I-Robots is a Italian classic within which people love disco music and, surely, one of the first to discover when this music style is started. Here he is, Gianluca Pandullo, owner of Opilec and usual in clubs as The Beach, Premium Sofa or Doctor Sax… We have the pleasure of talking to him about his last release, his session en DJMAG ES and more interesting things
1 – When and how did you get your interest in electronic music?
My interest in the electronic music started during the second half of ‘70s when I started to listen to music by Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, J.M. Jarre that were played everywere on radios an tv as well.
2 – How did you decide to get into production?
At the end of the ‘80s during the Acid Jazz age I started to collaborate with an italian “jazzy” label; since at heart I am a rare grooves vinyl collector I was very keen to finalize some compilations. I was also the art director of a local Turin city jazz group that I named “Primitivo” as the 1962 Cannonball Adderley tune.
My first solid step in the electronic productions world was the various artists compilation “I-Robots: Italo Electro Disco Underground Classics” released together with my first I-Robots single including the remake of the Italo Disco tune “Spacer Woman” together with “Frau” that is actually still my most popular track and I will re-release it soon with a series of international remixes.
3 – How do you assess your progress so far, what were the reasons that led you to start your own label?
I’ve decided to open and run Opilec Music in the 2007 after few previous collaborations with other labels and since I was tired of their attitude and to wait for responses from new A&R/Labels i wasx thinking i could create something special with my style and background; now I am not sure they were the right partners to deal with an artist like me anyway. Opilec Music giving the chance to my artists to have the right kind of place so could give them what I never received from the labels I collaborated with in my past: the unique and special artistic direction and inspiration. When fighting with a messy music market is a hopeless situation i was able to build a special artists team and unique catalog with a solid reputation… it was a great result actually.
4- What was your inspiration for producing your latest record?
“Insiders EP” is a compilation of some I-Robots Recostructions made on the tracks of the labels veteran artists like Scott Ryser from The Units USA, Schaltkreis Wassermann CH and No More DE together with underground Turin city productions from EastOvest’s Alberto Ezzu’s lost tapes and Ego Nego. You & I? from Ego Neco is actually one of the most rare Italo Disco No Disco included in the Turin Dancefloor Express compilation that is coming soon on an Opilec Music project remastered from the original mastertapes. The selection is Indie Dance, Synth, No Wave, Cosmische and Krautrock oriented that was given a new life by my I-Robots Reconstructions and I am working already on the forthcoming second part of the series.
5 – Could you recommend a set that you are especially proud of, and that we can see on your Soundcloud or on YouTube?
6 – What can you tell us about the scene of your city? What would you improve?
When I started my musical journey in the early 80’s, Turin, Italy in my opinion was much more interesting than now, nowadays it is a bit musically confused and chaotic.
To be honest I do not feel my city scene anymore: this is why I am much more focused on the music production and label management.
As a beginner after the infinite love for Italo Disco during the early 80ìs I was really focused on the “cosmic disco” sounds but I didn’t immediately reach relevant roles in the scene; my path became much more clearer and solid with “Rare Grooves, Jazz, Funk, Hip_Hop, Acid House than Acid Jazz”
I started my real serious career in my own town in the seconf half of 80’s when I had residencies in the most relevant alternative clubs like A.I.E.O.U., Studio 2 than after t Sottovoce, La Fabbrica, Azimut, Cover Cafè, Jammin’, and some more where I was not only the DJ but also the art director and the promoter. I also organized events with several international live bands and DJ set from Jazz to Techno and from Drum’N’Bass to House Music.
7 – Finally, what can you tell us about your present and future projects?
The “lockdown” has generated a huge backlog on several releases and projects that I have to finalize like doing reconstructions, mixing & mastering, artworks anf I think I will be really busy untill end of the year 2020.
I will follow up the TURIN DANCEFLOOR EXPRESS old school releases with several reconstructions that are on hold soon. TDE will became the sublabel of Opilec Music soon.
I will also produce and release a special compilation dedicated to “STUDIO 2” the legendary Turin Club were I was resident DJ for years. The selection will be made considering only Opilec Music tracks with the 80’s/90’s vision that could be great to dance on that epic dancefloor at that time..