Vito Deluca and Stephen Fasano are on the forefront of a “nu” shift in the constantly evolving genre of dance music. The Italian-themed, Belgian-based duo who make up Aeroplane have been making waves with their originals, remixes and DJ mixes since 2007. They’ve created a compelling “nu-disco” sound, which meticulously blends light ’n’ fluffy melodies, groove-heavy bass lines and disco-infused beats, all in the vein of 1970s and early 1980s Italo, disco and American pop music.
Thus far, they’ve had a busy 2010, preparing for the release of their debut full-length album (due out in September), touring the globe and performing DJ sets at events such as the Winter Music Conference in Miami. As part of their North American tour, Aeroplane will be making a stop in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend to perform a Sunday (May 30) afternoon DJ set at the grand opening of “Kaskade Sundays” with resident DJ Kaskade at the Encore Beach Club. Fasano took a moment to talk about Aeroplane’s album, their pre-performance rituals and more.
Your career took off when you decided to release monthly “Chart Mix” DJ mixes on the Internet. How did that idea come about?
I’ve always been obsessed by the “white labels” or “promo vinyls” and new music. I’ve always been the one who’s playing a track for the first time, and I was doing a chart every month since I DJ. One time our manager said, “Why don’t you mix your monthly chart?”
You guys were recently chosen to be the 500th DJs to perform your own Essential Mix live on the BBC Radio 1 show. Tell us about that experience.
We were so happy to be chosen, [but] we nearly missed the gig because we were in Los Angeles for Coachella and, due to the volcanic ash, we couldn’t fly to Europe. To get there was an adventure in itself. We took planes, trains, cars and even walked to get to Liverpool on time! We selected the tracks before the actual recording and then we mixed them live during the broadcast. It was so funny to play Lucio Battisti’s “Ancora Tu” in front of techno-dance heads, but most people were really into it. Definitely a great experience!
“We Can’t Fly,” the first track on your Essential Mix, happens to be the first single off your upcoming debut LP. What else can listeners expect?
A broad range of tracks: some danceable, some more down-tempo. We have tracks with singers, tracks with vocoders, a choir and a lot of surprises. We could say each track has some “epic-ness” in the melody because that is what we love. I think we’re using the word “epic” 15 times a day. Everything is epic in our life—taking a shower, having a lunch, drinking a glass of wine, buying a new shirt.
You’ve done remix work for artists such as MGMT, Friendly Fires, Lindstrom, Cut Copy and Bloc Party. Are there any new projects you’re working on?
We just remixed Breakbot’s “Baby I Am Yours” for the Ed Banger label.
Do you ever want to make the transition from remixing to producing singles or albums for other artists?
We are open to a lot of things, so yes, perhaps in the future if the right thing comes along. Right now we will focus on Aeroplane, though.
Do you have any rituals you do before your DJ sets?
We will talk for hours before the set about what the first song will be. Not the second track, not the last track. We talk forever about the first track.
Tell us a little bit about your all-time favorite performance.
One of the best memories recently was at Libertine Supersport, a club in Brussels in our home country of Belgium. The atmosphere was exceptional. I rarely felt this, and doing well at home feels special. Also, Coachella Festival was amazing. We never expected to have so many people dance in front of us and have such a good time.
Name some artists you’ve been influenced by or listening to lately.
Human League, Jacno, The Beach Boys, Lucio Battisti, Pink Floyd, Ennio Morricone, all the ’80s Italian disco and the “cheesy” indie/American pop from the ’80s.