As Maurizio turns up the volume of his stereo, the murmur of the outside world fades away. Lucio Battisti’s 'Il Nostro Caro Angelo' is his holy grail. His sister’s husband first gave him a copy of the single, his name is still written on the sleeve. “I started listening to Battisti when I was very young. I was sharing a room with my brother, a big fan, so I had no choice but to listen to his music all the time.” It reveals Maurizio’s roots: a son of Sicilian parents, he was born and raised in Liege. On their long summer vacations in Italy he discovered italo disco and would take cassettes back to Belgium. In Liege, resident dj Bernard Dobbeleer first exposed him to house, new beat and new wave at the legendary La Chappelle club.
Maurizio moved to the capital where he worked as a psychologist in a hospital and later at the drug emergency line. His 'Brussels Alternative Show' on Radio Panik has aired for a staggering 22 years now. Maurizio, nom de plume DJ Athome, has been a fixture in the Brussels experimental scene since forever. He likes his music packaged in a nice cover. “But sometimes, the music is so good that the artwork is secondary. This amazing record in my collection with horrible images of STDs on the sleeve springs to mind.”
In Italy, he met Hugosan with whom he started the Front De Cadeaux project in 2013. Inspired by Belgian new beat and Italian cosmic disco, they started playing techno at 95 bpm. By experimenting with turntable speeds and the pace of tracks, they developed a distinctive sound. “It all happened by accident. Sometimes it takes quite some time to decide if a tune extremely slowed down actually sounds great or shit.”
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