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Crate Digging With Tripmastaz

tripmastaz

Smooth grooves drawn on a deep house canvas, all packed under the Ulybok Tebe Ded Makar EP for BodyParts. Abstract percussions that fill the space between random loops and intriguing voices, released under the allmighty Nervmusic. A bit of dub techno galore for Berg Audio. However you’ve discovered Tripmastaz’ sound, you were clearly touched by those twisted ideas we’ve only encountered in Russia’s thriving underground.

With a huge back catalog of releases for various record labels, including his very own Tripmastaz, Plant 74 Records and Call_lab, Andrei draws his energy from an amazingly versatile creative mind. His latest EP, Partying With Illusions (available now on your local record shop as well as the major online distributors), makes no difference: old skool broken beats filtered down to a minimalistic state where Tripmastaz feels very confortable.

Tripmastaz’ musical universe is definitely worth exploring, so we challenged him to pick 5 records that have recently caught his attention. And ours, for sure 🤗

Huerta – Echo Your Thoughts EP

Unknown Artist – CCCP Edits 4

Omni A.M. – Remastered / Remixed / Unreleased

Motorbass – 1st EP

BadBadNotGood – LateNightTales

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Crate Digging With Iuly.B

Aside from being one of the most refined record selectors out there, Raresh has this special skill of scouting unique producers, especially from the thriving Romanian undergroud.  Metereze, his own vinyl imprint, brought into spotlights names like Vincentiulian, MP, Sublee or Limpid. Iuly.B is the latest addition to Metereze’s record catalog, showcasing his signature sound. Born in the Nort Eastern side of Romania, Iulian has constantly released dancefloor ready custom cuts for the past 10 years. His musical journey includes stops at essential record labels, like Subtil, Mulen, Memoria, Visionquest or Infuse. And getting to know Iuly.B’s work, you’d perfectly understand why: a vast array of moods, driven by insane basslines and spaced out grooves, will instantly flood your body.

As an expert of generating emotions on the dance floor, we asked Iuly.B to select a few records he checked during his most recent crate digging sessions. Enjoy it and make sure you’ll grab your (not for longer available) copy of Iuly.B – The Presence, out now on Metereze!

Halo Varga – Back To The Future  – get your copy from here

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Bärtaub – Wolke get your copy from here

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Pop Out And Play ‎– When The Dark Calls

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Maurice Giovannini – Orange EP – get your copy from here

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Megalon – Sorceror

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And something for home, after the after party:

Carbon Based Lifeforms ‎– World Of Sleepers

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chou.chou: Why Record Collectors Should Wear Screen Printed T Shirts

The feeling of wearing a screen printed design on your T shirt is very similar to listening to music on vinyl: analog techniques, as old as our grand grand grand parents, preserving the quality as it’s supposed to be, untouched by encoders, dpi’s, sample rates or RGBs’. Maybe this is the reason why the records inside our shop are living happily with the chou.chou T shirts for a while now. They actually share the same values, with minimal designs and vibrant colors.

Sahar Achouch, a young Romanian pattern designer, fell in love with the screen print while studying textile design at the Arts University. Immediatly after graduation, chou.chou (a name resembling her last name) was born. In 2017 came the first order from a friend: “a custom print as there is one dot between the faces, a dot that shouldn’t be there”, recalls Sahar.

Even if chou.chou is (for the moment) only a hobby (she works as a freelance pattern designer), Sahar spends on average 1-2 hours for every single T shirt. This is when everything goes as planned and there is no need for corrections or stain removing products, which can add at least 1 hour to the process. 

Take this and the years spent to master the screen printing technique and build her own custom site & stencils and then you’ll truly appreciate the value of the chou.chou craftsmanship.

We had a really nice chat with Sahar about herself and her passion and we also have a small surprise for you at the end of the interview 👇

How did you come up with the name?
chou.chou comes from my name, which is Achouch, pronounced așuș. I guess it all started from one of my highschool teachers, who called me like this 🙂

The first T shirt you sold
This was back in the fall of 2017, I got super excited when I received my very first order from a friend. It was actually a custom print, there is s mall dot between the faces that shouldn’t be there haha

Are there any other personal projects you work on, beside chou.chou?
I am actually a full time freelancer, I design digital patterns, which can be found on instagram at @artboardwiththings

How long does it take to produce one single hand printed T shirt?
In one day where all gods are working with me and including the time spent with the printing, color setting and packaging, it takes 1 to 2 hours. Buuuut usually a head-in-the-clouds person like myself :)) spends between 3 and 4 hours, because removing stains and doing small corrections are inevitable.

Give us some details of all the printing process
It took me around one year to learn this technique to perfection. With all the information I had from the University years, it was not enough, I encountered countless problems, but in the end, after a lot of trials and erros, I am now skilled in building my own frames from scratch, from stiching the mesh on screens to stencil exposure. The colors that I am using are water based. I choose this type because they are eco friendly and easy to set after printing, using a hot iron.

Do you accept custom orders?
No, I don’t, this would require doing the whole process from zero. Preparing a new screen takes around two days and it’s really not worth it to use it one time. I would love to discover a different technique that would give me this option but I not really happy with the quality. Like the digital printed Tees…
This is actually the main reason I’ve chosen screen printing, as one of the oldest techniques out there and one of the best ones: the colors go deep into the fabric and they stay vibrant in time, even after many washes.

So, to get to know the amazing chou.chou screen printed universe, we challenged Sahar to address a few situations with her own design. Enjoy them, make sure you check the chou.chou Tees on misbits.ro and follow her on instagram 

A super long weekend chilling by the seaside. 

I lost my friends at the festival. 

Last man standing at the afterparty 

A dark dancefloor filled with strobes and basslines 

Tripping on the smoothest grooves in the middle of a forest festival. 

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3 Now Defunct Record Labels That Shaped House Music As We Know It

What makes a crate digger a great record digger? Well, it depends on the angle you look at this issue. One might be that persistent guy who spends countless hours browsing through hundreds of second hand records, hoping to hit the jackpot with a totally underrated vinyl that got mixed up in the jazz selection. Or that guy who became a Discogs encyclopaedia, hopping from label to label and from artist to artist , eating reviews, hunting for a good price and a decent shipping rate. Or a combination of both: doing a bit of a homework online, then diving head first into the second hand crates hosted by the local record shop. Whatever your strategy is for finding good music etched on vinyl, you need to figure out what are the genres you’re most confortable with and start digging in that direction. With lots and lots of patience. 

For those of you that love to explore the underground world of electronic music, right on the border between house music and techno, here’s a good start. 3 record labels that have (at least) 2 things in common: they all released music way ahead of their time and they all ceased their operations, one way or another. For some of their releases the Discogs prices are ridicuosly high, so here’s an additional reason to hunt them on record shops or flea markets.


