Moving a little West, I was reading how you really enjoy playing in Romania. What is it about the scene there that draws you?
Yes, indeed! Romania is a very special country with a very special scene. House music, the Perlon sound, Ricardo [Villalobos], [a:rpia:r], all these guys are big. For me, I like Romania because it is challenging. They are really into the music. For example, if they hear a Villalobos set on Soundcloud, they will look for the music track by track. It isn’t easy to play for them since they are so educated, but I always look forward to it.
I do 3 gigs a year, which are Midi Club in Cluj, Kristal in Bucharest, and then Sunwaves Festival. I work with Sunwaves, who represents me exclusively, so I get the best gigs there. Last weekend I was there actually, and both clubs were full. They were open all night and so easy going. They didn’t expect any kind of music, but I knew what I had to do. I was so connected to them. It was a big celebration!
Moving even farther West, we are anticipating your fabric gig on 26 March with Richie Hawtin. I know you have played there before, with Ricardo, so how do you prepare for fabric? What are your impressions of the space?
My first gig was really amazing. fabric is the kind of venue where every party and every gig is different; sometimes you have an amazing crowd, sometimes you have tourists. The guys from the club were testing me that night to see how I would handle such a gig, but it all turned out very good and everyone was happy.
Now, I am so happy to have another gig there, especially with Richie. I mean, how much better can you get? Of course I do prepare differently. I am real DJ. I can play anything. Today I can play house and tomorrow I can play industrial techno. It all depends on the venue, lineup, mood, and so much else. I know Richie. I know his sound. I know which way to go. At these kind of events I like to bring some weird tracks. Maybe stuff I haven’t played before. These are the kind of events are good to try new things.
I also wanted to talk about your record label Propaganda. What do you have coming up? What is your philosophy behind the label? I’ll leave it open to you as how you would like to speak about it.
There is no real sound. There is a similar line if you listen track by track. In the future, that will be tricky as I am planning on releasing much different music, so everything is different. It is as different as me. I don’t like limiting myself so I look at the label that way as well. I will release the tracks I want to release. When I hear a track, even if I don’t play it myself, if it’s good I will release it. The last track went out last week and the next one is coming up from various artists. It has a track from a young Italian producer who sent me the demo on my Soundcloud page. As I check them all myself this one really stood out. All my friends were like, “What the fuck is that?” I knew from there I would release it.
Finally, in September we have the sixth release. I am actually flying to the artists studio this weekend, which is quite far..in the mountains. He came to my festival, Strichka, last year. After the festival he texted me some music and I thought it was great. It is dance but very musical, like jazzy house. I used this one on my fabric promo mix. Then, he sent me his next track and it was even better, so I knew he was someone to work with.
With a label, the creative decisions aren’t just limited to music. You also have to make aesthetic decisions and such. How do you approach the visual look of your releases?
I wanted to make the records 180 grams, heavy and strong. Then, I wanted to make them inside out, which is quite tricky. Sometimes people will put the record on and not know why it isn’t going the “right” way. They will tell me how they always forget the trick. This is what makes the record special.
With the design, I wanted to use pictures of the artists featured, but from when they were children. This tells a lot about people. When you look at the picture you can’t believe that person is the same who made this amazing track. Of course, the person in those pictures has no idea what they would be doing later in life. This kind of style makes the whole idea very warm.