LEO ZAGAMI’S MOONLIGHTING D.J. CAREER AS LEO YOUNG
BIOGRAPHY OF LEO LYON ZAGAMI AKA LEO YOUNG
RECORD PRODUCER – RADIO PRESENTER – CLUB DJ -WANNA BE ILLUMINATI 🙂
YEAR – TITLE– ARTIST
1988 “Beat Romance” – Backstage / Lunatic Records – Disco Magic (Italy)
1990 “Shining” – Brothers Brigade (Leo Young, Cirillo, Markie) / White Label (UK)
1991 “True Underground Sound of Rome Vol. 1” – Male Productions (Leo Young , Mauro Tannino, Chicco Furotti) / UMM ( Italy) – Male Productions (UK)
1992 “True Underground Sound of Rome Vol. 2” – Leo Young, Mauro Tannino, Chicco Furlotti / Male Productions (UK)
1992 “Golem” (double vinyl LP) – Leo Young / MBG (Italy)
1993 “The Order” (EP) – The Order / Male Productons (UK & Italy)
1994 “I need you Blitza” – Leo Young / Animus (Italy)
1994 “Dirty Melody” – Eiffel Music & Leo Young / Animus (Italy)
1994 “The Numerical Value” – Music Institute (UK) / Music Institute (UK), Sharp (UK). (Listed as one of Tony De Vit Top 10 tracks of all time!)
1994 “The Question” – Cult Status (Leo Young and Marco Funari) / Music Institute (UK)
1995 “In Geneva Vol. 1” – Leo Young & Direct Courant / Strong House Records/Amato (UK). (Charted by Erik Morillo in his top ten tracks for 1995!)
1995 “So true I want You” & “Temple of trouble” – Leo Young and Nigel Champion (N-Joy) / CSMF (UK). (Prodigy’s record label!)
1996 “True” – Leo Young & Don One (alias Mark Bell alias Shaboom!) / KTM, Tresor (Germany), Otherside (Chicago USA) (Marshall Jefferson’s Label)
1997 “Cosmic Land” (Triple vinyl LP) – Leo Young featuring Mr Beef / KTM, Tresor (Germany)
1997 “African Rhapsody” – Leo Young & Mr. Beef / Mama Records (UK)
1997 “Spy in Rio” – Leo, Laj & Mr. Beef / Spectrum (UK)
1997 “Secret Mission” – Leo Young & Marco Funari / Music Institute (UK)
1997 “The Sicilian Recipe” (EP) – Leo Young & Mr. Beef (with Strong help by Amato himself…) / Strong Jazz Records /Amato (UK)
1997 “From Russia with Funk” – Leo Young and Richard Whaterhouse featuring Steve “Bongo” Young/ Pronto (UK)
1997 “High Energy Breakdown” – Dub Duo vs. LNL featuring Claudio Coccoluto / Pronto (UK)
1997 “Psychedelic Billy” – Leo Young & The Subiaco Project (Mr Angel, Pulcinelli, Giuseppe Mari) / Pronto (UK)
1997 “Not so fantastic 3” – Ray Mang, Lee Tong and additional interference by John Stitch (Dan from Idjut Boys!) / Mangled (UK)
1998 “Beyond the Stars” – Leo, Laj & Mr. Beef / Spectrum (UK)
1998 “The Roman Funk Front EP” – (L.Young,L.Pulcinelli,C.Vincenzini) (DOUBLE PACK EP) Leo Young featuring Mr Angel/ Disorient (UK & Japan) *
1998 “Roman Funk Front Vol II” featuring Daniele Baldelli / Pronto (UK) *
1998 “The Reality is very different EP” – The Young Brothers the Christian and Pulcinella (includes unreleased track by Luigi Pulcinelli / Pronto (UK) *
1998 “Mystic Voyages” – Leo Young, Laj, Mut Koru (limited 500 copies World Cup 98 release) / Pronto (UK)
1998 “The Scene was” – The Young Brothers & Vincencini Pronto Recordings (UK) *
1999 “The Roman Funk Front Vol. III” (DOUBLE PACK EP) – Leo Young & DJ Vincenzini featuring Daniele Baldelli, Mr Angel, and Sebastian Young /
Pronto Recordings (UK) *
1999 “Let me be weird” – The Young Brothers & Vincencini featuring Baldelli / Pronto Recordings 010 WHITE LABEL ONLY (UK)
1999 “La b combination” – Leo Young / Sniff (France)
1999 “The Final Sax & Sex Version” – Young & Vincencini featuring M. Casale / Sniff (UK)
1999 “Mangled 005” – Ray Mang & Lee Tong mangled (UK) *
1999 “The Afro Porn Adventures of Leo Young” – Leo Young featuring Mr Angel and Luigi Pulcinelli / Prosniff LP (UK) *
2000 “My Gitana” – The Leo Magic Orchestra / People records (UK) *
2001 “The poor brother of Pete” – Lee Tong / Lowlands-Surpise Records (Belgium) *
2001 “The Magickal Childe” – Leo Young/ Tummy Touch (UK), Baza (Russia) 2002 *
2003 ” Cosmic” (remix) – Sedona vs. Roswell Leo Young / Eletrick Soul (New Jersey USA)
IN ADDITION TO THIS LEO YOUNG HAS ALSO RELEASED FROM HIS OWN LABELS (PRONTO RECORDINGS, PROSNIFF, ARISTOCRATICA) TRACKS FROM THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS: TOMMI WHITE (ICELAND), TRULZ and ROBIN (NORWAY), DJ VINCENZINI (ITALY), GIANCARLINO B. (GOA CLUB ROME) AND WAS CO-OWNER OF THE HISTORIC ITALIAN MALE PRODUCTIONS RECORD LABEL AND RAVE MANAGEMENT FROM 1990 to 1992.
