Tag: Eugene


Photo by Tapio Normall

It was hoped to be a year of positive electricity but with the oddball burst of negative waves, 2022 was summed up by the title of its best album.

The product of Finnish duo SIN COS TAN, ‘Living In Fear’ captured the anxieties of living with The Bear Next Door in a post-pandemic world. With billionaires taking over social media with the intent of allowing the extreme right wing an increased voice, it was as if the lessons of Trump and Bolsonaro had not been learned.

‘The Wolves Are Returning’ warned xPROPAGANDA on a track from their excellent album ‘The Heart Is Strange’, the message coming from two Germans whose grandparents’ generation “did nothing” and had made the mistake of opening up the door to the Nazis was extremely poignant.

It was as if The Cold War had never ended; the poetry of one who has escaped ethnic genocide and been separated from next of kin as a refugee has substance. So for Alanas Chosnau on his second album with Mark Reeder, this was ‘Life Everywhere’ and provided a deeper statement on life during wartime. Meanwhile China’s STOLEN presented their ‘Eroded Creation’ and explained ‘Why We Follow’.

Battles both worldwide and personal were being reflected in music everywhere with ‘War’ by I SPEAK MACHINE being another example. Things did not get much cheerier with Rodney Cromwell whose long-awaited second long player ‘Memory Box’ provided commentary on a sadly post-truth world, the so-called “alternative facts” as Donald Trump’s extremely dim advisor Kellyanne Conway liked to put it.

The decade so far has not been a barrel of laughs and the likes of UNIFY SEPARATE, BOY HARSHER, O+HER, NNHMN, VANDAL MOON and ADULT. captured the zeitgeist of the past 3 years.

Meanwhile, MECHA MAIKO maintained it was still ‘NOT OK’, I AM SNOW ANGEL felt it was now a ‘Lost World’ and Swedish duo SALLY SHAPIRO made their comeback by reflecting on ‘Sad Cities’.

As sardonic as ever, DUBSTAR presented their second collection of kitchen sink dramas since they reconfigured as a duo with ‘Two’ and reunited with producer Stephen Hague for their most acclaimed record since their 1995 debut ‘Disgraceful’.

On a more optimistic note, Italians Do It Better brought their cinematic world to London with headline shows by DESIRE and MOTHERMARY who each had new long form releases to air, while shyness was nice for the most promising breakthrough act of the year Gemma Cullingford who got all ‘Tongue Tied’ on her second long player. Meanwhile DAWN TO DAWN, ULTRAFLEX and H/P offered electronically escapist solutions to the year,

But KID MOXIE was happy to ‘Shine’ with the best video of 2022 while CZARINA got mystical with ‘Arcana’, Karin Park looked back at her ‘Private Collection’ and Patricia Wolf explored ambience on ‘See-Through’. Other female talent that shone brightly in 2022 included Norway’s SEA CHANGE, Sweden’s Hanna Rua, Alina Valentina from The Netherlands, Mexican Valentina Moretti and Anglo-French avant songstress Julia-Sophie but sister / brother duos MINIMAL SCHLAGER and SPRAY proved siblings could continue to work well together in synth.

40 years after the release of their debut album ‘Happy Families’, BLANCMANGE returned home to London Records for a ‘Private View’ while mainman Neil Arthur was keeping himself busy with FADER too. Having being shelved for 30 years, the second ELECTRIBE 101 album ‘Electribal Soul’ finally saw the light of day. And some 39 years after it was first conceived, the lost Warren Cann and Hans Zimmer opus ‘Spies’ was released in a new 21st Century recording by the HELDEN Project’s lead vocalist Zaine Griff.

Although PET SHOP BOYS celebrated their career with the magnificent ‘Dreamworld’ tour for the best live event of 2022 and joined SOFT CELL in the ‘Purple Zone’, Marc Almond and David Ball presented the disclaimer ‘*Happiness Not Included’ before announcing that they would be performing at a run of outdoor events in 2023 despite having stated their 2018 O2 extravaganza would be their last.

Also having declared a final album in 2014, RÖYKSOPP returned with the triple volumed ‘Profound Mysteries’ that featured Susanne Sundfør and Alison Goldfrapp.

