We like Budino at Test Pressing towers. She's has a massive grounding in the cosmic (and beyond) scene of her native Italy, is well into the music she loves and plays, has been throwing parties around Berlin for a while and also works at a modular synth company. She's also compiled the new Love International compilation following in the path of Shanti Celeste. Beautiful Swimmers and Gatto Fritto. We talked around the houses with Budino and asked how she got into all this ahead of the compilation being released at the end of this month...

Test Pressing: You’ve recently had the great coco. Are you still under it?

Budino: No, I'm feeling great. I’ve been indoors so now ready to get out but I think that’s going to be Thursday this week…

Test Pressing: So in Germany you do two weeks isolation now?

Budino: Yeah. Unless you do a PCR test, but you have to pay for it. I tested positive two days ago, so I thought I'm not gonna go in and pay for nothing, you know…

Test Pressing: Well make sure you take care of yourself because that's the one thing I noticed was I had COVID at Christmas and I've been doing that classic thing of like January down the gym every day and a total cliche but I've noticed my lungs are like not working as well as they were like, I can feel it, you know… And I don't drink or smoke anymore. So I'm quite aware of how my body feels, but I'm older than you. Right. So Vale… Where were you born and what year? You don't mind me asking the year question?

Budino: Of course I was born in Italy, in the north of Italy, in a small town, in the province of Brescia and I was born in ’93.

Test Pressing: And what's the nearest big city to Brescia.

Budino: It’s Milan. It's about like one hour. It's like the east side of Milan it's in between Milan, Milano and Venice.

Test Pressing: All right. I've only been to Milan once. I loved it. It was great.

Budino: Yeah. I guess, you know, like when you are born there it's completely different and also like my village it's far. Like it's a small village, you know. 2000 people. For me to get to Milan you have to get the bus, get to the main city and then take a train. It's like a three hour journey. And so it's not like it's not Milan, you know? I wish it was Milan actually.

Test Pressing: So who's the first sort of pop artist or whatever that you were like, oh, this is amazing. I want to listen to this all the time…

Budino: So I have to say, I started with, um, this Italian rock, um, singer called Vasco Rossi who is huge in Italy. I went to three concerts, once even with my mom, which was a bit crazy. I was there with my mom in the first row because I really wanted to be close to him. So this was definitely the first guy and that afterwards actually discovered that he used to DJ in the seventies. I was writing down all the lyrics so afterwards I was able to sing every song. That's a bit crazy. And after that definitely moved more to like international music like The Doors, Janis Joplin more like that kind of wave. Sixties blues as well.

Test Pressing: So if you lived in a small town what were the opportunities to engage in music? You know, like where we grew up in Orpington, there was a club for under 18s called The Civic where they used to have like pretty good artists. We'd have the DJ playing disco or whatever and live artists like Silver Bullet who was like a big UK hip hop guy like two good records or um, you know, people would come and play and we'd be like 14 or 15 just like loving it. Then we had a little record store, you know… What were the points for you when you start getting into music to be able to explore and engage more?

Budino: So in my village of course was nothing much… There were two records shops in Brescia which like I went to buy my turntables, but to be honest, like I bought my first five or six records there, but the selection was pretty bad stuff. So I immediately started to buy records from like an online platform and that's what I was doing because I didn’t really access to like record shops so when I moved to Berlin I actually started to go to record shops for the first time properly.

Test Pressing: So how old were you when you bought your first turntables?

Budino: I think I was 15. And then I remember the year after I bought like good ones, which are the ones that I'm still using because the first year I bought very cheap ones. And then I went to work for the summer and I made money and then I was like, and I'm finally able to buy like better ones.

Test Pressing: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was the same. I've got the same Technics in the studio that I've had since I was like 19 or something, but the first ones, they were both belt drive. So not direct drive and only one had a pitch on it. So you had to make this one on the left hand side do all the work so you could do a mix but you know you were15 or whatever. It was fun…

Budino: Yeah, exactly. I was actually lucky because when I was in my high school and my uncle is like a tax accountant and would work with him for the summer and the last year I just used that money to move to Berlin.

Test Pressing: So, what made you decide that you wanted to get turntables?

Budino: Good question. I think I actually remember is a pretty funny start. There was a bar next to my home where I grew up where like people go there and get drunk from 15 years old to the old guy who is maybe 70. And I remember that was probably the first time I saw a turntable and I went there and I was asking if he could play CDs with that (laughs). That's the first memory that I have of me approaching a turntable.

Test Pressing: So did you have a friend that you grew up with who was into music as well?

Budino: My friend used to date someone in the next village and a friend of his was a DJ. So actually I think we had a dinner one evening and I met him and I told him that I was cur curious about it and then I started to go with him when he was playing.