Driftwood

Described as “deep, minimal, atmospheric house music”,  Driftwood released music for only 3 years, between 2000 and 2002. These 3 years were more than enough for Driftwood to become one of the most influential record labels when it comes to strangely beautiful deep house. Run by Jean Cochois aka The Timewriter or Jeremy and Norman Feller aka Da Kine or Terry Lee Brown Jr., Driftwood released only 9 records, mainly containing music from its founders, under different aliases. As influential as it gets, the Driftwood sound is a dub & minimal house infused blend, regardless of the record you pick to play. As everybody is waiting for a repress, the original releases are now sold on Discogs for prices over 120 euros, so you better start digging for these 🙂 

Our personal favourite: Jeremy – So Peaceful


Tribal America

If you’re into the original house music, bearing the NYC sound signature, you need to start digging through Tribal America’s extensive catalog, now owned and managed by Twisted America. Owning a few Tribal America records is like owning a piece of history, as this label, with a few more others, defined the US house music scene as it is today. With Sharam and Dubfire aka Deep Dish introducing progressive house elements in their TA records as well as Danny Tenaglia pushing house music into yet to be explored territories, Tribal America has changed the course of house music, giving it funkier notes. Exactly the way we love the dancefloor 😉

Our personal favourite: Danny Tenaglia – Hard & Soul


Rephlex

Opened in 1991 and closed in 2014, Rephlex was an independent record label operated by Richard D James aka Aphex Twin and Grant Wilson Claridge. Acting like a time capsule for the Golden Age of IDM back in the 90s’, Rephlex was home for huge names like Squarepusher, Drexciya, AFX aka Aphex Twin aka Caustic Window, Baby Ford in his acid house times, Kerrier District aka Luke Vibert, Cylob and even A Bjork release. Huge huge catalog, but it’s worth spending a few hours, as an essential lesson about electronic music.

Our personal favourite: Kerrier District – Kerrier District 2

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All Your Base Are Belong To Us: Inside The Group Of People Obsessed With Studio Gear

2 years passed since our last small talk with Iulian Cazan aka Jay Bliss. Meanwhile, his 2 years and a half All Your Base Are Belong To Us facebook group started to take off, gathering around 300 active people, most of them hungry for anything related to music production, be it analog, digital or even acoustic.

Sintezaur, Jay’s idea born out of the desire to support producers into finding the best information from the synth world, has now turned into a proper event. Cenaclul Sintezaur will take place on the 21st of July at Spatiu Tehnic (it will also be streamed live, so you have no excuse for not attending), with Victor Popescu and Vlad Caia as special guests (more info below)

As Jay Bliss is the type of person willing to spend his last dimes on some custom vintage analog synth only true pros’ have heard of, we thought he is the pefect guy to shed some light on what drives producers into becoming fanatic (or religious :D) about the sounds they make.


Do you remember your first experience with music producing?

Yes, it was around 1997. I was in highschool and started attending small raves in my hometown , Sibiu. At one of those I saw ATMA playing live and I was like “I want to be able to do that!”. Found out soon that his sister was actually in the same class with me, so I asked her if she would like to introduce me to her brother. I went to his house with a backpack full of floppy disks and he was kind enough to share with me Fast Tracker and a whole bunch of samples to get me started. I don’t know if producing is the right word to describe what I was doing, but I had fun with that tracker and made a few rave-ish tunes, even had two small shows with a computer on stage. Then I discovered DJ-ing and kinda dropped the music produced from 2000 until around 2005, so I could focus on music digging.


Do you have a passion for knobs and buttons in general or is it just music related?

It’s a combination of both. I studied computer science in high school and college, so I’ve always been into technology. When I discovered electronic music I was instantly hooked and thought … hey, I think I can do that. Obviously it was way more challenging back then, that’s probably one of the reasons why I stopped at some point and got back at it only when I had more tools at my disposal.


The setup you used for your first ever released track.

A computer with Jeskola Buzz and some shitty hi-fi speakers. They were quite big and i had to crank up the volume in order to hear anything, so the neighbours were constantly complaining about the loud noise.


The setup you used for Vrăjitorul din Orz.

I was quite limited on the hardware side at that time, so mostly Ableton Live and a few VSTs (i was using the Native Instruments ones a lot back then) and on the hardware side: Korg Electribe EMX-1 for drums, Moog Slim Phatty for bass and for the melodic parts i used Novation Mininova and Korg Microkorg.


You have an unlimited budget to build your dream studio. The first 5 things you would buy:

  1. Make the best acoustic treatment for the studio
  1. Get some kickass studio monitors
  1. Roland Jupiter-8
  1. Moog One
  1. Sequential Prophet 5
  1. Oberheim OB-X
  1. Alesis Andromeda
  1. Roland TB-909
  1. Yamaha CS-80
  1. Minimoog Model D

… sorry, I got carried away 🙂


You have just a computer and a tiny tiny budget to build up a studio with only the essentials. What would you buy?

I can’t stress enough on the importance of room acoustics and good monitors, so I think I’d spend all my budget on those. The technology nowadays has evolved a lot, so you can easily make music with just a computer. It’s not nearly as much fun as using hardware synths, but virtual instruments and good samples can get you pretty damn close to those. You just have to be smart and choose the right tools .. and you get smart by working a lot and never stop learning.


The All Your Base Are Belong To Us group is doing pretty good, with people sharing information about studio gear and production techniques. What was the initial plan with the group? How do you see it in the future, giving you enough time to grow it properly?

I wasn’t so much into hardware synths at first, in the first 10 years I was only using the computer, then I gradually started buying cheaper synths and I wasn’t hooked on gear right away. But then I started asking myself why isn’t it really working for me, so I began digging into it and found a lot of nice communities where I could get a lot of information. Of course I searched if there was anything in Romania, but I didn’t find anything active enough beside the already established and nice Bucharest Modular community, so I made this group to cover a broader perspective on the synth world. Obviously I was not the only one feeling that this was something missing from our scene, because it got active quite fast. After the group came also the linked page, Sintezaur, where we share mostly news from the synth world.


Cenaclul Sintezaur, the gathering scheduled for the 21st of July at Spatiu Tehnic, is the first one from a series of events dedicated to the people obsessed with studio gear, I suppose. If I am a rookie in music production, will I understand anything from what the guests will talk about? Give us a quick tour on what the event will look like.

The event will start around 19:00, with about an hour of “meet and greet”.

The first workshop will start at 20:00 with Victor Popescu, who will use some hardware gear to explain the process and create some sounds inspired by Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada. Vlad Caia’s workshop will start at 22:00 and he’ll be deconstructing one of his soon to be released tracks.

Each workshop will be about 90 minutes long – the first hour is the actual presentation, then the speakers will answer questions coming from the public for about half an hour, so everyone will have a chance to ask more details about what they didn’t understand. We’ve chosen topics that are somewhere in the middle regarding the difficulty, so both rookie or advanced producers will hopefully learn something new.

We’ve partnered with IN/OUT Festival, so the workshops will be streamed in pristine quality for those unable to attend the event or who would like to rewatch them.


How much is practice and improvisation and how much is science when working on a track?

I’d say 50/50. First of all there’s a lot of improvisation and creative juice flowing when i’m creating the starting loop, but then there’s more science coming in when i start to eq and mix the tracks … I also spend quite a lot of time doing the arrangement. Even Though my arrangements don’t have any bells and whistles, it takes a lot of listening and making tiny adjustments to get to a point where everything flows naturally.


Where do you start working on a track? From the baseline, from the kicks, from a melodic idea…

I’d say most of the time the kick is first, then the bass line and then the other percution elements and melodic parts. But, for example, I sometimes change the bassline altogether after a couple of hours, if I feel like it doesn’t fit in with the melodic part I came up with. I don’t settle on anything and keep changing the parts a lot until I am pleased with something.


3 perfectly produced records, in your opinion

Mathew Jonson ‎– Decompression EP

I’m a huge fan of Mathew Jonson and I could as well name all three records just from his discography, but this was the first one that really blew me away back in 2005. I’ve been a groupie ever since …

Maurizio ‎– M5

This is so damn simple and effective that, even after 25 years, people are still trying to recreate it. It’s kind of a milestone that defined the dub techno genre, pioneered by Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald since the early 90’s.

Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children

I keep coming back to this and dream that someday I’ll be able to produce something as beautiful as this.

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Tavi Scurtu Guides Us Into The Most Beautiful Journey Into Jazz Music

A rhythm born out the pain and suffering of the opressed. A sound driven by improvisations, by the groove paterns aligned with the artist’s gut feeling, by the passion that pushes the humans into creating memorable pieces of music. This is the Jazz DNA, inherited by a few subgenres of electronic music.

This is where we met Tavi Scurtu, also known as punct8, a Romanian drummer and percussionist involved in quite a few musical projects: A-C Leonte & The BASH, iordache, Știința Fantasticului, Ninigra.

Tavi grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and Jean-Michel Jarre. The passion for percussions developed since he was a child, as popular music was dominated by rhythmic music, more exactly music with a strong drum beat: from rock, to pop, to electronic and dance music. Even if nowadays Tavi Scurtu’s musical universe revolves around Jazz music, this expandes to all that is rooted in the African culture. “All, part of the african diaspora inspired music continuum, that took over the world: afro-cuban, afro beat, brasilian, funk,rock, dub, hip hop, jungle / drum and bass, breakbeat, broken beat, fusion, the works.

Tavi Scurtu is part of that rare breed of artists who can see the bigger picture of the world we are living in: out of the system, not touched by the corporate speeches and spiritually awaken. These are the reasons why his musical selection below is more valuable than any other selection we did until now. And his words of wisdom can be a guideline for any artist out there, be it underground or mainstream. Enjoy every piece of it!

“Hopefully the Romanians’ appetite for Jazz music will grow stronger, and the trend to transform the music of the liberators, the marginals, the minorities, the hep, into shallow, by the numbers, entertainment for the corporate domination system, will not “stepford” all music, as it tries to do now; real music is not a mere ornament or accessory, not a distraction, not an incentive for those that obey anti-human laws, not a soundtrack for a cute life, lived as in a commercial-inspired trance. Lest we forget deception is not creativity: jazz is supposed to be driven by innovation, which does not bring safe revenues and social stability. As long as “safety” is far more cherished than freedom, “jazz” will remain a shadown of its own self everywhere.”


Electronic music meets jazz in a perfect symbiosis.

Miles Davis- Bitches Brew

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises

Craig Taborn- Junk Magic

Material- Hallucination Engine

Flying Lotus- You’re Dead!


The perfect drums driven OST from a movie

Photek: Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu, in  ‘Blade’ (1998).

Stewart Copeland, Rumble Fish.

Max Roach- Drums Unlimited


A Romanian jazz record that went way ahead of its time

Krisper- Landing On The Comet

Anca Parghel & Mircea Tiberian ‎– Magic Bird

Aievea-Scared Of Jazz 

Spirale – Paul Weiner Quartet


The Jazz world would not be the same without this record

The complete Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones discographies


A drums solo that inspired my career


The live improvisation that I would listen to on repeat

Miles Davis – Call It Anything (Miles Electric)

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Straight From The Underground: Miromu

You can hardly say that the minimal house scene is the rebel child of the electronic underground. Born somewhere in the early 2000s’, with imprints like the infamous Perlon pushing boundaries towards the minimal edge of electronic music, this sound was quickly embraced by a few Romanian DJs and producers. And this specific sound, as smooth and as groovy as Sunday morning breeze, transformed clubheads into loyal followers who engaged into promoting this hype further on into the undergrounds.
This is where we found Miromu, a platform created in 2018 to promote electronic music in various forms, more or less related to the dancefloor. From showcasing obscure releases to mixtapes created by artists as a guide to their inner musical universe, Miromu quickly became an influential outpost for discovering new music. In simpler words, whatever goes hot into the electronic underground, be sure you’ll find an honest review on Miromu.

miromu


From music lover to music lover: we sat down and chat with Adriana and Adrian, the small team behind the platform, to find out what is driving them to invest time and money into Miromu. BONUS: a tip-top record selection created by them, at the end of the interview! Enjoy this as much as we did


When did you launch the Miromu project?


Miromu was launched in 2018 with one thought on mind – shed some light on artists/labels that we found captivating throughout the years and to showcase the material that we already had on our hands.


How big is your team?


The team is as grand as 2 people and funny enough, it’s Adriana & Adrian. The roles within are quite multi-lateral so we just keep everything rolling as we go.


What drives you to invest resources (time and money) in Miromu?


That’s a good question. Our interests have been revolving around music for quite a while now. Adriana has been singing in the past and with the time, electronic music became a big part of her life. From dancing at events to collecting records to supporting her favourite artists, she’s been doing them all, and, building a platform to extend her reach was only natural at that point. She still feels like there is a lot more to be discovered both by her and by the Miromu followers when we talk music. As of Adrian, he’s been writing for labels and artists for some years now, and crossing Adriana and her views on the scene, defined him to engage even more into building a platform that would eventually serve as a hub for every music head with similar visions. Adding to that is the heartening feedback we’ve received over the years – undoubtedly one of the key factors.


Your earliest dancefloor memory.


Adriana’s first experience goes back to 2014 in one of East London venues with Kevin Saunderson and La Fleur, while Adrian’s first experience was in fact a night that he played at, back in 2010.


Last time you’ve danced to a party.


Soma Forest 2020 & Somewhere in East London with Mihai Pol.


Early morning or late night?


Definitely early morning for both of us.


Besides house & techno, what else is on your home playlist?


There is everything in households. While Adriana comes from classical music, hip-hop, certain rock and experimental, Adrian grew up on a diet of jungle and boom bap. Miromu has given us depth of knowledge so we flirt with everything within electronic music these days.


Future plans for Miromu


We’re now in the process of re-thinking and re-inventing some aspects of Miromu. We’ve got the next tape (alter-ego series) ready, coming from a bewitching artist which will be available for the public within the next weeks. Also, there are plans on expanding the Podcast Series, with Miromu finally going worldwide. Stay tuned!


Five records that define Miromu’ sound philosophy

LOWRIS – AAA

Coffee Shop Mike – Electrasoul

GummiHz – Club Cuts

Akiko Kiyama – Doublethink

Easy Changes – Miki Biasion EP

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A Quick Look Into Bucharest’s Modular Community

Once you’ve chosen the path of electronic music production, be prepared to enter the vast ocean of software and hardware, with no guide to help you get through it. As you probably know by now, the majority of producers are selfish beings, working all alone in thier studios and hardly sharing any of their knowledge around. You have to meet the right persons at the right time. You need to be part of those secret Telegram groups or those hidden Discord servers, you need to know the admins running some exclusive Facebook groups to have access to more experienced producers who could give you a helping hand.
Yet, there is hope for young producers. Meet Marian aka Dualtrx, an eletronic music producer based in Bucharest, whose passion for building modular setups pushed him into running Bucharest Modular, an online community aimed at sharing modular knowledge between like minded producers.

Without diving into a very technical discussion (you can join Modular Bucharest if you feel the need to go deeper into details), we sat down for a very relaxed chat with Dualtrx about his journey as an electronic music producer, centered around modular.


What was your first production setup?

I think it was the late 90’s, like many other kids that discovered computers. My first production setup was a PC with FastTracker in MS-DOS. After I discovered Windows I was very into ReBirth RB-338 and Fruity Loops which I used until today. I got into hardware very late in my musical journey, because I didn’t have access to synths and of course I couldn’t afford it. My first keyboard was a basic Yamaha, and my first hardware synth was a Novation X-Station. 


