MxCx Interview#26 "Hallucinator"


In a world where most of the music sounds the same and every producer is the carbon copy of eachother, Luca Lodi and Simone Sighinolfi aka Hallucinator, came to break the rules. 
A career developing since 2007, proposing their uncompromising signature sound and ranging from hard neurofunk to hardcore, metal and everything in between, their pride is driven by having their own identity and not following a particular style. Always favouring quality over quantity, nonetheless the body of work looks astounding already.
The masked duo counts several releases on many prestigious labels such as EMI, PRSPCT, Yellow Stripe, Forbidden Society, Brutale (to quote a few), worked together with names like Gridlok, Counterstrike, MC Coppa, The Outside Agency, Andy the Core, The Sickest Squad. 
Definitely not the usual dj set, their show is highly energy infused and gets perceived as a live band concert. A unique approach that made them headline several shows around the globe and on the biggest festival stages, like: Let it Roll, Beats for Love, Boomtown, Imagination, Decibel, Hardshock, Q-Base, PRSPCT XL and many more, always leaving a mark and schocking crowds in every performance.
Pioneers of mask wearing since ten years into the scene, long before it became a glamorous bandwagonist gimmick, they give birth to worldwide recognized anthems like "Raise Your Middle Finger", "Resist" or the metal influenced "Fuck The System". 
End of 2017 and beginning of 2018 see Hallucinator step it up once again, on one side experimenting on 200bpm with the release on Brutale, and on the other side with their second album "Iconoclasm", forthcoming on the mighty PRSPCT Recordings, which will bring it back to their Drum and Bass roots.
Don't miss them play in your town on their next Iconoclasm tour!!!

How was Prspct xl 25?
Your new album is released from Prspct, right? When is it released? Have you tried something new?

Last XL was absolutely one for the books. A proper celebration for the 15th anniversary and the Maassilo (the venue where it took place) is without doubt one of the best locations we ever played at. Beside being rammed with people totally having it, it's also a proper huge industraial maze full of corridors and rooms, definitely one of a kind. We had the chance to test most of our album - which will be released on PRSPCT later on this year - and it went off pretty well considering the crowd's reaction.

Please tell me the history of Hallucinator.
What were you doing before Hallucinator? Why did you start Hallucinator? What is the origin of the name "Hallucinator"? Is there any meaning in your mask?

We were both in bands. Luca was singing and playing guitar in a few death metal/ grindcore bands and Simone was involved in a more grounge-influenced act. When we ended our "metal career" we both got into producing and dnb around 1999/2000, each to his own different path that, later in time, managed to link us and made us meet.
At that time we were part of different projects and Luca already started the project Halllucinator with two other guys in 2007, it wasn't until 2010 that Simone joined in and together we found the perfect vibe and balance.

The name came after many hours of studio and the effect that our productions gave us when listening back to them after several days of the same loop.

The meaning behind the masks is that we want the people to identify more with our music than with our faces.

When did you join the Italian DNB scene?  Who are the Italian DNB DJs/Producer that you influenced?
What is different from other countries' DNB scenes?

We joined the Italian dnb community around 1999/2000. We were part of different crews and projects back then. Simone was involved in a project called S.M.O.K.E which has made releases for labels such as Formation, Charge, Fabric, etc... Luca was part of Bass Taste Crew, which hosted a local Radio show streamed worldwide via internet. The radio was located inside one of the main DnB venues in Bologna (the Link) which hosted the biggest names in the entire Drum'n'Bass scene.

We don't really know if we really influenced anyone but, seen the recent increase of the double masked acts all over Europe, can only leave us flattered.

Unfortunately In Italy most the scene and the promoters are very divided on the generes, so you get to have the same type of dnb for the entire party, and the result ain't quite the best in our opinion. Also there's a very small few people that know the names on the bill and their actual productions. Abroad is completely different at least crowd-wise. The People really know the music and they're not divided on the generes (at least the majority) and we think it improves a lot on creativity since you don't feel you have to produce only one kind of subgenre which is quite limiting in our opinion.

What is the appeal of DNB for you? Why did you decide to make DNB?

We think is a path almost every dj goes through. After playing for quite some time other producers tunes, you need to express yourself and speak your own mind and feelings. DNB was instant love for us, hard to explain really, but we both bought hundreds of vinyls and dj for many years before starting to do our own thing, which was mainly for passion and never thought it would have taken us where we are now.

