Terra Ferma biography
A trance music project under the Platipus label.
We are in the basement of a house in Leamington Spa. It's 1989 and the 200 or so people sweating it out below stairs have locked into the groove of sublime Chicago house. The Italian born student hunched over the decks flicks the sweat off his brow, smiles to himself and drops Phuture's 'Acid Trax'. The intimate throng cheer in recognition, exchange grins, and dig in for a night of disco bliss.
Six months later and that same worldly-wise student is in a room with £500 of studio equipment, Gavin King and DJ Mickey Finn. A few hours later they'll have come up with what Mixmag described as one of the 100 greatest dance records of all time. The tune is breakbeat anthem 'Some Justice' by Urban Shakedown, and the suave-beyond-his-years, multi lingual electronic engineering student is a man called Claudio. As one half of Union Jack and solo as Terra Ferma he will go on to record some of the most successful, melodic and beautiful trance tracks ever. But right now, he thinks he should jack in this music lark. "I wanted to do something with a bit of a future in it," laughs the 27 year old today.
Leaving 'Some Justice' behind, Claudio went round to see Simon Berry (Platipus records head honcho and the man behind Art Of Trance and Poltergeist) in his crumbling East End house.
Tired of breakbeat and looking for something new, Claudio heard what he described as "some really good acid". What really caught his eye though, was Simon’s barrage of studio equipment. "I just didn't have enough." he sniffs.
They soon set about working together as Union Jack, producing the seminal 'Two Full Moons And A Trout' in 1993. A tune which pointed out the direction Claudio would head in the future - glistening hard beats and teeth grinding acid all brought to book by beautiful swirling melodies. The sound of 3am in Goa, daybreak on the hills of Ibiza, blissed out joy at the Firestone club in Orlando or a sweaty thrill in a Brixton basement. Since then Claudio and Simon recorded tracks like 'Red Herring', 'Cactus' and the 1995 album 'There Will Be No Armageddon' - catching the attention of tranceheads worldwide as well as reserving space in the record boxes of DJs like Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier, Sasha, Nick Warren and Paul Oakenfold.
Now, the urbane Claudio records solo under the name 'Terra Ferma', offering up the kind of star-spangled melodic trance and sublime dancefloor fodder we've come to expect - indeed 'Floating'/'The Scream' has chalked up over 20,000 sales.
So, what with constant gigging all round the world, indulging his fascination with African rhythms, surfing the Net, and remixing Virtualmismo and Libra under the name Granny (with Paul Brogden of Seismic records) it looks like this trance lark might have a future in it after all. "Yes," smiles Claudio, "It's worked out quite well hasn’t it?"