Interview: Mod21

It's our biggest pleasure to bring you an interview with Manuele Chiaravalloti, the man behind the Mod21 project and the latest EP on our label, "When The Ice Will Break", available from 23rd October 2020 on wax and digital.

Follow Manuele's work here:




Photo: Benas Bar

Tell us about your experiences making this EP.

I remember at that time, when I received the request to make this EP for you, I was reading a Farley Mowat book called ‘’Never Cry Wolf’’, watching some stuff regarding the arctic regions and a photo expedition in Ellesmere Island by Morten Hilmer.

All these elements, somehow connected between them in my mind, guided and inspired me into the making of the four tracks in this EP. I just tried to convey whatever I was feeling in terms of emotions and what my mind was processing at that time into sounds and in music.

What inspires your creativity?

My creativity, as you may know looking at my photography work, is mainly inspired by nature. Whatever it is, from a biologist book talking about the animal kingdom to a documentary about a remote place on Earth, or just being out exploring and attending dramatic, dark and deep scenes that make me feel for a moment in another planet. This is also the main reason why I’m most of the time out there alone, trying to completely detach myself from the real world is one of my favourite ways to make my mind inspired.

Has the current world situation affected your creativity at all?

I don’t think the current situation affected my creativity too much. I kept doing what I was already used to do.

Why did you move to Switzerland?

Oh, that would be a long story but in a few words: I came here because of my love for mountains and the amazing places Switzerland has, but mainly I took my decision because my dad has always been here working since when I was born. It was kind of an attempt to bring the family together.

What sparked you to start photography?

After many years of field recording and audio sampling in natural environments, I simply thought that photography could become a nice addition to my artistic expression.

In a certain way, it gives me a wider spectrum to play with human senses and that allows me to be more precise in the attempt of driving people closer to what my concept was meant to be.

Talking about this, I want to deeply thank you for the opportunity you gave me to work for both - music and artwork for this EP

Boiler Room Berlin 2017

Your photography has a very particular feel to it. How did you arrive at this point and is there something you’re seeking to convey?

My photography style is kind of a game I want to play with whoever is looking at it.

I want to push the brain of the viewer to go through a process, and so to go beyond the simple overview of a cold and dark photo, and instead to start digging into the picture to find his favourite detail, spend some time analysing the scene, trying to find the small part that is somehow more important for him.


Involving people in this kind of process means it is kind of a challenge, especially nowadays that we are used to this ‘’fast consumption’’ world where it looks like people are too lazy to use their brain anymore, but instead they prefer the fast and easy things in life.


What lessons has the nature you've immersed in yourself taught you?


Connected to what I said up here, surely the main one is to not be a superficial person and to give the proper attention to whatever comes in my life.


Most of the time we passively look to the scene in front of us thinking that there is nothing special in it, probably because it is a similar thing we’ve seen thousands of times, so we just pass and walk on. Truth is that we can find the best rewards when we take some time to focus on details instead.

We know you have a love for wolves... tell us more.

For my whole life I’ve always been fascinated by this animal, to the point that I started to study and day-by-day to get more interested in knowing better their behaviour.

I’m enchanted like a kid watching his favourite cartoon every time I read about their world, their loyalty, their amazing hunting techniques and how they deal

with other groups and the territorial boundaries.


Also, isn’t the wolf howl the best sound ever? I had tears in my eyes the first time I heard that..

DJ or live set?

Live ! It feels way more personal and unique.


What's one piece of music gear you can't live without and why?


Probably my Buchla Music Easel and my Grp A4


What's one of the most impactful records in your life so far?


Ben Frost - By The Throat - I have a tattoo on my side.

Other than music, photography and nature, do you have any other hobbies and passions?

Well, I work in the cars industry since I was 15 years old, I guess that one is another big passion.


What is one thing about you that would surprise us?


I was born on the hot Mediterranean coast in the south of Italy where I spent the first 14 years of my life but still, I can’t deal with temperatures above 30 degrees and.. I don’t know how to swim.


What is one interview question you wish we’d asked, and your answer


–  Do you like pizza?

–  I love it.

"When The Ice Will Break;, available from 23rd October 2020