When did you start getting into modular?

I think it was back in 2016? I can’t remember well. I started with some semi-modular synths, and after that got into eurorack.


How much is passion for DIY and how much for electronic music production?

I never did DIY for eurorack or any other synths, I prefer using them to building them. I’m more drawn by the music production of electronic music, I think… 


Let’s say I am a rookie producer, with strong Ableton skills, I’ve just started to play with some analog gear and want to make the move towards modular. Where do I begin? Give us 3 sources of information that explain very clearly the basics of a modular setup.

A modular synth is something personal. The ability to make your own synth just wasn’t possible not long ago. Modules are usually chosed according to one’s own preferences. What’s good for me isn’t necessarily good for you or somebody else. Eurorack is something that’s learned step by step, with every module and of course depends on the space you have for those modules. 
I would start this journey with semi-modular gear, like Moog Mother32, Dreadbox Erebus, Make-Noise 0-coast, etc… That way you can see if it’s for you. Not everybody has the patience and time to make a patch in eurorack. It’s very time consuming and expensive. And from there you can expand to a bigger euro case and add some basic modules depending on your needs. Eurorack is great for choosing different filters with different character and specific effects for example. You can build a nice filter/effect box for other non-eurorack synths.


3 records or tracks that are catching the essence of a modular setup studio.

Dunno for sure, I don’t listen to music according to what hardware/software the artist used. But if i were to choose some well known contemporary artists that use eurorack for their music it would be Venetian Snares, Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine, Datach’i, Suzanne Ciani and more.


3 pieces of gear that are essential for any modular setup.

A case with good power supply filled with modules, a good soundcard for recording, not necessarily multitrack, depending on the setup and what you need (something like the ES-9). Also a good pair of speakers or headphones.


You created the Bucharest Modular facebook group a few years ago, thatturned into a pretty active community. Do you have plans with this group?

I love bringing people together for the purpose of music. I’ve been into the local community for a long time and I’ve also organised parties and other events. The group was made entirely to bring local artists and gearheads together, to learn from each other and share in our passion for music. That’s why we’re doing an event every year called Bucharest Modular Meet. It’s a day-long event where people can bring their gear, talk and of course make music live. It’s a free event whose main objective is to get people together so the local community can grow. 

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Sound Explorations: Sol Asylum

Overlooking the undergrounds of electronic music, where obscure musical experiments share the same roots with deep house or minimal techno, Sol Asylum has made a name in recent years from pushing forward music that in many cases proved to be way ahead of its time. Started as a party series at Hoppetosse Berlin, Sol Asylum turned into a platform to support artists from the underground.

After a couple of years of throwing Sol Asylum at Club Der Visionaere, the next step was to have a platform to support the artists that I was booking and believed in, so it was just a natural progression.Julie Marghilano, the imprint’s owner, told us how this became also a record label, home for different sounds, all sharing the same subtle groove.

The name itself captures Sol Asylum’s apettite for diversity. In Julie’s words: “The name came to me because I love names with multiple meanings (homonyms). Sol can mean the sun, your soul, or the G note when reading solfeggio. I liked the idea of mixing all of these meanings because my party was starting in daytime and I believe the music needs vibes and soul to touch people. At least this is how it is for me. Asylum can be a place of refuge or a place for crazy people and my party was also always a mix of both of these situations too 🙂

From 2014 Sol Asylum released 17 records, from Julie Marghilano herself as well as a few influential producers, from Anton Zap to Miss Jools. All the catalog is available also on Bandcamp, in an effort to offer additional support for the artists (100% of Sol Asylum’s VA releases sales on Bandcamp go directly to the artists) “This platform is the only digital one I believe it takes care of artists / labels and treats them fairly.”

Going for quality instead of quantity, Julie told us her intentions with the upcoming releases on Sol Asylum: “I run Sol Asylum with my gut and I do not feel that I need to rush out and press records now that everything is slowly opening up. I prefer to follow my instinct and release the quality music when the time is right. I have dedicated my whole life to music and Sol is my left arm so dont worry, we are not giving up any time soon.

Just to make you an idea of how diverse the music can get at Sol Asylum, we asked Julie Marghilano to find the best tracks for a few particular moments we all enjoyed at some point in this life. Enjoy them and follow Sol Asylum on bandcamp, soundcloud, instagram!


Nothing is better than a nice warm-up set to properly introduce us into what’s next to come.

SA-12 Miss Jools Stepping Inside

SA-16 Julie Marghilano Said and Done


Sunday afternoon, the party is still going strong with no signs of an early closing.

SA-17 Titonton Duvante Continuity

SA-03 Dana Ruh Overcome


Home party with 30 friends sharing a generous terrace in August in Berlin.

SA-11Pressure Point Process Theory

SA-13 Julie Marghilano Mercury Jasmine

An orange sunset overlooking the final moments of a small festival in the middle of nowhere.

SA-15 Steevio Brawd

SA-17 Samuel Padden Cheese and Chutney

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Crate Digging with Cristi Cons: Missing Sunwaves Edition

Cristi Cons

It’s been so long since our last festival dance that now even thinking about going to a festival seems a bit awkward.

Remember Sunwaves? Yeah, the legendary 1st of May edition, with just enough sun and baselines to warm you properly for endless nights and fabulous mornings? With memorable DJ set after memorable DJ set, chained by an invisible groove?

Well, one of these memorable Sunwaves moments was usually Cristi Cons, all alone or together with his good friend, Vlad Caia, as SIT. Always surprising, ever evolving, sometimes oddball, sometimes deeper than usual, Cristi Cons’ sets are the perfect expression of his complex musical universe.

As he visited Misbits Record Shop a few days ago, we asked Cristi to pick from our crates five records he would play at Sunwaves 1st May 2021. He came up with an electro infused selection from various record labels, including Perlon, Rawax or Partout. Enjoy! Click each title for audio previews and buying options (be quick, these sell super fast!).

Oh, and we have a sweeeet discount if you want to buy all the records. Drop us a message here if you’re interested

Loosewomen – The PWC


Recept, Tom Churchill – Quisite / Loss Leader


Steve O’Sullivan – Three Trax


Disordered Rhythm Metronomy – Down


Atom Heart – Pure Function

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PLAYLIST: A Quick Introduction to the Contemporary Romanian Jazz Sound

Romanian Jazz

Even at a smaller scale than the scene in the Western world, the Romanian Jazz sound had the power to put its mark on other musical genres here, genres more or less related to jazz. Thriving somewhere in the mid 60s’, the jazz scene in Romania made an stellar return in the late 90s’ and later in our days, mainly through boutique jazz festivals. As smooth as silky sunset, this is a sound you cannot help but fall in love with it.
Mihai Vasiu (formerly known as Tzuc), record selector and music curator, is pretty well known for his special relationship with the African music and its various reincarnations: jazz, funk, reggae, disco, hip hop, afro-beat, broken beat or house music. His ever expanding musical universe guarantees a memorable night with Mihai behind the decks, that’s for sure.

