Posted on

Solving Mysteries: Small Talk With QNQN

QNQN

Yeah, we are suckers for mysteries. You know, like Scooby Doo die-hard fans ’n stuff. Same thing applies for quality house music, especially when we know little about who’s behind it. And one record label that caught our attention lately is the already infamous QNQN series, with a back catalog filled with groovy edits and obscure bootlegs that have one thing in common: they’re danceable as hell. So, we did our own private investigation to get in contact with the person behind QNQN. Our short but fun interogatory was supposed to shed some light on the mystery surrounding the whole concept but it only gave us a few missing puzzle pieces. Until we solve the whole puzzle, enjoy the music 🥰 – check out here what we (still) have in stock from one of our favourite record labels.

What does QNQN acronym mean?

It’s more like mumbo-jumbo than an acronym. They’re the first and last letter from the word “question”. Who is it? Why does it exist? Why does it make your body move? Where have you heard this sound before? So many questions! The mistery game and intriguing the listener in order to start digging more, have always been part of the label’s philosophy.


People say that behind QNQN is Ricardo Villalobos’ step brother. Are the rumours true?

No, the rumors aren’t true. It’s actually his chiropractitioner!


We heard that you played the QNQN numbers at lottery and you won 1 million euros. What did you do with all that money?

I’ve finally bought that 1 million euro extra-rare potato, that looks exactly like Elvis Presley’s face.


Is QNQN all about sampling?

Well, even if the label’s concept was created from the idea of releasing bomb edits built around old-school tracks, for peak-time dancefloor moments, on the way it has evolved into different things. Including releasing original tracks. But generally, at the QNQN headquarters we do like a good illustration of sampling some long-lost songs from the past and giving them a new, fresh flavour.


The most successful QNQN release to date

I guess that’s debatable, but probablyt the first one (QNQN1415), that came out 4 years ago, had the most strong impact and helped jump-starting the label.


Name one Untitled Track from an Unknown Artist you enjoyed this year

Smooch Tha Dog, from our very own home of edits, of course! 🙂

Posted on

Small Talk With Alex Puicea

Alex Puicea

We love electronic music and almost everything related to it! We love it so much to that point where we choose to buy some new records as our top priority 🤩  Alex Puicea knows best. We met Alex back in the days he worked in our shop, spending countless hours of geeky talks about wires, cartridges, modulars and sync clocks. His label, bearing the impossible-to-remember Rackmizar name, reflects his passion for digging out lesser known artists with intriguing sounds. Things changed for Alex, as he decided to leave Bucharest’s fast paced rhythm and return to his hometown, Severin, on the shores of the Danube river.

Eat first, then buy records! With this in mind, Alex Puicea opened a cozy bistro, Abstract, but he never left his passion for music gear behind. Just Jam is a video series with short live sessions from his home studio and well, this is just the beginning. Yeah, we needed to find out the connection between food and electronic music so we sat down for a quick chat with Alex Puicea about techno pizza and records.


You left Bucharest a few years ago, to return to your hometown and start something new… How is you life now, away from the big city’s hustle & bustle?

Moving away form Bucharest was a good thing for me on a personal level, spent more time with my family, opened my own bussines, focused more on making music. Got to know more cool people in Severin involved in art. Bad part about my life now, having a business is really hard work, when I get to have some “me” time, I go hiking or just make music, or make music when hiking :))


Tell us more about the Abstract concept bistro. How was it received and what are your plans?

So, let’s start form the beginning… After me and my wife got married we decided to make a caffee in our home town Drobeta Turnu-Severin. I wasn’t really excited at first but it grew on me. Abstract was a mind bender for Severin at first. Creativity, art, culture… people did not give us a chance. And it was really hard to keep things floating the first year, but things got better, more people started coming, we made more friends, met more people, things were looking up for us. But when things go nice they have to go bad too: our neighbours started complaining about the noise and we had to move our location. That’s when the bistro was born. We decided to make food because I really love food :)) Plans for the future…have more free time to make music :))


Will Abstract at some point involve electronic music also?

It already happened! It was called “Electronic Sunday” and I used to  play deep house, people would gather, have a tea, listen to some vinyl. The concept was not about making a party, but just to show underground quality music to high school kids and open minded adults that did not have a chance to listen to the real deal. 


What happenned to Cutiuta Muzicala, the club you opened a while ago? Any plans on reviving it?

Well it was good while it lasted, unfortunately it was a club in a club, like Expirat and Other Side was. The main room there did not make enough money to sustain itself,  and Cutiuta was not open every week, it sometimes had big breaks between parties. I think often about reopening, but the costs just don’t work right now. So until I find the perfect space and context, it’s just a plan for the future.


You worked at Misbits for a couple of years. Does the love for vinyl still burn inside you? Maybe you’ll consider at some point opening a record shop in your hometown…

I still buy vinyl from time to time not as much as before but still do.  At first I wanted to get some records at the old Abstract but now I know there is no market for vinyl in severin, and prefer not try.


If you’d want to make a techno style pizza, what ingredients will it have? 🙂 

Hmm… Flour, yeast, salt, tomato, sauce with garlic and wine, mozzarella, chilly, fresh rosemary.   



Talking about electronic music, you launched the JustJam series. What’s this all about?

I made a lot of music that I did not release or pubish in any way,  so it just died. Either I got bad feedback from my DJ friends, or just forgot about it, the music just did not make it further than that. And that got my hopes down as a producer. So I decided to  ”Just Jam”! I love making music, with no more pressure from labels or people. Just me and my machines. There is nothing cooler than hiking to a location and making music there for a hour or two. Then just record what you did . 


2 years since the last Rackmizar release, your own record label you started in 2016. Not enough free time to plan new stuff?

Well to be honest the last two records were really  good, but did not sell enough to get back even the master fees. And don’t have time to manage it well so, no record on Rackmizar for now.


3 records you’d play as background music for your bistro.

Posted on

Check Out These Weird Looking Slipmats!

Face it: you are that kind of person who appreciates a quality slipmat, as reliable and durable as a Moodymann track dropped on a Sunday evening outdoor party.

But have you ever thought of making those fractions of seconds between changing records a bit trippy? We have quite an interesting selection down below and yeah, make sure you check our custom slipmats collection, available here (you have a small preview below, a Misbits collab with Victor Balutiu).


This slipmate, tho’ looking completely inoffensive, might put you in hunger mood quite fast.


A glimpse from the near future


Everybody loves bears! Including these creepy teddybears spiraling themselves into acid colors.


Look right into the center!!! And listen to this: Take me to your leader!


A galaxy at the tip of our needle? Seems cool


Is there any vinyl release for the PacMan soundtrack?


I really, really want to meet the person who bought a Nosferatu slipmat 😳


We present you the first gun hidden into a slipmat


We felt the need to put also a movie reference, so a stencil like Stormtrooper was the perfect choice!

Posted on

Crihan: Five Records That Never Leave My DJ Bag

Crihan

Alin Crihan has made a habit of thrilling us in a nice way, when is comes to fine music. He built a constant flow of releases for the past 5 years, creating essential landmarks for imprints like Catren, UVAR, Stomping Grounds or Ruere.

Yet, as we all know it, the real thrill dwells on the dancefloor, where Crihan delivers his soft minimal house cuts. So we asked him to come up with short list of records he’s very fond of. Here they are, in no particular order, but all connected with that special vibe we all love to find on the dancefloor. Enjoy!


Sound Stream – All Night


Baaz – The Reason


Negghead / Basil ‎– The Lost Remixes


Beautiful Swimmers ‎– Sleepyhead


The Mountain People ‎– Mountain008

Posted on

Dubla Events: One Of Romania’s Best Kept Secrets

If you’ve ever wanted to taste that proverbial Romanian hospitality, wrapped in a warm & cozy atmosphere, then you need to visit Iași, an old city located in the Eastern side of Romania. No, not like a regular tourist who goes sightseeing the beautiful architecture and the breathtaking landscapes surrounding the city. We mean more like the clubhead who lives inside you and needs to be fed with fine music and long lasting dancefloor memories from time to time. Because going clubbing in Iași feels a bit more special than everywhere else in Romania. You don’t have to take our word for it, you just need to attend one of the Dubla events, whenever this whole madness ends and things will go back to normal.

Started more than 4 years ago, Dubla has quickly become a standard for the house & techno scene in this part of the country. Although focused on building lineups with Romanian artists only, Dubla has managed to bring some interesting names into the spotlight, from Janeret and S. Moreira to Ion Ludwig. With a critical eye on the young blood, Dubla has always promoted local DJs, so names like Haokah, Iuly B or Cosmjn are constantly present regardless the context or the location of the party.

Curious about how did they manage to keep that special vibe intact from that very first party up to this date, we had a nice chat with the team behind Dubla, just as we expected to be. Watch out for the tips about Iași, they’re really priceless 😉 


Is there a story behind the Dubla name?

The truth is we have searched for the perfect name for quite a while before going with “Dubla”. I remember that we have already planned and booked the first edition without having chosen a name yet. :)) We were getting closer and closer to the event and I think that put a certain positive pressure on us regarding this aspect. “Dubla” was therefore the result of a brainstorm between close friends and we loved it since the moment we first heard it. We felt it’s highly suitable and we just went with it.

It reflects the repetitive feature of the brand, it’s easy to pronounce in any international language, it’s concise and it simply sticks.


