Francesco Visconti, better known as VSK, is an Italian techno dj and producer, born in Rome in 1986, now based in Berlin. He has got familiar to different forms of techno, his style ranging from a sound usually very hard and dark, often with industrial influences, to a very different one, deeper and more mental, both still easily recognizable as coming from the same mind. Over the years he has released tracks on his own label CRS ltd, and on many other important labels like 47, Soma Records, Perc Trax, Planet Rhythm, Sontag Morgen, EarToGround, etc.
First of all, Francesco thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
– Thank you for having me and really looking forward to seeing you in February.
You grew up in Rome, what was electronic music scene like then and what or who influenced your interest in techno music and why did you get into DJ-ing and later on into production?
– When I got close to electronic music, for Rome it was a prolific time, a lot of nice parties and really interesting people around. Since I was a teenager, I’ve always been very enthusiastic about music. One day, when I was around 17 years old, almost randomly, I walked into the historic record store “Remix” owned by Alessandro Nasonte and Freddy K, and saw an advertisement about a DJ-course, which totally got my attention. This is how I learned how to mix. And spontaneously, after some years I started producing.
2010 was an important year for you, that’s when you founded the “Consumer Recreation Service” label with your friends Conrad Van Orton and Vilix. What’s the story behind the label and why it was important for you to have your own label?
– My friendship with CVO and Vilix started many, many years ago. We’ve always shared a big passion for music. After some years of producing music, it was time to release it! And of course being independent and handling everything on our own was the most appealing idea.
“Consumer Recreation Service” started out as a digital label, but in 2013. you started releasing music on vinyl. Why did you make that change? Personally, I prefer playing on vinyl, buying and playing records will always be one of my favorite rituals, do you think it’s important to release music on physical media and why?
– Of course digital releasing was the easiest and fastest way, considering our little experience. At that time many valid artists and labels were releasing only digital (and still today actually). I used to play only vinyl before, so of course I felt the urge to being able to play also my own tracks in this format. And of course, the vinyl format was an important upgrade for the label. Now I prefer to play in digital format, first because it fits better with my style of mixing, second because in my opinion the quality of the sound (for my kind of selection) is much better. Anyway, of course, I still love to release and buy music on vinyl, but I see this more from a “collector” point of view, and for this reason, it’s very important for me also the graphic/artwork cover related to it.
Over the years you relesed EPs on many other important labels such as Perc Trax, Modularz, Power Vacuum, New Rhythmics, Planet Rhythm, Ear To Ground, Sonntag Morgen, Complex Adaptive System and Genesa. Can you tell me more about your creative process, how does it start, what’s the thing you work on first and when do you know the track is done?
– It’s a hard question to answer, it depends a lot also on the moment and the feelings I have. It’s very important for me to have a deadline, it helps me a lot to define the right moment to see the track as “ready to be released”, otherwise I can get lost in the maniacal attention to the details.
I hardly close a track, if I don’t know where it is headed: EP or VA, which label etc.
Generally, for me the creative process is more natural when I work on a full EP; for example while working on my EPs for 47, I had from the beginning in my mind the idea how the aesthetic of the releases would have been, where I ranged from DnB to a slow beat, straight and breakbeat Techno.
Can you name 3 classic electronic music tracks that made an impact on you as a producer/DJ? And tell us why particularly those 3?
Underwrold – Born Slippy (1996)
Autechre – vletrmx21 (1995)
Caustic Window – The Garden of Linmiri (1993)
– All of these tracks are of course milestones in the music history, not just for electronic music. They represent for me the finest point of this genre, and of course they are also the first important influences I had.
What’s your favorite past time when you’re not touring the world as a producer/DJ? Films, pets, extreme sports…what does relax and/or excites you?
– I have a big passion for sport, I practice Kick-boxing for many years, more or less the same as I make music. It’s very important for me also as a way to release stress and be in harmony with myself. I like cats a lot, I live with my girlfriend and our three cats! And for the next few days we also have CVO’s cat as a guest 😀
I studied Economics for some years, and I’m very fascinated about studying the way Economics and Politics influence the everyday life of everyone, often unfortunately in a negative way. I also love films and documentaries (especially scientific stuff).
Your production is in my opinion always on point whether you collaborate with someone, remix or release your own tracks, what are your plans for the future, are you thinking about/or maybe already working on an album?
– Thank you for your nice words, I’m glad you appreciate my work. I’ve made a lot of changes and improvements in my setup. I’m working hard on my new live, which is going to be performed with laptop, hardware and modular synth. the album is definitely something I’m thinking about since a while, but my priority now is building up the new live setup, which should be ready in a few months (hopefully).
Playing Drugstore won’t be your Belgrade debut, in 2015. you played boat “Svemirska kafana” on Sava river, what was it like and what can people expect from you on February 15th? They’re pretty excited to hear you.
– In 2015 I played for the Genesa Showcase, and it was the first time I personally met Scalameryia after the beginning of our collabs. I definitely have a great memory about that night and the cool vibe of the party. I usually don’t like to have expectations for my gigs, they are never as you imagine them, but I’m very excited to be back in Belgrade too and especially to play at Drugstore, which is surely one of the clubs where I’ve always wanted to be so I’m glad to see you in two weeks!!!