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SofaTalk is known for his wide ranging tastes that spans house, funk, neo-soul, jazz, broken beat and downtempo. He’s the founder of Cognitiva Records and has a monthly residency on the ever-growing Universal Rhythms. His sounds can be found on Banoffee Pies Records, Yam, Ini Movement, Tusk Wax, Broken District, Omena, and Anma. Up and coming Italo talent XL Regular hails from Rome, and operates with the dancer firmly in mind. He’s been making a name for himself by skilfully mixing and cleverly blending a myriad of elements of jazz, hip hop, and jungle, all squeezed into broken beat. Together Piero Paolinelli and Alessandro Giacchi have released previously on Omena, ANMA, Cognitiva, INI Movement, Nómada and Monologues.
We got a chance to catch up with these two gents ahead of their stellar Outplay release!
Interview With Sofatalk & XL Regular
I know you guy come from Italy. Where exactly are you based?
ST, XL: Thank you for this feature! We’re based in Rome.
I guess the summer is in full swing in your city. How is the mood there right now?
ST, XL: The city is vibrant, there’s a lot of events going on right now!
Tell us about the music scene in your town?
ST, XL: We’re lucky that we’re based in Rome, because is a city that offers us a lot of opportunities and it’s full of interesting peoples.
If you had to define the sound of SofaTalk / XL Regular, what words you used to describe it?
ST, XL: We always try to incorporate different elements from various genres. As you can hear from the EP our sound moves from Broken Beat to House, with Jazz/Funk elements.
Who are the artists that have influenced the music that you make?
ST, XL: We’re influenced by all the various genres we listen, so we don’t have a precise influence.
You have released music on some very cool labels like Omena, Tusk Wax, Banoffee Pies. What do you think has been your most notable release to date?
ST: I think perhaps the most representative are “Diforisma” my first mini album released on my cognitive in 2017, but also “South Side” released in 2019 on Broken District.
Where does the magic happen? Where is your studio?
ST:I have changed many places, I have wonderful memories of my productions also linked to the place where they were created. Now I have a studio in a room of my apartment where I also manage my own label Cognitiva Records stuff. I have found an intimate dimension where I feel very comfortable.
XL: My studio is in my bedroom here in Rome. Even if it’s a bedroom studio it’s quite big, I’ve “built” it with several years of savings and I’m very happy with it.
What can you tell us about Cognitiva Records? What is the vibe?
ST: I try to keep a logic, a well-defined path to the releases of the label. I do a lot of research and scouting for young emerging talents. The vibe is definitely Jazz oriented with forays into electronics. I like to wander, experiment with contemporary club-oriented sounds
What releases are you planning next on your label?
ST: Cycles by Re: Fill, a Roman jazz funk band, a mini EP including remixes of SofaTalk, Ben Hauke and WheelUP, has just been released. The next one will be by Dr Sud, a young Berlin producer who will be entrusted with remixes by three of my favorite Italian artists: Reekee, TurboJazz & Broke One, Gary Superfly.
How did you get together with the Outplay boys?
ST: I’ve been following Outplay for a long time, I love their release catalog. It was easy, I sent them the demos and they immediately believed in this project.
XL: Since I consider Piero a mentor, I completely trusted him and I’m really happy to have this opportunity. One love for the Outplay Crew that always had the patience to wait for us. Lol.
On this EP you collaborate with XL Regular. What can you tell us about him?
ST: We met a few years ago, Alessandro asked me for a remix for his first EP, I was excited by this proposal, I had some really good material. I immediately wanted to do something with him. It is difficult to find young artists with this great talent and we actually found a lot of feeling in working together
We are premiering On The Run. Can you talk us through this track?
ST, XL: We adopted different ways of working on the tracks, for example for “On the Run” I started making an arrangement and a rhythm part, then I put everything in the hands of Alessandro who added, reworked, rearranged the parts.
What are your next ambitions?
ST, XL: Producing quality music (together or separate) giving the good vibes to everyone that enjoys our music !
What does SofaTalk / XL Regular have in the pipeline?
ST, XL: We may start Afro Quarters 2 after the summer…
-Sofatalk & XL Regular
Turn it up & enjoy!