We're so excited to continue our Brighton Mixtapes Series. Since the success of our beloved Berlin Mixtapes Series, which has featured awesome guests so far, we are on a mission to showcase more of the exciting talent that is right on our doorstep.
Next up we welcome one of Brighton's longest standing DJ's and Italy's most loved import since Pizza landed on our pebbly shores. We chatted with owner of Steam Room Records and co-owner of neon club night MELODICA.
Ago de Felice is a DJ & Producer, originally from southern Italy, who has called Brighton his home for more than 25 years. Well known for his alternative and unique sound, his music is infused by groovy Techno, Progressive and Afro Beat sounds. He is a smooth and skilful selector whilst at the same time loves to give an energetic performance during peak-time.
Ago is well known figure on the Brighton scene and has hosted a number of events held at venues such as Zahara, The Waterbear, The Oculist, Fortune of War, BLOCK, Osho Social as well as being involved in the legendary afterparty at Coalition called 'BLOW After Hours' hosted by Enzo Siffredi.
Ago has also hosted a number of radio shows on Codesouth FM, Trickstar Radio and currently plays on Brighton station Decadance Radio. We caught up with Ago do find out more about his Anglo-Italo roots.
Hi Ago, how are you and what have you been up to this week?
All super! I just came back with my girlfriend after a month away from, what is becoming my second base, Spain! I am super happy and excited to go back soon for more holiday time and who knows maybe some gigs out there soon?
We have also had our hands full with our new love, 'Luna' our Husky puppy, who has certainly brought plenty of action and excitement into our lives.
How long have you been DJing?
Hmm, can we skip the question lol! I DJ'd for about seven years in Italy until 1997, after which I came to the UK, where I had a break to concentrate on my children and raising a family. I started spinning again in 2010 and since then it has been an amazing journey!
What inspired you to start DJing?
What people don’t know is that I have always worked in clubs since I was 15 years old. I have done all sort of jobs from bar manager to promoter and DJ. I started working for one of the best underground clubs in the south of Italy called HIPE, which was in Caserta, a city very close to Napoli.
That's where I developed a passion for DJing. We used to entertain names such as Roger Sanchez, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Claudio Coccoluto and many others. It was a place where they were playing in Italy often for the very first time and at a very young age too!
Where was your first gig and how did it go?
A funny story actually. At the time I was working at HIPE as a bar manager on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Sunday vibe was very much more chilled out than the Saturday. One Sunday the resident DJ decided not to turn up and the owners were desperate for someone to play!
I put my hand up, as I was practicing at that time and took over the decks and rocked the night! After that I became the Sunday resident DJ.
Where was your first gig in Brighton? Wow, good question. I think my first gig was at the 'Audio Sunday' terrace parties with Enzo Siffredi. Audio was what Patterns is today diagonally opposite the Pier.
You have a very exciting new event coming up at the Fortune of War. Tell us more about that and the idea behind it?
Yes definitely! The night is a new brand and concept called “Always the Same DJs” and will be on Saturday 25th of March at the Fortune of War right on Brighton seafront.
I thought we deserved a FREE spring party after enduring such a cold and expensive winter. It will be nice to see everyone dancing and enjoying a night for FREE.
I am also looking forward to playing alongside such a nice line up full of close Amigos! Pleased to have you (Markus Saarländer) on the line-up as well as two super talented lady DJs in Lidia de Luca and Zoe Vice. In addition, expect to see melodic maestro Ale de Maio and festival globetrotter Pedro de Diego AKA Peter Grant.
It’s going to be a super fun party!
You have played for us and partied at Berlin-Brighton many times and hang out with the crew a lot. What is it about the night that is special to you? How can I forget the two nights with Juliet Sikora and Ben Rau. Wow, these were for sure two of my best gigs! However, the cherry on top was the Berlin 5th Birthday at Zahara. That night will stay in my memory forever!
I have always admired what you have managed to do for Brighton by creating a night that was desperately needed and promoting such a lovely family environment. That is what I love combined with the excellent quality of music.
