According to Italian producers Emmanuele Nicosia and Martino Bartola, “The Hunter/Game is a game about an unknown hunter who roams in the night; silently walking unobserved.” Eerie stuff! Influenced by pop and electro, the duo balances the contrast between the rural sophistication of their homeland, Milan, and the urban thrust of New York’s busy techno scene.
Conceived in 2010, Hunter/Game initially found its path via loft parties held in secret locations around bustling NYC and their own ‘Just This’ club nights, which grew to include high-profile stints from DJs Seth Troxler and Dixon. The duo have released recordings on recognised dance labels such as Innervisions, Hot Creations and, last year, Kompakt, who now act as a distributor for their own Just This vinyl label.
Last year saw Hunter/Game tour heavily across Europe and North America, thrilling audiences at Fabric, the Edge and Studio 80. Now the duo have found time to release their debut album Adaptation, which fully showcases their discerning blend of 80s electronic pop and dance-based influences within a contemporary, analogue-based techno aesthetic.
On the subject of influences, click through the following gallery to read Hunter/Game’s own special selections and find out why they chose them...
Slam - Positive Education
“Positive Education was our first approach to techno music, as we both come from quite different backgrounds. Emmanuele comes from the echo of late ‘80s music and loves the unique vibe that was created by groups like Slam, who merged the UK sound with straight-up techno to create new milestones in both techno and electronic music.
“For us, Slam are still great producers - every year they throw out some really special music, bringing back that sound. Their last album Reverse Proceed, which came out on Soma Records, was really great, particularly the remix pack which also included a strong contribution from Len Faki. We grabbed a vinyl copy at Hard Wax in Berlin and found a Various Artists repress from a Flea Market in London. We can honestly say it was a ‘positive education’.”
Minilogue - Doiicie
“We love Minilogue’s approach to production and invited them as a guest to one of our parties in Milan in 2008. They sound incredible live. From watching that show, we learned a lot about their analogue and outboard set up, like how to trigger and clock the Roland SH-101, which is one of our favourite pieces of studio gear.
“They are also part of the group Son Kite, which has its roots in progressive trance and creates a deep sound, transforming their tracks into a real ambient journey.
For us, Minilogue are one of the most inspiring producers of all time; their approach to music is really artistic and the vibe they build in their live sets creates a special alchemy. We’re proud to have a signed copy of Doiicie from back in the day.”
Radio Slave - Screaming Hands
“In 2007, this track was a real breakthrough in minimal techno. We love how the lead on the track is literally screaming and shouting at you. I guess that’s why it’s called Screaming Hands.
“In our opinion, Radio Slave’s Rekids label released some of the most solid German techno records of all time. The first time we heard this track, we had just stepped into Amnesia in Ibiza at Cocoon night. Hearing it through that massive sound system was really impressive. It was the pick of Radio Slave’s set because the track has such strong elements and that unforgettable lead. It’s one of those tracks that you would want to pick for every club night.”
Guy Gerber - Timing
“Guy Gerber’s Timing is actually one of the tracks that has most influenced our music. It’s not so much the track itself, but its whole tech-house vibe. It’s all about the melancholy mood Guy creates with those trippy pads that take you to some sort of paranormal dimension.
“For us, it’s a mash up of magical atmospheres that combine to create an absolutely boundless sound. Timing was a massive hit on Cocoon Recordings and Guy is still one of the most influential artists of his genre.
“If you ever get the chance to see him play live, you’ll get to understand those dimensions we’re talking about and the unique world he inhabits.”
Petar Dundov - Distant Shores
“This track is an absolute masterpiece of progressive trance and techno. The way the track builds is completely unique and we think it took the music landscape to another level when it was released in 2010.
“From beginning to end, the sound of Distant Shores takes you on a really mellow trip. Petar Dundov is one of the most solid artists around and has released some incredible records, especially on Music Man Records.
“He even did a remix for us back in the day, and I would urge you to check out his DJ sets because they are extremely intense.”
Roman Flugel - Softice
“We think that Roman Flugel is one of the German artists who have most influenced the underground scene over the last 15 years. Even though he became quite popular, he has remained very underground.
“This is another track that took us down a particular path in terms of music production. Flugel is a master when it comes to using gear triggered by the Roland SH-101, and with this track the sound has a sort of controlled craziness but is still able to keep its soft melody and elegant mood.
“Most people probably do not remember that Roman was also one half of Alter Ego, which threw out some massive hits on the electro scene back in the day.”
Benjamin Damage - 010x
“Damage is actually one of our favourite producers in the techno genre and for some reason this record has always stayed in our minds.
“The track is a great expression of contemporary melodic Techno. It’s a mixture between UK breaks and German techno with a touch of garage in the background. The way that the lead melody is chained with the strong rhythm flow keeps you focused on the track and won’t let go.
“In 2015, he made a special remix for our Landside band project, which perfectly expressed his techno roots and melancholy moods.”
Motor City Drum Ensemble - Escape to Nowhere (Original Mix)
“Motor City Drum Ensemble is one of the most impressive producers and DJs currently on the scene. We love the way he is able to flow from one genre of music to another, but always with a touch of class.
“This track has an incredible mixture of sounds and production techniques; it is a rare gem - a melting pot of disco music and tribal influences, and the way the lead comes into the break is really impressive. We used to save this track for special occasions, especially at sunrise in Ibiza after one of our crazy parties.”
M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade - Body Language
“This track comes from the Booka Shade album Movements, which was a big step forward for us as we went into the music scene. They introduced new ways of using certain analogue and virtual synths together. We believe that the way they merged particular melodies and the sound they created from it was actually unrepeatable.
“Body Language was released before Movements and is one of the first tracks that we both thought broke the rules of the whole tech-house panorama.
“We’ve actually remixed the repress of their Movements album, which is going to be out late 2016 with a great artist remix pack.”
Omar-S - Wayne County Hill Cop's (Omar-S Mix)
“Wayne County Hill Cop’s comes from an Omar-S album in 2012 and is one of the few tracks that’s managed to stay in our minds forever.
“His old-school sound always seems to stay relevant, and this track is perfect to end a night on and share that special vibe with the crowd. We think Omar-S is one of the most influential exponents of Detroit techno; he’s rooted in the scene and still represents it around the world.”