One-on-One with Danny Bonnici

Danny Bonnici has become something of a legend in the Melbourne electronic music scene. From the heady days of Nubreed to live Ableton performances and master audio engineering, his talent seemingly knows no bounds. Danny's latest side project "Bone Itch" has afforded the producer the opportunity to spread his wings even further, and revisit his roots in jazz and funk. A week out from Danny's debut with White Noise Music at New Guernica, he sat down with Luke Lawrence to talk all things Boneitch, favourite albums and movie soundtracks, and the key to creative success.


How did it all begin for Danny Bonnici?

I was 8 years old and had just started to learn keyboards when dad bought me a Korg M1 workstation. That was my first sequencing experience, which led me to buy a second hand Atari 1040ST that had midi on it and a floppy disk of Cubase… the rest is history.

Tell us about Bone Itch?

Bone Itch is another name I write under for a slower tempo and more synth-driven music. Funk, disco and house-influenced stuff. It’s a nice way for me to diversify and try new things, and it comes natural to me anyway having a jazz / funk background.

When you were growing up, what sort of music were you listening to?

In the early days it was Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” album – basically on repeat for 2 years. Just amazing arrangements and playing on that album… later on, when I was around 14, I was listening to High Energy and later jazz and funk which led to breaks from there.

If you could give any advice to up-and-coming DJ’s or music producers, what would it be?

Rule Number 1: Do it because you love it, and remember that success is in the creation first. This will eliminate most negative things that might come up after that.
If in doubt, refer to Rule Number 1.

Tell us about your music production process?

It changes all the time to keep it fresh and interesting for me, but lately I’ve been making drums on drum machines first and getting a groove down… then playing all my hardware synths until something feels right, and laying ideas down with live tweaking of parameters. I cut and paste and then go in deep with incidental sounds. I mix as I go because I cant help myself.

What is more important - the composition, or the engineering?

You can’t mix if you don’t have a song, so I guess that comes first but I think sound design is very important. Have a clear idea of what sound you want to write to fill the right frequency spectrums, this makes it easier in the mix stage.

Favourite movie soundtrack?

Midnight Express “The Chase” was my first. It was the first time I heard synths and it peaked me. The latest that touched me was the “Interstellar” soundtrack for its simplicity and emotion, and the “Arrival” soundtrack was awesome as well. It had a nice take on tape delay recordings.

What’s the best thing about being part of the Melbourne electronic music scene?

Great local support and lots of places to play, and be heard.

What can we expect from Bone Itch in the future?

I have a record coming out on Open Records soon that I wrote with Dizz1… not sure if I’ll put Bone Itch or my name on it yet – I haven’t decided – but it definitely fits the Bone Itch Moniker.