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Cyberpunkers: the masked Truth – Part I

The “Cyberpunkers” project was born in 2006 as a result of the passion, shared by two young Italian DJs, for the Cyberpunk culture. The aim of this project is to give this style a fresh start.

In a nutshell, a transposition of the Cyberpunk world in modern clubbing.

Through several performances at famous clubs, “Cyberpunkers” drew lots of interest and ended up being much talked about for both their original look, made of masks behind which their true identity is hidden, and for the originality of their shows, which are marked out by the use of two consoles and several audio machines. Cyberpunkers shared the stage of the biggest electronic European festivals with many worldwide music stars. The incredibly tight schedule did not prevent them from producing and mixing new music and remixes.

We met them at Vox Club, historical Italian venue. They performed here for hundreds of fans and really brought the house down.

How did the Cyberpunkers begin? What’s the story behind your stage name? What brought the two of you together?

“We started making music together back in 2006 after meeting at De Sade, a historical nightclub in Milan. We both had our own careers at the time, but we felt the need to create a new project that could give life to our ideas and passions. The name Cyberpunkers was inspired by the “cyberpunk” culture, a lifestyle that has always fascinated us. It’s what brought us together. At first we had some problems, playing together on stage for the first time, but thanks to our strong determination the union proved to be a winning combination”.

How long have you been producing music and DJing?

DJing was our first job. We began to play music when we were teenagers, about 16 years old, with different projects and different influences”.

What inspired you to take on electronic dance music instead of pop music or any other genre?

“We’ve always been fans of electronic music since we were kids, and big electronic artists have always inspired us to give life to our own music. Having success thanks to our personal idea of electronic music has fulfilled all the efforts made to enforce our sound. We do not dislike other musical genres, but everyone makes their own choices and we’ve followed our own music path”.

Were there artists that inspired you both?

“We’ve always been inspired by the Sex Pistols, Beastie Boys, Ramones, The Clash, Korn, Nirvana, The Offspring, System Of A Down, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Tricky, but also Michael Jackson (R.I.P.), Daft Punk, Justice, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Jaxx, Chemical Brothers and Prodigy“.

Your style is an aggressive and intense blend of house music. How did you come up with the idea of using these sounds in your music?

“Electrodirtyfuckinmetalinnovativerockinfresh sound, one word: Cyberpunkelectro! Every remix is taken seriously and we pay attention to every single detail, just as if we were mixing one of our songs. We get lots of remix requests so we have to make choices based on which songs we like, and if that label is interesting and willing to promote us.

Would you say that your sounds are classified by Electro House only, or do you feel you managed to create a new music genre? Can you describe the process by which you produce or remix a song?

We like our music to always be new and innovative, at least we try, so we tend not to look at other music when creating our sound. This doesn’t mean we don’t listen to music by other DJs or producers. We just don’t like to hear “”ohhhhhhh, this track sounds like….” We want our music to be different from the other million or so artists that are constantly trying to become main-stream!”.

What are some of the main components and programs that form part of your studio?

“We began to produce music using Virtual Instrument and some digital synths like Virus and Nord Lead, and then we switched to analogical synths. In our studio we use Moog Voyager, Alesis Andromeda and Dave Smith Prophet 08, adding distortion using guitar pedals. We are really satisfied with the results, and since we switched to the analogical sound we feel like we made a big step forward. We like to use Nuendo as sequencer and Waves for effect/ec/como. We prefer to do all the post production (mixing and mastering) directly in our studio because it’s hard for us to stay totally in line with someone outside of the project. We do everything on our own”.

When playing at events your sets are quite unique, standing out from many artists’ regular setup. You use two consoles and several audio machines. What prompted you to play this way? What are the pros?

“During the live set we like to use two separate consoles in order to play freely, as four hands playing one console would limit us quite a bit. Just like all DJs, we use mixes and CDs, but we also use a Mac with Ableton Live, controlled by using an Akai. This software allows us to edit our music depending on the vibrations of the dance floor.

The main pro is the energy we get during our set. We try to make all of our performances feel like a real rock concert, making people jump, sing, and headbang as if they were dancing to the rhythm of guitar, bass, and drums. The difference in our set is that we create all of the sounds by using tools and not real instruments: a Midi controller for the guitar, a laptop for the bass, and our production for the drums!”.

Your stage outfit is also quite unique, hiding your faces behind paintball masks. What’s the reason behind it? Is it a sense of originality or is it just privacy?

“We use the masks because they represent a fusion of the human and the machine. It’s a way for us to represent the cyberpunker culture.  We chose this model of paintball mask because…. we like it!”.


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