A decade can do wonders for one’s musical career. However, for its benefits, a decade in the EDM scene can be tough to sustain.
Mario Ranieri has been in the game since 2008. Since then, he has mesmerized and seduced crowds with his own brand of hard techno sound. Drawing inspiration from his fellow artists, his style continues to evolve, maturing each time with more variety and depth.
Mario Ranieri’s Childhood and Inspiration
Like many promising and enduring musical phenoms, Mario Ranieri’s brush with music began at a very young age in his home, St. Pölten, Austria. He began with classical piano then decided to try his hand at electronic music under the influence of his older cousin. Little did he know that it was this odd combination of disciplines that would foreshadow a career of rockstar notoriety.
The tutelage and support of his cursing would prove instrumental in moulding Ranieri’s hard techno stylings. Through much experimentation and exposure, the young Mario Ranieri created a style of techno characterized by deep, pounding beats with robust bass.
His early musical stylings would catch the attention of numerous record labels like Schubfaktor, Schlagwerx, Vernacular, Fon, Lifeform, Artillery, Abstract, Highball, Carnage, Subsounds, Friendly Fire, Tausendgroove, and Tekktribe. These are just a few of many labels that clamoured for Ranieri’s brand of techno.
Mario Ranieri’s exploits in other genres like groove house, progressive house, and even industrial techno make his music a challenge for anyone to blanket under one label. Nevertheless, his creations and remixes are glued together by heavy basslines and hi-hats- elements that give Mario Ranieri’s music its own auditory signature.
His renown is not by accident as his career spans a decade. Since 1999, the Austrian DJ has been at the forefront of Austria’s hard techno scene due to his numerous releases under Shubfaktor.
Many remixes were also the brainchildren of Ranieri, putting his own personal twist into each track. These would result in fresh creations that were, oftentimes, deemed better than the original.
Origins; or remixed, the tracks of Ranieri have also been included in many electronic music anthologies. Arguably, this feat alone speaks volumes of Mario Ranieri’s legacy and contribution to the EDM world.
Mario Ranieri: Musical Style
If one were to summarize the music of Mario Ranieri, the following words would be accurate:
Since his breakout in 2009, Mario Ranieri has created a following on his trademark basslines. However, deep basslines alone will not create the level of notoriety Ranieri has. Hard electro thrives on this element but it needs more for depth and character.
2006 To 2008: Trance Elements
Trance came to be for its high-tempo beat rhythm. The percussions of tracks under this genre do include bass elements except these are toned down. The effect is a track that could be played for more than four minutes with little to no change in tone or tempo. Hearing this, a listener can dance as though in a “trance”- hence the term.
The incorporation of these elements were some of the first in the music of Mario Ranieri. At roughly 150 beats per minute, his choice of rhythm pattern rarely deviates from that of the three-note and two-note patterns he used early in his career.
Tempo and ambient elements are best exemplified by a live set in Bulgaria on November 11, 2006.
Favouring a faster tempo for some of his 2008 sets, he incorporates vocals and asynchronous chords, making his tracks rave-friendly. He achieved this effect in a set he performed in the Czech Republic.
The ambient and melodic elements in his live sets would precede the Austrian DJ’s transition to a “harder” brand of techno.
Ranieri’s First Stab At Hard Techno: Boys And Girls
His early attempts in 2010 at creating a marriage between drums and synth resulted in tracks like “Boys And Girls”. His preferred percussion for the track (as well as others) seemed to be the two-note pattern, a staple for many electronic tracks. The rhythm pattern featured a 125 to 135 beats-per-minute frequency. Layered on the final note of each beat were high-pitched chords with no echoes.
Shortly after the release of “Boys And Girls”, Mario Ranieri would incorporate heavier basslines accompanied by reverbs and major chords. This would mark a turning point in what character Ranieri’s music would take in the future.
Deeper, Harder Techno
Mario Ranieri’s work on remixes between 2010 and 2012 served as a calling card to a darker and more ambient sound.
