The Tuscany tower isn’t something you skipped in your history class but stands for Daniel Tagliaferri alias Ivory and his approach on how the artist perceives music: a tower that provides as a refuge. And so do Daniel’s latest releases too, they stand out from the collective conglomeration of music. With releases on Depth, Sol Eterno and soon on Kompakt, the Italian is starting to make a name for himself as a rising producer in the electronic music scene. Time to have a closer look and lead an insightful chat with Daniel, who is also responsible for Torture the Artist’s latest art:cast.
I did a funny test on the internet just now, out of curiosity and the result was: elephant.
Torture the Artist: Hello Daniel, how are you enjoying your day?
Ivory: I’m having breakfast which is chocolate bisquits, cherry jam and apricot juice, meanwhile I am answerering this interview and later I will go to the studio to send the podcast and re-listen to my new work in progress tracks.
Torture the Artist: Seeing as you’ve chosen ‘Ivory’ to be your DJ/producer name, are elephants your spirit animals? If not, what is and why?
Ivory: Sincerely I have an elephant tattooed and the first time I saw one for real (unfortunately in a zoo not free in the wild) I was very impressed, like a spiritual experience in front of natures greatness, but elephants are not the reason for my choice. Before my name became Ivory Tower I had seen music generally as universal kind of art something like a refuge, a high tower where you can find and express yourself through inspiration and abstraction, a healthy alienation and maybe it could also be the place where every DJ is when they plays their sets, and tell their tale in music. But back to the question, I don’t have a spirit animal, never though about this before, but I did a funny test on the internet just now, out of curiosity and the result was: elephant.
Torture the Artist: Bringing some light into the darkness as not much is known about you and your background. How was your first date with electronic music?
Ivory: I always liked a lot of different music; I never limited my curiosity about it. I don’t remember my first contact with electronic music; it was always in my preferences. When I was a teenager it was not strange for me to have grunge-punk records or Bowie, Pink Floyd masterpieces next to Aphex Twin, Autechre and Daft Punk.
Torture the Artist: What’s the first electronic music record/ track you bought and what memories do you connect with it?
Ivory: Royksopp’s ‘Melody A.M.‘ for sure. It was summer, and a close friend made me listen to this record and I was immediately captured because it had all the elements that I loved in electronic music: melodies, dreamy soundscapes and hypnotic rhythms.
Music is like water; it runs free everywhere, and has no shape but can take the shape of the container that contains it.
Torture the Artist: Your productions have this warm-hearted vibe that people usually associate with southern regions or countries. What, aside from the aforementioned, do you wish to transport with your music?
Ivory: I make music exclusively for myself. It’s a little bit strange because music is born to be shared but I think the best way to transport something with music is starting from yourself. I can’t do a new track or an entire EP that follow a trend, I don’t care about this and it wouldn’t be autenthic. I start from myself. Many things can inspire my music, a book, a movie, a painting, a journey, or what I feel when I see my girlfriend. Music is like water; it runs free everywhere, and has no shape but can take the shape of the container that contains it, so everyone can give it the meaning they want.
Torture the Artist: Having released the one or the other track that can be ascribed to the Afro-House genre, where does your preference for percussions derive from?
Ivory: Sincerely, I don’t know why, not a choice but I just go with my flow. Over the time I realized that it was easier and more natural for me make music with a strong component of percussions and afro-oriented rythms.
It’s very important for me to create something highly suggestive, even if I love rythms and groove I have an almost spiritual relation with music.
Torture the Artist: What’s a world you would like to create with your music/sets?
Ivory: It’s very important for me to create something highly suggestive, even if I love rythms and groove I have an almost spiritual relation with music. I’m always searching a completely immersion into it, through mental, psychedelic, hypnotic melodies and soundscapes.
Torture the Artist: You play the guitar, have you ever thought of playing a guitar solo to cross musical frontiers in your DJ-sets?
Ivory:It’s not something new but I never though to doing in my sets.It’s so much more conveniet to bring just a USB key rather than a guitar, lot of cables, pedal effects. Ok, I admit it, I never did it before because i’m lazy!