Now he was kind enough to provide us with a short playlist filled with bold jazz. Take it like a small introduction to the Romanian jazz scene 🤗


Suzana Lașcu – Brains On Fluffy Pilows


Mircea Tiberian & Toma Dumitriu – The Pale Dot


Krisper – Landing On The Comet


A-C Leonte – Dream House


Arcus Trio – Allotropy


Iordache – Organic Natural


Transylvanian Folk Songs – The Bela Bartók Field Recordings

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Crate Digging With Sublee

For a couple of years we shared quite a lot of fun moments with Sublee when he was member of our small team at Misbits Record Shop. We spent time chatting about what electronic music has best to offer, as he continuously sharpened his record selector skills. Sublee is Stefan’s producer alter ego, who made memorable appearances at labels like Metereze, PlayedBy, Introspections or Meander and more recently on his bandcamp page, where you can find a handful of extremely underrated gems. Last but not least, We Meet Again, a record that saw light at RAWAX, marks his coming to maturity as an artist, with his unmistakable blend of classic house music and insanely looped deep chords.

While grabbing one of the last remaining few copies of We Meet Again from here, you should check Sublee record selection, he made an extensive (online) crate digging session at Misbits. Here are his personal favourites at this very moment, sliding from house music to jazz via electro:

Wareika / Simone Adinolfi / Herck / Soll – Tempo Rubato I

listen / buy > click here


Eddie Fowlkees – Plant 19

listen / buy click here


Mystic Future, Hughes Giboulay, Aubrey – Cosmic Ray Event

listen / buy click here


Techfunkers – Techfunkers The Album: Techfunk Is Where It’s At (Vol 1 Out Of 3)

listen / buy click here


Chick Corea – Bliss!

listen / buy click here

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Juli Jah Invited Us Into Her Colored Musical Universe

Don’t judge a book by its cover, they say. Well, you might heard this one applied for vinyl records also: you don’t need an artwork to sell the record. Opting for a dull cardboard sleeve will make you focus only on the music, right? Because it is the music that counts bla bla bla. Actually, and you may or may not share our opinion on this, a vinyl record is more like an experience. A good artwork will give you the proper mindset for the music inside. It may give you the cultural context for the music, it may even get you closer to the artist. And, in our house & techno underground context, it may transform the sometimes abstract sounds into amazing visual trips.

Here is where we met Juliana, a visual artist from Lithuania who loves to search for organic shapes in straight lines and harsh angles . Now based in Berlin, Juli Jah expresses her feelings through mural art or paintings and she sometimes narrates complex visual stories on record covers. You can easily recognize her uniqe style on records released by Subtil, UNIC, Memoria, Berg Audio or ROWLE.

Juli Jah accepted our challenge to reveal a bit of her complex inner world of colors and sounds with a short track selection, backed by a few of her works. Like choosing the right music for her amazing drawings… or is it the other way around? 🤔 For every question we had for her, she answered with one illustration and one track and this is how we have the most visual interview of all. Enjoy!

Living in Berlin as a visual artist

Educating your own shadows. 


The state of mind you’ve experienced during the lockdown.

It’s when you think but you think too much.


The most persistent childhood memory.

Albert Hoffman without Albert Hoffman – a colourful ride.


Winter in your hometown.

Freezing but keeping the balance. 


One sleepless week at Sunwaves.

That’s one hell of a long story!


Monday mornings after a weekend on the dancefloor.

Still on the dance floor, still trying to not forget to go home. 


The clicks and pops of a vinyl record.

Pinching your body and soul.


The world as it is right now.

Closed airport becomes a vaccination centre – it is as it is.


The future of humanity.

Questionable. 

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Minimal House, Wombats and Surf: An Interview With Unic Records

Is it possible to listen to some Romanian flavoured electronic music while diving on the Great Barrier Reef? Well, not really sure about that, but you can get as close as Sydney for this type of experience (some minimal house parties, that is :D). Anthony and Jared became friends almost 8 years ago when they met in Sydney at some small underground parties. But it wasn’t until 2017 when they launched Unic, a platform that acts both as podcast and record label. UNIC explores the diversity of house & techno with a minimalistic touch, bringing together local artists as well as established international ones. Through intimate gatherings and amazing vinyl releases, the platform became an important outpost for promoting this particular sound we’re all in love with, even if it is so far away from its birthplace.

Curious about the context and keen to find out what sort of invisible connection is linking Bucharest to Sydney, we invited Anthony and Jared for a quick chat about the Romanian electronic music, Sydney’s underground, wombats and surf. Check it out below 👇

How did Sydney’s underground look like before this pandemic madness striked?

Things were really starting to develop. There were regular, wildly enjoyable warehouse parties, open air events on rooftops, and club nights were getting back to a semblance of normality given the lockouts we’ve been under for several years. International performers were touring regularly also. In comparison to Europe the scene here is much smaller, so it wasn’t as thriving but things were popping along and growing, a culture was definitely being established.


What was your very first experience with electronic music coming out of Romania? (party, record, DJ set….).

We both started in the minimal house world, discovering artists such as IO Mullen, Diego Krause, Tagir (SLOWDANCE), and as we dug deeper we discovered more of the minimalist world. We connected with music from artists such as Cristi Cons, Barac, Dubtil, Arpiar, expanding our musical tastes and becoming incredibly inspired by their work. It was then around 2017 we decided to build a brand around this style. Of course we realised those prominent artists aren’t easily approached, so we started to discover younger artists who were making music within the Romanian sound such as Dragutesku, RQZ, Bryz, etc and we began to build a rapport with these artists.


Romanian names for your sublabels, Romanian producers releasing music at Unic Records, Romanian DJs playing for your parties… Why? 🤔

They aren’t all exactly Romanian (Silat Beksi) 😉 but their influence is huge on us. It’s obvious to everyone within the minimal community worldwide that the Romanians are at the forefront of the scene right now. They’ve developed it in a new direction and it’s quite incredible. We wanted to share that with the underground culture here in Australian and educate ears within the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is a young scene so inspiration through art and music certainly comes from abroad. In developing the brand it was important to communicate the shared inspiration from the Romanians, so thus you find us using Romanian expressions.


The closest you’ve been, geographically speaking, to Romania until now.

We’ve both been to Europe and travelled in countries such as Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Italy, Netherlands, Czech, Switzerland, but still have not visited your beautiful place! It’s a dream that will come true one day.


Should we expect 2 new sublabels for Unic Records, foc and aer, besides the 2 already launched, apă and pământ?

Haha, thanks for the ideas! We’ve definitely considered it, but at the moment we’re working with a lot of incredible artists that embody the styles of these two sub labels. There are no plans for any more sub labels at this time, but people can expect a stack of amazing new music from us. We are always striving to develop younger artists as well as showcase established ones in a new light. Consistent growth with the music we release is important so we always strive for new sounds and ideas.


What are the differences in curating music for Unic Records, as opposed to your sublabels?

Unic is more focused on an artist revealing their true UNIC selves… we don’t really have an agenda of style, we just select an artist that we are truly admiring and have developed some sort of rapport with, and we give them creative freedom to express their true selves. The sub labels are similar this way but shaped through the theme of apă and pământ. So the artist can dive deep in to silky smooth, watery sounds or raw, rocking earthy beats. The sub labels are also our vehicle for shinning a light on upcoming artists, giving them a prime opportunity to reach a wide audience. It’s important for us to invest in younger artists so the scene keeps developing.


You are in a constant process of digging for quality music, for your website as well as for your labels. So we can say that you are a fine observer of the phenomenon. Why do you think there are still so many people who become loyal followers of this so called Romanian sound? Was it just a hype of the mid to late 2000s’? Can we still talk about a subgenre / a genuine sound? Some may say it has diluted in some other already established sounds.

