Le Bain

Jolly Mare Shows Off His 'Mechanics'

We sat down with Jolly Mare, the rising star of the Italian scene, before he celebrates his debut album 'Mechanics' (Bastard Jazz) Saturday, April 16th at Le Bain.
LE BAIN: You have a PhD in vibration dynamics and you won the IDA DJ Championships. You must be very talented.
JOLLY MARE: I've considered myself a passionate person since my early days. I was the kind of kid who wasn't afraid to spend hours experimenting with drawing techniques or practicing guitar instead of playing football with my mates. And I'm still that way. My parents transmitted the joy of knowledge to me. My father is a bricolage master—you give him a broken hairdryer and he gives you back a brand new food mixer. I used to be his assistant during long afternoon sessions. My mother teaches Italian at secondary school—she introduced me to fine arts, and mostly pushed me to not be afraid of my sensitivity. They are a strange mix. So I am.
"I'm kind of a meditative person, absent minded, and fond of nature" —Jolly Mare 
Tell us about vibration dynamics. It seems like it has greatly inspired your music. Do you believe music, mathematics, and physics are connected? 
Of course they are. There's an equation for every phenomena, including music and feelings. Please don't ask me to write it down! I studied too much over the last few years and I'm sick of it. That's why I moved to music. We are made of vibrations. We interact like atoms transmitting and sharing energy in such a complex way that most of us are forced to describe it as random for simplicity's sake. Concerning artifacts, they have to be sincerely faulty in order to be true and drive the listener's attention—far from the exact circle and straight line professed by the computer era.

What about love?
Love is about imperfections.

“[It's like] the soundtrack for a 'Blade Runner' sequel set in Rio De Janeiro.” —Jolly Mare on his new single

You’re about to release your first album on the NYC label Bastard Jazz. How did you guys connect? 
Through Facebook. Nothing romantic! But indeed, something magical happened, as their label manager texted me asking for more after listening to an unreleased track of mine on Gilles Peterson's BBC radio show. Coincidentally, I was in NYC that day, so we managed to meet up.

What can we expect?
Quoting hilarious reviews on the first single: “Tullio De Piscopo meets Patrick Cowley” or “The soundtrack for a Blade Runner sequel set in Rio De Janeiro.” I took all my influences and mixed them up, as well as played live instruments. No samples have been used on this album.
Jolly Mare Hungry Angry

As a real record digger, what is the latest unexpected record you found that reveals something about your personality?
I could suggest Claude Larson's Dynamic Meditations. Class A library music. Track titles are "Earth," "Water," "Fire," and "Air." This album says I'm kind of a meditative person, absent minded, and fond of nature.

You’re a rising star of the Italian dance music scene. How would you define the Italo sensibility in disco and house?

Italo disco from the past was mostly something like: "I'm musically untrained. Let's play catchy themes on a synthesizer so people can easily remember it. I'm bad with singing but who cares, let's drown in reverb for a few verses and it's fine." For some reason, we are historically devoted to dance music. Maybe because of our pragmatism and melodic taste, we usually go straight to the point. Considering ourselves cool as tech-heads is also a plus factor. 

In a wider sense, as a way of life, how would you define the Italo sensibility?
Quoting a Sandy Marton's track title, "Exotic and erotic."

On Saturday, April 16th, Le Bain celebrates
the release of Jolly Mare's debut album Mechanics on Bastard Jazz. 
Doors open at 10pm. The Standard, High Line. 

Header photo by Lorenzo Fariello

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