Whitesquare on how life in lockdown led to a fresh musical direction for his new mini-LP

The Rome-based DJ & producer Whitesquare made his debut on Life and Death last year, having earned a reputation in his home city and the global scene since his debut EP in 2012 for the inescapable cosmic character of his productions and a reputation as an eclectic and open-minded DJ.

Following 2019’s Visual Distortion of Reality EP, he returns to the label with a different sound on Seventy Days of Déjà Vu. We caught up with him just before last week’s release of the mini-LP to find out more about how life in lockdown led him to the new release’s more experimental sound…

How has life in lockdown been for you? How did you cope with isolation and how it influence or change your creative process?

For me the lockdown in some way was a good thing, a time to think and rearrange life and thoughts, and mostly relax.

As for the creative process it impacted me in a way to experiment more on the studio work. The result can be seen on this mini-album.

You debuted on Life and Death last year with the killer ‘Visual Distortion of Reality’ EP. How did you and Manfredi first meet, and what led to the first release on the label?

I remember sending Manfredi the demo of ‘Jasmine’ and he came back to me asking for more tracks, so after couple of days I sent him ‘Visual Distortion of Reality’. He went nuts for it, but still we needed a third track to close the EP.

Since then some months had passed until one morning he calls me asking if I have any new tracks, maybe some breakbeats as he had a Boiler Room that night. I didn’t at that moment but I went to the studio that same day and after a couple of hours I did the track ‘Not Moving’. He tested it at Boiler Room and called me right after saying “The EP is done, let’s lock a release date!”

This month you returned to Life And Death with a new mini-LP that shows a different side to you as a producer. Please tell us about the ideas behind ‘Seventy Days of Déjà Vu’.

This release is a total switch from me. I worked on it during the 70 days lockdown we had here in Rome – I usually do work on other music genres – ambient, experimental, drum and bass etc. – but never thought of actually releasing it until one night on one of our numerous video calls with Manfredi, I sent him the link just to have some feedback on it like we usually do. He loved it so we decided to release it as a “prequel” to my next club-oriented EP on Life and Death.

‘Fase Due’ is a fast-paced experimental track with jungle/drum & bass influence. Is this a genre you have experimented with a lot before?

Yes, as I said before when I’m in the studio I jam with a lot of genres. I also used to play drum & bass back in the days when I had just started to approach dance music as a DJ.

70 Days of Déjà Vu artwork by Matteo Mugnai Design / Palms Studio

Could you reveal more details about any other material you are working on & what you have coming up next?

Just before the lockdown I decided to take a break from remixes and EPs and just focus on my album, which is still a work in progress… For now I can only reveal I have a third EP on Life and Death to be released before the end of the year.

You’ve released a lot of music over the years. What kind of advice would you provide to new producers who would like to know the secret to this kind of prolific output?

I’d say don’t release too much music 🙂

What’s the first thing you’d like to do once life goes back to normal?

Life here in Rome for now is pretty much back to normal – except for clubs and tourism, it’s all pretty much the same but yeah, as soon as possible I’m probably gonna go to Tel Aviv and see my family and friends.