WHO WE ARE
Few club nights have lasted the distance like Tropical Animals. First established in Florence, Italy in 2010, the weekly party has evolved with the pace of electronic music over the past decade, becoming a firm favourite of international talent alongside local DJs and producers. Each Thursday, feet from the bustling Piazza della Signoria, a subterranean, intimate night club provides a safe place to exchange cultures, ideas and life stories with a spectrum of personalities and nationalities.
Indeed, while millions visit Florence in awe of its beauty, history and artistic heritage, Tropical Animals welcomes locals and visitors alike, operating with the same class but only looks forward. Even in a decade, generations shift and fashion changes. In response, Tropical Animals rarely sits still. What never changes in the focus on music as the lifeblood, the vision of founder and resident, Ricardo Baez, whose childhood at the fringe of music and fashion has led to a life dedicated to pleasure, creativity and community.
Reflecting a decade of alternative dance music culture, the list of DJs passing through the smoke at Tropical Animals is diverse and expansive, perhaps best characterised only by its commitment to quality. Selectors such as Bradley Zero, Pender Street Steppers and Rahaan have provided a taste of their own musical communities, adapting easily to Tropical Animals’ collective spirit. Legends and innovators like Kevin Saunderson, Marshall Jefferson and Chez Damier have soundtracked evenings with a touch of pure timelessness. Caribou, Soichi Terada and Azari & III have each performed classic albums live, while the impressions of early appearances by Jayda G, Avalon Emerson and Mall Grab remain firmly imprinted in memories of otherwise hazy nights. And they in turn remember the atmosphere, the hospitality, the architecture and the aperitifs….
Closer to home, Tropical Animals also enlists a rotation of resident DJs alongside Baez, each bringing a different sonic specialism to the varied tones but consistent vibe of the weekly party. Gaiden and Mystic Valley each bring their taste and knowledge to the fore, complimenting each guest with forward-thinking selections, reactive to the evolving culture that Tropical Animals has mirrored for a decade and more.
In July 2018, Tropical Animals made a natural progression into a record label. Beginning with Italian producer Whitesquare’s ‘In Light’, the label has encompassed releases from lo-fi Irish experimentalist The Cyclist, Italian disco legend Daniele Baldelli and others who reflect the sonic diversity of the party, including Ricardo Baez himself. Of course, recent events have placed the evolution of Tropical Animals on hold.
Nonetheless, the party found the time to celebrate its twelfth anniversary with a special livestream from Carl Craig. Soon enough, the ideas and exchanges at the heart of this special place will be reignited and the music will play on.
From Florence, with love.