What does Dubla have that we cannot find anywhere else?

That’s easy. And don’t just take my word for it. It’s something that everyone we worked with so far has noticed and appreciated. The Dubla team really knows how to have fun, how to entertain everyone present and how to create a friendly vibe – in fewer words, we know how to show everyone a great time: from the artists we book, the staff and to the entire crowd.

We put a lot of emphasis on creating memories that last instead of just organising a musical event. It’s easy to just throw another party throughout the month. What takes time, effort and dedication is building brand awareness and most of all, brand fidelity.


Do you remember the first time you set a Dubla party? Any funny stories?

Yes, of course we do remember our first Dubla. You never forget your firsts. But unfortunately, as far as I remember, no funny or worth telling stories about that one. 🙂


The location you love using the most for the Dubla parties. Why?

Well, it’s not only a matter of love or preferences in general. It’s also a matter of availability or the limited-to-small number of compliant venues. Then of course, we take into consideration the size of the event, its schedule (daytime, nighttime), side activities and so on.


The resident DJs concept is slowly returning. Are there any local selectors who are usually present in the Dubla lineups?

I don’t reckon it’s “slowly returning”. I think it has always been a common format for an event, especially when you are trying to promote certain names and you want to be an active part in their development as artists.

This was also our case. Since the very beginning, one of our constant long-term objectives was to promote the local artists (Cosmjn, Haokah or Iuly.B). We consider that this is the natural course of action when it comes to supporting young talents. It’s our duty as promoters to give them the best shots we can and if possible, to create a proper environment for their evolution. Because if not us, then who else?


With so many restrictions affecting the party scene worldwide, promoters are forced to limit the gatherings, both in size and location wise. How does Dubla fit in this new context?

Well, just like anybody else, either if we are talking about venue owners, artists, promoters, booking agents or tour managers, we adapt. We stopped and we waited for a change of scenery. When things got a little better, we started again with baby steps and a lot of caution.

We all need to keep up with the latest government restrictions, limitations or recommendations, this being the only way in which we can provide a safe musical experience for everyone involved. We are just trying to play our role as good as we can, hoping that things will soon go back to some sort of normality.


You have an unlimited budget for artists booking. Build a lineup for your dream Dubla party.

Wow, that’s a tough one. :)) I think I would love to tick as many genres as possible: from tasteful dub, to old school garage, anything. But in order to keep our focus more or less on the same scene we activate on, top of my head would be: Zip, Pan-Pot, r-hitect, Derek Carr, Palms Trax, Traumer and many many others.

Dubla

Take us on a virtual one day trip in Iași: breakfast, sightseeing, lunch, outdoor chill location, dinner, underground after party.

Breakfast: Egglectic

Coffee: August No.2

Sightseeing: The Palace of Culture, The Copou Park, The Botanical Garden

Lunch: somewhere in The Palas area – there are plenty of options

Outdoor chill: The Old Centre

Dinner: Cuib Restaurant

After party: Dubla


The biggest number of free drinks one DJ ever had at a Dubla party.

Here, in Moldova, we tend to be over generous by nature with our guests, so this is not something we keep track of. But I think there was someone who had a memorable number of at least 5 or 6 bottles of Ierbas.


Your next Dubla location is a 30 square meters studio. What lineup would you put there and what sound system would you choose?

Definitely Funktion-One but obviously a setup suitable for medium-to-small spaces. Regarding the lineup – this time I can only assume I don’t have un unlimited budget anymore :)). And I am also guessing that the safety restrictions are still on, which means this venue can only host up to 30 people… Therefore, we need a cozy atmosphere for our very selective private party. I think I would go with Suciu to be honest. Or Cap. Or both. I don’t know, it’s kinda of a tricky question. :))

Posted on

Small Talk With Jorge Savoretti

Thousands of miles set us apart from what’s happenning on the other side of our Blue Planet, when it comes to our beloved house & techno world. So it’s up to the artists to export the groove from South America to Europe, through timeless tracks and legendary mixes. Back more than 15 years ago, Jernan Cattaneo brought Argentina closer to Romania with his immensely emotional take on progressive house. Nowadays, the virtual bridge between these two countries is built by a wave of artists who designed a new sound, deeper and with a groove so specific for Argentina. One of these artists is Jorge Savoretti. We may say he’s already a veteran, as he is part of this culture for more than 25 years, yet his productions, released on Raum… Musik, Atipic, Visionquest, Telegraph or his own record labels (Savor Music, Aurea, Musica Lunar), are a breath of fresh air, regardless the release moment. It was about time to tell his story, through the lens of his intimate relationship with Romania’s underground.


Misbits: Born in Argentina, yet spent quite some time in Europe touring. How is it like for a South American to live in Europe?

Jorge Savoretti: I currently live in Buenos Aires but as you’ve said summing up I’ve spent some years of my life touring Europe. I like when I’m living there, things are more organized and everything is more laid back. Here it’s crazier and more intense, which I also like but could be a little bit stressful sometimes. In terms of music access, I also enjoy being able to visit different record stores which is not so common down here in South America.

Misbits: Some really interesting studio collaborations with Guti, as well as Franco Cinelli and Alexis Cabrera, yet just singular EPs. Should we expect more of these in the near future?

Jorge Savoretti: For sure, I love to collaborate with friends. I’m doing it all the time and I feel that from the mixture, new interesting things are born and you can get a holistic result. I’ll be releasing an EP with Djebali within the next month, and I also made stuff with Franco Cinelli and Mariano as Fluss, Alexis Cabrera, Felipe Valenzuela, Priku, Nico Forster and remixed a nice Guti piano project. I’m not certain when all this material will see the light tho.


Misbits: You play often in Romania and released a couple of EPs’ on Priku’s Atipic record label, so you know the Romanian underground scene pretty well. From your point of view, how did its sound evolve from 10-15 years ago to nowadays?

Jorge Savoretti: What I like about the ‘Romanian Sound’ is that it’s constantly changing and merging different things. I think its long club nights favour this kind of experimentation and new things are popping up every time. When I hear people calling it minimal I feel it’s an understatement, I can see different artists taking influences from house, techno, minimal, chicago, detroit, electro, funk, dub, even pop or progressive house (that was big there back in the days and can be noticed in some of the emotional ro-trax). I like the way a lot of the artists are making these elements converge in a harmonic way.

Misbits: As we share the same Latin origins, do you feel there are similarities between Romania’s clubbing scene and the Argentinian one? In terms of crowd, dancefloor vibe, sound…

Jorge Savoretti: Of course there are. Not only in the scene but in general life also. I think being countries that have been under dictatorships and other kinds of limitations made people really creative in terms of how to overcome them. Also the Latin roots connect us in the way we are deeply in touch with our emotions and that’s reflected in music. We live music passionately. In terms of sound, both scenes pay attention to aesthetics and details but probably argentinians are a little bit more ‘forward’ which happens because as i’ve told before our club/party nights are shorter, so the crowd are usually going for it in a shorter period of time which makes it a little bit more intense and allow less room for deepness and experimentation. So for us it’s always about finding the balance on keeping things interesting but super groovy.


Misbits: Can you name a few Romanian producers who are a perfect match for Savor Music or Aurea?

Jorge Savoretti: Of course great producers who released already with us like Priku, Iuly.B and Marcman. And if I had to pick a new one for each would be Lisiere Collectif on Savor and Lizz on Aurea. I’m a big fan of them.

Misbits: What’s the story behind Musica Lunar and the yearly compilations, 100% Argentianian electronic music?

Jorge Savoretti: I like to dig as much as possible and at some point I’ve started to play out tracks from a lot of unknown producers which later on I’ve found out they were made by argentinians. So I’ve started speaking with my partner Mariano about this situation of so many artists popping out of nowhere that were flying under our radar. That led to the idea of consolidating this already existing scene of established producers with these upcoming artists and show to the world what’s going on in our musical scene. There’s also the fact that Argentina is somehow a mystery because people can’t take a plane from any country and be here in 2 hours. So since you can’t visit our clubs easily, Musica Lunar is a good way to show the world what’s going on down here.


Misbits: One under-the-radar club in Buenos Aires I will feel like home, if I want to party properly for a weekend.

Jorge Savoretti: Avant Garten, great place to hang out.


Misbits: Your favourite record shops when you feel like digging for vinyl. One in South America, one in Europe

Jorge Savoretti: Haus Record Store in Argentina and in Europe I have so many. Misbits is definitely one of them.


Misbits: One record that never leaves your DJ bag

Jorge Savoretti: This one


Misbits: Imagine you own a beachbar somewhere on the Atlantinc shore. What would be your favourite cocktail to prepare?

Jorge Savoretti: Mango Daiquiris

Misbits: Who would play music on the beach?

Jorge Savoretti: Jason Carich… argentinian legend, can play pretty much any genre with class.

Misbits: River Plate, Boca Juniors or Independiente?

Jorge Savoretti: I’ll answer with a track


Misbits: You’re forced to give up all your studio gear but you can keep only one piece of hardware. What would that be? Why?

