Share This

In Depth With…Knarly Knob

We sit down with Italian tastemaker Knarly Knob to discuss his new label Knarly Knob Records’. We find out more about his move from rock music to techno, his studio set up, his musical influences and what he’s looking forward to in the future…



How are you, what’s good, what’s bad?

 Fine thanks, it sounds like a very good time for me now!


 Why start your own new label, and why now? What made you make the move? Are you tired of working with other labels?

I’m not tired of working with labels at all. My first two releases have been such a huge beginning for me. Audiohell Department and Digital Traffik allowed me to get into the underground music scene and gain popularity. Building my own label gives me the possibility to release constantly my tracks without waiting other label’s busy schedules. My label’s productions totally reflect my artistic personality, meanwhile I am still thinking about proposing some tracks of different genres and contamination to other labels.


 What will be the vibe, what sounds and scenes will you cover?

 I like every kind of music at least if high quality. I find it difficult to place my tracks within a precise genre. Anyway if I’m asked to I can label it just to make it more usable. I think electronic music played with computers using analogue hardwares allows me to express myself at my best. This means I start from sounds suitable for clubs and dancefloor straight to more subtle and precious ones.


Will you do albums, will artwork matter, will you do vinyl?

I’m working on it as well. I am thrilled to create a whole album, it’s intriguing. Nonetheless I’d love to do it step by step, after I gained a solid fanbase and improved my technique and creativity.



What other labels have inspired and influenced you in your career so far?

There are many. Some of them are really close to my musical tastes. Above all those labels which invest on quality and that are recognizable. I can mention Stil Vor Talent, Get Physical, Life & Death, Innervisions, Dyinamic, Moon Harbour, Poker Flat…



 Will you still release on other labels or will your music only come on this one now?

Working with other labels is stimulating. I think about proposing my tracks to some of them, especially when my work is suitable for their artistic approach.



Why did you move from rock music to dance music? Was there one specific moment?

I started studying classic music when I was a child and then I discovered I could play along with others, as if it was a little orchestra. I invested so much on my rock band thus gaining me huge results. Beside my work with the band I developed passion for synthetizer, programming, editing and electronic music. It’s been an easy step forward, also because our albums and concerts have always been characterized by electronic vibes.


Are there any sonic similarities between the two scenes?

I think they can coexist easily. Rock music is not just about distorted guitar. There are a lot of international bands that swing between genres and scenes. I’m thinking about Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead…



 How long did it take you to learn how to produce using machines and computers vs playing keys in the band?

They’ve been two contemporary paths. Playing piano brought me instinctively to widen keys’ possibilities using synthesizer. Passion for research got me interested in production and other instruments’ sounds. You never really get tired of learning, this is maybe what thrills me so much.



What gear do you have in your studio – any hardware or is it all software?

Actually I set up a system that allows me to produce analogue sounds essentially. It’s much more complex than just software use, but results are unrivaled. Depending on my needs I work with 2 Minimoog Voyager, Moog Prodigy, Memorymoog, Moog Satellite, Korg MS10, 2 Korg Electribe, Korg Minilogue, Roland 909, 2 Access Virus, the Dave Smith’s Tetra, Mopho, MophoX4 and Prophet 6, in addition to Kawai piano, Fender Rhodes, Honer Clavinet. Also some outboards like Atlas Prism Sound, Focusrite Clarett Octopre, The Fat Bustard II valve mixer, effects such as Roland Space Echo, KaossPad e Eventide Harmonizer PitchFactor. It’s quite a lot of stuff, and it’s ok at least now!



How important is your formal musical training to the house and techno you make? Does it help, or not really?

For me it’s been fundamental. Studying harmony helped me creating interesting and less monotone tracks. I love swinging between harmonic and melodic movements. They make house and techno sounds appealing and less repetitive. I always try to get the best balance possible between pulsation and the emotional side of the track, thus making it perfect either for the dance floor and private listening.



And what identity does being Italian add to your music? Is Italian house and techno different that other house and techno from round the world, and if so, how so?

I dont’ see so many relevant differences. House and Techno roots come from the other side of the ocean, in Italy we have great producers who gained the audience’s attention over the years. What defines a successful producer is his ability to create a recognisable sound taking inspiration from music historic culture. What I like about house and techno is the fact that you don’t need to classify a producer according to his origin or native country. I often listened to tracks I loved so much, but only later on I discovered they were produced by Italian artists.



What else have you got coming up/are you excited about?

I’m focusing a lot on my productions right now. I hope I can strenghten my identity so that I can set up a full live set soon. Live is another basic aspect of my life, it gave me satisfaction with rock music, I could not live without it. I’m currently working so that it can also happen with electronic music.


Tabula EP is out now! Grab it here:\


468 ad