TF Archives

Robert Armani

Author: Andrez
Sunday, January 1, 1995
Robert Armani as one of the more recognizable names to appear on the Alternative Current (ACV) label roster alongside Leo Anibaldi, Riccardo Rocchi, Freddy K, Hertz and Sandro Galli. Given ACV's Italian location and the innuendo of his own surname, Robert would appear to be just another Roman hitched-up with this minimalist house renaissance - but this is not fact. Robert Armani is an American expatriate who once called Chicago home, and with tracks like "Ambulance", "Big Dick", "Work The Shit" and "Madman Stand" up his sleeve, Armani along with his ACV cohorts is presently setting the techno world afire. What they have created is a unique fusion of Chicago house with the cleaner sounds of Detroit, combing through the stabilising influence of their European brethren; in Armani's case this quite often means dogmatic drum machine patterns with the odd noise on top.

The best definition of personal style, however, should be sourced from the artist himself. "Basically the kind of music I'm producing right now is a minimal sound with a harder bass", Armani explains in simplest terms. "Music that hits hard and and makes you move, and has a really good feeling to it."

What kind of reaction is Robert Armani's music designed to inspire- "Reaction. . .-" he murmurs with a grin. "Oh goddamn, dance! Go crazy! Listen to the music!"

Inspirations come in many forms, be they musical experiments by other artists or events that unfold throughout the simple act of day-to-day living, but when pressed about the influences on his own music Armani is curiously evasive. "Ahh, there are many; there's many people. There's no person in particular. I can't think of any single name." Almost as an after-thought, he chuckles to himself.

Having worked with ACV over the past few years how is his relationship with the label and does its direction reflect the music he wants to produce- Armani shrugs in response. "Well, it's a good label - it's a great label for techno, and they make you work here! Boss Tony [Verde] really makes you work hard, but it's important. They're trying to put out only good records." And his working relationship with fellow ACV artists such as Leo Anibaldi and Freddy K- "Oh, it's good - I don't speak Italian, so it's a bit hard; instead we speak with music."

Where did it all begin for the Robert Armani enigma- It starts out in its most tangible form with his first choice of musical instrument. "It was the 505. That was when I was seventeen, and not long after that I got the 909." He pauses to reflect, then goes on with a vague tone of bitterness infiltrating his words. "When I started making music nobody wanted to listen to me; everybody put me to one side. I did DJ work at several parties, and I made my own tracks and put them onto tapes, which I passed on to other DJ's. I asked them to play them, but they pushed me aside and wouldn't." He explains that this alienation occurred while he was still in Chicago, and the bitterness fades. "So then I finally came out through Dance Mania, and I came over to Italy to DJ at a party here. Leo Anibaldi had passed on a letter to me from Tony at ACV, asking me to come over, and so I came. That was three years ago", he reflects warmly, "and ever since I've been coming back and coming back. Three years. . . Once I was out through ACV everybody started calling me and now they all want to play my music, even back in Chicago."

Renowned for his minimal house music, Armani's interview technique now takes on a minimal twist over the course of the next few questions: Are there any particular artists working right now whom he really admires- He chuckles. "I couldn't say, I couldn't say. . ." What are his feelings about the direction techno's taking at the moment- He shrugs. "It's going up - still going up." Does he think that 1995 could be the year for minimalist house with a Chicago edge- He yawns. "Yep." And he's going to help that to happen- He laughs. "Oh yeah!" Going on to his trac