We think it still has a big influence right now, but in that respect this influence has inspired a new generation of producers in different countries. Over time things evolve but given the quality of Romanian artist and their constant creativity people are still very much enthralled by the scene over there. The community is very special and the sound brings out energies in us that allows us to connect on different frequencies. The music has this magic to it that touches something deep inside us. Music has always been an incredibly transformative medium and the Romanian’s have captured an essence of that transformative magic that still holds true.


Guy From Downstairs has his own label, GFD, yet he released his amazing debut LP with Unic Records. Give us the story behind this one 🙂 

Victor has been an artist we’ve admired for some time. His approach to music, his ear for detail and insane work ethic. This is what’s sets him apart from the myriad of artist out there. We were introduced to him via our very special friend Vlad Arapasu, who had just finished UNIC004  and a special tour of Australia with us. Vlad recommended us and we just flowed with Victor. It was funny when we both were discussing artists on our hit list for UNIC005 we both mentioned GFD so it was meant to be. On occasion it can be a bit of a process to sign the right tracks for Unic, but on this occasion Victor send us a stack and we basically wanted to signed 6 of them straight up. It wasn’t difficult considering the quality of music your given. What was interesting about this release was the idea of doing an LP. It was too hard to cut the tracks down to 3 or 4 for an Ep, so we thought, why not an album? And honestly we almost fell off our chairs when we realized no one had done this with Victor yet. He deserved a showcase like this. And because it hadn’t been done yet, this was unic 😉


Best record shop in Sydney when it comes to quality house & techno?

Definitely ‘Something Else Records’ There are quite a few record shops in Sydney but until these guys opened we didn’t have a dedicated store for minimal house and techno. Dave and Alex who run the store have thrown amazing parties over the years so it seemed like a natural progression for them. Jared actually works there, so it’s the perfect hub to connect like-minded people over this music.


Let’s say I’m an amateur surfer who also loves to party. Make me an off-the-beaten-path tour in Sydney for a weekend (place to eat, surf, party, chill, but not the usual touristic stuff 😀 )

There are a lot of great surf spots on the Northern beaches up the coast from Sydney. Newport Beach, Narrabeen, Avalon etc.. that being said we aren’t avid surfers ourselves but we know plenty of people who could provide the scoop. We’d stop into Marrickville to hit some micro brewery’s like The Batch, Philter and Poor Tom’s gin distillery, and a cheeky warehouse rave. Cruise through Newtown for a burger at Mary’s and vegan pizza at Gigi’s. Stop in a Something Else Records to dig some vinyl. Head into the city for some harbour side views on some cool walking trails. Rent some BEAM electric bikes and riding around Bondi, and definitely hit S*A*S*H for a Sunday dance service


You are put to choose between a pet kangaroo and a pet wombat! Which one?

Definitely a wombat… kangaroos are too cliché  💁🏽‍♂️


What’s on your to-do list for 2021?

Releases, releases and some more releases. Were fortunate enough to have three labels to experiment with, so there’s a ton of music in the pipes for this year. UNIC006 is signed and in the works, and UNIC007 not far behind. But we don’t rush these processes, as everything has to be just right. The intersection of art, music and the written word is what the main label is all about so expect timeless music from artists of a high caliber. For apă and pământ there are 2 -3 releases in the works for both labels, featuring some unic artists people may or may not have heard of before. It’s a very exciting time for us, so even though events are on the back burner at the moment, we have creative work to immerse ourselves in. Aside from this we are enjoying our beautiful country with hikes and weekends away in nature.

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Crate Digging With The Collect Collective

A few days ago we took a virtual trip down Lisbon’s thriving electronic underground with the help of the amazing crew behind Collect concept: a burger place, record shop, online radio and record label. As we share the same passion of record digging, a record selection coming from them was the most natural thing to follow. So we asked each Collect member to pick one record that has sparked this passion, a record that fits perfectly into a home listening environment. Without further introduction, here it is 🙂


André: Abstract Thought ​– Abstract Thought EP
One of my ever favorite records. So much tension and electricity, yet so organic and spiritual. It takes me somewhere else!


Mariana: Kruder Dorfmeister* ​– The K&D SessionsTM. A true classic! This will never get old.


Telma: Galcher Lustwerk ​– Information. Kinda eerie and really smooth. A perfect blend of ambient, hip-hop and deep house.


João: Biosphere – N-Plants. Geir Jenssen can do no wrong and this album is one of my favorites. Perfect for home listening or to start a special mix. It was reissued last year, so if you like ambient music you should have this!


Bernardo: A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders. A classic album for all the old-school hip-hop fans. Perfect vibe to chill at home!

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Burgers, Beats & Records: Why You Must Visit Collect In Lisbon

Deep down into our primitive brains, we’re still hunters-gatherers. And this may translate into the need to hunt for the best places from where we can gather those records that satifsfy us. Well, we went all the way to Lisbon, Portugal, to check this unique spot that satisfies both the physiological hunger as well as the spiritual one. Collect is a burger place, record shop, record label and radio that pictures the ultra diverse electronic underground from Lisbon. Jumping from downtempo to that mellow minimal house we all love, Lisbon has it all. And so does Collect.

We sat down with Joao, the owner, and Telma, in-house DJ and Collect’s digital communication specialist, and talked about what Lisbon means in terms of electronic music, what’s cooking (literally) under Collect’s roof and many other nice things. We found many common values we share, even if we are a few thousand miles apart. And above all, we share the same pasion for the grooves etched on vinyl records. A super nice read! Be sure to follow Collect on instagram, facebook, youtube and show some support for the Collect record label on bandcamp


What came first: the passion for burgers or the hunger for good records? Give us a small bite of Collect’s history: who is behind the record shop and how did you come up with the idea of opening one?

Records came first! Me and Mariana (n.r. Mariana Barosa) have been in the music scene for more than 20 years: buying, collecting and playing records since the 90’s. That kicked-off a long journey further on the music industry. From radio shows, other record stores, artist bookings, events and record labels. Pretty much anything involved with electronic music. My brother Bernardo loves music ever since he was a kid. He had also been working in restaurant/bar management for over a decade (even had his own bar called Cabaret in Faro, south of Portugal). 

The 3 of us had the desire to create a new project, while doing what we love most. We are very close friends since forever, and we were always discussing ideas for new things to come for the past couple of years. We decided to all join our efforts and do what we know best, all in one place. So Collect was born: burgers, drinks, radio and record shop, in July 2019. 

The record shop was always part of the concept. Maybe because I was involved in a record shop before, Carpet & Snares, which I co-founded and left some years ago to pursue other projects in music. But I’ve always loved the experience.

Records shops are very important to any city’s music scene. You contribute with what the local Djs play around the clubs and bars, but also for collectors digging endeavors. 

Also, a lot happens creatively and organically inside a record store, when artists meet up and exchange ideas, music and thoughts about the scene. 


How does Lisbon’s house & techno underground look like from Collect?

Lisbon has a lot of amazing producers and Djs. I’ve been around for over 20 years and I feel that now, thanks to our place and the online radio, I’m acknowledging way more talent than before. And that’s because of all the artists that hang around and about.

In a music perspective, we feel very happy and lucky with this project. For so long, I didn’t feel such energy and motivation. Now I feel like a young kid, full on and ready to get going!


We’ve been watching your streams quite frequently for the past few months, and we were impressed by the number of excellent selectors who took over Collect’s decks on a daily basis and also by the variety of good electronic music they come with. Is this a reflection of the city’s electronic underground?

Yes, we know a lot of great artists and now that we opened Collect we meet great, new talent every day. It’s been amazing!

