Interview: Luca Maniaci

Italian native Luca Maniaci has welcomed productions from the likes of Kasil, O’Fella, and Dominik Fröhlich to his techno-focused Mind Games Recordings imprint in the past.

The latest sound to come from his own studio finds him returning to the label, as he delivers a remix for Alessandro Cocco’s new 5-track ‘Unsolved Case’ EP.

We caught up with Luca to chat about the new release, his plans for the label in the near future, which other labels we might see him on soon, and the relationship between social media, and the music industry. Get the full discussion with Luca Maniaci below.

Hi Luca, I hope you’re well at the moment, what have you been up to so far this week?

Hi! At the moment I am involved in several things: The scheduling of some new releases for my label Mind Games Recordings, managing the promotion of each release, and in the meantime I am producing a lot of new music. Some remixes, some singles, and a few EPs. I’m also thinking about a new album, probably timed for next year.

This was the first summer where clubs and festivals were allowed to open at full capacity since 2019, what were some highlights for you as a DJ over the past few months?

I quit DJing a few years ago for personal reasons, so I haven’t lived this summer as a DJ. On the other hand, I travelled a lot, taking a break from the studio, enjoying summer, and meeting many people has been very fulfilling. I have been to some cool events however, but not as a DJ. I can honestly say I do not rule out the possibility of returning to DJing in the future.

You’re about to release Alessandro Cocco’s ‘Unsolved Case’ EP on your Mind Games Recordings imprint, what can we expect from the four originals on this one?

When I got the demos, I loved the tracks from my first listen. Alessandro is a really good producer and a very nice guy, we discussed together some details that in my opinion gave that extra touch to the individual tracks. I love the union of the hypnotic sound with the strong beats he created, perfect for the dance floor. The EP is already receiving great feedback and support around the world, and there are still many days left until release day! I’m sure it will go really well.

And it also includes a remix from yourself, how did you approach the track in the studio when you first received the parts?

I just followed my instinct, as I always do. I felt I had to create a more raw and faster sound to the original track, without leaning away from my hypnotic and atmospheric side.

Do you feel any added pressure when making music for your own label?

No, on the contrary: I feel more free. That’s why I mostly publish on my label. I understand the needs of other labels, but sometimes this way of working limits the producer’s vision, in my opinion.

And who might we expect to see on Mind Games in the coming months?

Some things are still in the works, but at the moment I can tell you that I am looking forward to releasing a very special EP by the talented Colombian Azogiař. Obviously I myself will return to my label with a massive EP and soon I will have the pleasure of hostinig Linear System again, one of my favourite producers, as well as a dear friend. But that’s not all.

You have also released music on labels like FLASH Recordings, Ovum, and Solar Distance, where else might we see you release soon?

I’m in contact with a couple of pretty big labels, but we’re still working out the details, so, I’ve got to remain quiet for now on some exciting news.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to mention before we go?

Thanks to you, it was really a pleasure to catch up.

Honestly, I would like to briefly address the social media discourse, even if many have already done so before me. Personally, I use social media almost exclusively for work. I have always argued that this way of being in touch with the world is very beautiful and useful, but at the same time, in many cases, it limits true expression. It’s very sad to see the portrayal of today’s society, where some people put more effort into “getting likes” and “becoming popular” rather than focusing on creating something new, which they really feel.

I was really happy to see platforms like Aslice, which focus their work on giving real value to music and artists. Social media is nice, but some weird things have been happening lately and something tells me that some of these platforms won’t last much longer. We are full of great young artists who don’t have the audience they deserve and people who only play on appearances who have it too easy seem to generate a temporary “success”. I myself see some of my artists who fail to have good visibility, musically speaking, because they don’t spend thousands of euros on sponsorships etc.

For example, our last releases have been played everywhere around the world, from Berghain to Freedom Festival and so on, but this doesn’t make us “popular” and who cares? The most important thing is music. Never forget that! In fact, a global change, in the electronic music scene, but not only there, is taking place: Some are already seeing it, others will soon see it. Thanks for the possibility to speak with you. See you around!

Alessandro Cocco – Unsolved Case EP is out September 28th on Mind Games Recordings.