Guendalina founder Raimondo Barbaro speaks about venue highlights, Italy’s music scene and the new label

We sat down with the founder of the label from Italian open air venue Guendalina who believes “clubbing is dying out” in Italy

1. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Change Underground. Tell us about the Guendalina club, where you’re based, how it came about and how it has developed?

Thanks you for inviting us to talk about this new label (and the club), we really appreciated that. Guendalina Records is based in the South of Italy and is a historical Italian club. Last year we launched our new events area named Pyrex Arena in collaboration with the famous clothing brand Pyrex. After over 20 years of experience in the club and music business we believed that it was the right time to start this label project to produce good music and try to attract the attention of good unknown Italian producers who need space to create something cool. We have been working on this label, for almost 3 years and the next step will be to plan label parties around the world, even participating in international events such as Sonar, ADE or WMC in Miami.

2. What have been some of the highlights since the club opened? any particularly memorable nights?

This last season has been great and a lot of music lovers recall the party with djs like Luciano, Joseph Capriati, Marco Carola, Solomun, Martinez Brothers, Ilario Alicante, Chris Liebeng, Paul Kalbrenner, Tale of Us, Amelie Lens, Martinez as the best parties ever. Not to mention the unforgettable party with the Italian icons: Dj Ralf & Luca Agnelli. 

3. You recently launched a label under the same name, what brought about this decision and what is the idea behind the imprint?

The aim of the label is to give up and coming Italian producers & musicians the opportunity to release their music without following particular musical trends, using the club’s brand to get the word out, as it is one of the best known in Italy. We have been organising events over the last 20 years and a lot of different music genres have graced our arena. For the same reason, we do not want to bend to current musical trends but rather give an open platform to eclectic musical expression. Moreover, we think out of the box and try to create our own identity in the market.

4. What releases have you got lined up for the year ahead?

I do not either want to giveaway too much here. I’d just like to say that we are cooperating with big names in order to create something breath-taking. Our latest release just came out by a relatively unknown artist from Apulia called Angelo Ceci, he is a true talent and plays live sets with just drum machines. We have two really good remixes as support from the infamous Reboot and the eclectic Mr Ties. In addition to them, there is an Italian well known talent, from the underground scene.

5. How is the electronic music scene in Italy right now, both in terms of clubs and the music?

I wouldn’t say it but honestly speaking I believe that we need a make a change as to me the Italian scene, in terms of clubbing is dying out.

Unfortunately, the system in which we are working is “corrupt” and needless to say it, as everyone knows, the international booking agency’s have got even more power in terms of decisions. Nowadays, for our clubs it’s hard to survive and be brave enough to take the risk and put some real talent in the dj booth to attract people. This is why we need something different, we basically want to give a shot to new talent. Furthermore, I am pretty sure that our country doesn’t have a lack of brilliant artists just looking for an opportunity to express their value. Speaking of the music, we have a lot of really good as international label like Rebirth or Bosconi as well or Irma Record, which by the way is our publisher.

6. Have you got any particular artist you’d love to have on the label?

As we started with two Italian musicians, I consider it is important to let people understand the purpose of this project. Thomas Pizzini, is a really talented musician from Verona who has his own project to play at the last Robot Festival Edition. They rocked the dancefloor with a classical band composition, yet playing electronic/experimental music. Angelo Ceci a guy from Barletta is also going to be a good fit for our record label crew. From a very young age, he was really passionate of music and even though he started as a drummer, now he plays his drum machine as a real instrument. We’ll see something good I guess…

‘Angelo Ceci’s 21g EP is out now on Guendalina Records’.


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