Lele Sacchi Interview by Rocco Tyndale Music / Art / Label / Interview

Lele Sacchi

Subtempo Guest Mix 040


Behind the decks since 1995 and a whole life dedicated to the world of music Lele Sacchi is now internationally recognized as one of the icons of Italy's electronic, house, and alternative music scene.

In these twenty years behind the decks he has completed an all around the world trip djing in the best clubs, events and festivals. He has recorded music initially with the studio project Boogie Drama and more recently under his own name (releasing tracks for some of the coolest electronic and house labels such as Soul Clap, Rebirth, Internasjonal, !K7, Crosstown Rebels, Nervous, Snatch, Systematic, 20-20 Vision, Get Physical and many others). He also held a regular show on iconic global web radio NTS.

In 2022 he started managing and directing a new label called Stolen Goods born out of the partnership with Italy’s indie giant stable Asian Fake.

Hi Lele, first of all, thanks so much for doing this mix for us. I’d like to start by asking what tools did you use to create this mix.

I chose to mix only very new or recent tunes (apart from a couple of choice, like the Paul Johnson one, that I played a lot during the summer) to showcase and support who is actually doing something for the scene right now instead of doing the digging in my past vinyl collection like other times. So the tool had to be a digital desk that I have in my home studio since most of these tracks I receive as digital mailouts.

Is there a theme to this mix?

It comes from selecting a few of the tracks I played the most while djing this summer skipping the classics, oldies or rarities. The theme is that there is a lot of good house music coming out nowadays if you really look for it and having being in the scene since 1995 I wanted to stand for it. It would have been easier to go for a few ‘crate bullets’ from my collection from the past but I see that unfortunately this is becoming more and more the chioce especially of a few younger dj’s who skip listening to new productions to research only old vinyls through the web. Research and study is a basis that every good dj, especially the youngest, have to do, but without supporting the labels and the producers who are actually releasing new music right now I think the scene is going to die. Plus house music/electronic djing has always been based on pushing towards the future, without this vision where will we go? I don’t think we want to end up like rock which is only looking backwards. I remember vividly having this same conversation with the mighty Andrew Weatherall, an hero, a mentor and luckily a good acquintance: whoever had the luck of listening the master at play knows well how very few old tunes he was selecting in the mix even if it would have been much easier and maybe ‘cooler’ for him.

Lele Sacchi's role traverses many aspects of the music space, promotor, curator, historian as well as of course, DJ, producer, and label boss.

You’ve recently started a label, Stolen Goods. Tell me more about this project.

I didn’t have a plan of starting up a label in 2022 alone. It’s a huge effort and you need a proper a staff nowadays. I had a label in 2004-2005 (Soundplant) while I was working at a big distribution company, it was a different era, vinyls were still the thing, and I understood how you need a crew to make things properly work. So when during the pandemic and clubs were closed I had a nice chat with Filippo Palazzo, part owner, and manager of Asian Fake, a very big independent label dealing with Italian indie, pop, and rap new artists, and eventually he asked me if I felt managing and kickstarting an underground contemporary electronic dance label inside their offices. I thought it was the right thing to do and here we are!

Nice logo. Where did the name originate?

I am happy that you, like a lot of other people, liked the logo and the graph of our first album/compilation (Stolen Goods Volume 0) since it’s been conceived by Asian’s in-house art team and Michele Nannini who did it is in his early 20’s and that explains a lot of where we want to go: letting power into the creative minds, in this case, a young chap who knows underground music. The name comes from the idea that all contemporary arts are based on stealth in one way or another, the dadaists said this first. If you think about our culture from samples to re-edits, from mixtapes to raves, has a lot to do with stealing your own spaces and inventing a grey area to express yourself.

And you’ve joined forces with another label, Asian Fake. What drove this collaboration?

The mutual respect. I had a big one for them for being able to become a sustainable big independent label with an office, a quality staff, a love for letting space and freedom to artists without forgetting marketing and everything you have to do in this era. They showed a big respect for my story and my experience, so it all came naturally.

When one wall isn't enough space to hold all your records.

Starting a label in 2022 is audacious. What drove you to feel the need to start a label now?

Organized, efficient, creative labels are still what producers need to exploit their work to the max. If everything clicks right it can also become a recognizable brand that a crowd feels attached to. Of course, a single artist on his/her own nowadays have many more options to make the music listened without passing through a label but it’s like winning the lotto. Whereas if the label does right the possibilities of making your arts reach the public and also become a part of a crew and touring is much bigger.

And you’ve just released a compilation “Volume 0”, part of the reason we are talking today. What’s the theme of the V/A?

I wanted a collection of solid tunes all from italian producers/djs that have something to say through beats nad basslines for the dancefloor. It’s quite varied in styles but the core value is about strong, solid, well produced tunes that get your attention and possibly make you dance straight away. I also wanted to steer clear of what people expect from Italy right now, usually the more balearic, disco, early house sound from one side or melodic tech-house from the other. All the people here have given a more direct bass approach to the sound. Different music, and not only from Italy, is coming in the future, but I wanted this as no frills, straight to the jugular and the hips.