Jorge Savoretti: My computer, which is actually the only piece of gear I use. I do all my music, mixing and mastering in the box. So this one wasn’t that hard 🙂


Misbits: One producer we should keep an eye on this year

Jorge Savoretti: Anyone from Musica Lunar

Posted on

Crate Digging With Melodie

Although nurturing a musical universe expanded far beyond electronic music, Cristi Tudorache aka Melodie is much more than a record selector. You only need to take a look at his recent livestreams, where his passion about music has translated into insightful Q&A sessions and juicy livesets.

Yeah, he’s one of our favourite producers, from his early releases on Metereze or RORA to the ones that have shaped the sound for his own record label, Cinetic Art.

And speaking of sounds shaping his personality, we asked Melodie to build up a quick list of tracks, both inspirational as well as influential 😀

First of all, I am a big fan of roots reggae, a bit more old skool reggae. The perfect example is the concert below, gathering the biggest reggae legends


I am also a big fan of ambient, even if I didn’t listen to it lately


People say this is one of the best produced albums ever. It’s actually one of the few romantic pop albums that I enjoy


If I had to pick up only one reggae artist, I would go for Peter Tosh, maybe together with Sly & Robbie (check the concert above). Tosh’ messages are both motivational as well as inspirational.

Posted on

Girls Love Vinyl: NOR

There’s something magical about the cloudy skies. Evasive shapes letting your imagination run wild, smooth formations blending with each other seamlessly, colors sliding along to form unseen nuances. I guess you all know that feeling.

NOR (Romanian for cloud) does exactly this: translates cloud feelings into music for quite a few years. You don’t have to take our word for it, just hit the play button on her most recent set, built for our cute little Girls Love Vinyl series. The mix is accompanied by an interview, placed on a different note than you’re used with.

Enjoy it as much as we did!


 The Netflix / HBO series you have binged on longer than your longest afterparty. For how many hours?

Afterparties can be long and i don’t binge that much. I could say i had a Star Trek phase a few years ago, but nothing worth mentioning ever since.


Supposing you believe in reincarnation, who were you in the Middle Ages?

The Middle Ages seem like a dark, scary time to be alive. If reincarnation is a thing, i sure hope i skipped the Middle Ages.


The detox meal that worked best for you

Unprocessed and diverse meals, as many raw veggies and fruits as possible, preferably locally grown and in season. Nothing fancy.


You have to choose between running a record shop in Alaska and working in a cubicle in the Bahamas. What offer do you accept? Why?

 Giving that i don’t tolerate cold very well and I’m more into buying records than selling them, i would go for Bahamas, for sure!


Your favourite Powerpuff Girl

After completing an online survey from a trustworthy website, turns out i’m 50% Buttercup, 30% Blossom and 20% Bubbles. Not so sure about that.


How does the music makes you feel? Also when you play

It can make me feel happy or sad or anything in between, depending on the music. When i play i feel loved and rewarded, but also quite nervous in the beginning.

Posted on

A Zurich Story From ‘under the tree’

The spring season can’t start with just one flower (yeah, that’s an old Romanian saying, but you got the point :D). Yet, you can jumpstart an amazing underground scene with only one club. Its name is Supermarket and in its 20 years of existence it put Zurich West on Europe’s clubbing map, shaping a unique culture and vibe.

It’s all about the sound, quality and moments!

It’s also about the people who supported the house & techno scene, especially the sound that suit the club environment, away from the huge techno festivals. under the tree, the crew behind the party series with the same name introduced Zurich’s technoheads into the minimal house sound with carefully selected lineups, balanced between established artists and young blood and spiced up with a lot of Romanian selectors.

The Art Of is their newest concept, where only one guest DJs is invited to play all night long, thus offering the crowd the chance to enjoy a longer sonic trip. We had a super nice chat with Arthur from Under The Tree, about the Zurich nightlife, the whole grey situation we’re living in right now and many more. This is what it came out of it 😉 Enjoy!


You’re already in your third year with “under the tree” events, that have featured many Romanian DJs. Does the Supermarket crowd start to enjoy this kind of music?

Hello Ioana, first of all thank you for having us here. Yes, that’s true. slowly people understand it, but it was not always so and it was a long way until we found acceptance and it will be a long way to keep it up.

How did you come up with the idea?

We already had some years of experience with parties and have developed musically in this process. When we reached a certain point and realized that our concept did not match our musical taste anymore, we unstructured and under the tree was born.


What does it take for a DJ to play all night long, in your opinion?

It takes everything. Nowadays many DJs are driven in a certain direction and specialize in one segment, be it for opening, main-time or closing sets. In other words a DJ has to have everything to be able to play an all-night-long session.

Let’s say there will be an artist who would like to play a set longer than 6 hours. What would you do? Can you extend the party?

Yeah, sure. He just needs to feel like it, and so does the crowd, and we’re ready to roll!


As we all know Romanians like to play super long sets, do you think this events series is tailored for them?

Super long sets can be played by many DJs out there, but I have to say that maybe more of those who are good at it are from Romania 🙂


How did the crowd respond to this new concept?

As for the under the tree series, the initially more reserved crowd is now coming out of themselves and responding well to the events. Whether the same happens at Art of … we will see after a few editions, but the launch of the series with you behind the decks was a full success 🙂


Can we call Supermarket as an iconic landmark for Zurich’s clubscene?

Supermarket is one of the oldest clubs in Switzerland and is celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year. The club has been through thick and thin, has experienced hard times and has proven itself time and again. Some of the guests have come once and never left again. The Supermarket now mixes old and new generations from all walks of life, also thanks to us. Under the leadership of Sandro, the club has been steadily progressing and always had the goal to present an absolutely high quality sound. Today the club has become an intra-generational institution in Switzerland to promote a high-quality music experience for its guests. In other words, yes, the club is an iconic landmark of Switzerland and since the refurbishment even far beyond its national borders.


Talking about Zurich: if we want to do a bit of crate digging, where would you recommend us to go?

Super simple question. There’s only one place to go in Zürich : Sihl Records from our good friend Andreas Ramos!

What do you think it’s going to happen on the European clubscene with this critical situation we live these days?

This is a question that has been occupying us and the whole scene for a long time. We already had to cancel two parties and it will surely become even more. One of the main things that this crisis has shown us is certainly the instability of the whole event industry.  My biggest concern is not that we won’t be able to throw parties anymore, but more about the many people who depend on them. As a result of the federal government’s decision, around 160 companies with more than 2,000 full-time jobs in the city of Zurich are affected. By the end of April, a loss of income of 20 million Swiss francs, the cancellation of 2,000 cultural events and over 4,000 bookings from artists are expected.

These are of course only the actual figures, behind most of the employees is a whole family, which gives us food for thought. But we are very lucky and are supported by our government. Nevertheless, it shows just how unstable this market, on which so much depends, is. To this one should add that Zurich is the city with the highest club density in the world and every Zuricher stick to his party culture, which even in Switzerland is considered an UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Predicting the future in such turbulent times is almost impossible. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the clever minds of our country will quickly find a solution, Zurich without nightclubs is almost like Venice without canals…


Is it hope it will come back at some point?

To a certain extent I hope that the situation will normalize, but if you look at the development of our scene since the beginning you will realize very quickly that our music and music in general has often been created out of crises and used as a means of revolution. In the last years there was no more reason to rebel or to survive a crisis. This is reflected in the commercialization of electronic music. Maybe our scene needed this pandemic as a wake-up call, maybe the whole world needed it… I don’t think we’ll come back to the same point, but we’ll get to a whole new one 🙂


3 records that could define an Art Of clubnight

caLLy – Illusion Of The Self

Sahau (Dan Andrei, Kozo, Paul Agripa) – El Senor De Los Cielos [ZIMBRV04] 

Visullucid – SW


Tell us a crazy story from a party 😀

Our label launch at Christmas 2017 was probably the craziest party ever. we had planned a 33 hour long, 3-day label launch for under the tree with several international acts like Ferro, Jan Krueger and many more. On day X when the party started everything was good, the first night was great, everybody had fun. The next morning most of the international acts arrived, but during the day the people left the club, and nobody was at our party anymore because it was just too much for the people to party for so long. They just weren’t used to it. All day long we had no guest and at some point, in the afternoon Sandro (the manager of the club) said we would close the second night. For Romano and me a world collapsed. All the artists arrived, and we told it to them. Of course, the mood was devastated because everybody was really looking forward to this party.

So, we all went out to dinner together when suddenly Sandro jumped up and said: “We’re not going to let this happen! Arthur write to all your people, Romano write to you and I’ll call a doorman and go behind the bar myself”. So, we jumped up from the table and without hesitation directly into the club. We started the party again and suddenly word got around and people came from everywhere. That was surreal! I can still remember how I made a “we are open” sign with Jan Krueger from old posters and tape to put it in front of the door (I still have that at home). In the end Ferro, Jan Krueger, Reiss and Frank Haag played an all night long b2b that I will never forget again. The whole 33 hours were an emotional rollercoaster ride that laid the foundation for today’s series. In retrospect I could not have wished for a different start and at this point I wanted to thank all the people which supported us in every single move we did. Without you there would be no us! See you under the tree

Posted on

Small Talk With Dyed Soundorom

Dyed Soundorom

Residencies for DC10 Ibiza and Rex Club Paris? Checked!

Unforgetable memories imprinted in dancefloors all over the world, from Panorama Bar Berlin, Concrete Paris or Robert Johnson Frankfurt to Fabric London or Womb Tokyo? Checked!

