Daniele Baldelli, the self-ascribed "oldest DJ in Italy", is a living legend; and a surprisingly modest one at that. Famed for his longevity in the game, stretching right back to 1969, and pioneering a style which came to be known as Cosmic Disco (after the namesake Lake Garda club in which Baldelli held a key residency from '79-84), his influence is unassailable.
The key behind the Cosmic sound was an anything-goes mentality when it came to both music – reggae, funk, New Wave, dub, Afrobeat, traditional Brazilian folksong; you name it, he played it – and technical experimentation. Baldelli's triumph was a mastery of mood, often playing records at the wrong speed to create a unique atmosphere. The audacious blends and extended edits he crafted were simultaneously becoming staples of nascent scenes in New York and Chicago, where similarly fêted jocks Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles would dazzle the dancefloor.
With nearly a half-century in the booth, Baldelli has had a good few years more than most to amass records. As it happens, he currently owns over 65,000 of them – and has thus far only been able to catalogue 18,000! We travelled to meet Baldelli in the basement of his home in Catollica, the town he's lived in all his life, to gaze upon his enormous Collection of not just vinyls but recording gear, memorabilia, and hilarious anecdotes. It's one of our best in the series yet.
On 8th Oct, Boiler Room and FIAT join together in New York for a celebratory look on the longstanding link between Italian and American electronic music. The lineup poses as a who's who of both country's scenes - Classixx, Jacques Renault, The Juan MacLean b2b Nancy Whang and Honey Soundsystem. Check the full event info here.