From the solitude of volcanic Mount Etna to stages around the world, melodic techno duo Mathame writes songs that inspire a generation of producers, and transports fans to heights that are out of this universe.
Brothers Matteo and Amedeo Giovanelli conjure magic with emotive and cinematic soundscapes, crafting sci-fi worlds and ethereal energies that linger in the air like candles in a great cathedral.
The dark yet romantic pulse of the group’s releases caughtDespite a 12 year difference, Matteo and Amedeo have always been close. Raised in a home filled with records and cassette tapes, their parents ran a successful pirate radio station in Italy. Matteo, being the eldest, had a cultural head start, cutting his teeth as a local hip-hop DJ in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He followed that with a deep-dive into the world of film, studying at university and graduating to become a professor, all the while writing and directing a series of artful movies.
Young Amedeo, meanwhile, looked up to his brother but cut a clear path of individuality. He helped his brother on film sets, dutifully studying hours of Matteo’s favorite intellectual films, but it was Amedeo who first dedicated himself to producing electronic music. Always musically minded, he’d studied violin for years before giving in to DAWs and synthesizes, but the influence of classical pieces and theatrical soundtracks hangs heavy over Mathame’s modern catalog.
It wasn’t until their parents moved to the enchanting slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna—an active volcano—that the Mathame project was born.
“It’s a magical place,” Matteo says. “We have this big view on the termina. You get to see the forest. You feel the volcano all the time, rumbling. We stayed there for five years.”
The brothers took a step back from city life to help their parents run a quaint bed and breakfast. It was hard work in the summer, cooking meals and entertaining guests from around the world, but in the winter, the whole Italian island fell quiet.
“We were completely alone,” Amedeo says. “Winter on the slopes in the clouds is really heavy, because it’s freezing. You listen to the rumbling of the Etna volcano. It’s magical, but also there is nothing around.”
In that isolation, Matteo and Amedeo propped each other up with music and brotherhood. That’s where the first chords of future Mathame hits were produced, and it’s that strange air of sadness and beauty that fans admire in breakout singles “Skywalking” and “Nothing Around Us.”
When the winter ice melted and life resumed, Mathame emerged onto the club scene with these melodies in hand, finding quick support from emerging superstars Tale of Us and the Afterlife records family.
like wildfire, pounding from the sets of every DJ from Ibiza to Miami in 2018 and 2019. A new wave of copycat releases launched as producer’s clamored to recreate that “Mathame sound.” Meanwhile, the brothers hit the tour circuit hard, playing 90 to 100 gigs a year on the success of a few EPs and a standout signature sound.
“We’re not the kind of act that releases every two or three months, because we want to have goose bumps for every track, and every remix we do,” Matteo says. “After ‘Skywalking’ and ‘Never Give Up,’ we started to think about an album, because we always feel that we are not just the DJs. We write and perform our own music.”