Dyed Soundorom has always been a breath of fresh air in the house & techno underground, solo or as part of the allmighty Apollonia, alongside Dan Ghenacia and Shonky. As for his producer’s alter ego, the now Lisbon based Frenchman got us all by surprise with a different sound than we were used to. You have to check Dyed Soundorom latest releases for DDS, still available in our shop.

We also had a nice little chat about music and his household role in Apollonia 😉


A bit of electro, a bit of chiptune on top of the industrial x minimal sound we’ve met before in your productions. What’s the story behind the release?

I used to work with samples, but i started to buy more analogue gear around 4 years ago and haven’t stopped since! I feel much more creative working with hardware, it’s given me a whole new energy in the studio. The process to build and feel comfortable with this new set up was long, but now I’m really happy with it. There isn’t any particular story behind the release but the main idea was to change the way I produce. Now I just jam, record and see what happens, which is much more inspiring!


Is it all about experimenting when it comes to releasing at your own imprint?

The good thing about having your own label is you can release whatever you want, so for sure you can experiment. I’m making a lot of new music these days, trying different things and most of all enjoying the process. I’m excited to see what happens!


Let’s suppose you’re isolated at home together with Shonky and Dan Ghenacia. How do you organize the living? Who’s cleaning the house? Who’s cooking? Who’s taking the dog outside?

Shonky would take care of the dog because he loves to be outside. Dan in the kitchen, he is by far the best cook! I would have to clean the house because they are too messy!

Posted on

Record Selectors: Dragoș Ilici

Dragos Ilici

What happens when your passion for vinyl records goes beyond the regular crate digging as a weekend activity, to slowly transform into a lifestyle? By all means, you get yourself a job at a record shop. This is probably the reason why we had the pleasure of working with Dragoș Ilici for a couple of years at Misbits Record Shop, right after his return in Bucharest from a long period spent into the Scandinavian lands. Dragoș was like the fish in the ocean at our place, talking with the same contagious enthusiasm about minimal house records as well as downtempo, dub or pure electro ones. Mix this with a strong presence behind the decks, always connected with the dance floor in front of him, and you’ll understand why he is now one of Club Guesthouse resident DJs.

He recently teamed up with Jay Bliss on a V.A. released at Stomping Grounds, to show some great potential when it comes to production. Until we’ll get our hands on Dragoș Ilici’s first solo record, we had a quick chat with him about what it means to have a love affair with your record collection.


What is your daily routine as a record digger?

Mainly going through the ever-growing number of discogs tabs open in my browser, and also all other shops and platforms I check music on.

Do you “hunt” only for what falls into the house & techno genre or do you go beyond?

Beyond. I want to listen to and experience music regardless of any rational aspect that tries to define it. It’s a form of self-expression, which I prefer to feel rather than rationalize, hence genres are not so important to me when discovering music.

Dragos Ilici
Photo credit: Kay Ross

What do you prefer: searching through used records crates at flea markets around Europe or going for the fresh releases section in your favourite shops?

I prefer searching through used records, wherever I go, but also the new stuff. Even though i usually find the new releases online, with the amount of records coming out nowadays it’s impossible for me to keep track of everything, so there can always be a surprise.

Speaking of which, make us a super short list of record shops you plan to visit in the near future, shops you haven’t visited yet.

Amoeba Records, Technique Tokyo

If you were to pick an artist and buy all the discography on vinyl, who would that artist be?

Meat Beat Manifesto

Are there any records you carry in your DJ bag at every single gig you’re playing?

Yes, some tools like acapellas, beatless stuff, spoken word, locked grooves.

Dragos Ilici
Photo credit: Kay Ross

Is it any different a warmup set as a resident DJ as opposed to an opening set at some random party?

Yes, every gig, every single situation is different, but there’s lots of advantages a residency should bring: being part of a team, trust and familiarity, knowledge of the soundsystem, the dj booth, the room, the crowd, the dynamics of the party. All these aspects, along others, impact the way I play.

What’s so special about Misbits Record Shop, that people keep returning, again and again?

I return because it’s the only record shop in Bucharest where I can always find at least one record that I like, and because it’s a welcoming and cozy place which I want to support.

Last record you spent quite a lot of money on

I never really buy expensive records, but I spent around 100 euros on this box set comprising of 3 double 12” each with unique artwork, a small booklet and some stickers, which is a very good price for what you get

Posted on

Four Ambient Mix Series To Help You Cope With The Long Winter Nights

Ambient Mixes

Even if the climate changes brought milder winters, at least in some parts of the Northern hemisphere, we’re still predisposed for slight depressions, mainly to the lack of sunshine. We are, after all, solar creatures, although many of us like the dark, sweaty environments of some underground afterparties 🙂 All we have to do in these long winter nights is to retire into a close-to-hibernation state, wrapped in a soft blanket and waiting for the first signs of spring to knock on our windows. Yet, we need the perfect soundtrack for these moments, so we decided to list a few of our favourite podcasts and mix series, focused on ambient sounds and electronic experiments. Sit back, grab a cup of hot tea and let yourself covered with these amazing sounds

Campfire Stories

Silent Season is a record label based in Vancouver, Canada, and focused on the ethereal electronica. The Campfire Stories is a mix series where artists close to the Canadian imprint practice the art of storytelling through music. You’ll love it!

A Strangely Isolated Place

Started as a blog that curates ambient electronica, the Los Angeles based A Strangely Isolated Place has a 12 years long history of supporting this musical genre. Big names as well as newcomers, from Loscil and Minilogue to Akuai, have contributed to their podcast, that goes by the IsolatedMix name

Pluie/Noir Podcast

Pluie/Noir is an artist collective born in Berlin, that puts together forward thinking musicians and visual artists to promote cultural diversity through amazing collaborative efforts. While there is also a record label branch, the focus is on Pluie /Noir podcast series, where we discovered artists like Petre Inspirescu, Pheek, Vlad Caia or Fumiya Tanaka. Take some time to explore their huge collection of mixes

The Something Something

Willem van der Ploeg aka Will Oirson hosts The Something Something radio show at Amsterdam’s Red Light Radio. This radio show is not for everyone, as it goes deep into the drone & soundtrack territories, getting weirder and weirder with every mix you’ll listen. Nevertheless, you’ll be struck with some deep house accents from Leif or beatdown techno from Analogue Attic Recordings

Posted on

A Vinyl Round Up At Misbits: 2019’s Best Of

You may say you don’t like charts, hierarchies, tags and points but, boy, you can’t wait to get your hands deep into the year-end reviews, to check at least if your favourite 2019 music has made it into these charts.

So we thought of doing this round up for 2019, remembering the best moments we had at Misbits Record Shop. And we had quite a few amazing ones: smoothy afternoons spent with some of our favourite record selectors, fizzly lemonades and lots of funky quirky records played on Misbits’ cozy terrace, weirdly amazing pieces of art on T shirts, vinyl records and canvas and, of course, lots and lots of records filled with good music. Heck, we even had a classical music evening 🙂 

We now have our own clothing line, boasting a super comfy hoodie and a bunch of utility T shirts, designed for the record selectors who love to keep their records in tip top shape. Feel free to browse our wear collection here, here and here

So, long story short, here is a few of the best moments we had this year, turned into memories by a recording, an excellent release or just the smell of a hot cup o tea while digging for some cool music on wax.

Adnana’s set at A Vinyl Afternoon, August 2019

A Vinyl Afternoon series at Misbits Record Shop was all about records & friends, with a few visual delights here and there, as we hosted art showcases and live painting sessions. Music was spread from minimal house all the way to old skool hip hop and jazz. Back in August, Adnana delivered one of the best selections we had on our terrace, get a taste of that afternoon with this 2 hours cut below.

Profet’s takeover at Misbits’ 6th anniversary

6 years! SIX! Time flies fast when you’re surrounded with good music. What do we mean by good music? Profet’s set, recorded in March, is the perfect definition: you’ll enjoy every beat, be it garage, break beat, jungle or house beat 🙂 

https://soundcloud.com/4pe4/profet-misbits-6-yrs-anniversary

Amorf, the Romanian avantgarde trio, pursued their mission in 2019, also. Ancient Future, released at Amphia, was one of the most sought after records this year. Maybe it was the hypnotising piano sequences imagined by Mischa Blanos, maybe it was the endless loops of magic kicks drawn by Vlad Caia & Cristi Cons. It surely is one of this year’s highlights.

Amphia was on fire in 2019, with Dan Andrei contributing to the label’s notoriety with Loose Dots, a masterpiece of electronic weirdness, created to make you dance. This one was a keeper for anyone of us interested in exploring the subtle tones of Romania’s underground scene.

Thank you all for this amazing year we had, see you with a looooot of surprises in 20 20 😉

Posted on

We Took A Trip Down To Kazan’s Thriving Electronic Underground

Private Sound

Somewhere 500 miles east of Moscow, at the confluence of Kazanka and Volga rivers, lies Kazan, Russia’s 6th city in terms of population. Once an important trading center, Kazan is now coming back as a vibrant mix of Oriental and Russian cultures. Within this context, a group of enthusiastic people is setting up the foundations of a house & techno underground.