We exchanged files via WeTransfer and talked about work progress using a Whatsapp group on the phone but we never sent memes or nudes on this group, I mean our nudes.
Torture the Artist: Your track that you produced with Sifa and Terranova is going to be released on Kompakt soon. How did this come about as Sifa is located in Belgium, Terranova in Berlin and you in Italy?
Ivory: Sometimes technology scares me, and sometimes it’s extremely helpful because it allows us to reset distances and this is amazing. We exchanged files via WeTransfer and talked about work progress using a Whatsapp group on the phone but we never sent memes or nudes on this group, I mean our nudes.
Torture the Artist: What was your task when producing the track?
Ivory: Sifa sent me a 2-3 minute loop with some elements from him and Terranova. For Sifa the track was still missing a ‘punch’ and he told me ‘do everything you want’. I took a listen and I loved the groove and spiritual atmosphere of the track. Then, I did some work on it in just one session in my studio early in the morning. It was very easy and a natural approach. I made the final structure of the track, added some rythmic elements and after I though ‘ok, let’s make some noise now’ and my Nord A2 was very helpful.
Art doesn’t need restrictions.
Torture the Artist: As you worked with Sifa on your ‘Wonani EP’ on Sol Eterno before, would you consider yourself a team-player when it comes to productions and in addition to that how do you complement each other?
Ivory: Yes, absolutely. I love to work alone on my music because I can do everything I want without compromises but at the same time collaborations with another artists are something good and different, the machting allows both to open the mind and find solutions or ideas that maybe wouldn’t have considered alone, it’s a mutual exchange. Especially with Sifa, everytime we exchange new stuff we tell each other ‘do, add or delete everything you want, no problem’ art doesn’t need restrictions.
Torture the Artist: Having worked with Sifa and Terranova, what’s an artist you would like to collaborate with in the future, and why?
Ivory: For this question I’d prefer to answer which cagegory of artist I would like to work with and the answer is movie directors. Why? Because I love the power of music combinated to images, I feel it like a higher level to use music to convey a stronger emotional impact.
Every single element symbolyzes my feelings or its a single part of the story I want tell in music, from the bass line to the lead synth.
Torture the Artist: Generally speaking, which track of yours has come closest to stretching you to the limit and how did you overcome it?
Ivory: Each one of my tracks are stretching me to the limit, because every single element symbolyzes my feelings or its a single part of the story I want tell in music, from the bass line to the lead synth. Maybe if mean limit as a term of sound surely I can mention ‘Atlantis’ instead psychologically ‘Nocturnal’ and emotionally ‘Lux’.
Torture the Artist: What’s a track you would like to remix, and why?
Ivory: Amber Run ‘I Found‘, I already remixed but, unfortunely, not officially I usually play it in my sets. The vocal and lyrics are absolutely awesome.
Torture the Artist: What’s an outfit that goes hand in hand with your music?
Ivory: Long sleeved shirt of course. Because when i dress a shirt it makes me seems beautiful, as it does too my music.
Torture the Artist: What’s a designer you would like to play a fashion show for and which tracks would definitely be in your playlist?
Ivory: No doubt, Tom Ford. I like his eclectic talent as a stylist and movie director. I think these three tracks would definitely be in my playlist:
- Luc Angenehm ‘Kaiser‘
- Osunlade ‘Dionne‘
- Ivory ‘Nocturnal‘ (it’s inspired by Tom Ford’s movie ‘Nocturnal Animals’)
I might have been a punk during the college period and other guys made fun of me for my strange outfit.
Torture the Artist:Have you ever been a hipster and when were your heydays?
Ivory: I’ve never been an hipster, I might have been a punk during the college period and other guys made fun of me for my strange outfit or just because I didn’t like to go to clubs to dance. Now I make music played in the clubs, incredible.
Torture the Artist: What was your musical approach for your art:cast and where do you want to take your listeners with it?
Ivory: Usually I want tell a story with my mixes, take listeners on a journey but I think that’s the goal of every DJ, I know I’m not so original, but this time I just wanted to make a selection of tracks that impressed me for quality of production, sound design and atmosphere, plus something new from me.
Torture the Artist: If you were a super hero, who would you like to be, and why?