In a little over a week, Minimal Effort will take over Downtown Los Angeles for one of the biggest underground dance music showcases of the year. Amid a heavy lineup of international talent — everyone from Recondite to Simian Mobile Disco — one lady stands out from the crowd: Francesca Lombardo.
The Italian-born DJ has been a coveted force in the global house and techno circuit, and now she will bring her multifaceted sound to Minimal Effort’s NYE party. Ahead of the event, we spoke to Lombardo about the development of her one-of-a-kind live show, which features a full band, including four string players.
We’ve also got the pleasure of premiering the new single from Francesca’s label, Echolette, courtesy of emerging Parisian duo Birds of Mind. Titled “Ankara,” the charmingly exotic composition is due for release on December 23.
Tickets for Minimal Effort NYE are available here.
“I love playing live because I can incorporate different aspects of my performance and my artist profile and skills. In the last three years I have succeeded in putting together an ensemble of musicians to play my music. As a child I always had a strong passion for electronic music, pop and classical, and with my live show I can melt the three styles in one performance. This allows me to express myself singing and playing instruments along with other musicians, and it becomes a 3D performance to me, which is different form when I DJ.
What I really love also is to share the stage with professionals who also enjoy my productions. Unfortunately, the string players are different for each performance and that give us a little time to rehearse together before the gig given the fact that we do shows all over the world, but the positive side of it is to meet and experience that magical hour with different people on stage.
At the moment we perform music from my upcoming album and not only and usually very melodic and I sing on each of the track. The live set consists of me as a front band, Andrew Waterworth as double bass player but also the host of a quartet of strings which in turn, consists of two violins, a viola and a cello.
I take care of the music sounding, synths or piano and controlling Ableton and singing. I usually have a laptop connected to a controller or sometimes a digital stage piano. I tend to use effects on my voice and being my own so that I can make my voice a bit more ethereal on some of the music as on the originals. At times I used other instruments like guitar or a xylophone. In the future I would love to get rid of the computer and just be fronting the band and play instruments trying to still keep the electronic element in it. One thing that I think is essential to keep it as electronic as I can be to always have synth bass sounds and possibly drum machines. So far we have done a dozen live with this set-up described above, but occasionally we were able to use the orchestras composed of string section, brass, percussions, sometimes using a drummer too. The outcome is ‘usually very rewarding. In these cases and I cannot wait to do more.
I love DJ’ing and I will always do it but having studied music and having been always involved with musician and in live performances when I grew up, kind of marked the path for me and I can keep on doing it just for the love and will never give up on this.”