An Interview With: Federico Chiesa (OORA)

Name: Federico Chiesa

Artist name: OORA

Where are you from/Based?

I’m Italian, but living in Brooklyn, NY

Genre(s): Post Dub

Any label affiliations?

I’m collaborating with few at the moment. Next release will be with Metamorph for a Vinyl and Cassette.

On to the good stuff…

You have an impressive set up, how important is your model 1 mixer to your writing and performance?

Model1 is the most recent instrument I bought, so I’m still figuring how to use it for the best. I wanted it for my live show, considering that my music involves a lot of dub techniques and a mixer is instrumental. @playdifferently, masterminded by Richie Hawtin who created an amazing tool to shape sounds.

What is your current live hardware setup and what couldn’t you live without?

It always changes! I am definitely obsessed by synths, so I keep buying lot of them. The staples of my setup are the Abstrakt instruments Avalon, a clone of Roland tb303. Always present in my production. Then I love the simple and effective Roland Tr8.

A good delay for my dub needs, at the moment the Benidub Digital Echo and a Strymon el capistan. Also the eventide Space is always on in my productions.

What is your musical background and how did you end up here?

I have been a guitar player and singer for many years and I tour with bands back in the days. Always had fascination with synths and I started working with them after I moved in NY, in 2013. I guess after having lot of drama in bands I was looking for a solo experience.

What are your main goals for 2020?

More live show. I am still not very comfortable being alone on a stage, but my latest performances have been a blast and had great feedback. I am trying to create a setup that allows me to keep the performance as more improvisation as possible.

What is your main platform for promotion and why?

I’d say Instagram is my only promotional platform right now. I guess it’s easy to use and put you in contact with many great artists.

How often do you post and how do you know when a piece of music is ready to share?

I force myself to publish daily, putting out small snippets of future releases. Creating some interest and momentum and sub sequentially work on the full track. I don’t like to over produce things, and all my tracks are single takes with minimal postproduction. I just jam until I have something I like and then I master it.

What are your biggest limitations when creating music and how do you overcome them?

Funnily, the biggest limitation is not having limitations. I have too many toys and that definitely distract me. When I work with only a couple of instruments I always get more focused and interesting things.

What gear is on your wish list right now?

I’m desperately seeking a sampler, so far I am not happy with the one I tried. Probably will get the new MPC one or the Polyend tracker. Maybe I will buy an Octatrack for the fourth time, who knows?

Also I’m very into the chase bliss Blooper.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Lot of stuff.

Lately I’m digging the Khruangbin, TM404, the label Northern Electronics, Biosphere and Pole.

Do you find your background in photography helps to compliment your music?

Somehow there is a relationship between my idea of music and photography. I used to shoot gritty black and white street photos, and my ambient dub techno stuff to me really sat well with that kind of visual. Working as a photographer I see also a lot of connection between mixing and retouching.

See below for more from OORA