As a live radio show, we are open to anyone who takes music selection seriously. We have various DJ sets from Jazz and Hip-Hop, to Drum n’ Bass, Trip-Hop, Disco, Soul, Funk and Ambient, House, Electro and Techno. Because bars and clubs are now closed (in the current pandemic situation), selectors are listening and searching for music differently. They’re more focused, they have a bit more time to spend, and when they prepare sets they want to explore different angles and experiment around. You don’t feel the slight pressure you get when on the DJ booth or dance floor. Also, there’s a lot of old school DJs that have been spending so much time at home because of Covid, that they can go through their old collections and re-discover a lot of gems!


A lot of DJs and producers relocated to Portugal, especially Lisbon. What’s so attractive about Lisbon, from this point of view?

There’s a growing community spirit. Small, independent places where kick-starting DJs and producers can showcase their skills and productions. It’s easy to meet up, gather and exchange stuff. There’s a bubbling scene in the electronic music field.

We all learn with and from each other. And for the youngsters it’s great to be in this environment. Lisbon also has awesome record stores for diggers: Amor Records, Carpet & Snares, Flur, Peekaboo, Groovie Records, Sound Club… the list goes on.


You have a large collection of second hand records in your shop. How many do you have at this moment and who does the selection?

We have roughly 2000 second-hand records at the shop. We are always searching for new collections, and we keep a lot of records on a warehouse ready to be moved to the shop weekly. I do all the selection at the moment. 


Are there any criteria you follow when selecting records that are available in the shop?

We are mainly a second-hand shop specialized in House and Techno, Electro, Ambient, Downtempo, Drum n’ Bass, Trip-Hop and Breaks. Besides that, we buy new records, mostly old-school reissues, represses and future classics. We have a Discogs profile, but we don’t put everything there. Always like to have some records exclusively in-store for visitors. 


Can you make a quick profile of a usual Collect customer?

Someone that most of the time knows what he’s looking for or simply wants to search for old records of a certain genre that we have. Normally he can’t spend money, but he does anyway (laughs). We sell a lot to DJs but also collectors. 


Any Romanian releases in your record crates?

We have a crate where you can find a lot of A:rpia:r, Yojik ConCon, Understand, Amphia, Zimbru and other great Romanian labels. 


Collect is also a digital record label. How do you choose the music you release? Is it only about local producers?

Collect music is a label that reflects everything we do and the diversity within the shop and the radio. We are open to all kinds of music. If it’s good, it’s good! Our first two releases (past one and  upcoming) are both from locals. However, we want to extend to internationals in future ones too. The first one, released in October last year, was from Narciso: an instrumental 4-track EP around Jazz and Indie Pop (you can check it here). The second release will be from Datahunter (Pedro Andrade), a 5-track EP, electronic oriented, that takes inspirations from the world of Aphex Twin. This one is almost out!


Any plans for vinyl releases?

All the Collect Music records that came out on the digital platforms will also have a limited 7” vinyl release. We also have 2 vinyl only releases scheduled for the next couple of months. One is from Slope (old school project from Daniel Paul and Hans Schlaf aka Dj Honesty). We will reissue old tracks from them. The second release is a V.A. EP with 90’s tracks from Kumquat Kids (Old project of Julian Phethean and Steve O ́Sullivan), Synchrojack and Freddy Fresh. Very exciting!


Let’s say I am a tourist in a non-pandemic Lisbon, looking to enjoy a full weekend there, but not on the usual tourist guide tour. Give us a few tips (a club for a proper after-party, a place to with a traditional Portuguese breakfast to eat on a Sunday morning after a sleepless night on the dancefloor, a terrace where we can enjoy some nice music and a good glass of wine etc.)

You can start your late-afternoon at Collect, with a live DJ Set on our radio streaming, with some great cocktails, bio wines or simply a very good local beer. Then grab dinner at Vicente restaurant just next to us. After that, you must have a drink at Lounge (one of the oldest bars in town, with excellent music every day – concerts, Djs and live-acts). 

Around 1am you go straight to 5A – the best micro-club in Lisbon with an amazing sound system and the best curation you can get if you look for a House and Techno night. Then you can go to Ministerium or Lux if you want to extend the night until 7am.

Finally, you go home for a quick nap and then take your car or an Uber to Praia Grande and enjoy an amazing meal at Bar do Fundo. Just over the beach, with the best view you can ask for. 

This would be an amazing weekend experience for sure!


The star burger from your food menu…

You can’t go wrong with a classic: the Crispy Bacon. It has it all: cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and a nice runny fried egg. What else?

We do also offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options!


Why do you think people keep coming back to your shop?

Because we are an extremely versatile space, with a comfortable and friendly environment. People can come over and enjoy music, drinks, food, buy and listen to records, get together with friends, dates, family. Even work or meet in the early afternoon when the place is quiet!

Regarding the music selection, we’re very focused in what we do and try our best to keep the record selection as good and fresh as it can get! 


Anything nice cooking for 2021 at Collect?

The world is going through very difficult times and Portugal is no different. We are doing our best to keep our brand alive and to bring the best music to people’s lives. Either with the live radio streams, the records online at Discogs and releasing more music and good online contents.

We’re not making any long-terms plans though. As things are still very much uncertain, we are surely living in the present and slowly build-up as we go! 

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Misbits’ Highlights In 2020

misbits

Oh, boy, 2020 was a bumpy ride for most of us! Yet Misbits managed to survive it, also thanks to your support throughout the whole year 🤗 We managed to keep the spirit alive with our usual in-store live sessions, with our crates hosting a neat selection of records and with the same friendly vibe you’re already used to.
So yeah, good bye 2020, we learned a lot from you, but now it’s time to get ready for the exciting things to come in 2021! Peace & Love 😘😘😘
To round up this year, we made a list with this year’s highlights, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did while compiling it at Misbits Record Shop! Click on the EP links, as you might be in luck to find it still in stock.

A podcast / mix series we fell in love this year


Our favourite radiostream in 2020: intuit.fm


The fastest selling record from our shop in 2020

Afriqua – Four Fleurs


Our favourite record artwork

Flip Fantazia – The Trip


The nicest surprise we had this year (from a record):
1. NWS – Next To Real

2. Tommy Vicari jnr – Tommy Vicari Jr. EP Pt. 3

3. A² / Stopouts – Go With The Flo


The record label from which we stocked the biggest number of releases in 2020

Amphia


Our favourite producer in 2020

Callisto

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Small Talk With Subtil Records

subtil

Imagine a car displaying the smooth & subtle lines designed by Romanian creative minds, powered by a super efficient German engine… Well, translated into the electronic underground, it’s like having a German record label releasing music from Romanian producers… Wait, that’s not an utopia, it really exists! 7 years ago, Berlin based Subtil Records started to invest time and money into a sound that many considered it would be just a passing hype, like many other waves born in the house & techno underground. Even if it is rooted deeply into Germany’s minimal house, this sound developed into something unique but it needed imprints like Subtil to receiving its worldwide recognition.

Nils Weimann and Martin Glowacz, the team behind Subtil Records, bet on young producers by offering unconditional support. And it paid off right from the start. VRAC, Cosmjn, Iuly B or Mihai Pol are just a few Romanian names featured at Subtil Records, now hitting the 20 releases milestone with Direkt’s EP.

We approached Nils to tell us the story behind the record label, the invisible connection between Berlin and Bucharest and about how to run an underground imprint in 2020. Enjoy!

Do you remember how Subtil Records was born in the first place?