An idea nested by 2 friends (Farid Akhmadiev aka F-Tek and Shamil OM), Private Sound was born 5 years ago, as a response to the omnipresent commercial music and events in Kazan. With no venues or communities focused on electronic music, this sounded more like an impossible mission. Yet, as stubborn as they are, these guys managed to attract a handful of like-minded people around Private Sound, eager to raise awareness when it comes to house & techno, with a touch of minimal. They reinvented locations to host parties and invited selectors like Piticu, Miss I, Christopher Ledger, Anrilov, building hype and interest for a young crowd.

So, we sat down and chatted with Farid, one of the founding members of Private Sound, about Kazan (known as Russia’s thrid capital), electronic music and also the echoes that Romania’s underground has sent in this remote place.

How does the electronic underground look like in Kazan in 2019?

Nowadays there are several active communities worth mentioning (about 8 or even 10) in Kazan and Tatarstan Republic in common, who are engaged into the underground electronic music scene development. They include Djs, VJs, producers and event organizers. Each community has its own signature and style depending on the music tastes. You can listen to mainly house / techno / minimal / deep / electro / progressive / acid / melody techno / breaks & drum’n’bass / electronica / experimental noise & ambient sounds. As you can see, there is a wide range of musical genres. Events are not happenning so often, since the venues availability problem still exists. There are no actual clubs in the city, only several bars that from time to time are able to host underground or electronic music related events. Only two big venues are available in Kazan: Alafuzov Loft (former old textile manufacture from XVIII century) & Werk, founded by Izolenta community and Watch Me Visuals Vj’s team (brand new space and former furniture manufacture opened in July and located closer to the city center). Besides these options, promoters are in a constant search for new locations, in order to find out proper ones for the planned events.

Where does Private Sound stand in this landscape?

Private Sound community was founded in May of 2014 by two friends DJs: Farid Akhmadiev aka F-Tek and the more experienced Shamil OM (veteran DJ & the Night Market DJ school owner). It is a creative team of like-minded people and the name of the eponymous series of parties dedicated to acquaintance with various music schools and interesting (in our opinion) representatives of the electronic scene. It was created at the time of widespread commercial format in the city, with almost no places and parties with quality electronic music. From here comes the name of our community. Another resident DJs in our community: Toshie, Darych, monsieurrr, Aykhu and one more guy who is going to join us soon. We promote and develop mostly an underground music scene in Kazan (Russia) focusing on the minimalistic waves of house and techno in the city, including Romanian, French house, techno and electro, acid as well.

Do you feel like things are starting to change in the last 5 years, as you started to get involved in organizing parties in Kazan?

Of course, when we started to be involved in these processes in 2014, electronic music events were close to disappearing and happenned very seldom, as the commercial music was very popular in the city. Not many happenings were available, except the Re:forms parties, that was and still promotes basic techno sound and gave a start to another BNF community appear as well. One more events seriesI would like to mention at that time is an after-party format, called Techno-breakfasts built by Toshie & Alexey Vakhterov, where you could listen to tech-house, progressive music and some deep & minimal. Lenin Club also, ran by the guys from Teknowave and reopened for the 3rd time in 3 years at the new and, as we now know it now, it’s final location (now it is closed), where we, as Private Sound, started our events with Riccardo BHI from Dude Club Milano in May 2014. So, as you can see, our tastes started to change from year to year.  Now it is a different situation.

How did you discover the Romanian house & techno scene and what made you fall in love with it?

Honestly, it started while getting closer & familiar with Toshie and his new project, NouVal, now known as minimalbeats. he was the first one who started this type of musical education in the city. I remember events w/ Denis Korablev, Sancho & D.Core. There were also a few parties in Moscow, including Arma 17, and one 24 hour presence at Gazgolder, where many Romanian artists were present in the lineup (Rhadoo, Mihigh, Kid Chris etc), the year when Outline festival was cancelled. And Sunwaves 21 festival visit as well in 2017. All these gave an impulse and created a particular interest to this scene.

Any favourite Romanian artists / record labels?

Not the easiest question, since there is a plenty of cool romanian artists, that we like. Raresh, Rhadoo, Herodot, Vlad Caia, Priku, Charlie, caLLy, Barac, Faster, Sepp, Petre Inspirescu, Cosmjn, Dubtil, Piticu and this list could never end.. As for the record labels: [a:rpia:r], Atipic, Amphia, Quanticman Records, Tzinah Records, Uvar, Tupiar Records, Midi Records.

Apart from planning events and making them real, do you have any other projects or plans related to the house & techno underground in Kazan?

For the moment, we are having just the same plans for the further developing of things we are doing right now. Also sometimes we are having some collaborations with our communities – and this is the most interesting one since, this means that some happenings can appear in any unpredictable form. No one from our residents, except Shamil OM, is engaged in music production right now, maybe this will come a bit later. As a wish, it would be good to organize and create our own cozy & conceptual space: Residency for Private Sound.

Name 3 DJs you would book at a Private Sound party, if you would have an unlimited budget 🙂

Ricardo Villalobos, Raresh, ZIP.

If a clubhead wants to spend a weekend in Kazan, apart from going to a Private Sound party, what would you recommend?

Firstly I would say that the best period for Kazan visit is the summer, since it gives you the opportunity to feel the city in full, the city that is situated by the Volga river. Kazan (capital of Tatarstan Republic) nowadays is one of popular touristic destinations in our country, also is known as third capital of Russia with it’s millennial history. During the last 10 years, it had become the point of attraction of both internal & external tourists, and had seen many changes in the city environment. There many historical points of interest, buildings, monuments and new modern spaces including parks had opened.  At the same time, the historical part of the city is compact enough, so even the weekend should be enough to see the main important places in Kazan. You should be visiting Kazan Kremlin of course and the walking around by foot or w/ bicycle is the best way to explore the city. Walk along the waterfront and enjoy the perfect views and sunsets. In between this city walk you can run into a bar or cafe for a snack, but of the best way to get to know Tatarstan is through the local cuisine and of course you should be trying Tatar national cuisine that is represented at several cafesrestaurants. The most famous positions I would recommend are these 3: baked foods w savory filling like Bäleş & Öçpoçmaq and sweet baked item that usually served with tea Çäkçäk. So, this part of our culture can be experienced mainly in Kazan / Tatarstan only, and not in other regions . 

The local record shop you’d recommend for a nice session of crate digging.

Actually, we still don’t have a special place or vinyl shop that is dedicated for electronic music. I think this also indicates a present situation in the city demand on such place (at the end of 90-s beginning of 2000-s, we had several mini shops and the places where you could find out something for your soul: CDs or tapes). But of course this was also caused by the wide spread of the music in network and the possibility for buying and listening both at well know online shops etc.

Anyway I would name here «Siyaniye shop», located in center for contemporary culture «Smena», next door to a bookstore, where you are able to find out something for your collection. The store offers new and second-hand records of all genres. These are popular albums of ” big ” artists and records of small independent labels. Here are the releases from such Russian labels as Arma, ГОСТ Звук / GOST Zvuk, Spasibo Rec, Сияние / Siyaniye, NEN Records, ZBS Records and others. Besides  for vinyl in the Siyaniye shop you could buy CDs and tapes with recordings of Kazan musicians and some merch by local designers.

3 tracks that could define the Private Sound vibe.

It is not easy to name just the 3 tracks that could define our vibe, since even we are very close with sound to each other in our community, at the same time we are versatile. But let’s try with 4 tracks 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIDNKLAEO64
Posted on

Five Creepy Record Covers To Haunt You On Halloween

We have to admit, sometimes there is a blatant boring visual experience when it comes to the record artwork from the electronic underground. Plain cardboard / white / black usually, or, if you are lucky, some distorted black & white graphics to suit the infinite loops inside.

It almost feels like the vinyl record is loosing part of its soul when it gets stripped of its artwork. No matter how much emphasize we put on the quality of music released on vinyl, a memorable record has to have a strong visual appearance. And, trust us on this one, it’s easier to catch the diggers’ attention 🙂

So, in order to define what a strong visual means for us, we selected five of the creepiest album covers out of our personal record collection. The records stick into the wider spectrum of electronic music, each of them being iconic in its own way. Oh, and one more thing: it doesn’t have to be Halloween to play these records, they will set up a nice mood anyway 😉

Massive Attack – Mezzannine

First album without Tricky, Mezannine goes into the darker territories of trip hop and has the perfect cover to match this: a macro shot of a beetle

Crystal Castles – II

The Canadian duo used Sigur Ros voice samples and pretty scary tape recordings to give the grey tones to this masterpiece that combine synth pop with electronica and indie rock. So, a picture with a lonely girl in a grave yard seemed like the perfect artwork

Venetian Snares – My Love Is A Bulldozer

We stay in Canada for this one: a combination of breakcore, acid, jazz, noise and jungle, as we got used to receive from Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares. Sick music, sick cover: a naked centaurus in a horse-themed Medieval room.

Die Antwoord – Ten$ion

Freaky image to suit the grime sound and fast paced African rooted percussions: this is The Antwoord, the totally unconventional South African duo. Ten$ion’s disturbant sound goes beyond the vinyl grooves and straight on the album cover, featuring the lead singer chewing on a real heart

Aphex Twin – Richard D James

If you really want something to haunt your dreams, stare for more than a minute at the Richard D James cover. It really feels like he would start to crawl under your skin and eat you from inside out. The album stands out as one of the most influential electronic experiments.

