Artist In Focus – Riva Starr

10th May 2010

Stefano Miele, aka Riva Starr, says if you give him lemons, he’ll make lemonade. So when you give him a track, he not only fizzes it up, he changes its form completely bringing an entirely unique style to the world of dance. He doesn’t make a remix, he takes a minute sample from a track and performs major surgery on it creating a bombardment of weird and wacky sounds.

At the heart of it though is the beat. Starr relies heavily on influences from tribal house and minimal techno, marrying the two to create a powerful bass driven track, sometimes entirely percussion. Growing up in Italy he was a DnB DJ, hence the often quick progressions between phases in his tracks, he often jumps between tempos and chords.

Whilst it may not go down well in your Oceans or Oceanas, the likes of Annie Mac, Pete Tong and even Deadmau5 regularly drop in a Riva remix to throw the crowd entirely off balance. It’s comic relief, the audience can’t help but stop and laugh, and that’s probably his most useful tool. There’s no doubting the power a unique sound can get you in the business, and Riva Starr can now be called the most powerful alternative house DJ in the world bar none.

But if you thought all there was to the man was a strong beat, your’re wrong. Let’s take a Latin American sound and pile it on top of a jungle beat. No, lets go one better, let’s take a saxophone and blast it over some dirty electro. Still not good enough? Lets take someone burping and you know what, that’s the base line, melody and percussion. Straight in the beatport top 10 on week one. Experimental seems to work for Starr, and with his first album released earlier this year, he’s going from strength to strength.

So what to expect from Starr this summer. Most of all quality remixes. The man can churn out his own unique takes on the world of dance, R&B and Pop in an instant, he can immediately understand the music played to him, and there is no doubt in my mind the Summer of 2010 will create a mass hit for the man. Next time you find yourself laughing at the music being played in a club, whether it’s a chirpy remix or burp percussion, just take a minute to reflect, could I really make lemonade?