In 1997 Leo founds the Pronto Recordings record label in Brixton (London) and with the promotional help of Tony Rossano, who was at that time his press agent ( later involved in running Strut Records and currentely also a successfull dj ), he manages to launch the Pronto phenomenon worldwide, releasing between 1997 and 2000 a total number of 11 masterpieces known to many as Pronto Classics.
In December 1983 Leo gets his first radio show called DJ MUSIC on the local catholic radio station Radio Valle dell’Aniene run by the famous Vatican showbusiness priest Don Mario Pieracci now Monsignor Mario Pieracci now personal assistant of Cardinal Ruini (www.donmario.it). This possibility was given to him because since the tender age of 1o, Leo was involved in catholic radio shows for kids, already showing his talent for entertainment and a big interest for dance music, which was very unusual for his young age. In 1986 while visiting the local hairdresser for a nice haircut (one of Leo’s fixations), he gets to meet the director of a commercial regional radio, who had been listening to his show and proposed him a more suitable public for his music…and that’s it! Leo starts the most successful show on regional radio, soon to be broadcasted by 5 different stations and called BABILONIA “MUSIC FROM THE FUTURE“, a show that deliberately challenged the Italian radio establishment by broadcasting for the first time electro and early house music for 3 hours every day no-stop. In the meantime continuing his collaboration with his media mentor Don Mario on a TV show called VJ MUSICA for a local catholic TV. A very successfull show for this local TV which was re-run later on for many years by Don Mario for the bigger audience of his regional TV Rete Blu. The eccentric TV show featured Leo’s very own personal pioneering experiments (1987-88 ) with the TV medium combining a sort of mad reality TV and music videos for a total of 93 episodes!
In 1990, after Leo became one of Italy’s most respected DJs, he was invited by his dear friend Luca Cucchetti (currentely working on Italian RAI Radio 2) to join one of Italy’s more successful dance music shows called CENTRO SUONO SOUND SYSTEM on the famous roman black music station Radio Centro Suono(www.radiocentrosuono.it), where only a year later he will be having as guests the famous English group the Prodigy (who published in 1995 one of Leo’s most obscure releases on their own imprint CSMF).
In 1994 Leo hosted also for a brief period of 4 months a very funny night talk show on a local roman radio, and in 1995 he became part of the now famous HOUSE MACHINE TEAM and hosted shows on Swiss National radio COLOUR 3 .
For a few years Leo was involved with House Machine, a radio show that is broadcasted in several different countries and everywhere in Italy. Though he has been too busy to work for them lately, he still supports them and occasionally drops in.
Leo has also been the first foreign radio presenter to broadcast in Russia in 1997 with a 4 hours special dedicated to the history of dance music, and since then has become a popular figure in Russian entertainment with his last radio show being broadcasted nationwide by 54 radios! (Russia is a big place!).
Leo has also been hosting occasional shows on Icelandic National Radio with music. Working with two of Iceland’s most respected comedians he finds that only Iceland can take his dark humour fully, so the rest of the world will have to wait until they are ready to appreciate Leo’s comedy talents… the Great Comedy of Pan!
He has also been been guested in some of the most prestigious dance radio stations in Europe, like Kiss FM in London, where he also delivered a special mix show in the year 2000, and Kiss Fm in Berlin, plus many more occasional shows all over the place, like his very hilarious shows on national Norwegian radio NRK with Pål Strangefruit or on The Voice 104.8 (Oslo) with G-Ha. Let’s just say that Leo is the only DJ to have broadcasted in every corner of Europe, from his native Sicily to the extreme north of Murmansk in the last 20 years.