Posted on

Crate Digging With Andrey Kharitonov

Andrey Kharitonov

As we know you have the same urge of sticking your nose into your favourite selectors’ record bags, the Crate Digging series is now officially back, with a (hopefully) monthly frequency on Misbits’ blog.


Now let’s get down to the business of wax hunting: our guest for this month is Andrey Kharitonov. Andrey is now cooking a new release for OutOfStock, disguised behind the HurryUp moniker (be sure to keep an eye on his Soundcloud page here and here).

You may also have a handful of releases made under his strict supervision, as he’s the guy behind the Anakronik and OutOfStock record labels. Or you may have lost the sense of time during one of his gigs, be it in Bucharest, Moscow, Odessa or some underground spot in Western Europe. You surely remember the sound of Audioteque, the music project he launched together with Timofti back a few years ago.


One thing is for sure: he likes to get his hands dirty when it comes to crate digging frenzy, so we asked Andrey Kharitonov to tip us with 5 records he bought recently, even if they were found at the bottom of some second hand records box. Expect slow dub, raw electro, old skool rap and everything between.

Posted on

We took a trip down to Portugal’s underground treasures: Carpet & Snares Record Shop

Carpet Snares

You’ll be amazed by the striking similarities between the Romanian and Portuguese languages, both sharing the same Latin roots. And even at opposites edges on this so called cradle of civilization we call Europe, both countries share also cultural values. Same feelings encapsulated in smooth waves of deep house, following raw basslines that could keep the groove steady & neat for countless hours. Sounds familiar, right?

Carpet & Snares is a record shop and label based in Lisbon. Focused mainly on electronic music, Carpet & Snares grew up as Jorge Caiado’s most complete project, slowly becoming of the hottest spots in Lisbon’s electronic underground. On the label side, Jorge has commited into promoting young Portuguese blood but not only, and at the same time coming with an amazing selection of records, to feed the local community’s passion for good music. Just to check what drives all the hard work around Carpet & Snares, we talked with Jorge Caiado about the Portuguese electronic underground, the business behind the record shop and the nuts & bolts of running a label

What’s your background when we talk about electronic music and its underground, especially?

JC: I started listening to house music, more specifically Deep and north american soulful house, when I was around 14/15, and I was lucky enough to grow up in a city (Póvoa de Varzim) with a good clubbing culture for the time, where the resident DJs still had an important role to play and fortunately were good. That was a great starting point for my relationship with dance music that ended up being indispensable in my life. At 18 I went to live and study in Porto where I studied sound engineering, and at 21, I moved to Lisbon to learn jazz (piano) and to try and strengthen my career as a dj and producer. In Lisbon I got a couple of residencies early on, like Frágil and Estado Líquido, and began to play in Portugal’s main clubs and festivals like Lux Frágil, Musicbox, Indústria Porto, Gare Porto, Neo-Pop, Waking Life, Nos Alive, SBSR, etc.)

After the move to Lisbon in 2010 I slowly began releasing music, making my debut on Chez Damier’s Balance imprint, where some years later I would have my own sub-label, Inner Balance. In Portugal I have Groovement as my “motherlabel”, and most recently Carpet & Snares Records, my main project which I’ll explain more about in a bit. During this time period I had the chance to remix some works from artists like Chez Damier, Terrence Parker, Orlando Voorn, Secretsundaze, and some more. In 2011 I was selected to be a part of RBMA’s international edition which happened in Madrid, where I had the chance to make music with Mathew Jonson and play before Frankie Knuckles. Two years ago I started my own radio show in the most influential electronic music fm radio station in Lisbon, Oxigenio. During all these years I was also involved with the creation of several events and festivals in Lisbon such as Lisboa Dance Festival and Lisboa Electronica. As Carpet & Snares Records we’ve also got a monthly residency at Europa, one of the main underground clubs in Lisbon, and it has been running non-stop for over 3 years. The idea with this night is to give a chance for a new generation of local djs (sometimes internationals) to gain some experience by playing for a proper crowd.

An interesting name for a record shop. How did you come with the idea of a record shop and what inspired the name?

JC: The idea came from one of our friends who suggested the name because the shop had just been carpeted and snares are pretty much ubiquitous in dance music. That’s where it came from.

Is it all about house & techno at Carpet & Snares? Are you focused on a particular genre?

JC: Well, I’d say 90% of the stock in the shop is House, Techno and Electro indeed. Those are the genres that we’re more into (and of course their sub-genres like Minimal, Deep House, Breakbeat, Dub Techno, etc) and where we invest most of our time digging and buying. We also have small sections for other dance and electronic music genres like disco, hip-hop, bass music and more abstract/leftfield records.

Who’s involved in Carpet & Snares shop / record label?

JC: Well, at the moment we’re 5 in total working in the shop, labels, distribution and agency. I’m a bit in every corner, also Rui Ferreira (aka Roy) that is my right arm in everything we’re developing here. In the shop Miguel Melo is our man behind the counter every afternoon and Hélio (from Pandilla LTD crew) is my man taking care of the logistics of the Distribution service. The fifth element is my sister – Adília Lima – and our art director taking care of the label’s design and also the artworks for the parties and all our events. Besides these people working on a daily basis we have some more help from Fábio Santos in the digital domain (websites, etc), from Rubén Jose in the video / films / documentaries extension we’re building slowly and from Joe Delon, who’s been helping us with the interviews for our mix-series.

Who’s doing the record selection for the shop? Are there any criterias you follow for the records available in store?

JC: I’m doing most of the buying by myself, Roy takes care of some smaller distributors and of course everyone give their tips about releases they think are important to have.

Are there any second hand records crates for the avid diggers?

JC: Yes, sure, more and more. We always bought collections when opportunities appeared in the past but more recently we’ve been able to buy more and more, so basically every week we update our crates with more new 2nd hand entries that spans from early 90’s obscure house and techno to 2000’s and more recent releases as well.

What are DJs digging for when they step into Carpet & Snares shop?

JC: Well, it depends the type of client we’re talking about. The frequent client (mostly Portuguese) comes mainly for the new entries, so basically every week they come to check what’s new. The tourist/international digger usually comes for exclusive material that we might have or distribute and to get a better idea about the Portuguese scene, artists, labels, etc. We’re receiving more and more people also looking to dig into our 2nd hand section.

After 5 years, I suppose you can already make a profile for a regular C&S customer… 🙂

JC: Yes and no. Our list of regular clients is not that huge and they are all different in their own way. I’d say that biggest slice of that list comes mainly for minimal and house, unfortunately techno djs here don’t play much often with vinyl and electro and other subgenres (UK oriented or more experimental) are still really a niche here.

Any chance we can find some Romanian releases to buy?

JC: Definitely!! As I said before, Minimal / Micro House / Romanian oriented house sounds are one of the main dishes in our shop. Records from Arpiar, Metereze, Moment, Amphia, Liniar, to name a few, always have space in our shelves. We actually just started distributing a new Romanian release this week through Carpet Distribution. You should definitely check Stoi’s release for the new Swedish label Continue Records.

Carpets & Snares is also a record label with a few variations. What’s the story behind the label and all the sublabels?

JC: Well, the main catalogue started in 2017 and the focus (that remains) was to push for the local artists always with a strong reference in the remix duties. Last year we decided to expand and start other series directly connected to the main catalogue but from other international artists and from other genres that were not being covered in the main catalogue. So that way we started the Patterns series (more minimal, stripped down house grooves), the Steps series (for UKG and all the breaks variations), the Steam series (our techno outlet), the Circuits series (for more detroit-ish and analogue jams that can goes from techno to more ambient and abstract). Roy kicked his own Dream Ticket last year and its mainly focused into electro and techno-ish/acid sounds. We also did already our exclusive Record Store Day release that want to maintain for the next years. Besides all this we have some new ideas in the pipeline to come out soon!

Do you release only Portuguese artists?

JC: No. In the main catalogue thats the key criteria, but since we have been receiving so much good music from friends from other countries and really good demos we decided to open the gates to everyone.

What’s cooking hot right now in Lisbon’s house & techno underground? Give us some tips about producers and record labels from the local scene. Also, some venue we can enjoy some quality deep house with a touch of minimal 🙂

JC: Regarding new artists/producers I’d highlight: Luhk, Temudo, VIL, Berllioz, Zenner, Pandilla LTD, Norbak, Relapso, VOX99, Rompante, Caroline Lethô, Tiago Marques as some of the most exciting and hardworking players in our scene. 

About labels I’d recommend to check Groovement, Inner Balance, Helena, Light Channel Recordings, Discos Extendes, Hayes, Micronesia among others.

Carpet & Snares

On the clubs field I’d highlight Europa (where we do our monthly party), Village Underground Lisbon, 5A club (the new micro club in town) and of course Lux-Frágil (for being one of the best clubs in the world and opened for more than 20 years).

Posted on

Inside The World Of Reel To Reel Tape Recorder Collector

reel to reel

Many of us weren’t even in plan when these pieces of analog Hi Tech were ruling the world of music. Some of us might had an encounter with these machines when visiting their grandparents. One thing is for sure: as much as we love vinyl records and turntables, there is a small yet passionate community that is still keeping this old music technology alive.