Your music roots are very unique.
Hallucinator's aesthetic / melancholic melody feels the influence from Japan/Depeche Mode.
What kind of thing was it that made you interested in New Wave?

We actually grew up with new wave (besides many other as metal, old school rap etc...) and it's hard to get rid of your roots. At that age, we were goin through that musical phase which we gladly rediscovered many years later. There are definitely some undeniable jams.

Italy is a very artistic country. Many wonderful works are born (Expecially in horror movies!)
What kind of country is Italy for you?

Besides, as you mentioned, art, food and some really good old school horror movies and composers, Italy is sadly a extremely corrupted Country. The mafia-owned government is forcing their bullshit laws and heavy taxes on people causing all sort of trouble. Many people has left to other countries and many others committed suicide. Music wise is no much difference, charts are filled with non sense silly pop crap and most of the younger generations don't even know what good music stands for. It's probably one of the richest countries when it comes to ancient monuments, cities, painters and all of that, but everything gets clogged up by burocracy and mafia. Most of it's inhabitants don't really care tho, because all they need to be fulfilled it's their football match on sunday.

Please tell me about music production. What equipment do you use?
Always making songs with two people?

When we get together, we work in our studio ( The studio has an imac with Logic as the main daw, and is of course loaded with plugins. We also have a API clone preamp for vocals and we use Mackie HR824 speakers.
We might develop ideas separately, but when it's time to finish the track we always do it together.

At what time the song riffs and beat ideas born?
Are you conscious of club(floor) and DJ playing when making songs?

An idea can come up at any time really, even when sleeping. Often waking up in the middle of the night and start to write them down.
Translating ideas into something dj-frendly comes very natural to us, since we were dnb fans even before being djs, and so coming from the dancefloor ourselves.

I think "Fuck The System EP" is an important release for Hallucinator. I feel a terrible power in this EP.
Why did you make an EP with strong political message? You made a song called "Resist",Have you ever felt racism?

As for the previous question about our country we really do feel the pressure of living in such a corrupted one. Manifestations against injustice are on a daily basis and it often involves clashes with police, where many gets injured or sometimes even killed. All this leaving the real perpetrators unpunished in oder to have the different factions slaying eachoter. Our track "Resist" is dedicated to all of those that doesn't feel either protected, neither represented by their own government.
It ain't a matter of racism-ignorance which, by the way, we highly condemn.

You are collaborating with Sinister Souls, TOA, Isacco Pattini, Cooh, Counterstrike,etc. How is a collaboration song made?
Who do you want to collaborate in the future?

In the cases you mentioned, the idea came from us in the first place, then sometimes it gets reworked quite a lot to get the flavour of both the producers wants to add to it.

Do you think that you can maintain a balance between dance music and political part?
Do you think you can change the consciousness of the people on the dance floor by making political songs?

We honestly include what we feel in our lyrics and surely don't have the arrogance to think it will change the world. But, If it would, we'd be surely really glad. Anyways our main intent is to make the music we love and that people can also enjoy.

I think, you will be in activity for 10 years this year.
What is obtained after continuing activities for 10 years?

Well, deifinitely a worldwide recognition and some very important gigs that got us in touch with many people around the world and which is mainly what we love to do.
Will also clelebrate these ten years with a new album, which will be released later this year on PRSPCT.

You have released a lot of wonderful works(2007-2017). What is your most favorite song?

We don't really have a favourite one since for us they're all special in their own way.

After the appearance of Apple music and Spotify, music became basic free of charge. What do you think about delivering your own music free of charge?
Physical releasing is still important to you?

It's already being a while since music itself doesn't bring any money in the artist's pockets anymore. It represents more the promotional side of our work. Anyways we don't think about business when we write music, since it's a pleasure doing it for us and for our fans. The fact that our music is liked worldwide and gets us on tour, it's a well appreciated consequence. We're really glad that by touring, we can support oursevels money-wise and continue to create new music.

What is your future goals? Do you want to make songs other than DNB / Hard Core?

Pretty sure playing in Japan would be one of those! Actually we're organizing a world tour to promote our new album, so look out for that!
We do make different stuff than DNB/ HC on our own but, as Hallucinator, we'll keep delivering bangers on either genres.

Please give the message to the reader.

Much respect to all of you who have been supporting us thoughout the years. You're the reason why we exist and for whom we'll keep doing what we do.