Clif Jack is a techno artist from Italy who made waves in 2023 with releases on record labels ranging from Reinier Zonneveld’s Filth on Acid to Simina Grigoriu's Kuukou Records. He also launched his own record label and events series called MJA the Vision, and he ends 2023 with a track on Juliet Fox’s record label TREGAMBE. We invited Clif Jack for this interview to discuss his new release and find out some of his plans for 2024…
Hi Clif Jack, let’s start by talking about your hometown. Where are you based, and what’s your involvement with the local music scene?
“I live in Padua, in the Northeast of Italy and although it's a bit small as a city in certain aspects of artistic expression, I love living here. Gradually, I am building a local reality that allows me to express various artistic facets of myself, and I am noticing a growing interest from people around me who are becoming passionate about my music and projects. Currently, I also organise two events at one of the main clubs in the area called Extra Extra. One is called SPIRIT, and there’s also the event for my new label, MJA the Vision. Both are achieving fantastic results and I am very happy with how they are going.”
2023 seems to have been a big year, as you released a track via Filth on Acid, and now you are releasing on Juliet Fox’s record label TREGAMBE. How did you and Juliet Fox first make contact?
“I'm really excited about how 2023 unfolded for my music career. After releasing a track on Filth on Acid, I had the opportunity to connect with various prominent artists. Juliet Fox caught my attention back in 2022 with tracks like “Evolution of Thinking” and “Silence Your Mind,” which I often played in my DJ sets. I decided to reach out to her, sharing my music, and we stayed in touch. Juliet was kind and started playing my tracks during her DJ sets at festivals. When she expressed interest in some of my work, the opportunity to release “U Need U” on her various artist compilation arose. It was a pleasure to connect with her and release on her label TREGAMBE. She exudes a beautiful energy, and we've established a great rapport. I'm looking forward to what the future holds and continuing this positive collaboration. I can't wait for December 16th when I'll finally meet Juliet in person as we'll be playing together at the SPIRIT event at Extra Extra in Padova.”
Your track on TREGAMBE is called “U Need U”, and I’d love to know more about its concept and sound design?
“The vocal I incorporated into the track is very meaningful to me: "Unlocking your destiny, is going to require, you need you." I was watching a lecture that evoked a significant emotion, emphasising the importance of believing in oneself to progress towards one's goals and unlock one's destiny. The work of every artist requires great willpower because it is necessary to believe in oneself first and foremost. You have to be the first to believe in yourself, to maintain your focus. And I guarantee you, this is sometimes the most challenging part. :-)
"U Need U" is an electronic track with a timeless sound. After an initial introduction that creates tension, there's a menacing bassline and a pounding kick drum, developing the whole sound with strong intensity. I love the message that this track conveys, and I've seen a euphoric dance floor when I've played it in my DJ sets, so the results have been great to see.”
Talk me through your studio set up, and the equipment that is vital to your sound?
“My music production setup revolves around Ableton Live, a DAW that I find incredibly flexible and well-suited to my creative needs. I have a special fondness for my Roland TB-3, particularly using it for its powerful and iconic basslines.
Even though I don't own many analogue machines, I enjoy experimenting with the best of both worlds by combining the warmth and character of analogue with the limitless possibilities offered by digital VSTs. Specifically, I find ANA 2 and Serum to be incredible tools for sound design, providing exceptional audio quality and endless experimentation.
Balancing analogue and digital elements together, they allow me to create a unique and dynamic sound, and I'm always open to new discoveries and creative approaches in my music production.”
You recently launched your own record label and events series called MJA the Vision, and I’d love to know more about this new project?
“MJA the Vision is a project I've been working on for years, and I finally gathered the courage to launch it this year. It's both my record label and a techno music event.
The record project offers a sophisticated synergy between techno and melodic techno, exploring new musical horizons. The event is a visual experience that merges seamlessly with the auditory, creating a sensory journey. Together with a team of technicians and visual artists, we've created a unique setup of lights and visuals to bring our concept to life, effectively conveying my musical and entertainment vision. The goal is to engage as many senses as possible, from hearing to vision, creating an immersive experience for people.
For the record label, the first release was in October with "The Vision," that featured two of my tracks, and the next two releases will showcase VIKTHOR from Naples, and AM.I from Belgium. I'm excited about the path ahead and the opportunities it offers for both the label and the events. I hope to soon find other clubs, perhaps abroad, to develop my project. Let's say I'm working on that for 2024.”
Who are some of the DJs that supported your music in 2023, and were there any special moments from your own DJ performances?
“2023 brought me great satisfaction with tracks like "Somewhere," released on Filth on Acid, which garnered broad support from numerous artists at major festivals. Some of these include Adam Beyer at Awakenings, Juliet Fox at Ultra Resistance, Reinier Zonneveld, Mauro Picotto, Simina Grigoriu, and many others. Special moments during my DJ sets often occur when I see people from the dance floor using their phones to ask for the titles of my tracks. I've noticed that these small but meaningful gestures are increasing year by year, which makes me happy. I believe the journey is still long, but I'm content with the path I'm on.”
Tell us about your plans for 2024, what are your goals for the year, and do you have anything scheduled that you are already excited about?
“For 2024, I have ambitious projects and exciting goals ahead. One of my main objectives is to continue expanding my presence in the electronic music scene and reaching a wider audience with my productions and performances. I have a lot of new music ready, and there are several open opportunities that I hope will come to fruition.
For my label, MJA the Vision, I already have several releases prepared, and a couple of events are confirmed with one upcoming on January 5th. I would be thrilled to secure a date with the project in a club in an international city. Creating memorable and engaging experiences for the audience remains an absolute priority, and it's something I truly enjoy.
A significant development is that I've joined the fantastic BCB family artist agency in Monaco. I am confident that, together with their team, they will help me share and expand my music and my immense passion.
And in conclusion… Think, Believe, Dream, Rave life forever.”
Buy Clif Jack "U Need U" out on Juliet Fox's TREGAMBE from HERE.