like Claudio Moz-Art Rispoli have had a prolific career as producers of classic Italian House and sundry other projects thru the decades, some quite successful. Turiaco’s has worked in the studio with a few regular collaborators but is mostly known as a local DJ and passionate records archivist who started age 13 in 1975 playing proto-disco funk cuts from the likes of Jimmy Castor, Bohannon etc.. By 1979, when most DJs played upbeat disco, Turiaco, like Moz-Art, Baldelli, TBC, Ebreo etc. played from a much larger and more adventurous pool of sounds. He was a resident at historic Padova discotheque, local Afro Club and former cinema the Boomerang Club from 1979 to 87. After a few years playing at a different venue by the early 90s he was diving deep into Brasilian sounds, took record digging trip to Brazil for many years billing himself as Joao Bahia but his input and often uncredited ‘assists’ given by his vast knowledge of anything funky made it so that his and his father’s shop “Dischi Arcella” was one of those go-to places for local and out of town Dj’s passing thru.
After over a decade of playing Brasilian sounds, from the jazz fusion of Azymouth to MPB, Bahia’s Tropicalia, Forro', Axe etc.. in the late 2000s early 2010s he decided to bring back the original Afro-Funky sound from his days as resident at Boomerang Club.. As far as I know, he is the only DJ from that era and that style who’s been doing 100% vinyl sets. And given that LP cuts are the bulk of his sets he’s used to bring an average of 8 to 10 full crates of records for 3 hour sets when he does his Afro G.T. Tours.
As a creative collaborator he’s worked in the studio of producers known as the Smania Brothers and another Padova radio DJ and producers called Christian Hornbostel. Not the type of artist to aim fame and fortune, Giovanni, while behind the counter at his shop with his dad, has given ideas for productions to a number of DJ’s and producers who only acknowledged his input by hints in naming their projects, like Don Pablo’s Animals or J.T. & the Big Family. Don Pablo was Giovanni’s dad’s nickname, J.T. stood for Joao Turiaco and The Big family meant their Dischi Arcella shop family enterprise. Frustratingly his name does not appear on those records credits but with the Smania Brothers around 2000 he produced an upbeat Brasilia-infused Latin house record with live guitar titled “Voices of Los Angeles” under the alias JOSMA (As in Joao + Smania). The Afro Cosmic era and its deep digging torchbearers have been written about by specialist publications like Brooklyn based Wax Poetics which did a long feature on it back in ’05 in their issue #12 although as usual it focused on the story of Daniele Baldelli, the Baia degli Angeli club in the Romagna Riviera and then Baldelli’s residency at a new venue on the shores of Lake Garda called Cosmic Club.
If you want to get in touch with him here’s his email : joao.bahia(a)tiscali.net