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Davide Squillace is Once Again On Track For His Biggest Year Yet

We preview the This And That Lab owner's 2015 year and unearth an unreleased vintage masterpiece.

2015 looks to be a banner year for Davide Squillace's career. But here's the thing: every single one of the past five or so years have also promised to be his 'biggest one yet.'

In 2010, it was his new residency at Circo Loco and a hit EP for Desolat, which included "Cubism." In 2012, there was the start of his This And That Lab imprint and an immaculate Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1. In 2013, he headlined over 20 different countries. As for 2011 and 2014―they certainly weren't too shabby either.

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Amazingly, the Italian Don has delivered every single time. Throughout his ongoing accomplishments and his solidified global stature, Davide has yet to peak―he remains on the upswing. He is a DJ, producer and label boss who continues firing on all cylinders and is only getting better.

But Davide is more modest about his annual successes.

"It depends on how you go about measuring a good year," he explains. "Is a big year based on festival appearances, number of releases, awards? For me, the best year will come from how I feel about it in retrospect. It's important for our team to stay interested in what we are doing and remain proud of our work."

Davide's 2015 is soon off to a good start. It commences with a bang at the upcoming BPM Festival in January, where he and Luciano have a Blue Parrot showcase scheduled on the 15th. Only the two of them are headlining; a unique combination of Luciano's celestial, groove-based house and Davide's free-swinging form of techno.

The DJs are longtime friends and it isn't the first time their labels have been paired with each other—Off Sonar in Barcelona last June being a recent example. But Luciano's label Cadenza and Davide's This And That Lab are nonetheless somewhat of an unlikely pair. Davide shed some light on the revival of their team effort at BPM.

"I've always been a massive fan of Luciano and Cadenza as a whole. I was really keen to work with those guys again. At Sonar, we had about 5,000 people out going strong in the rain. So it seemed perfect to get back together for BPM because of the diversity of the crowd. The festival attracts people from all over the world. It's the ideal place for this kind of party."

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But the Napoli native would be lying if he said it was the only jam he has on his mind. It turns out that 2015 will also see the unveiling of a conceptual event series in the U.S. that Davide has been quietly organizing―one that will at last put all of his creative cards on the table.

"We want to do something that is not just another rave. It's so much more interactive than that. I'm going to gather organic information from the people who attend by using different factors like location and time," he said. "It could be a series of algorithms gathered from the people dancing at specific moments, or the temperature of the dancefloor throughout the night. Or something else completely. Then we're going to create a piece of art from that. That's the idea."

Moreover, Davide intends to have very unique artists involved in the promotion of these gatherings. It could be a known photographer, a famous designer, a celebrated painter or whoever the occasion calls for. Ultimately, the plan is to create something specific for each affair. "It's a really interesting enterprise that is still being developed. I do not want to give too much away at this stage, so you'll just have to stay tuned for updates about it!"

The secrecy is understandable, as curated platforms such as this have become commonplace in elevating the status of an international touring DJ. Look at what Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones and Marco Carola are doing with ENTER., Paradise and Music On respectively. More and more, it seems that on top of regular worldwide gigs, it's now mandatory to create a recognizable event brand behind the artist.

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So in considering the innovative potential behind what Davide is set to launch, we say, the more the merrier. However it's not the only unlikely, offbeat outlet he is looking to branch out with over the coming year. Davide's even got a partnership with couturier Marcelo Burlon on the horizon, whose men's clothing line he acts as an ambassador for.

"I was buying everything from him I could find," said Davide. "Then he got in touch with me after following my social media. Funnily enough, he's been DJing for about 15 years, which is roughly the same amount of time I've taken an interest in the fashion world," he stated. "I reached out and invited him to come to my studio and see if we could do some musical work together. Around the same time he invited me to his atelier to see what sparks might fly in a fashion sense. Now we have a collaborative project."

It's very interesting to see how fashion brand affiliations are becoming routine with electronic music artists and subsequently associated with specific genres. There is Loco Dice and MSTKN, the Martinez Brothers and Givenchy, David Guetta and Saint Laurent, Avicii and Ralph Lauren, and so on. It raises the question of how he generally feels about fashion and dance music relying on each other for promotion and influence―from an underground level right through to the mainstream.

"It's all about synergy with different people through various mediums—a creative process that everyone can emotionally grow from. It's passion."

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With so much already on the agenda for 2015, it's hard to fathom that Davide could want to fit any more on his plate, let alone an undertaking that harkens back to his early days. But that's exactly what he's done.

Seventeen years ago, Davide recorded a collection of tracks on tape under a project he called Telemaco. It was pure landscape music with no bone structure. They were melodies for himself that had no step-by-step plan for release once he finished. But having finally re-mastered them, the idea is to now use them as inspiration for a proper Telemaco album in 2015, unearthing a whole new side of his euphonic sensibilities. The debut of "A Walk Around" here on THUMP is the first anyone else has heard it.

"This kind of experimental music has no boundaries. And when music like that has the right intention, then it's all about how it makes you feel. I wanted to really go back to this approach, like when you were young and just having fun."

Beyond all the music, touring, branding, collaborations and fashion exploits, the next 12 months will also be a tremendous time for Davide's personal life. In the New Year, Davide is expecting the birth of his first child. That, obviously, blows everything else away.

But after doing what he's done for so long—with all that the DJ lifestyle entails—he doesn't anticipate the milestone altering his artistic process. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

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"It's exciting! It's going to be an amazing source of inspiration for many things to come. I know there is a lot of creative energy that I'll be able to hone from this."

Whether or not he wants to admit it, all this may help 2015 become once again, the 'biggest year yet' for Davide Squillace.

Follow Davide Squillace on: Twitter / Facebook / SoundCloud

Follow This And That Lab on: Facebook / SoundCloud

You can follow Christopher on Twitter at: @theCMprogram