Ariana Paoletti, better known as her techno alias Volvox, is one of the most exciting names in techno right now. Since 2006, her colossal, acid-drenched techno sets have resulted in performances at some of Europe’s most prestigious clubs. Whether experimenting with tougher-edged EBM, to electro or lesser-known acid, Paoletti’s seamless ability to adapt to her surroundings has resulted in her sharing the decks with some of the world’s biggest techno stars. Ahead of her debut performance at DGTL Amsterdam this April, we sat down with the Brooklyn resident to learn about the early years of her career, projects that she remains passionate about, and why the city of Amsterdam never fails to impress her. Read through the complete interview while listening to her specially curated Spotify playlist below.
Q.We have read a great deal about your roots in art, fashion and performance art. How would you describe your current style as an artist?
A. My current style as an artist is multifaceted - unsatisfied with expressing myself through just one medium, I am likewise always researching different sounds and constantly evolving to suit the different events I play. From funky daytime acid to aggressive, late-night techno, I strive to offer a wide range of captivating music all with my signature musical touch.
Q. At previous interviews, you have highlighted your enthusiasm collaborating with platform ‘Discwoman’, which puts a spotlight on female-identifying artists. What are your intentions in 2020 to watch similar projects come to life?
A. The Discwoman project has been super successful at generating awareness surrounding issues of diversity and inclusivity in electronic music bookings, as well as highlighting scores of deserving talent worldwide. I support these efforts through the bookings of my parties in NYC: Jack Dept. and UNTER, as well as through my label Jack Dept. and other behind-the-scenes work surrounding events I play. For me it is vitally important to not only help young artists break into the scene but to help them reach higher levels of the industry where diversity is sorely lacking.
Q. When speaking about the early stages of your career, you mention that you experienced challenges when moving to New York. What is something that surprised you the most when finally breaking into New York’s electronic music scene?
A. I was lucky to enter the New York scene during a moment of profound change. The closed-off boy's club that kept me out when I first arrived would soon give way to a fresh, more welcoming energy that thrived on newness and a strong sense of DIY community spirit. It was thrilling to experience and participate in the ascent of hotspots like Bossa Nova Civic Club; my career thrived alongside the explosive rise in popularity of that club. In just a couple years, the whole landscape of clubbing in Brooklyn had changed, populated with new artists and parties essentially born out the Bossa family. It was surprising to see just how fertile this movement was and continues to be.
Q. In October 2018 you played a Boiler Room for Pornceptual, the set was restricted on YouTube due to constraints on explicit content. How do such restrictions impact your artistic endeavors?
A. I am super proud of the Pornceptual Boiler Room, I think it's an important piece of music-video and shows me in my most natural element. The scene is so wild that the censored version on YouTube is just one wholly blurred-out screen, how enticing! The link to the uncensored version is readily available so anyone can easily access it via the censored video. My hope is that queer kids living outside areas where this culture thrives will see it and know there is a place out there where they belong and are celebrated.
Q. You have played in Amsterdam before. What was something that stood out to you during your first visit to the city?
A. I've come to Amsterdam so many times I'm not sure I can even recall my first time there! Generally I am always impressed by the scale of Amsterdam events. The biggest rooms, the massive crowds, the fact that multiple, festival-size events can take place simultaneously..I don't think there's any place in the world that exceeds this fervent support of electronic music. I am also always impressed by the warm hospitality and excellent organization behind the scenes, it's always top notch.
Q. This is your first time playing at DGTL Amsterdam. What are some elements you are keen in incorporating in your set when you play in April?
A. Since I am playing daytime, I will focus on a techno sound with a more positive mood and rhythmic atmosphere. It's nice to have the opportunity to explore different vibes within my collection of music, and feature artists that might not otherwise fit into late night sets.
We asked Volvox to create a specially curated Spotify playlist for us. Listen to the playlist below!
"Honestly, this was my first time using Spotify. It was an interesting challenge as many of the tracks from my personal collection weren't available on the platform so I searched artists I was familiar with and made selections based on what I found. The playlist is inspired by a daytime vibe and the musical direction of the Generator stage when I will play, with my own flavor of course!"
Volvox will play our Generator stage on Sunday April 12th at DGTL Amsterdam 2020.
*This interview is the first of our new ‘Spotlight On’ series, presenting in-depth musical features on the artists of DGTL’s global editions. Keep an eye out, as we bring you more stories on trailblazing electronic talent from around the world.