All words by Mandy Alexander
Riccardo Paffeti, or as the music world lovingly knows him, Black Loops will return to We House Sundays. In celebration of their 5th birthday, WHS welcomes you to Transvaal Park, Paarden Eiland on the 15th March 2020. Ahead of Black Loops return to South Africa, let’s get to know the man responsible for many of our favourite dancefloor tracks.
A purveyor of the evolving clubbing landscape, Black Loops effortlessly transitions between and delivers anything from funk to techno. It is this sonic bravery and progressive storytelling that touches and connects with people worlds apart. You never know what to expect, and honestly, it is refreshing in today’s electronic music scene. Originally from a small city called Arezzo, in Tuscany, the Italian Wonder’s roots can be heard through the melodic potency of his music. Riccardo speaks of his initial exposure to music, “thanks to my parents, I’ve always been surrounded by great 70s and 80s soul, funk and pop records, and that is most likely to be considered my musical roots.” He recalls always wanting to play drums, since the age of 2-3 years old, “at the age of 8, my parents finally bought me one, and that’s basically when it all started.”
Black Loops would then go on to explore the sounds of electronic music. He says, “My first encounter with electronic music happened in university (ca. 2002). I used to go to some drum ‘n bass parties during the week and that’s where I got hooked.” As Black Loops interest in music’s various genres naturally evolved, he realised that as much as Drum ‘n Bass was fun to listen to and experience it wasn’t exactly his vibe. He started exploring broken beats, trip-hop and similar genres. “The first record that made me fall in love with what we can call House music was Metro Area, a duo from New York that made only one LP, but they’re still a big influence for many of us that produce Deep House and House music.” Relocating from Italy to Berlin has definitely impacted Riccardo’s creative process. “The good thing about moving to Berlin, as a producer and DJ, is that you get massively influenced by the club culture. You get the chance to attend parties, every single day of the week, with the best line ups you can find around.” If anything, the Berlin scene helped him figure out what to ‘take’ from his new environment and what to keep from his Italian roots. What we’re able to hear today, on Black Loops’ tracks, is a beautiful amalgamation of these two European countries’ cultures. Black Loops eloquently elaborates on his productions, “my beats are normally kinda hard (big kicks, big hats and big claps) and that is the ‘Berlin’ side. But, my melodies are always very dreamy and vibey, and it’s definitely my Italian side.”
Black Loops versatility when it comes to music production is impressive and an inspiration for all who are trying to put their experiences into sound. As many will agree, getting into music production, these days, has become fairly easy. With so much advanced software, including Ableton and Logic, practically almost anyone with an interest can get into music production. It’s becoming more necessary to hone your skill, whether it be with software or hardware. “Personally, I’m getting more and more into hardware. Most of my music is made mainly ‘out of the box’. The first drum machine I bought was a very cheap one (Boss DR-202 Dr. Groove). It turns out, this little piece of gear is in almost all of my beats and it’s a special ingredient in all of my recent releases.” For those music producers wanting to create and not fit into the mould of what music is ‘supposed’ to sound like in a particular era, Black Loops says, “choose one piece of gear and dig deep in that. Learn how to use it, as well as in an unconventional way. That’s what will make your music kinda unique.”
As Black Loops tours and travels around the world, he believes it is very important to collaborate with and to see how other artists work, “it’s the best way to get inspired.” During his first South African tour, Black Loops connected with some special and talented South African artists, including Vicmari, Deep Aztec, Rose Bonica, Alex Leeu, and DJ Hara. He says, “I’m looking forward to meeting many others in a few weeks.” If Black Loops first We House Sundays performance is anything to go by, then Sunday People, the birthday block party is set to blow our minds away.
The WHS crowd always nestles deep in the hearts of DJs who come and play at Colorbox Studios, Black Loops can attest to this.
“My first impression (of WHS) was that I nearly cried. To be honest, I’ve never experienced such a strong connection with the crowd and such a strong vibe anywhere else. This party is really something special and unique.”
Black Loops will certainly be coming through, to the Mother City, with exquisite sonic vibes. Get ready for the Sunday groove that will take place at Transvaal Park, Paarden Eiland on the 15th March 2020.