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Get To Know: Tapefeed

Get To Know: Tapefeed

Get acquainted with Tapefeed, the London-based Italian duo creating techno with a message

It’s a Friday morning in Berlin when DJ Mag talks to Italian duo Rick Vayo and Alessandro Boni, aka Tapefeed. The pair are due to play Suicide Circus later and, coincidentally, reunite with fellow artists End Train, Flaminia, Jean-Philippe and Ossa di Mare. 

“It’s going to be a dangerous reunion tonight,” Alessandro affirms. Knowing that the duo have spent significant time apart from this particular crew — whose connection runs deep via Tapefeed’s Home of Sound learning platform and collectively sharing bills in London — we can only imagine what’s about to go down on the recently reopened Bambus dancefloor.

If you have even a faint interest in London’s techno scene, you’ll have probably come across Rick and Alessandro — either separately or together under their moniker, Tapefeed. Alessandro was previously a long-running member of Village Underground’s team and an ambassador of sorts, regularly found in the depths of VU’s dancefloor on any given weekend. Those who have attended Point Blank’s music production and DJ school in Hoxton will know Rick, where he works as a Music Production tutor. But the pair are mainly recognised for their previous residency at VU’s long-running techno night, Superstition, and now, fabric.

Having met in London through a mutual friend back in 2014, Rick and Alessandro discovered a shared interest in heavy metal and electronica (Rick was formerly a drummer in a band back in Italy). Pooling their passion for the same sounds, the pair branched out into DJing and producing techno, and soon their profile grew on a local level. “Things started for us when we got our residency at Radar Radio in 2014,” Alessandro explains. “We came up with the name Tapefeed. Then we launched our Tales Collective events — a series of parties in studios, and some of the best we have ever done!”

Tales Collective evolved to bigger spaces like Bloc and 93 Feet East, but when Alessandro landed a freelance role at Village Underground in 2015, it proved a pivotal point in the trajectory of Tapefeed. Securing a residency for the Superstition events, Tapefeed cropped up alongside Jeff Mills, Perc and many more, the pair becoming aligned with haunting and hard-as-nails techno. 

However, the last 18 months have marked a period of evolution for Tapefeed. When clubs shut in March 2020, Rick and Alessandro poured their resources into co-running the online masterclass platform, Home of Sound (HoS). Alessandro says with enthusiasm that “it’s getting better and better. We have almost 2,000 students and subscribers on the website. It’s growing very well.”

June 2021 marked two milestones. Firstly, Rick and Alessandro launched Tapefeed’s label, Inveterate, with their debut EP ‘Revolving Door’ — highlighting their vision of creating techno with a specific message. Inveterate will follow a theme of pushing producers out of their comfort zones, and champion tracks that question authority and political stance. Alessandro reiterates: “We want to get a bit more colour, get out of the box and put more flavour into our vision of techno”.

The same approach bleeds into their DJing. Rick explains how they merge UK influences into their sets, with tones of “jungle, d&b and grime” fizzing into techno. “We’ve always been open — very flavoury,” Alessandro says. 

The second milestone came when fabric picked up on Tapefeed’s “flavoury” approach and announced the pair would be joining their in-house resident DJ roster. “We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to start again from such a platform after this mess [the pandemic],” Rick admits. “We feel really lucky.” Luck is not what got Rick and Alessandro to where they currently stand. With unbridled creativity and drive between them, the future for Tapefeed looks promising. Up next, Rick’s solo release drops on Inveterate, before a stacked V/A follows suit in 2022.

Want more? Check out some of our recent Get To Know features with Wiltshire’s Eusebeia and Huey Mnemonic

Niamh O'Connor is a freelance writer and founder of Quarantune, which you can follow on Instagram