Rather than standing stolidly behind laptops, controlling pre-orchestrated sets and nervously twiddling knobs, Alberto Boni and Simone Antonioni of Evil Twin are known for putting on powerful performances blending guitar, electronic instruments and atmosphere.
Relocating to Berlin from Modena, Italy, the pair are drawing influence from the city’s harsh winter weather and the young creative climate. They’re constantly evolving as a music project—starting as a DJ duo in 2012, Simone’s guitar work combined with Alberto’s Ableton wizardry has created a musical force to be reckoned with. The mix Evil Twin have compiled for us is a unique sampling of atmospheric, ambient and somber tunes that are very much in line with their sound. We spoke with the pair about their approach to music.
Ballakè Sissoko & Vincent Segal – Samba Tomora II – Paul Valentin – Inner Harm (Feat Search You)
Throwing Snow – Avarice
Pavel Dovgal – Jesu Song ( Feat John La Monica) V – Rouge Mécanique – Interlude Pour Michelle
Javelin – Nnormal
JJ – Ecstasy
Colo – The View From Nowhere
Archipelagus – Kosmos
Chloe Sevigny – Prayer To Saint Therese
Evil Twin – Man, Machine, Ma cheriè
The Evil Twin project has a distinct sound already—how did that develop? How long have you been playing?
Simone: I am quite adventurous in music, listening to everything from Bob Dylan and Neil Young when I was a kid to the most rude contemporary techno, indie, grunge, rock’n’roll and so on—and all that mixing of genres defined a style of music for Evil Twin that contains all of these influences.
Alberto: We both started playing DJ sets in 2012, and finally as a live set in 2014.
Walk us through your live set up.
S: We thought that for feeling more complete with our music—and for being noticed—was important to build a show that was more than a Macbook with Ableton Live, and some controllers.
A: So we started to work on a multi-sensory live show, with a visual element and also an olfactory impact through incense—and with a self made instrument that permits the interaction between sound and light.
Are you both working full time as musicians?
S: Yes, I’m a producer, sound designer, music teacher, and label owner.
A: I used to work as a stylist for different creative teams in Italy. Since I’m in Berlin I spend more time on the music—on the Evil Twin project—and also I work part-time in a clothing shop.
You incorporate a lot of different styles in your music, who/what are your biggest influences?
S: Patrick Wolf, Albert Camus, Bret Easton Ellis, Carmelo Bene, Pete Doherty and Carl Barat.
A: Depeche Mode, The Human League, Modeselektor, Bluvertigo, Jim Jarmusch, Luca Grillo.
Why the move to Berlin? How has the music and vibe of the city affected you and your music so far?
A: I visited the city for the first time ten years ago and instantly fell in love. From there I’ve started coming to Berlin every year for a few days—trying to feed my soul and mind with everything that was going on in the city, then I decided to move here.
S: I moved to Berlin to continue with the Evil Twin project, because Alberto moved here. Since, I’ve learned to enjoy the funky vibes, and some new wave music from the ’80s. I’m also listening to and learning a bit about Acid Pauli, the Mexican down tempo electronic music, Clarian and many others.
What are your biggest hopes for your music careers?
S: I would like to play a live show in Versailles during the anniversary of the French Revolution.
A: Being involved as a musician in projects that involve other arts like theatre, cinema, or design. And to involve the Evil Twin project in those other fields.