Released in early June with “Lumartes”, an eight-and-a-half-minute track by CircoLoco resident Seth Troxler, Circoloco Records got off to a real start a few days ago with the release of their debut compilation album, Monday Dreamin ‘, featuring a who’s who of house, techno and tech house, indie dance and more – with contributions from artists such as Dixon, DJ Tennis, Sama ‘Abdualhdi, Jamie Jones, Beduoin, Kerri Chandler Moodymann, Red Axes, Tale Of Us and Damian Lazare.
The project is a collaboration with Rockstar Games, game makers including the venerable Grand Theft Auto, and a company that has long given love to underground dance music by installing artists like The Blessed Madonna, Moodymann, Keinemusik, Solomun and others directly into various versions of RGT. The closeness to the Rockstar team members gave Benedetti and Carbonaro a major advantage when they came up with the collaboration, with their friends within the company not only having connections but also, Carbonaro says, “the same ears than us “.
But the pair – talking to Billboard Ibiza via Zoom – recognize that working with a large global company takes time. As fate would have it, at one point they had nothing but.
The guys started talking about the label with Rockstar at a reunion in Miami in October 2019. Six months later the world stopped, canceling CircoLoco events in Ibiza, Colombia, New York, Istanbul. , in London and beyond as the COVID-19 pandemic ended the live music industry and caused the closure of clubs across the world. The advantage of being forced to turn off their corporate lights indefinitely is that it gave Benedetti and Carbonaro the time to focus on their passion project.
âIt was hard work, and honestly without the pandemic I’m not sure we could have done it,â Carbonaro said. “These are two brands that come together and convince everyone that this can be a cool project. For that, it takes time to plan.”
With Rockstar finally signing, the goal became to involve the artists. Making calls, emailing and joining Zoom sessions from Ibiza – where the guys, both Italians, decamped during the pandemic – they reached out to many of the producers who make up the CircoLoco family of artists. Since many of these artists already have their own labels and other brands compete for their new music, involving the artists was, in their view, competitive. âYou have to prove that you are doing a good job,â Carbonaro says.
But with the names CircoLoco and Rockstar giving the project some credibility, song submissions started pouring in, the guys eventually settled on the 20 songs that make up Monday Dreamin ‘. The idea was for the compilation to represent what attendees would hear at a given CircoLoco event, and in particular at DC10, which has three rooms featuring three different styles of dance music. Thus, the sounds of the compilation oscillate between the muscular house with disco accents of “You” by Kerri Chandler and the deep house with the accents of children’s choir of “The Church” by Rampa.
With the compilation now out (with more to come, the guys say), Carbonaro and Benedetti can focus on the live events again – sort of. Ibiza nightclub regulations remain unclear, and although the duo claim they have lineups for CircoLoco at DC10 scheduled until October, it is not yet clear when they will be able to open their doors for indoor shows. or outdoors.
But doors are reopening elsewhere, with CircoLoco parties currently on the schedule for places like Tel Aviv and the US “It was rescheduled every day!” Benedetti says he staged these shows amid rapidly evolving security protocols in a myriad of countries. In October and December, the party will land in the United States for a trio of shows in New York City, Miami (at Art Basel) and Los Angeles.
While the pandemic still doesn’t make it clear when CircoLoco will revert to its previous schedule, which typically included 40 parties around the world each year – when the time comes, the team will be ready. “We’re like runners on the line waiting to run 100 yards,” Benedetti says, “just waiting for the shot.”
In the meantime, the guys have completed a project that might not have happened without the pandemic. Benedetti acknowledges that “the buzz, the energy you get in the club with the lights and the people, the smiles, the dancing, the sweating, the DJs”, with CircoLoco Records they created something with more resistance than this glorious, but fleeting buzz.
âIt was very satisfying, because it was a new project that we were embracing during one of the most difficult times that humanity has experienced recently,â said Benedetti. “We were able to squeeze the positivity out of the negativity. It was very exciting.”