Classic Album: Riva Starr,
If Life Gives You Lemons...
Every last track on Stefano Miele’s debut as Riva Starr is as zesty fresh as the plump citrus fruit that adorns the album’s cover. From the woozy, boozy, devil-may-care opener, I Was Drunk, to the pumping classic house throwback, Tribute, there’s not a lemon among ‘em.
“I knew I wanted to build an album that was different and eclectic – that was my style,” says Miele. “I wanted every song to stand out, and it all be a proper statement, from the title onwards.”
For Miele the proverbial phrase in question has everything to do with making the most of your gifts, and his gift as a producer is unwavering eclecticism, and the ability to cram joy into every last second of his music.
“After analysing myself I found that the best thing about my style was that I hate doing the same thing over and over, and always want to be positive. They’re my lemons [laughs]. So I knew I wanted to make an album that was fun and changed ideas and music throughout.”
And, boy, does it. Besides the two aforementioned classics that bookend the LP, he uses the other nine tracks to takes us back to his breakbeat roots (when he ran under the name of Madox) on
China Gum. Then flips it up with that grime chatter on the 303 deep roller, Dance Me. Before finding time to get tribal on [the Carl Cox favourite] Maria, bring back ’90s Italio-house with Caballeros, and get live and jazzy on Riva’s Boogaloo.
“I love to change it up,” says Miele. “It keeps me fresh. If I don’t have fun in the studio, it’s very hard for me. I think that producing is like football, or something similar. You must always train. If you don’t train constantly you end up losing the touch.
“So I always try and improve myself, find new techniques, and develop new ideas. If I hit on something that works, the challenge is to do something different the next time and make that work just the same.”
Miele continues to release under his Riva Starr moniker, with his latest 12”, Adventures In Drums out now on Crosstown Rebels.