For his achievements all over the world he has been awarded publicly in Rimini in 1998 from the Italian National Radio 2 (RAI) and from Italy’s number one radio Dj and authority Claudio Cecchetto the SUPREME DJ AWARD as being one of Italy’s 20 best Dj’s of all time, something that finally made his family back in Sicily and his beloved mother in Rome proud. Soon after Leo was invited to RAI HQ in Milan to host as a very special guest Italy’s number one show the Italian TOP 10, which that day reached nearly 3 million listeners! For several years Leo also collaborated with Italy’s most successful commercial radio Radio Dimensione Suono (www.rds.it). His childhood friend Carlo Antonucci, who is now the Director, still remembers with joy those early days in their little studio were they started BABILONIA music that definately was the FUTURE…
As early as 1984 Leo was invited to perform his first DJ set in the garage of a friend that loved the dance approach of his radio show and wanted him to try something new by working with a crowd. Leo was already experimenting with Dj equipment since the age of 10 and thanks to a friend of his father, a famous bass player called Tony Wamsley (co-founder of FLYING RECORDS in Naples), he started to really love what club Djs were doing, mixing two different records at the same time for the first time in history. He made sure that Tony regulary sent tapes from legendary USA radios like PHILLY 99 FM in Philadelphia and WBLS in NY, sources of much of his early musical inspiration. In the beginning of 1986 another radio DJ and dear friend Carlo Antonucci lets him work for the first time in a club and that’s it! A move that will change Leo’s life forever, because soon after he will start to DJ all over central Italy. In 1987 he becomes resident of the historical club LEGENDS in London where VIP’s like Mick Jagger and Paul Weller (spinning records occasionaly) use to dance to Leo’s Djing! So how did he do it?
Well, Leo is the grandson of a very eccentric lady known to the public as the writer ANNE CUMMING and the actress FELICITY MASON. So who was this person that helped his grandson to become one of Europe’s leading DJ’s ?
She died in 1993, but her legacy and her work continues to bring admiration from all quarters. FELICITY MASON was one of the few living disciples of the master russian actor MICHAEL CHEKHOV (www.utoronto.ca/slavic/tsq/01/chekhovwest.html) and was described by her dear friend WILLIAM BURROUGHS (http.//artnetweb.com/iola/journal/081197.html) as being the lady of the future… FELICITY MASON introduced Leo to the PET SHOP BOYS duo in 1983 who celebrated with him in 1986 the number one hit WEST END GIRLS on EMI in one of his famous pasta parties, where Bronsky Beat and other 80’s icons were running around the place. Most importantly Felicity introduced him to BRION GISIN (www.thameshudsonusa.com/new/fall03/528438.htm), one of the most inspirational people of the BEAT GENERATION, inventor of the DREAM MACHINE and creator of the CUT UP TECNIQUE later on used by BURROUGHS for magickal experimentation. Felicity got Leo to spend a lot of time with this man who the Rolling Stones have always worshipped as a true Master, and that for Leo was another family friend that will inspire him for the rest of his life. In the meantime Leo’s task as a disciple of this eccentric bunch was to cook pasta for the starving underground writer and dear friend Terry Wilson who wrote the celebrated underground novel D’Train and PLANET R-101 with Brion Gisin. Terry Wilson (www.creationbooks.com/frameset.asp?p= http://creationbooks.com/titles/1840680474.html), practicly living with Leo and his grandmother at that time also became another source of inspiration for the young lion pasta king and sorceror’s apprentice…..Historical dialogues from that period can even be found in the record production of the famous BILL LASWELL (www.silent-wather.net/billaswell/discography/collect1/ fileunderburroughs.html).
But FELICITY MASON was also ANNE CUMMING. Leo Young’s grandmother was also known all over the world for her outrageous books “THE LOVE HABIT” and “THE LOVE QUEST” and a real star of the sexual revolution. Most of all she was Leo’s first manager and got him his first important DJ residency at London’s most known 80’s joint called LEGENDS (what an appropiate name for a place to start …) Not only did she get Leo his first international Dj residency, but she also financed him in going to learn more about recording by becoming a student of the famous London production duo DOUBLE TROUBLE (remember them with the REBEL MC?) at the famous 80’s North London DJ studio called NOISEGATE STUDIOS, where CJ MACKINTOSH was starting to PUMP UP THE VOLUME at that time …history of house…
So in summer 1987 Leo was Djing at LEGENDS, and he was about to start a new night with MARK MORE (S-EXPRESS) and his friend FRANCO PRESTA, but unfortunately he had to go back to Italy where at that time you had to do an obligatory year of bollocks in the military before getting your passport back.
