During summer nights anything can happen. It can happen that in the extreme heat in the first days of September, Claudio Coccoluto, one of the DJs who has written history in house music, arrives at the Bar Mè in Trestina, the cafè of the village, the one that once held an old cinema and that today hosts the Sagra della Puntina (Music Festival), three nights of music, DJs and vinyl records. We start with the vinyl records, his passion and working tool, I ask him what he thinks about the common use among youth of easily downloadable software that allows anyone to act like a DJ though not ever having seen an actual LP.
by Lorenza Mangioni – Special Thank to: Michele Montanucci & Bar Mè
«Here we open a huge abyss- he answers amused-, we can make a parallel: if we were talking about musicians, whoever wanted to become one would choose an instrument, but he would have to study music. In the case of a DJ, the instrument becomes a shortcut to make it easier to get to the top, because technology allows you to skip one of the fundamental steps: the acquisition of a musical sensitivity and culture». The world of Coccoluto, almost 30 years of career behind him, known in all the world, is about the idea that in order to make this passion a real profession you have to first of all know music, be curious, want to discover new frontiers and let yourself be inspired by all that is around you. Starting from vinyls is part, according to him, of what you call «the ABCs of a DJ», something that is not just esthetics or show, but of true innovation, true artistic caliber.
Passion, in fact is the other propelling push, a passion that comes from the essential desire to make people feel good with music. In the 90s his career had a huge increase, I ask him what has changed in the role of a Dj since then: «To me it has remained basically the same. This evening, for example, I am here in a café, not in an important club, for a bet, to have fun with some friends, for an initiative that combines creativity, participation and inspiration. I have always needed to be in contact with people and to communicate through my discs what I feel, now same as I did 20 years ago». And the people seem to love him very much, there are many here, they say hi to him, they ask him to take a picture and he without any frills, talks with everyone, with simplicity, in a very direct way. I like when he says that this is his favourite aspect, «eclecticism should be valued. I feel that there is a need for informal places, different from places ascribed as clubbing and that now have different problems, even of social acceptance; that can be a small café, a barn, a beach, I like to free myself from every type of constriction and play for the joy of doing it». It is the freedom of choice that Coccoluto wants to leave with people: the choice of having fun without having to take on a role, but with awareness and information.
[quote]«eclecticism should be valued. I feel that there is a need for informal places, different from places ascribed as clubbing and that now have different problems, even of social acceptance; that can be a small café, a barn, a beach, I like to free myself from every type of constriction and play for the joy of doing it» Claudio Coccoluto[/quote]
Speaking of sad things that have happened and of the boy, so near to us, who died in August at Cocoricò he says: «There is a type of conformism for which it seems that in certain environments one has to join a predefined scheme and the younger ones, prey of imitation, let themselves be influenced, conditioned, without having effective defenses. For this reason it should be forbidden to go to discos under the age of 18, in the meantime we should try to inform and educate our teens». The regretful part is that in this infinite controversy, it is music that becomes polluted: «This really pisses me off». In his calling himself an artisan there is a desire to put music at the centre of attention and the capacity of people to be moved thanks to what he can do with a console. Maybe tonight could be the right night to get excited a little more, to move more, to listen to a DJ who has continued to follow a dream, trying to shorten the distance between people, between genres of music, between night and day. A person who says, now it is late, we must say goodbye, well he goes away and after a minute we are all already dancing.
Photo by Camillo Carobi