Federico Molinari is a hugely understated but widely admired DJ-producer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He originally trained as a bass guitarist, and he finds his roots in jazz, ambient, and electronica, but for nearly two decades he’s remained private while delivering a collection of stripped-back, playful house music that remains as applicable to the peak-time slot as it is the after-hours. Check out “Julio Catorce,” a 12-minute jam with a hypnotizing bassline, or “La Vueltica,” a collaboration with Alexis Cabrera for Raum…musik. As the label head of now-defunct Oslo Records, he’s also the man behind one of the genre’s more revered labels, recognized for its unwavering quality with releases from the likes of Damian Schwarz, Johnny D, and Christian Burkhardt. Today, Molinari bases himself in Berlin, having moved there from Mannheim in 2013, and you’ll find his music across Pressure Traxx, Cure Music, and Melliflow, the label founded by Vera and Alexandra. In 2017, he put out Whether Deport, a collection of six typically wonky tracks on Russia’s Nerv Music.
We’ve been chasing Molinari for the EDMjunkies podcast series for years now but it has never worked out. He’s a real perfectionist and with his touring and other deadlines he’s always struggled to deliver something he’s been happy to put out. So we kept waiting and then he knocked on our door last month. With some extra time on his hands during the pandemic, he told us he’d thrown himself back into live instrumentation, started a new label, and also completed the mix he’s been putting together for over a year. At one hour in length, it intertwines intricate, deep, and bassy rhythms from the likes of Erik Van den Broek, Cletterbox, and Dinos Chapman, but it really is so much more than the sum of its parts. Instead of loosely throwing together a bunch of his favorite jams, Molinari has carefully pieced this podcast together, focusing on combinations of tracks rather than just the tracks themselves. Above all, the mix demonstrates why Molinari has managed to stay at the top of his game for so long.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been putting my studio together again. Every now and then it’s necessary to repair some machines and even the mixing console, plus I’ve been installing new operative systems. These things take time. I’ve also been in the studio making music as usual and finishing some remixes, but also working on the setup of my new label, which has taken a lot of work because things have changed since Oslo Records.
02. What have you been listening to during lockdown?
During the pandemic I’ve been disconnected from electronic music so I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental music like Victor Wooten, Mondo Cane, Emerson Kitamura, Las Añes, and Anouar Brahem.
03. How have you handled the pandemic, given you haven’t been able to play?
Well, in the beginning, it was a strange situation but at the same time kind of exciting. For the first six months, I used the time and energy to do all the things I’d never quite found the time to do before. I began taking music lessons and making downtempo music. But I have to say that in the winter things changed. After a few months of darkness and cold without being able to go anywhere, my motivation and inspiration went away, and by the time the winter was over I didn’t really have any energy left. Fortunately when the summer started everything changed again, but this time in a positive direction. Being able to travel and DJ again has made a huge difference to me.
04. Where and when did you record this mix?
The mix was recorded at home in July while I had the virus. I actually started working on it a year ago but I had some trouble finishing it. Being locked at my place for 14 days was the perfect time to wrap it up.
05. What setup did you use?
I used my computer with Ableton Live. It’s really cool for making mixes. I also only have one turntable at home!
06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
That took me more than a year. In a club, I feel freer to make big changes because sometimes it’s what the dancefloor needs. But in a podcast, the flow must be impeccable because anything that goes out of line could be a little annoying. So it always takes me a lot of time to find the right combinations of tracks.
07. How does it compare to what we might hear you play in a club?
I would say that the essence of my club sets is in the mix, but if I play in a club the buildup is orientated to what is going on on the dancefloor. I also don’t like it when a podcast becomes too intense, so normally my podcasts are a little deeper.
07. What’s on your horizon for the rest of the year?
It’s a big question because I am not sure what is going to happen with the pandemic. I have some tours planned but I am not sure if I’ll actually be able to travel and play. Also, I am launching Hold on Catalina together with my friends DFUNKLUB. The first release is an EP of mine. It is a selection of tracks I’ve made over the last two years. I am starting to work with a singer for some tracks, which I’ve never done before, and then I will work with some friends on a downtempo project.
EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Dinos Chapman “Pizza Man” (The Vinyl Factory)
02. Deep Space Network Meets Higher Intelligence Agency “Psyphonic” (Source Records)
03. Hi Ryze “Polaris” (Certificate 18)
04. Lerosa “Subterfuge” (Acid Test)
05. Cletterbox “Storm Drain” (Trust)
06. Platform “Jenny Loves Her Dog” (Tape)
07. Erik Van den Broek “Primerose” (De:tuned)
08. AFX “I Want to be with You” (Streetside Records)
09. 4play “Feel the Music (Bigshot Records)
10. Dark Matrix “Techelectro” (Lososnofono Records)
11. Third Electric “Gentle Beat” (Electrecord)
12. Drexciya “Astronomical Guidepost” (Clone)
13. DJ HMC “Science Funktion” (New Electronica)