Veterans Howard Jones, William Orbit, Jean-Michel Jarre and Wolfgang Flür as well as long-standing Nordic combos LUSTANS LAKEJER and A-HA released new albums but while the quality across the releases was mixed, fans were loyal and happy. After various trials and tribulations, TEARS FOR FEARS returned with ‘The Tipping Point’ and erased memories of the lacklustre 2004 comeback ‘Everybody Loves A Happy Ending’, but the duo were unable to capitalise when the majority of the UK concert tour of stately homes was cancelled due to an unfortunate accident that befell Curt Smith.

Creating a dehumanised technologically dependent Sci-Fi world, DIE KRUPPS opted for more machine than metal under their EBM pseudonym DIE ROBO SAPIENS. With NASA making its first steps back to the moon with the Artemis project, fittingly Italian producer EUGENE spent ‘Seven Years In Space’ and Ireland’s CIRCUIT3 looked back at space travel’s past on ‘Technology For The Youth’. Back on earth, THE WEEKND was still being accused of stealing from synthwave while coming up with the song of the year in ‘Less Than Zero’. In the meantime, having infuriated audiences by saying “f*ck that ‘synthwave’ stuff as u name it” in 2018, KAVINSKY was ‘Reborn’ with a second album that had much less of the wave and expanded into broader electronically generated templates with the occasional funkier overtones.

Celebrating ‘40 Years Of Hits’ on a sell-out arena tour and issuing a new album ‘Direction Of The Heart’ which featured a guest appearance by Russell Mael of SPARKS on the single ‘Traffic’ with the obligatory ‘Acoustic Mix’, as the excellent book ‘Themes For Great Cities’ by Graeme Thomson highlighted, the best years of SIMPLE MINDS are now well behind them. They are a poor facsimile of the great band they once were and as a special Summer concert in Edinburgh in honour of ‘New Gold Dream’ proved, Jim Kerr and Co can’t even play their best album properly.

Music-related books continued to be popular with Martyn Ware and Karl Bartos respectively writing their memoirs ‘Electronically Yours Vol1’ and ‘The Sound Of The Machine’. In a wider historical context, that crucial 1978-1983 period where electronic pop was more or less invented got documented in the encyclopaedic ‘Listening To The Music The Machines Make’ by Richard Evans.

2022 saw several prominent figures depart for the jukebox in the sky; Vangelis, Manuel Göttsching, Angelo Badalamenti, Julee Cruise, Dave Smith, Herb Deutsch, Terry Hall, Robert Marlow and Andy Fletcher will be sadly missed but ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK was particularly devasted by the passing of German electronic legend Klaus Schulze only 4 days after he gave a rare interview to the site.

Meanwhile Dave Gahan and Martin Gore announced yet another tour of underwhelming arena shows plonked into stadiums for an as-yet-unfinished album that at least had a title ‘Momento Mori’. Ticketscalper took advantage with so-called dynamic pricing (or legalised touting) as hapless Devotees were fleeced thousands of dollars in North America… all this just to see a continually ungrateful frontman (who didn’t even sing is own words on a DEPECHE MODE song until 2005) gesture with a microphone in the air on a catwalk rather than actually singing on it and to possibly hear a pre-1985 song performed that will inevitably ruined by The Drumhead and The Noodler!

As Juls Garat of Massachusetts goth band PILGRIMS OF YEARNING observed via social media: “If you’re spending a kidney on DEPECHE MODE tickets and not attending a local show this weekend, I don’t wanna see you complaining that there’s no scene, local venues or new music anymore”. With the lack of curiosity amongst audiences who were content with nostalgia and the like, it was a difficult year for independent acts.

There is no easy answer and as the old saying goes, you can take a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink. But one promoter that did hit on an innovative idea was Duskwaves who came up with afternoon synth gigs. Hosted at various locations in the South East of England with the aim of drumming up daytime weekend business at venues, events started at 2.00pm and ended by 6.00pm to allow for an easy journey home or possibly dinner afterwards. Artists such as YOUNG EMPRESS, INFRA VIOLET, STRIKE EAGLE and AUW joined in the family friendly fun and while the concept was unusual, with classic synth audiences not getting any younger, it has potential.

