TASTING NOTES MIXTAPE 10 by Lorena
Lorena was born in Switzerland in a small fishing village of 1500 people. Despite the remote surroundings of her upbringing, she was exposed to a wide variety of music from a young age. Her Swiss father was into The Beatles, Creedence and Pink Floyd whilst her Italian mother was a fan of music from her homeland including Lucio Battisti and Mina (both included on this playlist). Her earliest musical memory is hearing Swiss electro duo Yello and British synth band Art of Noise on cassette and the first single she owned was Kaoma's Brazilian dance hit 'Lambada'. She started developing her taste and it wasn't long until she was obsessed with the likes of Roxette, Nirvana and Michael Jackson. Her parents took her to her first gig at a local festival where The Rolling Stones were headlining.
By the age of 16 she knew she was going to work in music and more specifically wanted to become a radio presenter so picked a local college that could help with this wish. Unfortunately the dream was shattered when she was told her regional dialect was the least popular in the country so being the on-air voice was out of the question. She started focusing instead on booking bands, artists and poets for her college.
At the age of 18 she moved out of the family home and was allowed to take her father's vinyl collection with her. Around this time she had also been exposed to new and exciting musical genres from being around people at college who had grown up in the city of Zurich. These included Jazz, Minimal Techno and Punk and if that wasn't diverse enough, her first boyfriend was a Flamenco guitarist and took her to many Spanish guitar nights.
2 years later she moved to the Swiss capital Bern and by now was a dedicated John Peel fan after religiously listening to every one of the famous presenter's sessions. She was adamant she wanted to work for the biggest live music company in Switzerland and had been calling them every 6 months from the age of 16 always to be told she was still too young. Eventually her persistence paid off and she got the job whilst also working on the side at record shops in Zurich and Bern where she loved building up taste profiles of her customers so she could recommend them the latest electronic and techno records.
In order to progress further in this industry she loved, learning English was a must so she came to London for 3 months and was blown away by the number of gigs happening here. She returned to her homeland but only to save money to make the big step of moving to the UK permanently.
She ended up working for some of the most creative digital music services around from 2008. I was at Universal Music when I first met Lorena and at that time she was at the Rdio streaming service. I remember finding it so refreshing to work with someone who had such a deep interest in music (weirdly quite rare in the industry in my experience). I knew her eclectic taste would be perfect for this mixtape series and this was the first ever bottle of natural wine she had drunk. We selected a bottle of Manlio Manganaro's Grillo 2021, a skin contact wine from Sicily. On her first sip her reaction was "holy shit!" and she describes her first impression as "this is definitely not mainstream!". Maybe that explains the punkish start to the playlist! But you can expect a varied and diverse array of styles as this has always been how Lorena sees the musical universe.