Regarding future plans for the label, what’s the dream you are setting out to create?

I respect a lot the work labels who created a proper community following, the ones that over the years have been able to tour with their own brand, have their own stage at festivals or their own festivals. Not necessarily bigger than the artists themselves (at the end of the day you to love the dj/producer) but something that the kids want to be part of and feel attached to. This without being a monotone ‘one sound’ only stable, because it’s not me and it’s not Asian Fake. That’s the vision, let’s see if it works.

Milan is Lele Sacchi's hometown, where he has been established as a key player in the electronic music scene.

Will the label be solely focusing around local talent or do you plan to go international with the pool of artists you work with?

Definitely international, I always looked abroad, travelled and had a lot of exchanges and friends from everywhere. The idea to start only with italians on the first release is to show that we have roots and we know here we come from.

You have strong roots in Milan, fashion capital of the world. Do you currently live and work there?

Yes, I live here and always had since I’m 20 (before that I was anyway 30 mins outside the city). I love it. I feel proud of what the city has always been able to build by giving space to creative minds who work without looking at where they come from. We never have to forget that Milan is not the size nor has the story of having been an imperial capital like London or Paris. It all came out of the strength of work and accepting and integrating people who want to do stuff. It wasn’t even the fashion capital of Italy until the 70’s (Rome and Florence were before) then it became the world’s one. The word ‘industrial design’ (and eventually its application to every product we see around us) didn’t exist until it was invented at the Milan Polytechnic in the 60s. So as much as I love so many places in the world I will always feel proud of Milan.

Lele Sacchi recently started his new label 'Stolen Goods', and his first release 'Volume 0' is a strong testament to the bright future of the imprint.

How’s the music scene over there? Is it fairly commercial or is there a strong underground?

It’s not Berlin for electronic music or London for many other different forms of dance music, but it’s strong even if in cycles. On the commercial side, it’s the capital of the Italian market with most urban acts and major labels being based here but it gave so many electronic music influences that people tend to forget. The biggest part of the 80’s Italo Disco scene was here. Then we had very influential clubs, Plastic in the 80s was an international mecca for the gay/wave crowd, Magazzini Generali which for most of the ’00s was seen as one of Europe’s superclubs as Fabric or Rex. Now the scene is fragmented like I see a bit everywhere but you still have a very good choice of underground sounds clubs such as Tempio del Futuro Perduto, Apollo, Tunnel, Volt, Amnesia, Discosizer, Magnolia in the summer and always a good offer of one-offs and special events. Let’s not forget that the fidget sound of the early ‘00s of Crookers and others was born here as well as what is now Afterlife with Tale Of Us and Mind Against started out here and also Dj Tennis’ Life And Death in its infancy.

You have a regular show in the national radio, if I’m not mistaken. What’s your focus on there?

I had one on RAI (the state broadcaster, equivalent to BBC) Radio2 for nearly ten years which was called In The Mix that was focused on new electronic dance music, guest mixes and interviews, partnerships with international festivals, etc. We ran way over 600 episodes, it has been an amazing experience and I had the cream of the world on air. Now since 3 years, I am one of the DJ’s of Stereonotte on Rai Radio1, which is one of the longest running night shows on FM. This is more about themed episodes, still with an eye out for new music coming out, but starting with an angle, a focus on a particular event, scene or name.

And you also host a monthly NTS show. For those who aren’t familiar with it, what kind of music do you play there? Is it different than your DJ sets?

I did the NTS ‘Italian Masters’ show for two years, then the radio gives rotation to different DJ's, it’s the right thing to do. Hopefully, we’ll start again in the near future. It was one hour on a single ‘master’ that made history. A sort of radio documentary with music, so definitely 100% different than a DJ set!

Well, we wish you all the success in the world with your new project. It’s certainly coming out with a bang, and it’s been an honor to be able to catch you at the very beginning of it. May Stolen Goods live long and prosper!

Thanks guys! It’s been a pleasure to have been asked to do this!


  1. FSQ - Dancefloor democracy (JITWAM remix) [SOUL CLAP]
  2. PAUL JOHNSON - Let’s sing [BOSCONI]
  3. BWI-BWI - Up & Down [HOT HAUS]
  4. MONTEL - Peace in the world (TILMAN remix) [MONTEL]
  7. DJ STEAW - Dance to the rhythm [KAOZ THEORY]
  8. JOHN TEJADA - Nocturama [PALETTE]
  10. ALEX JONES - Them Things [HOT HAUS]
  12. ROGUE D vs TYREE COOPER - Lonely (No More) [STOLEN GOODS]
  13. DJIEBALI - Rave Vision [TRMNL]
  14. STEVE BUG feat ALI LOVE - The Haze [POKER FLAT]
  15. ORBITAL - Halcyon & On (LOGIC1000 mix) [LONDON]

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