While the worldwide situation remains uncomfortable and unsettling, for The Cold War generation, it all seemed strangely familiar. As Jori Hulkkonen of SIN COS TAN said in an interview with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK recently: “It feels kind of comfortable to be back in that same state of mind that you grew up in!! It’s like you grew up in not a nice place, but you get 20-30 years out of it and then you get drawn back into The Cold War state of mind. It’s where I come from and there’s nothing good about it, but somehow feels very familiar so you can handle it in a different way”.

The Cold War inspired songs such as ‘Enola Gay’, ‘Fireside Favourite’, ‘All Stood Still’, ‘Let’s All Make A Bomb’, ‘I Melt With You’, ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’ and ‘Five Minutes To Midnight’ which encapsulated the nuclear paranoia of the times. So if the current tensions go on any longer, how will artistic expression be affected and driven?

But as Synthesizer Patel actor Sanjeev Kohli wittily remarked of the UK’s 41 day Prime Minister aka Mad Lizzie following her successful leadership bid: “Liz Truss has now been trusted with the nuclear button. I honestly wouldn’t trust her with the bossanova button on a broken Yamaha keyboard”.

In a year which saw the bizarre scenario of a black vicar worshipping Enoch Powell on the repulsive gammon TV channel GB News and the truth about Tory PPE scandals becoming clearer, Richy Sunak, Ugly Patel, Cruella Braverman and Krazi Kwarteng continued to be the ultimate race traitors in their Westminster tribute band A FLOCK OF SIEG HEILS. Failing to look in the mirror, their role as collaborators was all as part of a wider self-serving mission to help keep the whites Reich and line the pockets of their already loaded banker mates instead of paying nurses a fair wage. Nurses are for life and not just for Covid. So what did happen to that £350 million promised for the NHS by that pompous lying posh boy Boris Johnson if Brexit happened? As Tim Burgess of THE CHARLATANS summed it all up rather succinctly on Twitter: “Worth remembering that the real enemy travels by private jet, not by dinghy” ✊😉

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 2022 playlist ‘Stay Negative To Be Positive’ playlist can be listened to at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Mw0Fn10yNZQcrGzod98MM

Text by Chi Ming Lai
22nd December 2022

A Short Conversation with EUGENE

The Milan-based Roman producer EUGENE first came to wider attention in the UK with his single ‘Radiowave’ released by Wall Of Sound in 2019.

An ambassador for the electronic instruments distributor Midiware, he has also been a singing actor for the Italian versions of animated series and movies such as ‘Lego Batman’, ‘Peter Rabbit’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘Ask The StoryBots 2’, ‘Fireman Sam’ and ‘Thomas & Friends’.

His soundtrack for the surreal short film ‘Lavender Braid’ by American director Magdalena Hill combined synthesizers and voice with prepared piano, violins and the hurdy gurdy, an ancient hand-cranked drone string instrument.

Over the past few years, EUGENE has been keeping himself busy with remixes, live work (pandemic allowing) and releasing a series of singles in the build-up to his debut album ‘Seven Years In Space’. Asking “Can an object float in space for seven years?” in an oblique reference to recent times, the record is a one-way ride through 1890 and 2084.

While there is the throbbing electronic pop of ‘Of Signals & Voices’ and the punchy energy of ‘Gone’, the debut long player sees the Italian musician exploring and expressing from the galactic rock of ‘Dive’ and the arty Italo of ‘Crash’ to the ELO-esque ‘How Would You Define It’ and the electro-funk workout ‘Diagram’.

But there are more cerebral moments too; ‘Undisclos*d’ distorts piano over a slow dark waltz while mixing in Texas Instruments and the vocoder tinged ambience of ‘Ionosphere’. And while David Bowie said we had only ‘Five Years’ and THE CURE felt there were ‘One Hundred Years’, EUGENE synths up ‘A Forest’ by the latter to confirm there are actually only seven!

‘Seven Years In Space’ maintains EUGENE’s assertion that “Pop is not a crime”. He kindly spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about his first length album and getting back on the live circuit.

You have been releasing a series of singles to start 2022, is this all leading to a full-length EUGENE album?

