With an unparalleled legacy in the annals of analog and digital electronic music John Acquaviva can boast and list pages of accomplishments in just about every aspect of the music world. But let’s not talk about the past right now. Surging to the very top of the production and DJ world in the past handful of years with a steady stream of club anthems and chart topping tunes, his productions have won over and set the mood for an entire generation of clubbers and clubbing worldwide. Not satisfied with just his own work, Acquaviva has also relaunched the seminal Definitive Recordings imprint, taking it to its highest levels ever, fostering new artists, DJs and producers such as Olivier Gaicomotto, Kid Dub, Robot Needs Oil/Greg Kobe, to mention but a few.
With Richie Hawtin, you were the founder of legendary label Plus 8 Records. Could you describe a day of running the business when you first started out?
It was total chaos for about 10 years. It would be wake up to a bunch of phone messages and faxes for gig and record requests… Connect and plan releases with artists… Schedule releases, order the manufacturing and shipping.
Lots more calls.
Then try to invoice people take care of business admin, have dinner talk about more ideas, try to start more projects then go back to work and try to stay on top of things.
Work late into the night then wake up super early to deal with Europe as we were in Canada and already 6 hours behind on the time difference.
The ultimate party. Does it consist of music alone, or do you prefer a complete show together with visuals, lighting, dancers, acrobats and so on?
For me the ultimate set up is a triangle of great club , great people/clubbers and great artists. The most important aspect of the club is sound, the other stuff is fine, but i personally prefer less distractions and just good music.
What does your involvement with Beatport incorporate exactly?
I am one of the founders and still active as I sit on the board and stay in regular touch with management.
My first records was actually a hip hop record with an artist called Scott Down. Most people who know me internationally are not aware of this….tho I have played every things as a DJ over my long career.
Would you be so kind to share some pictures of your studio set-up?
I sold my studio equipment about 7 years ago…so don’t have one…I always work with someone. In fact it was selling my old gear that allowed me to make new music. I always share the credit with whoever I work with…unlike some other DJs 😉
Name one thing from his past that your friend Richie Hawtin really doesn’t want us to know.
I can’t….He has too much dirt on me….
A production trick native to John Acquaviva to help both upcoming- and seasoned producers?
You would have to ask my engineers as I had all the tricks in the 90’s when I was doing a lot of the recoding and mix downs.
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he he…so many. The road of excess is a multi lane highway.
So without getting into trouble…I remember a couple of hardcore nights just getting totally water on bottles and bottles of champagne…more than once…Midem in the late 90’s one year….Then one time at Motor when during my residency Richie Hawking dropped in and both nights we drank every bottle of champagne AND broke every glass in site along with other stuff and events unfolding of course which I will not go on to mention….
Did someone from the dance music industry ever defraud you and how would you prevent that from happening in the future?
Yes…especially in the early days. There is a list of bad promoters…I think most agents participate in a black list and keep track. This is too bad in that almost all of us artists love the scene and will go to great lengths to do a show in a new place and some promoters really take advantage of this.
Your current top 5?
1- Change The System (Original Mix) Bazu
2 – Nostromo (Jaceo & Vedic Dublin Remix) Luigi Rocca, Pleasurekraft Jaceo, Vedic Dublin
3 – Grande (Original Mix) Paul Strive
4 – Blindaz (DJ Tonio Remix) Antonio Ricardo DJ Tonio
5 – Everyone Everywhere (Original Mix) Will Gold
You are a connoisseur of new technology. What do you expect to come to the market in the next five years?
We have done a lot in the last 10 years and I think it will continue. Hard to predict the future, but apps are still in the early days and will continue to shape our scene in many and surely sometimes radical ways.
Everything is possible, so pick the number one techno record of all times.
Tough one, but “French Kiss” as it is like the sons of I feel love by Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder. When “French Kiss” came out , it was house and techno but not disco anymore…however, the similarity is totally there. These two records are anthems for different generations but with the same culture and community.
Does techno sound better at night?
Yes…I believe it does
Is there a final thing you would like to say to our readers?
Thanks to you and your readers for the attention and time…hope you enjoy and support our music!