Interview: Darius Syrossian

Darius Syrossian goes from one big project to another. Having helped establish Do Not Sleep as one of the most exciting and essential new parties in all of Ibiza in summer 2015, he is now launching a label with the crew.

The first release is his own massive anthem ‘Hanns Trippy’ and there will be many more besides. The rest of the year sees him continue to do his no frills, tough tech house thing at clubs all over Europe as well as with Do Not Sleep in London and Birmingham. Here we catch up with the long time house star for his thoughts on the new label, his summer season and more besides including why his back to back sets with Sante and Sydney Charles work quite so well.

With all that, we thought it was high time to catch up with Darius Syrossian and get his thoughts on the year that was, the year that will be, everything Do Not Sleep, the holiday season and more. Make sure you also check out Birmingham’s The Rainbow Venues on New Years Day as Darius Syrossian joins Sante and Sidney, as well as Dennis Ferrer, Richy Ahmed, and Dungeon Meat.

“I cant be away from my studio too long, I get withdrawal symptoms”

How was summer 2015 for you? It brought some different parties and gigs than usual, right?
Yeah it was fantastic! While I was resident for Sankeys they wanted me exclusive to them, and wouldn’t allow me to play for any other clubs. I played for DC10 twice in 2012 & 2013 and after that they put a block on me playing elsewhere, so it was very refreshing to have the freedom this summer to play other places.

Obviously we had my own DO NOT SLEEP residency at Privilege Vista Club, which was amazing! But I also got to play Space’ opening and closed the main room. Then, I did several other shows at Space for Kehakuma, this time on the terrace. I also played for Hyte at Amnesia which was just unreal, and we finished off with our own DO NOT SLEEP closing party at Space and that was the icing on the cake. So, all in all it couldn’t have gone any better really.

Do you get much music written in summer or do you prefer winter for that? For example when was DNS001 written?
‘Hanns Trippy’ was written in February 2015. I do make most of my music in autumn & winter, as I live in Ibiza in the summer. I don’t just use a laptop to make music, I need to be in my studio, but I do fly back in the summer a few times to have long studio sessions, I cant be away from my studio too long, I get withdrawal symptoms, haha!

Have you got any bits of gear of software that really define your sound and that you use every time you write a track?
Yeah, I use my Korg EMX1 a lot for my drums, and for getting some quirky synth stabs, but for bass I have various Roland kits. I find that Roland makes the best hardware for when you need that really good bass sound, but also I do all my edits in WaveLab, and I even use Fruity Loops a lot for my drum programming, and I don’t care what anyone says, the way I use it its fantastic for me to get that groove and raw sound.

Why have you started a new label with Do Not Sleep? What gap do you hope to plug?
No gap at all! I just wanted a label where we can let people know what the sound of the party is, what the sound of our crew is, and also to give a platform to some upcoming artists. For example, everyone knows what sound Fuse has, and I think with DO NOT SLEEP the label helps us get the sound we are about out there. It also shows we are more serious about the music, and its not just a party that we do. Music is important to us.

What are the key things to get right when running a label do you think – art, artists, visual identity, label parties, having a big crew, what?
Well, by far the most important is the MUSIC! Without a doubt. As I said in a previous interview, it is very important to make sure you stay true to your artistic values. After that, all the things you listed are important.

What labels do you always follow? What labels do it right for you? Any big inspirations of influences?
Haha! If I’m going to be totally honest, I don’t really follow labels. Honestly, if a track is GOOD then I don’t care what label it’s on. I know some well known labels have released stuff I don’t really like and I know some tiny independent labels that have released some absolute fire! So, for this reason, it’s good to just hunt good music. I think the point of a label is to represent a certain sound for the crew that owns the label, and that’s why we are doing it.

What plans have you got for Christmas? Where will you be? Do you cook dinner?
Well all DJs will tell you christmas is quite busy with shows, but I 100% make sure I have lots of family time too. It’s important, as that’s the one time the studio is put on hold so I can dedicate two weeks to family and also for the congestion of gigs.

I love to do the roast, that way once eaten I can put my feet up and everyone else can deal with the cleaning & washing up [laughs], and that time is spent preparing for the Boxing Day show, which this year I have two: first, a DO NOT SLEEP party in Stoke at the Sugar Mill, and then I play at Warehouse Project in Manchester with Sidney Charles, Santé, Hot Since 82 & loads more. It’s a huge line up!

And what do you hope Santa brings you most of all? Have you got anything on your wish list?
As long as I see my family I’m happy and don’t care about presents, but my gf is amazing and buys the best gifts. Somehow she always works out what I need and it’s always something useful for my job.

What have you got in store for 2015, any new music, new residencies, big stories for us?
So much lined up…I’m starting up DO NOT SLEEP RADIO, which will be the same format as my old radio shows that i did for ViVA, DJ Mag and Sankeys, which will be monthly.

The label goes full steam ahead with the next releases, vinyl & digital. We are also doing select one off DO NOT SLEEP parties until the summer, when we announce what our plans are for 2016 in Ibiza. Until the summer, I’ll be touring on my own lots and also have lots of releases on various other labels and not just our own DO NOT SLEEP label…so very busy.

‘Hans Trippy’ is out now on Do Not Sleep Records..

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1 January | The Rainbow Venues : New Years Day | Tickets | The Rainbow Venues