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All About Italy's Eve: 50 Releases & Counting

Author: Benedetta Ferraro
Monday, November 19, 2001
Despite both being natural born Italians, Pablo Gargano and Steven Lo Presti decided to come to London to set up their fledgling record label Eve Records. 5 years and 50 releases later, they're well respected for their tough high quality trance releases, putting out records from the likes of David Forbes and Carissa Mondavi. Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro caught up with them in their South London studio recently, as they prepared to put out their 50th track, Absolution (by Pablo Gargano).

Skrufff: How did Eve Records start-

Steven (Eve Records): "I've been working in the music business since the age of 17, and in '95 I decided I wanted to start my own label. This would have been very difficult in Italy, as their system is extremely bureaucratic. Only if you have around £7,000 for all sorts of fees, can you actually go ahead. Personally, I didn't have such a lump of money to throw away and since my mother is English, it made sense for me to move to London and try it out there."

Skrufff: Well, at least you didn't have to know influential people to get where you are today…

Steven (Eve Records): "That is true to a certain extent, because even here in England you need to know people to become part of certain circles. In my experience, the mafia is everywhere, and England is not better than Italy. In Italy at least, your social class is not so relevant and if you know someone powerful who can help you, it won't matter if you are a working class lad, whereas in England you need to belong to a certain class or to have studied at Eton or Oxford, to benefit from the help of powerful people. You also have discrimination between old and new money, i.e. to be welcomed by the upper classes you must belong to a family that has been rich and powerful for generations. In Italy, as long as you know someone, it doesn't matter if your parents are peasants."

Skrufff: Eve Records is about to unleash its 50th release. What does this mean to you-

Steven (Eve Records): "We're extremely happy and proud to have achieved this target, but to be honest it almost came as a surprise to us to have released so many records. We have four labels in total; Eve releases progressive, Recover does hard house, Telica does hard trance and Eve Nova does more melodic, commercial trance. Pablo Gargano and I essentially look after the whole business, he makes the money and I count it…
Initially we wanted to showcase only Pablo's releases, to create a buzz among the majors in view of having the singles signed and distributed by them. Releasing records on our own label also has enabled us to get noticed by top DJs."

Skrufff: Initially your main purpose was to display only Pablo Gargano's talent. Now you seem to have gone beyond that idea…

Steven (Eve Records): "Well, we wanted to grow and invest all of our resources into music. Initially this was a part-time interest, since we were also doing other jobs to get by, later we decided to give it a proper go and radically change our approach. We have now 10/11 artists who mostly record for us, often we licence other records and one-offs and we're currently working with Ministry Of Sound on a House project, for which we have involved 13 artists, different from those on our roster."

Skrufff: How has the market changed since you started back in '95-

Steven (Eve Records): "If we're talking about underground music, there aren't so many sales in comparison anymore, but commercial music still sells a lot, and it always will. Today, commercial compilations have become the perfect promotional vehicle for many underground tracks. They wouldn't have had the same impact on their own, but the idea of making an underground track commercial through a compilation works, and later it helps the single to sell on its own strength as well."

Skrufff: A lot of the music you put out is trance. Does it bother you that certain press considers it 'passe''-

Steven (Eve Records): "I couldn't car