In Depth with… Andrea Frisina

Andrea Frisina Press Pics 00_Used on Spotify


Andrea Frisina has been a growing name in underground scene for some time now, delivering both top quality productions alongside running the respected Gate Null Recordings which has welcomed a plethora of highly talented guests to run alongside his own works. We caught up with Andrea for a deep discussion about himself as an artist and what Gate Null Recordings is all about.


Hi Andrea, great to get the chance to sit down and chat with you as part of our In Depth series. So for the guys out there who have yet to experience Andrea Frisina, tell us a bit about how you first became involved with music and was techno your first love?

Hey guys, nice to meet you too ! …Maybe I was born with the music, I know my mother listened to ’80 dance music when she was pregnant :) All come out naturally, I remember when I was 6 years old I started to play by ear with my keyboard (for children) the soundtracks I loved, so I surprised my mum and I entered the first piano classes. Then I grew-up with the ’90 dance music and at 15 years old I started to play (the italian law allowed it) at many famous afternoon parties in Rome. So thanks also to the influence of my uncle I approached to the electronic music composition. Once finished the high school, I started to study electronic music (I mean not the electronic music that most of the people know, just think to K. Stockhausen and others like him to get the concept) at Conservatory, while I was getting a degree in Audio Engineering at Saint Louis College. Techno was not my first approach to electronic music composition, I started my career during the “minimal” boom and maybe also the type of the electronic music I learned influenced me at the beginning, indeed I think that my old minimal sound was very different from the multitude of that time. After many success in that genre (also an Award Nomination) I switched to Techno, building step by step my own sound, which I think is very recognisable today after 5 years. I’m very purist in my matter, but I think the influences in my sound are perceptible, I love to crate depth, ambience, dark chords, tension.

You are also the main man at Gate Null Recordings, how long has the label been running, what is it you set out to achieve with each release and how would you describe the sound that is Gate Null?

Yes I’m running Gate Null since November 2011, so doing the math, next November will be 5 years :) Also here I worked to create a recognisable sound and imprint, and for what I ear I think I achieved this. Our sound is pretty dark and depth, but at the same time it’s dance floor oriented, featured by dark melodies and chords, something that can rock, but at the same time can create ambience carrying the crowd or the listener through our mood.

Is it solely you that runs the label or do you have a team around you? How do you go about selecting what you will release?

I’m the head, but of course I can’t be alone doing all, but yes I do the main job and I take the final decisions. In office we are 3: me, my lady and another guy (like an intern). I do all about audio and music, but I love to care in person of some aspect of branding as well; my lady Veronica takes care about bureaucracy and public relations with people that need more endurance (to do not say anything bad, hehehe), the other guy’s duty is more like to filter for me demos, promos, proposals, etc… I leave you imagine the amount of stuff we receive each day, which’d be impossible for me to check all without filters. About selecting stuff, as mentioned, I check out what already filtered and then I decide to contact the Artist if his tracks are perfectly suitable for us. I’m very selective, I’m honest, to bring you on board and starting to work with/on you, you should really impress me.

The most recent release features Claudia Cazacu, partnered with a remix from yourself. She originally stems from a trance background, how did you come about bringing her into the Gate Null family and can we expect to see more from her in the future?

Yeah, I’ve known Claudia for a long time, she has always played and loved our stuff also when she wasn’t only focused on techno. Personally I have not problems to welcome Artists with a different background, what I look for is an excellent product and she got it ! The truth is that she landed on me before with an huge track that due of bureaucratic motivations I couldn’t sign. Then she sent me “Infinity” and “JFK”, well you can listen by your self that it’s a great product and this is exactly what I love to receive !! So yes, of course, she’s now part of the family and you’ll can expect to see more from her here !

Who else is part of the Gate Null crew? Do you have a collection of favourite releases?

Yeah, our catalog is fat, so it’s difficult for me to say which are my favourites. Beside some very successful releases of mine (such as Save The Nature, Wild Prairie ft. a remix of Joey Beltram, Landing On Enceladus, They Really Want It, Corrosion Of Dream, The Cuban Matter, Kepler System / Europa Moon, Glise and so many else) for sure Spektre’s “Fade Into You” is what first come to my mind, it was an anthem, still played and purchased… or Lluis Ribalta’s “Belial” that Deadmau5 and many other top acts burned and played in all the world and still now.

You’re now past your 70th release, the big 100 is fast approaching! Do you have anything special planned or is this still yet to be sorted?

Yes we are now releasing the GNR072 and we have scheduled till the GNR077, yes the big 100 is not so far, but also not so close. So there isn’t anything scheduled exactly, but for sure we’ll do something very impressive, in order to celebrate this one as deserved, maybe I’ll try to let this one coinciding also with a label event, where we’ll invite to perform who will participate to this big one.

You have been in this scene for some time now, looking back at your career what would be your standout highlight and why? What made that one moment so magical?

For sure I remember well every first placement, the 2 Award-Nominations, the first time Carl Cox introduced me and my tracks during his show, maybe the feeling of my first booking out of my Country, what you can feel when the people that bought your music were looking forward to see you playing… this is very magical… or you arrive in another Country, you switch on the radio and the there is your track playing :)

Let’s take a step behind the booth with you, what is your current set up when playing live? How has this set up changed as your sound and the technology has developed over the year?

I started to play 12 years ago with turntables, then I switched to CDJs (a lot of music I looked for was not more printed on vinyls) and today I play only LIVE. My set up is: Ableton Live 9 Suite on a Macbook Pro, a remapped AKAI Apc40 as controller, a mini keyboard and a MOTU UltraLite mk3 as audio card. I really prefer to play only with Ableton Live actually since I’ve found a good way to express my self also during a set. The first 3 channels are dedicated to the audio-tracks (most are mine or from Gate Null), 2 channels are for samples (drum-kits, claps, deep voices, FXs, textures) 1 channel is for Synths/Pads (or VSTs plugged in or hardware audio-in) controlled via keyboard, the last 2 channels are effect-returns (1 for delay and 1 for a chain of effects in a NI Raktor).

Does your studio have a similar set up your live set up? Do you like to use both hardware and software?

Actually my “DAW” (although it’s not the correct term for this software) is Ableton Live. When I started to play with Live, I also decided to switch to this one in my studio, before I produced with Cubase (since I degreed with Cubase and Pro Tools). So yes the “daw” is the same for live and studio, but the gear no. I use a lot of VSTs that I don’t use for live-sets and of course a lot of hardwares and OB that I can’t carry with me during the tours :)


Do you follow a set procedure when working on a track? Talk us through your thought process.

Basically no, depend on what I have in hand and on the inspiration of the moment. For example, if I have a cool vocal I use to arrange the track on this one, same stuff about remixes. Most frequently, I start making the beat and the groove, following with the bass line, textures, pads, melodies and breakdown (this one is a feature of my sound and my way to arrange).

How is your summer shaping up? What can we expect to hear from you release wise and where will you be bringing your live show to?

After this one, I’m going to release an EP of mine titled “Centaurus” which features 2 huge but different tracks: the first one is very massive, the second one is a deep techno anthem… I’m very proud of them ! In July I’m gonna release an album which’s a sort of collection of my most recent successful tracks and some memory of the past. I’ll finish the summer with another release of mine, already scheduled but not completed. Actually we’re working to reconfirm our annual at ADE in Amsterdam, we’ve just found a nice partner, so this one is in progress as well as the summer gigs.

Great talking to you Andrea, all the best!

Thanks guys, it’s a pleasure for me. Cheers !

The latest instalment on Gate Null Recordings comes from Claudia Cazacu and Andrea Frisina himself… JFK lands April 18th.

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