It's been great to see names such us Rebekah, Thomas Schumacher, Einmusik and many more. It's actually been a while since I last played at Berlin, maybe it's time for a comeback, that would certainly be amazing.
Where's your favourite place to just kick back and chill in Brighton?
When I want to chill, I usually take my bike and cycle to Shoreham port when the weather is nice and sit there for a few hours watching the sea and listening to some music.
However, now that we have Luna, I don’t think I will have much time to chill anymore! I might have to adapt and start taking long walks in the wild.
And equally, where's your favourite place to let loose?
Anywhere in Brighton. It's the place that allows you to do that! That’s why I have loved it for such a long time.
Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now? At the moment I'm loving Tale of Us, Argy, ASYS and my favourites Octave One.
What are your go-to labels?
Currently, Suara, Kompakt, Wired, See The Sea Records & Estados Libres.
You have compiled our latest Brighton Mixtapes Series Episode 018 - Tell us more about your mix.
To be fair, I took a different approach to my usual type of set or mix. I went back to a more groovy style and wanted to surprise my listeners.
I have tried to make a journey which comprises of Melodic Techno, Breakbeat, Groovy Techno and a bit of Peak-time Techno. I hope I have achieved that.
What else can we expect from you soon? What's next on the horizon for DJ gigs, where can people see you next?
I have more dates at Fortune of War, one in April and one in June with hopefully few more on the horizon. I might also be at The Oculist in May.
There are few interesting projects I am working on between the UK and Spain, so more info coming soon!
A Berlin gig would be nice too lol.
Exciting stuff! It's been an absolute pleasure as always talking with you Ago. Next up here's the Quickfire Round:
Genre: Techno, Melodic Techno & Afro House
Favourite Colour: Blue
What do you put on your chips? Lots but lots of ketchup and mayo
Apple or Android: Apple
Pioneer or Denon: Pioneer
Rekordbox or Serato: Rekordbox
Can you juggle?: Yes
Weirdest/Coolest item of clothing: Mankini
First record ever bought: MAARS - Pump up the Volume
Favourite place to hang out in Brighton: Fortune of War, Block and the Brighton Music Hall.
Best club: For me The Arch, Zahara and the Waterbear
Where does the best roast: Martha Gunn
Best place for food in Brighton: My favourite is Nanninella - It's the best pizza!
Coffee or Tea: Coffee
Favourite drink when you're out: Poretti Beer
Favourite Track right now: Barbatuques - Baianá (Enzo Siffredi & Brad Machado Remix) - Wired Records
View on Seagulls: Noisy
Favourite seafood: King Prawns
Favourite words: Mamma Mia (with the Italian hand gesture lol)
3 words to describe your mix: Different, groovy, sperimentale
1 Hozho & Droplex - Sitting In This Cage (original Mix) - Crash Your Sound
2 Raxon - Forbidden Quest (Original Mix) - Truesoul
3 Carbon & Lampe’ - Right Here (Original Mix) - Alula Tunes
4 Oliver Huntemann - Magnet (Victor Ruiz Remix) - Senso Sounds
5 Loco Dice - Keep It Low feat. Chris Liebing (Bambounou Remix) - Ultra
6 Joey Beltram - Energy Flash (Original Mix) - R&S Records
7 Grouch - Schizvukt (Original Mix) - Copycow
8 Sacha Robotti, Alex Hooper - I'm Having Fun (Original Mix) - Slothacid
9 Loco Dice - Roots (DJ Tennis Remix) - Desolat
10 Kitobwoy - Funky Topping (Original Mix) - My Techno Weighs A Ton
11 GetCosy - Vottak (Original Mix) - Bunkaball Records
12 Slam & Gary Beck - Pressure Lights (Original Mix) - Soma Records
13 Hyperloop feat. Green Velvet - S-Sound (Original Mix) - Drumcode
14 GetCosy - Trippy Track (Kitobwoy Remix) - My Techno Weighs A Ton
15 Tiga - Mind Dimension (Kölsch Remix) - Different
16 Emmanuel Top - Turkish Bazar (Robert Stahl Rework) - Soundcloud Free Download
17 GetCosy - You Mad (Original Mix) - My Techno Weighs A Ton