Absolutely yes. You know I always preferred to release just single tracks or EPs rather than entire albums, but this time I felt like saying something more. It was basically a communication need. By the way, the album will be out on May 13 and it’s titled ‘Seven Years in Space’.

‘Of Signals & Voices’ has some familiar tones about it, what influenced its sound?

That song came up almost instantly, lyrics included: this is not the first time that it happens to me. Also arrangement was easily completed. It’s all built around a sequenced bass line, with lots of real-time tweaks, but at the end of it I realized I was just simply writing a blues, a sort of ‘Radiowave – part II’, if you pay attention to the lyrics.

I also knew that there was something coming subconsciously from synth heroes Gary Numan, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby – to mention a few some – and maybe STEELY DAN too, but I tried my best to filter their influence through my own sensitivity.

‘Gone’ evokes a more fully electronic DURAN DURAN?

I think ‘Gone’ is one of the most energetic and elegant tracks I’ve made so far, at least I tried. So many DURAN DURAN tunes got that combination at a very high level. I feel honoured by this comparison, I don’t know if I am up to it, thank you!

What did you think of the most recent DURAN DURAN album ‘Anniversary’ with its two Giorgio Moroder produced songs?

I immediately asked myself: “why didn’t they do this back in the early 80s?”. They did a flawless job. On the other hand, I have to admit that it sounds very celebratory to me, but it’s okay. I guess they’re not here to prove anything else, they’re just having a good time doing what they’ve always done.

There’s some anger coming out on ‘Crash’?

There is anger and a bit of cynicism too. It’s about the end of a human relationship, compared to a furious chase ending in a so-called “perfect crash”, where everything is saved or everything is destroyed: no other options at all! I love the Clint Eastwood voice sample you can hear after the first chorus: “Go ahead, make my day”. I think it adds irony and drama at the same time, it contains the spirit of the whole song.

What is ‘Dive’ about?

It’s about an aesthetic impulse, a relentless search for style that wins over time and fashion, while the world around seems doomed to fall into ruin. The narrator is a kind of futuristic Dorian Gray, crossing a stargate between 1890 and 2084.

Have you bought any new equipment recently that has changed your way of working?

I bought a new Moog synthesizer and a very cool reverb / modulation effect unit called Hypnosis, but actually my method just got even more pragmatic. I’ve discovered the effectiveness through the subtraction of the elements. I also love the unpredictable, I’m learning to exploit mistakes or unexpected situations during the recordings.

You have also been busy with remixes for other artists, like MILANO ‘84’s ‘Lola’, what is your approach to this compared with when you produce your own music?

As for my own music I put no boundaries to creativity and I’m interested first and foremost in being sincere and expressive: remixes work like this too but I see them more connected to urgency, you know, it’s a matter of instinct. That is why I always try to make construction sessions last no longer than a couple of days. I had already been guesting as lead vocalist on MILANO 84’s version of ‘Lola’, originally written and released by Italian cult duo KRISMA in the late 70s.

I found this new version really fascinating, dark and experimental, a bit far away from the usual MILANO 84 new-Italo touch. So when time came to do my remix version, I decided without hesitation to put some Italo disco flavours into it and eventually bring ‘Lola’ back to MILANO 84’s home: during these sessions I spent more time dancing than recording, believe me!

Your take on ‘My Crying Bride’ for KLONAVENUS with its dark and moody synthwave vibes was quite different from your usual sound and very different from the original?

In this case I went way more experimental, heavily pitching voices on downtempo beats and using a low-fi attitude in sound treatment – vaporwave fans might dig this one! The glacial mood of the original track is still there anyway, I just felt like adding some tension and disquiet. I had the idea while listening to the intense Valerie Hely’s isolated vocal track.

You have been backing veteran Italian new wave artist GARBO on his recent tour. For those in the UK who probably won’t know who he is, what is his enduring appeal and what songs would you suggest people should checkout?

GARBO is the first artist in Italy to achieve mainstream success in the early 1980s with a clever combination of rock, pop and subtle electronic textures, which would later be referred to as the Italian New Wave.

