With his new EP Volcano Extravaganza out on Friday, we document the trailblazing Italian disc jockey.
Whilst NYC’s underground danced weekends away to Larry Levan in the Garage, youth in small coastal towns of Northern Italy expanded their minds with Daniele Baldelli and his genre-obliterating DJ sets.
Named after Cosmic Club where he held down a fabled residency, Baldelli’s cosmic sound mixed utterly eclectic records, from Steve Reich and wrong-speed synth pop to Fela Kuti and pitched up reggae. Characterised by spacey synths and heavy tribal drums, Baldelli’s tapes from this era have become staple listening for generations of DJs including Harvey and Todd Terje – who apparently flew Baldelli to his house in Oslo to extract tracklists for hundreds of sets.
Whilst Larry died prematurely, Baldelli — now in his sixties — is experiencing something of a renaissance. Last year, he DJ’d the night away at VF’s cosmic disco on the volcanic active island of Stromboli as part of the Volcano Extravaganza festival. Inspired by his time there, Baldelli is this week releasing a new cosmic EP that includes an epic remix of Manuel Göttsching’s krautrock outfit Ashra. Have a listen here and watch Baldelli go back to his roots in our film above. And for a taste of what’s inside Baldelli’s record bag, check out his 50 favourite cosmic records.
Produced by Amar Ediriwira & Anoushka Seigler
Shot & edited by: Pawel Ptak
Archive photography courtesy of Daniele Baldelli
Additional photography courtesy Boiler Room, Collections: Daniele Baldelli