Test Pressing: Yeah. And was he good? Was he playing good music?

Budino: He was good. He's actually Andrea Dama, you know him! He's from the village next to mine and that's how I met him.

Test Pressing: And what was the first club you went to regularly?

Budino: It was a club which was like 15 kilometers from where I come from and Andrea used to play there and I started to go with him there and we were going there every weekend. The music there was mostly commercial music. Having DJs from the nineties, but from like the commercial, like part of the nineties from Italy… And then they had like these huge events. It's a place where I was going every weekend and I was also working on the door and then I played a couple of times there as well with Andrea and that was really like the very first time I was playing in a club.

Test Pressing: Do you remember that feeling of first DJing?

Budino: Yeah, I remember one time there was a pool party and Andrea was like ‘come on, try to play some records’. And I was just jumping in with him. I remember that moment. I was still very like, not feeling secure, you know? And then actually after that moment I started to have small gigs in bars.

Then this guy contacted me and uh, he saw me like a potential star, so, oh my God. I'm really like, I feeling so embarrassed about this moment, but like, so he started like to be my booker when I was like 16 and he really like tried to make me be someone that I was not, you know. To dress well and stuff… I'm actually happy that that thing happened at an early age because I realised that that's not what I wanna be. Like it's good to be yourself. I was playing with records at the time but he really wanted me to play with tractor so I did it for that period but I’m happy I dropped it and went back to vinyl when I moved to Berlin in 2012.

Test Pressing: You moved to Berlin. When did you decide to go and what was the thing that spurred you on to do it?

Budino: I was going to move with a guy I was with to London then I discovered that he had another girlfriend there. Oh, wow. <laugh> so I was like, you know what, because Berlin was my second option I’ll go to Berlin, but I didn't know anyone in Berlin, but still I thought I'm going there.

Test Pressing: You just went by yourself?

Budino: Yeah, because then after one year I came back to Italy and told my friends ‘you have to come’.

Test Pressing: So how do you go from moving to a new city and then setting up a party and getting enough people in the party to make it a party?

Budino: So like of course the first year I was in Berlin, I was just like setting, you know… Like tried to understand how to live by myself. I was working a lot. I was working six days a week, eight hours a day as a waitress being paid five euros per hour, you know, no tips. So I was like, great. I was working a lot and I was going out a lot. But then when Andrea moved over and also Luca Trent and Andrea was like, okay, we should do a party with Beppe Loda. And I was like, ‘my God, definitely’. So we started Oscillator party that ran from 2014 to 2017.

Test Pressing: How did you find the right venue? How did you go, okay, this is the place I wanna do this at…

Budino: So the very first one, we did it at Sameheads because at the time Andrea's, ex-girlfriend knew someone there so we just did it there. And then we moved to Griessmuehle. Not many people knew of that club then and we started doing very other month. Beside that I started organising another party called Dancing For Mental Health at Sameheads with Andrea and another friend of us Tom bolas.

Test Pressing: What's um, what's happening in Berlin now? Can you go out?

Budino: No… I mean clubs are closed.

Test Pressing: Is there any sign that they will open?

Budino: I haven't followed any news to be honest in the last days, but I don't think that they said anything new at the moment.

Test Pressing: Where do people go out?

Budino: Bars, House parties… Well, I mean, I'm, I'm not really a house party kind of person anymore. Like I like to, if I go out and drink or whatever, I, you know, I really like to, to be out and dance to music and not being closed in a house for two days or something (laughs)

Test Pressing: So your music and what you play… Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd say it's very much rooted in the Italian sound but not just a cosmic sound, even though that clearly informs a lot of it, but it seems to run through to that, you know, like the nineties sort of house production…

Budino: I really like a lot of different stuff and one part of it is definitely that fast Italian almost trance stuff, which to be honest, I really, really like to pitch it down. So for example, I record it like twice to pitch it down, like twice, you know? Then sometimes this sounds horrible, but sometimes like it still keeps the, the kind of groove and the rhythm and could be nice, you know… So for sure, like, even though I have to say like recently when I dig music I go more on the UK side. Like I really kinda prefer the UK side.

Test Pressing: You’ve just compiled the new Sound Of Love International compilation for us… How did you approach compiling it?

Budino: So I have to say was my first time doing that. And you just start here and then you end up there. With the licensing it is interesting as sometimes you can’t find all the tracks you want but then you find a new flow and follow a kind of a vibe…

Test Pressing: Sweet. It’s come out well. Well thanks for the time.

Budino: You are welcome Paul.

The Sound Of Love International 004 compiled by Budino is out on January 28th and features an ace cross section of the good stuff.