Hence Leo stays in Italy participating in the DMC Italian final and later becoming involved in creating the first rave in Italy together with his friends DJ Bismark and Enzo (Ragazzi Terribili). Leo was in fact officially recognized as the inventor of Italian raves by the Italian newspaper LA REPUBLICA (article by RICARDO LUNA summer 1990).
He worked a lot as a dj alongside Italian house legend CLAUDIO COCCOLUTO in the 1988 period (Crocodile…) before entering the airforce and becoming involved in running the variety department of the Ministry of Defence, a truly hilarious task that Leo had to follow during the day. However at night he was back in the clubs with a residency in the Club Dream with Marco Moreggia (Ragazzi Terribili), located in Via Veneto, home of La Dolce Vita which years earlier had seen his grandmother FELICITY MASON working for FELLINI, the king of cinema. And yes, that’s why Leo is half Italian, half English. Leo’s mother came to Italy with Felicity, who was working in the Italian cinema business of the 50’s and 60’s, and she found the true Sicilian man….Leo’s father called Elio!
Between 1989 and 1994 Leo played in hundreds of clubs and raves across Italy and Switzerland until he decided to leave Rome for a more suitable international location like London (the city of his mother). The fact that he had been re-opening a church and using it as a venue for his Sunday morning personal House Mass disturbed the Vatican boys and it became clear that his work in Italy was starting to get too much attention from certain “authorities”, not being very happy with this growing trend of Body and Soul…
NOTORIOUS CLUBS IN ITALY WHERE HE WORKED REGULARLY INCLUDED:
RED ZONE (PERUGIA)
UNDERGROUND CLUB (ROME)
CENTRAL PARK (FLORENCE)
Leo was also one of the biggest rave organizers and with his dear friends Chicco Furlotti and Mauro Tannino put together between 5000 to 10000 people every week with names like Derrick May, Juan Atckins, Joey Beltram, Dave Angel. Most of all he was the first person to bring UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE (including at that time JEFF MILLS) to Europe and discovering a very young talent called Matthew B, nowadays known as BUSHWAKA and many other techno kings of the future that joined him in those early years.
But he was also a lover of house music, introducing to Italy the concept of art/house club and bringing to Italy together with his friend Adriano Chiarini people like Gemini, Cajmere, Marshal Jefferson, Harvey (MOS), Bobby Konders, and many more and actively promoting house as a chilled midweek alternative to techno, but most of all launching the legendary Friday night house sessions at the UONNA CLUB in Rome with dear friend Dj Andrea Torre from Radio Centro Suono that included for the first time in club history (1990/91/92) art exhibitions and house music.
Leo and the arts include the amazing work done between 1993 and 1995 with the contemporary dance company of Enzo Cosimi called BLITZA OPENING,
which Leo and this famous dance company performed in the best theatres in Italy, and brought with great success also abroad at the internationally acclaimed center for modern arts in Paris le Bobur a work dedicated to the fragility of the hero.
Leo composed 45 minutes of music for this special event that brought him to Paris and the home of modern art, where years earlier he had been visiting with his friend Brion Gisin the famous DREAM MACHINE. It was like this that Enzo Cosimi described back then the papers that will bring us to Paris in March 1994: “heroism, supermanism, personal mythology, a vigorous prospective of the world. In fact, what is the definition of the hero in classical terms if not a chain of virile attributes? To begin with the hero is a loner. Alone, in as much he is superior to all. Without equals, because incomparable. Only by passing the borders, entering a stranger territory, he can find an enemy of the same caliber”. (Leo moved to England soon after this performance).
In 1995 Leo also participated to IL FESTIVAL DEL CINEMA DELLE OMBRE taking place in the PALAZZO DELLE ESPOSIZIONI in Rome, where he performed with 5 musicians (including Paolo Modugno) a new film score for the 1924 muted classic “The Greed”, obtaining great response from the film critics of the Italian newspapers the day after. This event was organized and put together by the mind of a great Roman intellectual called Stefano Ottaviani, “IL COLONELLO“, who had always supported Leo’s work through the years, as another dear friend of Leo, an eccentric Italian journalist called Dino D’Arcangelo from the prestigious La Republica.
In England Leo finds his first residency at the Mass, an ex-church in the center of Brixton and becomes involved with running his own DJ agency for a couple of years to help pay the bills and make new friends in such a competitive town. Soon after pushed from his talent to innovation, he starts to create another movement and joins forces with DJ Harvey, at that time resident of the Ministry of Sound to reshape the London scene with what Leo defines as Cosmic music, a kind of esoteric sound born in the north of Italy at the end of the 70’s by Djs like Daniele Baldelli (Leo’s music Master!), Claudio Rispoli detto Moz-art, TBC, l’Ebreo, and other pioneers of sound made in Italy.