Reel to reel tapes have been around us for over 100 years. This fragile & bulky analog format sparkled passions and conquered the world of music aficionados until the early 60s’, when Philips developed the compact casette. Maybe this was a crucial moment for reel to reel tapes mass extinction, yet we’re not here to talk about its glorious history but more about the people that had managed to keep the passion for tape recorders alive, against all odds of finding spare parts and new tapes to play.

Razvan Balus, one of Romania’s few remaining tape recorder collectors, came in contact with music via his grandpa’s Philips old tube radio. Metronom, the radioshow produced by the late Cornel Chiriac at Radio Europa Liberă, brought the music of Led Zeppelin, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Black Sabbath, Janis Joplin to his ears. With these names came the desire to listen to their music without any constraints, so reel to reel machines were the obvious choice at that moment. We sat down and chatted about music on tapes, records, tape recorder collections and real collectors, as they are feeding their passion in a digital world that has started to find time for music on analog formats, too.

Do you remember your first tape recorder?

Yes, I remember it: it was an Unitra ZK-145, a mono tape recorder with vacuum tubes. This is where the passion for electronics and audio HiFi started. I managed to push this passion to that moment of building my own 3-track tape recorder, around 1978-79, based on an Unitra ZK-246 frame, where I put electronic parts inspired by UHER and SABA stereo tape recorders. After 1990 I sold and donated all my audio HiFi, keeping a Kenwood 3 chanel amplifier and 2 speakers for home listening. I transfered all the music on VHS tapes as HiFi audio, using a Grundig recorder. I was also buying CDs from Bulgaria.

How did you aquire music in the communist times?

I used to buy all my tapes from a music store located in downtown Bucharest (Academiei Street). Nicu, the shop manager and a true electronics expert on every device he sold, was calling me every time he had new music. Stocks were selling fast, rergdless the music or the tape brand: ORWO, AGFA, BASF. There were also some underground channels, like the vinyl records brought by airplane pilots from Karachi or Abu Dabhi. We were renting these records overnight, brought pickups and tape recorders and spent hours building playlists, exchanging music on tapes and doing selections. 

How did this passion transform into a collection?

Around 2007, when Romania became a EU member, I got access to ebay where I found 3 AKAI X-201 tape recorders. I bought them, hoping to rebuild at least one functional recorder. I managed to make 2, the last one is still waiting its turn to be repaired. I started buying various AKAI tape recorders, while drive testing other brands like Pioneer, TEAC, Tascam, Technics, Dokorder (Onkyo), Sony or Revox.

How many reel to reel tape recorders do you have right now?

My house is full of devices, I think I have around 30, give or take 😃

The best story behind one of your tape recorders

It’s the same story repeating itself for the majority of them: I find a machine while browsing the interwebs, fall in love with it and the rest is easy: pay, delivery from the most remote corners of this world, custom taxes and voila, part of my collection. The law of attraction is really working in my case!

Are all your tape recorders still functioning?

Most of them, yes. The secret is to use them for at least two hours per month. Yet, some of my machines are in the same state I bought them years ago, just some amazing pieces of technology I will restore at some point in the future.

I assume you need to be a technical guru to maintain them…

Yes, you need some special skills, a lot of experience based on previous repairing sessions, patience and a bit of detective work, as sometimes there are multiple flaws that could give you a real headache.

Can you still find spare parts for old models?

At least for the most valuable tape recorders, they are still selling new wheels and belts. The mechanical and electronic parts are coming from disassembled machines.

Is there a marketplace where you can buy reel to reel music tapes?

There is actually a growing demand for quality copyrighted tapes, but mainly in Netherlands, UK.

Do you need to store your tapes in a controled environment?

No need for special conditions, just keep the tape recorders with their lid closed. Same thing goes for the tapes, also: keep them in their plastic or cardboard packaging.

Is there a collection piece you’re most attached to?

Hard question! I’m very fond of every tape recorder, amp, speaker or cassette deck I own. Attachments can be hurtful, so I let them go sometimes, as they find another home in some different family, to please other people. I get to meet them again for an upgrade or restoration, and this makes me really happy.

How does you music listening habits sound?

I listen to a lot of tapes three times at most, before putting it aside and rediscovering it after a few years. I also have around 400 records, but I never had the chance of listening to all of them from start to finish

Posted on

The ABC Of Partying In The Western Part Of Romania

Gone are the days when Romania’s house & techno underground was only revolving around Sunwaves Festival, a few selected clubs in Bucharest and some record labels and crews based also in the capital city. Now, if you look to the East, you can feel the groove steaming up in Iași. If you turn your eyes towards West, you’ll be amazed of the cool things happenning in Arad, Timișoara and Oradea.

Fueled by their common passion for electronic music, a small group of friends started to organize intimate parties more than 10 years ago in Arad. Fast forward to 2019 and ABC has transformed into a full fledged agency, renting their amazing Void sound systems around the country and at the same time throwing spectacular parties in Arad. ABC quickly gained respect from the local underground community, supporting local artists as well as continuing to activate even in hard times, when the local scene was really small.

So, we decided to have a quick chat with Mihai Moldovan, founding member of ABC Events, about Arad’s underground and about what does ABC have to do with it 🙂 Enjoy it, along with a quick track selection at the end, made by Mihai.

Next ABC party will take place on the 13th of September, at a secret location and will feature Cezar, Priku, Sedee and Crihan, among others 😉

What’s cooking in Arad’s undergrounds lately? How was your summer?

There’s a new wave of young people right now in Arad, that go out constantly. They have the opportunity of attending some of the biggest festivals in Romania, they know what to expect from certain artists when they go out partying, and this is making us happy. There’s a huge difference between the main group of people that attend ABC nowadays and the crowd back three of four years ago.

We had a super busy summer. The ABC Sound Machine – Void Acoustics Rental & Distribution project took us much of the time, as we provided the sound for some of the most important festivals around the country: Electric Castle, Untold, Citadela, Revolution, the Sunwaves 26 backline (together with Sound Barn)…

How did you end up organizing parties? 

Everyone was feeling the need for a solid underground scene in Arad, where people can express themselves freely. We found inspiration from friends around us, we added our personal touch and we created our own brand.

Do you remember your first party, where you were involved in the organizing crew?

Yes, this was sometime around 2007 when I used to work with Hiero: we gathered all our friends into a small pub in the city and we just played music. We messed up all the record covers, but it didn’t matter, as long as the music was still playing. It was a night full of world music, hip hop, funk and we had such a good time.

What are the biggest challenges in setting up house & techno events in a small city like Arad?

TIME is our biggest enemy right now, as we have to split between different jobs, all kept at high standards. No other obstacles for us 🙂

Every ABC event is supported by a handful of local artists as resident DJs. Is it something you had from the beginning?

Herck is definatelly the most popular artist from the ABC family, where we also have Somesan, Timirash, Bread & Butter. This is something we did all the time: finding local talents and give them a shot. The most recent example is Stoik, music enthusiast: he gathered an impressive collection of record in just a few months, with quite an interesting musical selection.

Talking about the local community, how do you feel ABC has contributed until now for nurturing the electronic music scene in Arad? Is it still space for growing?

There will always be space for growing, to polish the scene and guide it further into the underground. Small steps leed to big things. This was our tagline from the start: grow together with our crowd, build a solid foundation with any hurry.

You have a thing for inventing party locations, from railway stations to airports or parks. What’s your plan for the next season?

Every time we pass through an interesting “spot” in the city, we try to imagine how would a party look and sound like in that spot. Then there is this huge paperwork for obtaining all the approvals and after that we start to put thing together to make that vision real. We have some big plans for the next season as we want to expand ABC in cities close to us: Timișoara, Cluj etc

Do you feel the need for a small club, dedicated to the ind of music you’re promoting?

We like small parties, where the proper crowd can produce the perfect vibe. I actually opened a place like this in a basement downtown, back in 2015, yet we had to close it due to some financial issues.

Is there a place to buy records in Arad?

We don’t have any record shops in Arad. Rumours say that a coffee shop / record store will open in Timișoara in the coming future, so we need to wait for that moment. Closest record shop right now is in Budapest.

Select 3 tracks that sum up an ABC party groove.

released on their own imprint, ABC LTD
Posted on

Small Talk With Jay Bliss

From organizing raves in the late 90s’ in his hometown, Sibiu, and holding a long residency at Chill Out club to running his own record shop and two record labels, Iulian Cazan aka Jay Bliss has been around the Romanian house & techno scene for almost 20 years. His producer alter ego is linked to labels like Fear Of Flying, 20:20 Vision, Autoreply and All Inn. Jay Bliss released his first LP under his own imprint, Stomping Grounds.

Which brings us to this year’s Stomping Grounds milestone: a fresh V.A., released in July 2019, featuring Alin Crihan aka Discret Popescu, Tommy Vicari Jr., Stav and a collaboration with Dragoș Ilici. This good piece of wax asks for a proper celebration, so we throw a release party on Misbits terrace, on Wednesday the 14th of August, starting at 17:00 EET.

Until then, we got our hands full with a few record label details, plans and graphics with Iulian, just to reveal a bit more from the story surrounding Stomping Grounds and its sub-label, Vade Mecum.

In the crowded world of vinyl releases focused on the electronic underground, where is Stomping Grounds placed? Give us a few details about the concept and the Stomping Grounds sound.