As well as being appealing for his minimal and almost androgynous look, his songs seemed to give a voice to a troubled generation in the midst of an identity crisis: it’s amazing how many of his lyrics are still tremendously relevant today.

To introduce you to GARBO’s music I would suggest these four tracks: ‘Vorrei Regnare’, ‘Generazione’, ‘Radioclima’ and ‘Up The Line’.

How was it for you to be out playing live again?

Oh, it was sort of that coming-back-to-life feeling. You know I’m not a bedroom musician, so performing live is the ideal completion of my studio production activity. I missed the excitement of those five minutes before taking the stage, the adrenaline, the exchange of energy with people.

But one show was flooded out, what happened there?

This is an unbelievable story: last August I was in a small town near Rome for a stadium concert as a live session man with a very well-known Italian popstar. It was a splendid summer day… well, until 3 in the afternoon. We were taken by surprise by an extremely violent storm: within an hour and a half the stadium became a huge swimming pool. My bandmates and I took to the covered stage, which was the safest place available, waiting for that bad dream to end. Fortunately, the rescue vehicles managed to “empty” the stadium in a short time and the concert was re-scheduled for the next day.

At that point another problem came up: the bass player was not available for the re-scheduled gig, so the manager asked me if I could play the bass parts on the synthesizers in addition to my usual parts. I’ll tell you, I had a hard time but in the end everything went pretty well.

The ‘Italo Disco Legacy’ documentary celebrated a frequently maligned sub-genre, what did you think of the film?

I enjoyed it a lot, it’s a well-made documentary on this rather underestimated musical genre. It very much reflects the naivety of those times: I suppose there was a great desire to experiment while having fun, albeit with limited means in terms of technology.

What is next for you?

Right these days I’m organizing the promotion calendar with the precious help of my partner-in-crime Claire (Stargazers Inc) – once the physical copies of the album are available, there will be showcases and club gigs, I hope to be back in UK too.

Meanwhile I continue my work as music producer and consultant for other artists, record labels and TV productions, but at the same time Claire and I are always looking for the next exhibition to visit or the next city to travel to.

Boredom doesn’t live here.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its grateful thanks to EUGENE

‘Seven Years In Space’ is released on 13th May 2022 in CD, cassette and digital formats, pre-order at https://eugeneofficial.bandcamp.com/ or pre-save at https://bfan.link/seven-years-in-space





Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Claire Lyndon at Stargazers Inc
10th May 2022

EUGENE Interview

Inevitably influenced by KRAFTWERK and David Bowie, one of Eugenio Valente’s mission statements is “pop is a not crime”.

EUGENE has been making synthwaves in the past 18 months, particularly with the dreamily propulsive collaboration with LISBON KID’s Danny De Matos called ‘Waiting For You’. The most recent EUGENE offering ‘Radiowave’ played with the propulsive neon-lit sax-tinged aesthetics of the synthwave sub-genre, but added authentic Italo elements and distorted feral vocal toplines.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK chatted to the Italian singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and remixer about his ethos and upcoming appearance in London…

What first got you into electronic music and who became your main influences?

I used to watch lots of mecha anime and sci-fi series on TV in my childhood. I was totally blown away by the robots and spaceships sound effects, so powerful and mysterious. I was (and still am) extremely curious. Although I didn’t want to go to any music school, I loved playing the piano, and to explore the Casio VL-1 my father bought me.

I got my first electronic music record when I was nine or ten, a late 80s album of JS Bach re-arrangements made with digital synthesizers and samplers. A few years later, thanks to my uncle and some schoolmates, I discovered PINK FLOYD and then came (in random order) KRAFTWERK, DAVID BOWIE, THE BEATLES, QUEEN, DURAN DURAN, ULTRAVOX, DEPECHE MODE, VANGELIS, THE POLICE, STEELY DAN. I can’t actually tell who my main influences are, but Floyd and Bowie had a very strong impact on me in the very beginning, of this I’m sure.

You once said “pop is a not crime”, please explain? ?

I often live on the border between experimentalism and pop music. I guess it’s a consequence when you explore sounds and try to write songs with them. I once recorded a track using some old camera noises as rhythmic elements, and it came so natural to me adding a classical piano and a good vocal line, turning it into a pop song. It’s good to express creativity and personality and I haven’t got a programmatic approach to composition. On the other hand, it’s no secret that pop music brings your sounds within the reach of a wider audience.

