Active as a DJ and more since the early nineties, Maurizio Ferrara has cultivated a discerning relationship to the critically adventurous surges and acutely innovative currents of underground club music and vernacular experimentation for decades now. Whether selecting as DJ Athome or working as a producer, Ferrara’s breadth of influence is surely felt and rarely drifts from being anything but mesmerizing, especially for anyone that likes to move.
Ferrara came to Brussels in 1996 from Liège and in that same year began a weekly radio show called Bis Art Shaker—later renamed Brussels Alternative Show—on the station Radio Panik. Presenting experimental music, wave, techno, industrial, acid, hip-house, New Beat, electro, and dub all together, the show was a longstanding signal of Ferrara’s wicked and wide-ranging enthusiasms, and reflected his upbringing between the clubs of Liège with Bernard Dobbeleer and the Italo house and disco that caught his ear on frequent trips to Italy in his youth. Having commenced broadcasting on the tail end of his studies in psychology, Ferrara’s musical development went hand in hand with the beginning of his work as a psychologist, and each would continue to inform his politics and activism up to the present.
In 1999 Ferrara co-founded the Brussels-based label Pneu, publishing a small catalogue of difficult-to-classify electronic releases. This would include his own work as half of the group Everybody’s Jabitudiliki with Derek Sein. They released two albums of their synth-pop inflected sound and collaborated with Felix Kubin, Barbara Morgenstern, and Lem. By 2013 Ferrara was heading to San Fransisco to play with his early associates Honey Soundsystem as well as forging ground in the Italian ‘anti circuit scene’. It’s through the latter setting’s provocations that he would establish the group Front de Cadeaux with Hugo Sanchez the same year. Immersed in politics and hedonism in equal measure, Front de Cadeaux have released a series of EPs and compilations of their ‘supreme rallentato’ style, with an album on the Parisian label Antinote soon to appear. Front de Cadeaux is a singular group, and it’s no surprise that their tracks have been picked up and played by DJs such as Erol Alkan, Ivan Smagghe, 2manydjs, and many more. Likewise Ferrara has been tapped for remix work, most recently appearing on Versatile Records with a remix of Etienne Jaumet.
With an expansive view of what constitutes crucial club-based music, Ferrara has regularly been invited to played the likes of L’Usine, Tresor, Berghain Panorama Bar, Wilde Renate, Nuits Sonores, Siestes Electroniques, Le Barlok, Fuse, Angelo Mai, Fanfulla, Pescheria, Bonnefooi, C12, and more. Finding further room for selecting outside of clubs, Ferrara has recently curated a compilation of psychedelic dub, space rock, and early electronica from the UK’s festival scene of the eighties and nineties called ‘SPACED OUT!’ for Musique Pour La Danse.