Leo finds that the inspiration that Harvey and the other Djs of the Ministry of Sound get from people like Larry Levan or Ron Hardy is something they have in common, because Leo’s respect for the Dj masters has always been of a religious nature, respectful of their position as priests of the new Aeon. This was a very interesting point of contact for moving them forward in the world of Cosmic music, and the Italian music masters that unfortunately never had the international exposure of Dj’s like Levan who were working in NY. Leo starts promoting this Cosmic sound during his legendary pasta dinners and soon after starts a new night in London, COSMIC NIGHTS ABSOLUTELY NO HOUSE, although running for a brief time features as a revolutionary idea in the UK scene!
Who was on board playing those new vibes with Leo? Well, check for yourselves and make your mind up on how the so called NEW FUNK scene was born….
RHYTHM DOCTOR (MAMA RECORDS)
LEWIS COPELAND and JP (VINYL JUNKIES)
DAVE HILL and JULES (NUPHONIC)
and obviously LEO YOUNG as the resident
Let’s see what ID magazine actually said about Leo’s night in the issue of AUGUST 1996:
“Light years away from the crap suits in afros and retro piss-up nights, London is spawning a cool subterranean disco, deep house and fusion scene. The sound is fucked up, abstract and dubwise grooves from old-school US gear like the Loft Classics bootlegs to new-school UK house labels U-Star, Matrix, Nuphonic, Atlantic Jaxx and Other. Check Cosmic nights for absolutely no house. Essentially these crews are playing dance with a quality threshold, avoiding Nu-NRG and Ectasy to take everything that bit deeper.”
Leo has played in the following London clubs between 1995 and 2002:
Ministry of Sound
Notting Hill Gate arts club
and resident of the club SUGAR in Lemminghton SPA alongside friend and collegue the Rhythm Doctor.
In 1996 Leo starts to spread his Cosmic revolution around Europe with a new residency at the club TRESOR in Berlin playing regularly 10 to 12 hours sets!
In the same year he prepares his new album called Cosmic Land for TRESOR’s record label KTM.
In 1997 he starts travelling around Scandinavia Djing regularly in Helsinki (FINLAND) and getting involved with the up-and-coming scene of Iceland. With his friends GUS GUS and Tommy White they start to promote the Cosmic sound, and the Cosmic man himself finds on this island a sort of second home full of intelligent people making intelligent music. He discovers the lost Thule always ready for party action, and they called it the island of the devil, so he loves it.
In December 1997 Leo arrives also in Russia for his first visit to Saint Petersburg, home of all the revolutions including Leo’s up-and-coming Cosmic revolution!
Yes, Leo loves Russia & Russia loves Leo. That’s why his latest album has sold more copies there than anywhere else in 2002, and Leo’s favourite city after Rome is definately Saint Petersburg.
Russia has also awarded Leo with a great honour. In February 2002 he was invited by the Russian government to play at the BOLSHOI THEATRE in MOSCOW, a truly historical event for Leo, dedicated to raise money for children victims of terrrorism. The cost of the ticket was 1000 dollars per person and almost all the foreign ambassadors in Moscow attended the event which was also featuring legendary drummer Billy Cobham.
LEO WAS THE FIRST DJ IN RUSSIAN HISTORY TO PLAY AT THE BOLSHOI THEATRE!
In 1998 Leo’s Cosmic music master Daniele Baldelli introduced him to the Electronic Voodoo concept, and Leo starts a new branch of the Cosmic revolution soon after with a more up to date electronic sound, rediscovering his techno and electronic roots in his new base in Oslo (Norway), where he first started to play in 1998 thanks to the dynamic techno dj duo Trulz and Robin. From 1999 till now he has successfully been running ELECTRONIC VOODOO, a club concept that started at the popular club Sikamikanico in the Norwegian capitol with his dear friend Arild and spread across the whole of Europe with regular Electronic Voodoo gigs also in Saint Petersburg, Reykavik, London, Rome, Antwerp, Moscow and even Murmansk…. This concept residing untill 2003 in the alternative club KILLYREGO in OSLO is definately something more than only music. It’s Leo’s experimentation with years of experience that wants to create the ultimate dj concept of the future, in which he becomes the High Priest dj of electronic music, it’s something he called at the time Electronic Voodoo.Now in 2006 he is one of the biggest representatives of Cosmic Sound in northern Europe and he simply defines his music as enlightened.