Did the domestic Italian artists appeal to you?

Yes, there are many Italian artists that I like, but FRANCO BATTIATO is my all-time favourite. I love every period of his forty year-long career, spanning from experimentalism to clever pop songwriting to even soundtracks, and he virtually taught me how these three musical paths are so incredibly related with each other.

What did you think when British artists like NEW ORDER and PET SHOP BOYS made Italo Disco influenced records?

It’s interesting, especially because many times in history, Italy has been influenced by British culture, fashion and music. I imagine that Italo Disco sounded really catchy and futuristic at the time and I’m convinced that some of its elements still rock today.

What inspired you to dig out a Casio for ‘Promenade’ in 2014?

I was jamming with my Juno 2 while running the Casio VL-1 ‘rock 1’ rhythm preset and the song was born almost all at once. As I’ve told you before, the VL-1 was my first electronic keyboard and parts of the ‘Promenade’ lyrics were about my childhood memories, so I decided to keep the Casio beat in the final mix. I also suggested we highlighted these electronic and sentimental connections when director Alessandro Bavari and his team came to work on the music video.

So which were your other early synth purchases and what tools do you prefer use now?

Yamaha SY85 was my first pro synthesizer / workstation: I did a thousand concerts and recorded tons of stuff with that incredible machine! Then I bought a Novation K-Station and a second-hand Roland Alpha Juno 2. Now I use both analog and digital gear, following my expression needs.

How did your most recent single ‘Radiowave’ come together?

‘Radiowave’ is the first result of my collaboration with ‘Italian new-wave’ master Garbo and avant-garde multi-instrumentalist Andy (formerly in the MTV award winning band BLUVERTIGO). Once the work on music and lyrics was finished, I thought it would be a good idea to involve my friends in it. Garbo’s unique vocal timbre and Andy’s dreamy saxophone added a touch of class to the track. Anyway I changed arrangement a couple of times before the release… it was an indietronic rock thing, in the beginning.

The accompanying video directed by Gary Hill, the American videoart pioneer was interesting…

Yes, we were at Gary’s studio in Seattle in October 2017, and he showed to me his early 70s Rutt-Etra analog video-synthesizer. I was so stunned I soon asked him if he was up for working together on the ‘Radiowave’ music video. It turned out to be a very quick process, as you can see it’s all about me singing in front of the videocam: my image was analog processed by the video-synthesizer and impulses from music and my voice triggered modulation parameters and values.

All processing (automatic and manual) was made in real time, no computer graphics, no post-production effects! We were all aware that we were doing something futuristic though we were using a 40 year old machine. Gary is such an amazing person and a very sensitive artist. He knows how to work with concepts and to make them tangible through his works.

You did ‘Waiting For You’ with LISBON KID’s Danny De Matos who you have since remixed?

‘Waiting For You’ was born from some remix ideas I put around Danny’s haunting vocal tracks, but later it revealed itself as something brand new, so we talked with Wall Of Sound’s head Mark Jones and decided to release it as a single.

In the last two years, I happened to remix a lot of tracks from Wall Of Sound artists as LISBON KID and DENIS THE NIGHT & THE PANIC PARTY alongside with cool underground projects like MAJOR DERANGES (featuring Louis Gordon), SHIRLEY SAID, AZZURRO 80 and OTTODIX.

So to Synthwave or not to Synthwave, that is the question…

Synthwave is just a nuance of my style, I wouldn’t consider myself a 100% synthwave artist, it would be untrue. Though I love 80s pop sounds and imagery, I’d be not happy to be trapped in a nostalgic time warp, it doesn’t belong to my nature.

So, Viva Synthwave when it’s spontaneous and sincere (not a mere fad of the moment) and meant as a starting point to create new musical and aesthetic paths.

Synthwave acts are known for being static behind laptops, how you do ensure you have a more engaging live presentation?

I’ve grown up playing with bands and I still do it in many projects. I want to be honest to the people who come to see me live. I’m alone with my machines and I often use programmed drum machine-and-bass sequences, but I leave to myself many parts to play live, besides singing of course! I like to get busy on stage and I just can’t stand still when I perform.

