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Coffee cup breakbeats from Caffe San Carlo

Aperitivo-tradition-in-Tu-001Turin, Italy. We’re visiting the iconic Caffe San Carlo, one of the most famous cafes in Turin and a hotspot for locals since 1822. It’s ridiculously, sublimely ornate, more like a royal palace than a coffee shop, with vast Murano glass chandeliers, marbled surfaces and gold everywhere. In Italy, taking a coffee is more often than not a quick five minutes standing at the bar, waiting for your espresso, then drinking it and being on your way. As such, the field recording here captures that beautifully – the clanking of cups, the whirring of machinery, the chatter of the waiters and the Torinese accents all combine to make this a perfect example of capturing something uniquely of that city in a field recording.

For the reimagined version, it’s a full-on breakbeat track with a difference – every single sample, from kick drum to hi hat, from drones to vocal cutups, is taken directly from the field recording, with no other sounds introduced from outside. It captures the busyness and bustle of the cafe, with the calls of the waiters introduced as rhythmic devices, symbolising the incredible efficient skill and grace of their work, in a constant flow of dealing with multiple customers and orders simultaneously. Standing there at the bar admiring their work, you start to see the cafe and its baristas coexisting in a symbiotic
relationship of sorts – and this track is a tribute to them.

City version:


Memory version: