|Photo by Issa Sharp|
Claudio Camaione, in a black suit, Converse sneakers and a cappello alla siciliana hat, mixes raspberry Cosmopolitans and smokes cigarettes, while Paolo Cilione, dressed in similar attire except for a Borsalino
hat, spins their latest dance remix. Here in their Silver Lake basement music studio, a witty, candlelit space decorated with disco balls, mannequins, guitars and a red-leather psychiatrist’s couch, the two spend days and nights producing, directing, editing and developing electronic dance music, short films and music videos.
So far, they’ve completed two albums under the name Blow-Up (www.blowup.ws), including Exploding Plastic Pleasure, which features vocals by Dee Dee Ramone, Blondie’s Deborah Harry and spoken-word performer/chanteuse Lydia Lunch, as well as a number of video shorts such as “Fly With Me,” starring Debbie Mazar, a sci-fi account of a white mechanical dove that escapes from a boy’s hands and takes a Rear Window–esque journey through L.A.’s club scene. Blow-Up started as an underground word-of-mouth venture but quickly caught the attention of Madonna, who called on Cilione and Camaione to remix a couple of singles for her, including the recently released “Love Profusion.”
The pair met nine years ago in Milan at a fashion show. At the time, Camaione was deejaying at clubs and private parties, after spending his younger days modeling for Moschino and dancing in music videos. Cilione, who grew up in Brooklyn, was an ’80s club kid, then a photographer, painter and actor. In the ’90s he landed in London and worked as a publishing assistant, club promoter and deejay.
After a short spell in New York, the duo moved to L.A. and started to slowly build their studio one piece of equipment at a time. “We would save up and go mix a song,” says Cilione. Today, thanks to Madonna and others, the artists’ studio is fully loaded. “L.A. is easy,” notes Cilione. “You can always find ways to make extra cash.”