To accommodate the original basslines of the tracks he remixed, Mario Ranieri did not do away with his two-note rhythm pattern. His input for percussion came in the form of turning up the bass for the percussion. The bass effect for a track’s melodic elements was also turned up, giving his remixes a more tribal vibe or character.
In 2011, he remixed Andreas Kremer’s “Machine Rampage”. The track featured Mario Ranieri’s first attempts at creating a techno track with deeper uninterrupted basslines. Towards various parts of the song, he “accessorizes” bass drums with tremolo to create the echoing of drums. The resulting echoes added to the other elements that give “Machine Rampage” its darker and more ambient character. As well, the sample of the Bee Gees classic “Staying Alive” does wonders for the song’s appeal.
In that same year, he did what few artists in the techno scene would dare to do- do a remix of a heavy metal song. For the foundation of his remix, Mario Ranieri made a brave stroke in selecting Marilyn Manson’s “Heart-Shaped Glasses”.
Ranieri’s remix of “Heart-Shaped Glasses” placed the Austrian DJ’s percussion layering skills on full display as he uses a much faster beat sequence to create “the auditory illusion” of Marilyn Manson singing faster. In reality, the singing of Marilyn Manson is not sped-up. The original rhythm sequence of the song is retained but is made to sound faster with a 150 to 160-beat tempo.
Mario Ranieri’s Equipment
On numerous occasions, the Austrian DJ has been seen with various pieces of equipment in live events. While some expectedly change with the venue, there are some mainstays in his audio repertoire.
Headphones: Sony MDR-V700DJ
If there is one piece of equipment where DJs can exercise the most degree of freedom (of choice), it would probably be their headphones. While many artists gravitate towards brands like Pioneer, V-Moda, or Beats, Mario Ranieri has always been an avid user of Sony.
In particular, he has, on many occasions, been spotted with the Sony MDR-V700DJ.
These headphones have swivel earcups. This comes in handy during periods when artists try to use just one ear to monitor their tracks. With gold-plated plugs, audio signal transmission is clear and seamless with no impedance.
The sound drivers are equipped with neodymium magnets. These magnets guarantee rich, high-quality bass and clear treble sound. With the headband’s foldable design, the Sony MDR-V700 collapses for easy storage.
Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro 15
The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is one of the most reliable tools for both professional and up-and-coming DJs. It is also the go-to laptop for established DJs like Mario Ranieri.
Equipped with a powerful Core i7 (or i9) processor capable, the MacBook Pro 15 is capable of speeds of up to 2.8 GHz. Graphics are also impressive with the laptop’s Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching. With Apple’s signature retinal display supported by True Tone Technology, images on the screen are clear and extremely detailed.
The MacBook Pro 15 comes equipped with pre-installed software and equalizers for those who want to record music or podcasts.
DJ Setup: Pioneer DJM-900 And CDJ-2000 Nexus
With the Pioneer DJM-900 as his sound mixer and the CDJ 2000 Nexus as his deck of choice, Mario Ranieri is one of many artists who use this combination.
The Pioneer DJM-900 has been an apparatus of choice in many venues and studios. For years, it has provided artists with clear, high-quality sound with its 64-bit mixing processor. With more than six input ports, artists can choose to set up their booth however they want with this mixer.
As a trusted compliment to the mixer, the CDJ 2000 Nexus’s 6-inch touch screen provides feedback and an easy hardware interface. On top of that, its pre-installed software, Rokerbox, allows for seamless playlisting and track manipulation.
CDJ 2000 Nexus also comes equipped with multiple ports for connectivity, making it easy to incorporate into any DJ’s setup- both on stage and in the studio.
Mario Ranieri- One Of Hard Electro’s Kingpins
With a career a decade in the making, Mario Ranieri has been canonized as one of Hard Electro’s pioneers. His innovations in remixes as well as his original music have wowed audiences in Austria and beyond. Always in a flurry of artistic activity, the Austrian DJ shows no signs of slowing down. Mario Ranieri may continue to fill the airwaves with his brand of hard techno for a long time.