Italian-born Alex Picone’s passion for deep analogue-sounding grooves is all consuming. Ever since he was a teenager, his whole life has been devoted to feeling, sharing and shaping hip-rolling house and techno. And, of course, it shows; whether he’s laying it down at top Italian clubs like Flow and il Muretto, or blasting it out in Berlin, where he’s now based, his ego-free approach to DJing attracts true underground party heads in droves.
Alex (aka Alessandro Picone) was born and grew up in Padova, where he started DJing in the mid-90s – when he was just 15 years old. His skills quickly landed him regular slots at La Scala in Padova, and from there he began to organise his own house parties before bagging key residencies at Flow and il Muretto. Playing regularly to the clued-up crowds at these clubs, alongside such international talents as Luciano, Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos, added momentum to his musical evolution and later propelled him into the world of production.
In 2004 Alex took his first steps as a producer, hooking up with Kay Sand (Francesco Sperotto) to form Chronic Flakes. Their tracks quickly earned respect from the likes of Alex Neri, who released two Chronic Flakes’ 12”s on Bustin’ Loose in 2005/6, prior to unleashing their groovy, loopy tech-house extravaganza, the Omnadawn EP, complete with a remix by Guido Schneider, on Tenax Recordings in 2007. Neri even included ‘Galicia’ from their EP on the 2008 il Muretto compilation mix. Picone was on a roll and, after spending some time in Ibiza, he finally adopted Berlin as his new home, a place from where he had drawn much inspiration. Here he built on an existing relationship with a fellow Italian in Berlin: Lucretio, the label manager of Detroit’s Mixworks. Lucretio had already been sending Alex’s output to the mastermind of the Mixworks network, Buzz Goree, which led Alex to release ‘Berlin Dub’ as part of the Persistence EP – Mixworks’ debut release. He followed this up by returning to Mixworks as Chronic Flakes and releasing ‘Numalbix’, which came out on the Dance Tactics EP (the label’s second project). 2008 furthermore saw Alex release his first full EP as a solo artist, Furby Floppy, on Luciano’s Cadenza Records. This won him nods from both peers and press, and ‘Floppy’ went on to feature on Luciano’s Fabric 41 mix, while the slow-burning ‘Berlin Dub’ was included on Âme’s Fabric 42. Around this time Alex also became involved with AltaVoz, a collective/event that nurtures the development of electronic music in Italy, where he DJed with such artists as Carl Craig, Onur Ozer and Vincent Lemieux.
Bringing a warmer, more human feeling to mixing than many of his contemporaries, Alex has now played at such clubs as the aptly named Underground in Ibiza and Fabric in London. As well as at Cadenza showcases around Europe, from Cocoon Club and Watergate in Germany to the buzzing Black Sea Coast of Romania. He also felt firsthand the force of Underground Resistance when he visited the US for the first time to play a couple of sets in Detroit during Movement DEMF 2009. First at a Mixworks’ party, alongside Buzz Goree, Mike Servito and several other real deal DJs, then at an after-hours hosted by the irrepressible Seth Troxler.
2009 sees Alex continue to explore a subterranean landscape of beats through his groove-ridden Motherland EP out on Bosconi Records, and a third cut for Mixworks called ‘No Kiss’, which has already been supported by heavyweights like Luciano, Hawtin, Villalobos and Raresh. Alex is also planning another EP, based around his ‘Mon Amour’ track, complete with an exceptional remix from Chris Carrier. Then there’s another Chronic Flakes collaboration, this time for Mike Shannon’s Cynosure imprint. Not to mention fresh material born of his friendship with Argentinian adventurer Ernesto Ferreyra.
Music. Playing it, producing it, and making it happen, for the true heads. This is the fuel that ignites the passion of Picone. A life lived for, and through, music.