Jay Bliss: Indeed, in the past few years a lot of new labels emerged and it has become a very crowded world. Vinyl sales have risen overall with the resurrection of vinyl, but because there are so many new players in the game, they have also dropped significantly per label, and i’m saying this based on the discussions with my peers. With Stomping Grounds i’m trying not to follow trends, and even if it is a cliche, i’m trying to find and release timeless music. I think it recently came as a confirmation, because i’ve just repressed the full backcatalogue a few months ago and all releases sold quite fast.

Only a handful of releases in 6 years. Are you a picky label manager when it comes to pressing a new EP?

Jay Bliss: Yes, I am very picky, but I’ve also focused in the past two years on the other project, Vade Mecum, which has now developed very nice.

What do you search in a track, in order to release it on Stomping Grounds?

Jay Bliss: I think I’m just looking for classy music, which means simple and effective music, but definitely not dull. Easy, right? 🙂

New names as well as established ones on the latest SG EP. Who’s new in the game and how did you find them?

Jay Bliss: Tommy Vicary, Dragos Ilici and Stav are new on the last release. I’m following Tommy for a long time and even though he is a very prolific producer, he is also very diverse, so i could easily pick a track from him after we got in contact. With Dragos I did last year a few jams in my studio, with no specific style in mind. He told me that one day he was playing the tracks at Misbits, and Rhadoo asked about this one, but it wasn’t 100% finished. We did finish it and then I also decided it would go well on this VA. Stav is actually the producer behind the InHere label. He kept this secret with the first releases, so i have to do a bit of detective work to get in touch with him, but once we did, it clicked right away. I think he’s a fantastic producer and i hope we’ll have a long collaboration.

Who’s the artist behind the trippy Stomping Grounds artwork?

Jay Bliss: It’s Max Binski. His real name is Brunos Santos, but I think you might know him better by his musical alias, Cleymoore. You can check more of his works on his website: http://www.maxbinski.com

Vade Mecum is your other vinyl project, on the more deeper side of electronic music. What’s the story behind it?

Jay Bliss: In general, I’m quite an organised person and I felt like I needed another output for the deeper and more organic music. Vade Mecum is also separated into two streams: the regular 12″ series where i release deep house and techno, and the limited 10″ series which is dedicated to dub techno.

Will we get more SG releases in the coming future?

Jay Bliss: Yes, I’m already working on a new Various Artists release, which I hope it will be out right before Christmas. There will also be a remix EP for my album that’s almost complete too.

One track that pictures the SG phylosophy in the most accurate way.

Jay Bliss: That’s one tough question, because i’m very fond of all of them, but i think what answers your question best is Crihan’s track “Seara Devreme”.

Posted on

Crate Digging With Vlad Arapasu

vlad arapasu

Ever since Artificial Moves, the first record under his own name, Vlad Arapasu took us by surprise with every cut he released. Same techy grooves, going deep into industrial sounds, have brought Vlad working with labels like Atipic, Eastenderz or Subtil Records. And if you haven’t caught Petre Inspirescu playing most of his tracks, you surely listened to Vlad dropping bombs at a club near you. He recently finished his South American tour, with stops in Brasil, Ecuador and Colombia and he now prepares to take over Australia. As we know he did a bit of a vinyl shopping right before his summer tours, we asked Vlad Arapasu to tip us with five of his most recent vinyl aquisitions.


Dexter – Schwing / Funk Warped [Headtunes Recordings]

Ion Ludwig – Ugold Series VI [Ugold Series]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYi_Y-v8Cvs

Langenberg – Slowdown EP [Sthlmaudio Recordings]

Mia Grobelny – Survivor Part 2 [Sub Static]

Various – REVOLT!005 [Revolt!]

Posted on

What We Call Iconic Record Labels: Basic Channel

basic channel

Every now and then, when I get hit by some blue vocoders, filtered through metallic echo, one name pops into my mind: Basic Channel

Few record labels come close to the status of being both influential and essential. Unless they somehow defined a genre or launched artists that would have turned into legends. Berlin’s Basic Channel falls into both categories.

Releasing only a dozen records during its meteoric life, between 1993 and 1995, Basic Channel has been the perfect nurturing ground from what was labeled as the dub techno subgenre. And this is all thanks to the two artists behind Basic Channel: Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald. Yet, confining these 2 guys into the trivial tag of dub techno is the least we can say about them.

Listen to the Detroit reminiscences of the 1994 Quadrant Dub and you’ll understand from where did Ricardo draw inspiration for his amazin 808 Bass Queen

The sharp techno feel of the Octagon keeps remining us of Jeff Mills’ early works, right before being abducted by aliens and start producing for their own taste

And the Radiance EP is by far one of the trippiest pieces of dub, techno, ambient, experimental, mental… however you want to call it, Radiance demands your whole attention to discover its flow & fragile structure.

https://youtu.be/XB_-oT7tybY

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Listen to all the Basic Channel releases and you’ll definitely change your perspective on electronic music. Dive into the Basic Channel side projects, like Rhythm & Sound or Chain Reaction, to discover some uncharted and rarely explored sonic territories. You won’ regret it 😉

In the mood for some quality dub techno? Check our handpicked selection here

Posted on

Why is Brussels’ Crevette Records A Tiny Vinyl Paradise

Crevette

With its calm pace, friendly inhabitants and the overall bourgeois vibe, Brussells seems like the perfect city from where the EU leaders can watch over the prosperity of our old and sometimes too conservative continent. Yet, as serene as Brussels may be perceived from the outside, the electronic music scene in the underground is alive and kicking: take as an example New Beat of R&S Records. The movement is more intimate when compared with cities like Berlin or Amsterdam but, then again, that’s the beauty of it.

Crevette

Crevette Records is that kind of place where you can grasp a bit of the electronic Brussels vibe. The small record shop opened its doors 3 years ago, in 2016, in Marollen, an old neighbourhood in the city center where you can find lots of art galleries, antique shops and flea markets. Focused on electronic music, Crevette has managed to create a nice community of people around the shop, sharing the same passion for music as the people working here. The record stock, counting no less than 8,500 vinyl pieces with a backstock double in size in the warehouse , is maintained by Pim, Crevette owner, Jakob, who also deals with the distribution duties, and Walrus (Basic Moves), responsible for the second hand selection. Their record collectors alter egos contribute to this unique blend of various electronic subgenres you can find in the shop, matching even the most pretentious ears when it comes to electronic music on wax.

Crevette also operates as a record label, focused on local artists more than on a specific electronic genre. Crevette’s latest releases comes from Weird Dust and it is expected to hit the record shops’ shelves somewhere at the end of May 2019.

Curious about the things that fuel the Crevette vibe, we sat down and chatted for a bit with Jakob about Brussels’ underground, the shop’s vibe and the people that feed this amazing vibe. At the end you will find a short track selection to get a taste of Crevette Records.


What’s your background when we talk about electronic music and its underground, especially?

Everyone who works in the shop has been involved with music for at least 10 years: collecting records, DJ’ing, organising events, working for recordstores, clubs and festivals, etc.

Do you remember how did you come up with the idea of opening a record shop?

It started with an idea to start a label…this idea exploded and ended up evolving into a recordstore that still exists after two and a half years.

How does Brussels’ house & techno underground look like from Crevette?

Especially the last few years it’s growing in a very qualitative way, becoming more diverse, more inclusive, more alive and more professional, and everyone is working from a positive attitude. There is a very strong group of up and coming residents and local artists in general, and all of this is interconnected beyond just the house and techno categories.

What are the DJs looking for when they step into your shop?

I guess this goes for every shop, but they come to look for the records they didn’t know yet! It’s always rewarding when you can surprise someone with a record they really like but didn’t know about before. We also see more and more people coming to the shop for our large second-hand selection.

In any case we always try to help them find what they were looking for.

What criterias do you follow when you select records to be available in the shop’s stocks?

We buy what we think is good music, music that we would play ourselves. Obviously this means our personal tastes play a big role, but we regularly discuss where we want to go and are very much open to suggestions from our customers to improve.

Can you make a profile of the regular Crevette customer?

Impossible! Our regular customers go from local DJ’s, to kids coming to spend their hard-earned pockey money, to life-long collectors well in their 70’s.

Are you focused on some musical genre?

The focus is on electronic music, within that category we try to offer things that you won’t easily find in every other store.

Are there any second hand records crates for the avid diggers?

About 50% of the crates are filled with second-hand stuff. We get new stuff in every week which is expertly curated by Walrus and we aim for fair prices. We are always actively looking for stocks to add to our 2nd hand crates, and in Belgium you could say we are in the ‘golden triangle’: in between the major hubs and with an extremely rich history of electronic music. Treasures can be found in the strangest places and the most unlikely connections.

Any chance we can find some Romanian releases to buy?

Yes, the scene around that type of music is very much alive in Belgium! If anyone is curious about our take on it, they should check the music on ‘Hoot’, one of the labels in our distribution.

The fastest selling record you had until now

The round one with the hole in the middle 😉

Anything nice cooking for 2019 at Crevette?

We are investing heavily in our distribution platform and you will also be seeing more events, mainly in coöperation with local club C12.


Crevette Records in 5 tracks

Gols – First8 (Hoot)

MGUN – The Nerve (Futurepast)

DJ.Booth – Interflug (Basic Moves)

Weird Dust – Koto 1.1 (Crevette Records)

Ben Bertrand – Orion Molecular Cloud (Les Albums Claus)