Synthwave often makes you close your eyes and dream… well I’d be happy if people kept their eyes wide open, watching an artist that every night offers something true and unique: I consider it a form of respect towards my audience.

How was it like opening for THE KVB in Rome?

Sometimes being an opening act is not easy for many reasons, but that night it felt like being in the right place at the right time, with a perfect audience… I did a 30 minute set, alternating very energetic moments with darker and ethereal ones. Even Kat and Nick from THE KVB showed their appreciation, they were very kind to me. Then I got off the stage, joined my wife Claire (who actually arranged my opening with THE KVB management) and enjoyed their concert.

What happened to your ELECTRO EXPERIENCE tribute side project with which you did a cover of DURAN DURAN’s ‘Secret Oktober’?

ELECTRO EXPERIENCE is a way for me and gifted artist Daniele Nonne to explore the music of our personal masters and it started as a game from ‘Secret Oktober’, which had the shape of a demo in its original release. So we treated it very respectfully, as a rough diamond to be refined according to our tastes. We actually have some tracks ready, but we’re always in the whirlwind of our own projects. Despite of this we hope to release something new before we can imagine!

What’s next for you?

On 4th May, I’ll be at the Synth Day & Night event in Rome, to participate in a panel on innovation in electronic music and then to do a short live set. This means a lot for me because last year’s special guest was Wolfang Flür, I can hardly believe it!

On 18th June, I’ll release via Kronos Records the soundtrack to Magdalena Hill’s ‘Lavender Braid’ film, preceded by the new single ‘Queen Bee’. And finally on 22nd June, I’ll perform at prestigious Synth Wave Live 3 festival at Electrowerkz in London. Danny De Matos will be my guest on stage too. This will be one of the most important events of the year for me, I’m truly excited and I just can’t wait to come back to the UK!

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its grateful thanks to EUGENE

Additional thanks to Claire Lyndon at Stargazers Inc

‘Radiowave’ and ‘Waiting For You’ are released by Wall Of Sound Records and Discipline via the usual digital platforms





Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Claire Lyndon at Stargazers Inc
8th May 2019

Introducing EUGENE

From Wall Of Sound Records, the stable that brought the world the stable that brought the world RÖYKSOPP, LES RHYTHMES DIGITALES and PROPELLERHEADS, comes Italian singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and remixer EUGENE.

Inevitably influenced by KRAFTWERK and DAVID BOWIE, one of Eugenio Valente’s mission statements is “pop is a not crime”. This point was made via his 2014 cover version of DURAN DURAN’s ‘Secret Oktober’ with Daniele Nonne as part of the Roman’s ELECTRO EXPERIENCE tribute side project.

Although his first single ‘Dior DNA’ was released in 2006 by UdU Records and the Casio-laced ‘Promenade’ came out in 2014, EUGENE has been making synthwaves in the past 12 months, particularly with the dreamy ‘Waiting For You’, a collaboration with LISBON KID’s Danny De Matos.

EUGENE’s new single ‘Radiowave’ featuring Garbo + Andy plays with the propulsive neon-lit sax-tinged aesthetics of the synthwave sub-genre, but adds authentic Italo elements and distorted feral vocal toplines.

The accompanying video directed by Gary Hill (the American videoart pioneer (who is a frequent collaborator through the pair’s multimedia installations) makes use of real analogue processing that makes a refreshing change from the tiresome VHS grids which are all the rage among artists who take their retro obsession too far.

One of the ‘Radiowave’ EP B-sides ‘Insistence Is Futile’ is something of a surprise being acoustic and folk flavoured but ‘Intermission’ does what it says on the tin, while there are numerous reworks including a Plaster remix which comes over in parts like TUBEWAY ARMY in the 21st Century!

An energetic live performer, EUGENE’s next show will be supporting the brooding British duo THE KVB in Rome.

‘Radiowave’ is released by Wall Of Sound Records and Discipline via the usual digital platforms

EUGENE opens for THE KVB on 27th November 2018 at the Rome Largo Venue






Text by Chi Ming Lai
8th November 2018