I felt nothing, and it scared the shit out of me

By Yvonne Hawkey

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After giving birth to the pioneering 90s hard trance label Supernova Records, Alfredo Violante Widmer became a recluse because of a nervous breakdown. Within a year, the label gathered momentum, but Violante shut himself away, working behind closed doors on prescribed antidepressants, ricocheting between writing and producing intense 140 bpm music and frenetically playing on his PlayStation.

It all started on a trip to India when he sat staring at a night sky exploding with stars. He said he was hit with a “detached feeling, an explosion” bringing about a firework display in his head. On his return to London, the Supernova label was born. A space-themed string of releases followed, including ‘Numera Stellas’ (Latin for counting the stars), still played today as an opening track for European clubs.

Things worsened when Violante entered his favourite London independent record shop, Silverfish. To his surprise, he was met with praise for his music and an order for more vinyl pressings. “It was ironically the worst day of my life”, Violante reveals, “I had been wanting and working towards this moment for so long, too long in fact, and there was simply no gas left in me. I felt nothing, and it scared the shit out of me.”

What followed was his reclusive phase, and during this time, Supernova Records became well-known for being a leader in the progressive hard trance scene. Requests flooded in for Violante to perform DJ sets, and he reveals that, strangely, he could board an airplane alone and fly to European destinations to perform DJ sets to 10 thousand strangers. But, when it came to seeing people at home in London, he couldn’t cope.

“Being alive terrorised me,” Alfredo Violante Widmer said, “Performing live sets was my way to draw the line, not give in.”

‘Numera Stellas’ was released in 1994 and was one of the most seminal hard trance tracks from the early ’90s UK scene. This new version represent Alfredo Violante Widmer’s new and final sound.

Follow Alfredo Violante Widmer