premiere-yokoo-retza-Euneirophrenia-original

Interview: YokoO & Retza

Published On 11/10/2017 | Interviews

The collaborative efforts between YokoO, Retza, and All Day I Dream have produced a slew of well received singles.

As individuals, YokoO is no stranger to house music in all its deepest forms. With releases on highly regarded labels such as All Day I Dream, Musik Gewinnt Freunde, Kindisch, Get Physical, Moodmusic and Plastic City, he has marked out a spot for himself in the global house music scene with talent being sought after from every corner of the world. Retza has had the underground heads listening, talking and following for the past couple of years. With original and remix releases also on Watergate Records and Lo-Fi 45, 2017 has turned into something of a breakout for the Melbourne artist.

With their new collaborative EP “Euneirophrenia” available now via All Day I Dream, and with the label’s upcoming ADE 2017 showcase imminent (alongside Eelke Kleijn‘s DAYS LIKE NIGHTS showcase), we spoke with YokoO and Retza on their personal collaboration, their label home, and much more.

“

I see All Day I Dream as having its own sound and movement within the dance music scene.”

Retza

What was the starting point of Euneirophrenia? How (if) did it evolve from this place?
Planning a follow up EP for All Day I Dream, I sent a basic idea of the track to Julien with the idea of a collaboration. As said by Julien, he mostly arranged and refined the existing elements which was much needed turning out for an excellent result!

Can each of you describe what is it about the other’s approach to music and creation (art) that complements your own? Perhaps the story is known in “inner circles” but how did you guys first come across each other and decide that collaborations were the way to go?
Julien had heard/played a track I had written with the talented duo Thankyou City. We then met when he played in Melbourne and after exchanging contacts began sending each other music. Naturally we thought to collaborate as we had similar visions and the results turned out great. I find we complement each other very well, as our work together is always a smooth process. I love to come up with ideas and grooves in creative flashes but it can prove to be quite chaotic and unorganised at times. I find some of the necessary steps in creating music quite tedious sometimes. Julien has much more patience than me and is excellent at the finer more intricate side of things.

What about All Day I Dream as an imprint? Now that you are closely associated with ADID for some time, where do you see its place amongst the more ethereal side of the dance music spectrum? How do you feel the creative atmosphere there still allows you both to grow as artists?
I see All Day I Dream as having its own sound and movement within the dance music scene. The atmosphere and ethos they have created is forever inspiring. From the vibe of the parties, the artists and the music that is released on the label. It is an honour to be involved in any capacity. I feel it has encouraged my continuing growth as an artist under the ADID umbrella and outside of that.


Finally, what are some things you personally are looking forward to through the rest of 2017? Any places you will visit that you haven’t been before or…?
I look forward to making more music! Working on solo stuff and continuing the collaborative efforts with master YokoO. I look forward to more opportunities internationally from a musical stand point and exploring the world outside of that. Onwards and upwards!

YokoO

What was the starting point of Euneirophrenia? How (if) did it evolve from this place?
The initial idea stemmed from a conscious desire of releasing another EP on ADID. Life then worked its magic as it usually does. Retza sent me a blunt sketch of the track, which I truly fell in love with. All I did was using most of the elements that were presented to me, cutting them up, adding some layers, and finally arranging them in a coherent way to create what the piece has become.

Can each of you describe what is it about the other’s approach to music and creation (art) that complements your own? Perhaps the story is known in “inner circles” but how did you guys first come across each other and decide that collaborations were the way to go?
We both are very capable as individual artists but whilst Retza has ease generating grooves, he’s much slower at creating variations and overall arrangement. I, on the other hand, love delving into the layers, organising, and adding finishing touches.

I came across his music whilst hanging out with producer friends in Melbourne a couple of days before playing our first ADID event there with Matt and Lee, early 2015. The newly produced track I was given moved me and I decided to play it at the gig. My memory is quite blurry but I am pretty sure Retza was in the crowd that day and heard me play it. From there, we connected and I asked him to send me some more of his creations. I instantly was blown away by both his humility and potential. He is very talented, and a true gentleman. We started swapping project ideas and it all went flowing from then on.

What about ADID as an imprint? Now that you are closely associated with ADID for some time, where do you see its place amongst the more ethereal side of the dance music spectrum? How do you feel the creative atmosphere there still allows you both to grow as artists?
I see ADID as the core of a movement. Whilst ethereal music has been around forever, ADID has been pushing it as a genre of its own, within the electronic music scene. Being labeled as such doesn’t necessarily mean that we are constricted as artists. Music with soul is what the label aims at putting out there, whether it’s for the dancefloor or not. And at the end of the day, we are free to create as we feel without any limitations. If for some reason the music we produce does not fit in with ADID, I have no doubt it will fit in elsewhere.

How were your experiences at Burning Man this year? I’m sure tracks off the package played prominently…did you notice (care) about the reaction on site?
I am afraid I did not attend, as I needed to take some time away from the masses. Instead, I visited Tulum and enjoyed some down time with myself. I fasted and focused on practicing both yoga and meditation daily. I also spent time drafting ideas for the third chapter of my podcast series.

You (YokoO) will be on site in Amsterdam for ADID @ ADE. First off, how was the summer’s ADID @ Woodstock Wonders experience for you? How do you see this year’s ADID @ ADE shaping up?
It was brilliant – a very blissfully uplifting experience for me. I recall leaving the party overly light hearted. I am quite in love with Holland and its people in general, due to the bright and optimistic energy they carry. The vibe was next to none and facing the sea at sunset is a hard setting to beat…

I did not get to experience ADID @ ADE last year. I’ll avoid expectations here and let myself be surprised. But secretly, I trust it will be yet another exceptional [sold out] event. When does ADID ever disappoint?!

Finally, what are some things you personally are looking forward to through the rest of 2017? Any places you will visit that you haven’t been before or…?
Developing countless friendships all across the globe has been a highlight of adopting such a nomadic lifestyle. The ability to nurture all these relationships whilst doing what I love is a blessing and something I truly look forward to. Moreover, I am thrilled to visit Brazil with ADID in November as it will be my very first time. From there, I am supposed to go to Chile, which I heard is absolutely stunning. I love North, South and Central America and already know the end of the year over there is going to be full of surprises!

“Euneirophrenia” is NOW AVAILABLE on All Day I Dream BUY

Soundcloud – YokoO Artist Page – YokoO Soundcloud – Retza Artist Page – Retza

adid-yokoo-retza-ade-2017-interview

21 October | All Day I Dream of Winter Sun | Tickets | Transformatorhuis

Click here to scroll down to the comments

About The Author

Steve comes to Amsterdam by way of Brooklyn, Connecticut, Mumbai, and Tokyo. He researches media culture at UvA, while already holding degrees from UCONN (CT) and The New School (NYC). Aside from DHA, Steve is the Senior Editor for cinema platform IndieNYC.com, and writes on issues relating to film, culture, politics & electronic music. Every so often he also dabbles in photography and filmmaking.