Stefano Ghittoni, resident DJ at Magazzini Generali in Milan, spurred the initial creative process behind the duo's musical direction in 1998.
Cesare Malfatti, on the other hand, is a founding member of the post-blues project 'La Crus'. Both Stefano and Cesare come from the punk/new wave scene and they have played in
several underground bands in earlier years.
In early 1999, through the electronica label Milano2000, The Dining Rooms release their debut full-length album: "Subterranean Modern Volume 1". The record is characterized by hip hop/funk-inspired rhythms flowing alongside bluesy guitar textures and melancholic, minor-key atmospheric elements.
As a side project to this record, Stefano Ghittoni works with videomaker Maria Arena on the “Ambient Blues Caffe'' Project, an ambient sonorization project for turntables and video performed all over Italy and Europe.
The second Dining Rooms album, "Numero Deux", which features a multimedia section with videos by Maria Arena (one of which is dedicated to J.L.Godard), is released in January 2001 and picks up the stylistic streak of "Subterranean Modern Volume 1", enriching its sound with the addition of jazz atmospheres and introducing vocal parts performed by the minimal-soul duo "Sepiatone" (Hugo Race & Marta Collica). In summer 2001 "Numero Deux" was also released in the US, Japan & Germany through Guidance Recordings.
To promote the new record, The Dining Rooms have developed & enriched the audio-visual experience of the “Ambient Blues Caffe'', giving birth to the new set named 'FILM'. The new live performance includes DJ & live sets by Stefano Ghittoni & Cesare Malfatti (using computers, samplers and turntables) and the enhanced visual experience provided by Maria Arena.
"Tre", was released in spring 2003 on Schema Records. The record delves further into the themes of the two preceding releases, adding faster rhythms and a more focused production.
The record also features important vocal contributions by Anna Clementi & Sean Martin & production assistantship by Soulpatrol, among others. Like "Numero Deux", "Tre" was released in the US, Japan and Germany through Guidance Recordings .
In early 2004, "Versioni Particolari" hits the shelves. It is an album of remixes previously released on 12" vinyls, new versions, and unreleased Dining Rooms goodies, and features work on Dining Rooms tracks done by heavyweight producers like Nicola Conte, Soulpatrol and The Cinematic Orchestra, among others.
The Dining Rooms live show was then further developed into a full live set, taking advantage of a five-piece band and enriched, as always, by Maria Arena's evocative video work. The live experience and the idea to work on songwriting become the conceptual and stylistic basis for The Dining Rooms' fourth studio album.
"Experiments In Ambient Soul" has been released through Schema in late spring 2005.
E.I.A.S. is a journey into modern funk and jazz. It features a collection of inspired and soulful tracks with contributions by Don Freeman, Amraah 8, Sean Martin, Hugo Race & Marta Collica.
In the spring of 2006 the second chapter of Versioni Particolari is released.
"Versioni Particolari 2" is a collection of remixes and unreleased versions taken from 4 vinyl singles that followed the album release of "Experiments in Ambient Soul"(2005).
The songs contained in "E.I.A.S" here receive new, vital energy courtesy of some of the most interesting music producer of these contemporary times while the two unreleased tracks add further deepness to the producing standards of the The Dining Rooms.
One year after, spring 2007 will see the release of their fifth album “Ink”. Sounding almost as a concept album, it can be considered as the trait-d’union between the production style of “Experiments In Ambient Soul”, live instrumentation and vocals delivering a round groove, with the cinematic, ethereal atmospheres characterizing the sound of "Numero Deux" and "Tre". This work features new remarkable collaborations by international artists such as Dodo N'kishi (Mouse on Mars) from Africa via Germany; Georgeanne Kalweit, from U.S.A. via Milan, & Tomaz Di Cunto, from Brazil.
In early 2004, with the contribution of Schema Records, Stefano created a new sub-label called Big Sur. Specialized in afro-house & funky beats, Big Sur is home to a growing number of artist, including another side project/collaboration of Stefano's - in this case with Marco Rigamonti, as Double Beat.
2008 is the year of “Other Ink”, a collection of tracks previously released only on vinyl and EP (Ink EP 1, 2, 3) and unreleased tracks.
A few months later comes out “The Jazz Thing” in collaboration with the Munich based drummer, DJ & producer Christian Prommer.
In 2007 this multifaceted artist launched a cutting edge new music project called “Drumlessons”.
Gathering around him the talented quartet of the pianist Roberto Di Gioia, the bassist Dietr Ilg, the percussionist & film composer Ernst Ströer & the veteran drummer Wolfgang Haffner, Prommer started treating well-known electronic music pieces in an acoustic jazz key.
To him then it was commissioned the production of “The Jazz Thing”, with the intention of re-inventing the most successful tracks from the Lo-Fi band The Dining Rooms such as “Tunnel“, “M. Dupont“, “No Problem“, “Thank You“, “Pure And Easy “and others.
Some of the original pieces here re-interpreted were included in the soundtrack of TV Series such as Sex And The City, C.S.I. Crime and Six Feet Under.
A TDR parallel project is Sem’bro, together with Dodo NKishi, who performed both as a singer & drummer in the band “Mouse On Mars” & as a singer in the project “Gizmo” by Steward Copeland.
Sem’bro moves in the territories of folk and soul with a personal view which is minimal and melodic, orchestral and electronic.
A fuzzy music which counts among its influences Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Talk Talk, Cat Stevens, Pharoa Sanders and a more spiritual jazz.
Double Beat (on Big Sur)
Sem'bro (on Summer Dawn)