Subtil was established in late 2013 by Nils Weimann and Martin Glowacz. The decision to lead a record label is an extension of a longstanding friendship.. Driven by the passion for electronic music, the lack of vinyl releases as a result of the trend for Traktor DJing has grown the desire to take some action.


Is there a special sound you’re searching for in order to be released on Subtil? What are the key elements you’re searching for in a track?

Since the beginning, we navigate ourselves in two simple aspects: the music should contain something particularly special. Hard to describe it, however we believe that “danceable” can capture it very well. On the other hand, a kind of recognition value might exist. Link up music with memories, whether good or bad, enhanced the half-life of a piece of music. 


The vast majority of Subtil releases are signed by Romanian producers. What’s so special about Romania’s house & techno underground?

A few years ago, Romanian producers gave a new boost to minimalism and in fact formed a new sub-culture. Those waves have been spread all over the globe, like in Berlin at the turn of the millennium. Currently, you can watch so many skilled artists, countless new music, and a great variety of nightlife and club culture, that you haven’t found everywhere.


What do you think: is this hype about Romania just a passing trend or has it become an influential sound that’s here to stay? 

Romanian producers have increased their influence in recent years and I think it will not stop growing even though we live in uncertain times. As a label, we are here to support this growth and forge our partnership, working towards the same goal. We are convinced that they will stay longer.


How do you find new artists to release at Subtil? Through demos? Do you scout for yourself? Do you work only with selected producers?

 Let’s say that it’s a mix of everything that you’ve mentioned over your question, however what we clearly don’t base our values on the fame of the artist. The only thing that matters is the music. This encourages new uprising talents to contact us. We won’t narrow it down to selected producers, everyone is welcome. 


What’s the story behind the artwork? How did end up working with July Jah?

It was a random meeting at a party in Berlin through mutual friends. We figured out that we are living near each other and started to collab. Julia is a great artist itself. She’s contributing to the success of Subtil. We gave herself artistic freedom from the first release on, we simply trust each other.

subtil

 How did this whole corona madness affect Subtil Records? Did you have to change your plans for 2020?

We have released three or four records, as every year. If we overlook our label parties, there were no big changes in our plans. Luckily the record sales haven’t went that much down as afraid.



You’re based in Berlin and work with Black Round Twelve as a distributor. Is BRT the best distributor you could work with when it comes to this particular house & techno sound?

 Yes, it is! To find the matching distribution partner is probably one of the most important issues. We particularly appreciate the family-like atmosphere and professional work.  BRT is not that big player in the scene, but it isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. This gives us room to increase our quality over the time, without pressure.

There’s a lovely side story. Since we teamed up with BRT, the entire manufacturing is made in Berlin. That makes things easier.


How does 2021 look right now music-wise? Tease us with a few details on what will happen at Subtil Records?

Well, our release schedule is set until summer. The plans are on going but not definite yet!


If you were forced to completely change the musical direction at Subtil Records (no more 4/4 music), what genre will you choose? 🙂 

Ambient

A super-rich person offers you 1 million euros for Subtil Records, but you must stay away from electronic music from now on. What would you do?

It depends on the person who makes that offer. An impossible thought to me, I have no clue…


That one EP that perfectly defines the Subtil sound.

That one EP doesn’t exist. Always the latest one (in addition to the past one). In this case, SBTL020 – Direkt – Path of the most resistance which which by the way, got released last week . 😉

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Crate Digging With Cosmin TRG

Cosmin TRG

With 2 seminal albums launched at the now defunct 50Weapons, releases signed at Hessle Audio and Rush Hour and a curatorial effort for his own record labels (Sportiv and Fizic), Cosmin TRG can be easily tagged as one of the artists who pushed the definition of techno deep into the uncharted territories of electronic experiments.
By all means, Cosmin TRG’s unique perspective on techno required a constant digging on the outskirts of the underground, be it cinematic, visual or sonic. So this why we challenged him to select a handful of records that are really close to his soul.
We were blessed with an eclectic selection, sliding from experimental to ambient and back. Enjoy!

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Crate Digging With Julian

julian

The iconic Club Guesthouse has been at the epicenter of Romania’s electronic underground for the past 10 years. Julian‘s residency at Guesthouse came as an epitome of his record selector skills. In perfect sync with the crowd, these selections took us often to various places and states of mind. As remarkable as are his DJing performances, Julian runs also Eliptic Records together with Fengda Carissa.

We kinda got in the mood for those dusty club memories so we asked Julian to dig a bit through his record collection, to serve as an inspiration for our vinyl hungry souls. Enjoy!

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Small Talk With The Block Owner, Yaron Trax

Over the years, a few prestigious magazines have tried to unlock the secret lying behind the hype generated by Romania’s electronic underground in the past decade or so. Many of them hurried up into proclaiming that the Romanian wave has long passed over the electronic underground culture and it is now becoming a thing in the past. Just a straw fire in the deep forest of house and techno. Yet observers outside Romania miss that one essential thing you need, in order to understand the movement in its wholeness: they are not Romanians. They lack the culturale heritage, with the good and bad. They didn’t inherit the transgenerational karma of opression all Romanians are fighting to overcome. Believe it or not, the subtle groove you could feel anywhere in this music is born out of the introspective and shy personalities of Romanian artists.

So it came as a big surprise for us when we read the long post made by Yaron Trax, the owner of Tel Aviv’s The Block Club. With a high level of awareness, Yaron has managed to describe a very realistic picture of what lies behind the Romanian groove. A groove he decided to bet on when defining the musical direction for The Block. Priku, Raresh, Petre Inspirescu and Herodot have taken over The Block’s custom mixer, alongside the new generation of producers, from Crihan to Dragutesku. A community was born around The Block and things started to get traction. After all, The Block is an essential outpost when we look at the Middle East house & techno underground. 

Long story short, we invited for a nice small talk about Romania’s underground, about The Block and about what lies before us, when we have all passed today’s challenges.

We read the huge post you made about the Romanian electronic underground culture and we are quite impress of your level of knowledge, also on the more technical side of this sound. Where is this knowledge coming from?

I am so happy that my post touched so many people, it reached more than 250,000 people and got shares and comments from people literally all over the world, from all continents. This is how far and wide this music has reached. I wrote it from my heart, and I thought it will be an interesting read for music lovers. The technical knowledge, I guess that’s coming from my tendency to analyse things, I like to understand and I am very curious about art, and I spoke to many many people at The Block, DJs from all over the world. Although I did study sound and music technology in London, almost everything I know about sound is from reading internet forums and from experimenting with sound systems in different rooms. I just change things and listen, and then change again and listen again.


The music is so powerful, you don’t need to know a lot in order to feel it’s message.

You described in plenty of detail a more spiritual side of this music from a dancefloor-centered perspective. Do you think that the crowd needs a higher level of self-awareness to feel the music exactly like you described it?

Not necessarily. I am a strong believer that the spiritual depths of music and the nuances of sound can actually be felt by anyone. Sure,
many times it is felt on a subconscious level, but that doesn’t matter, as long as it is felt and experienced. It reminds me of this morning in
Sunwaves 2017 I think, we were dancing at the romanian tent and Pedro was playing. Suddenly in the middle of his set, hundreds of young
Italians came rushing into the tent, I think Marco Carola set just ended in the other tent, At the beginning they were pretty loud and aggressive and didn’t fit in the beautiful vibe we had on the dancefloor. But after about an hour that they were there, you could gradually see all those aggressive faces turn softer and starting to smile. They got totally into the groove, because it was just impossible to resist it. The music is so powerful, you don’t need to know a lot in order to feel it’s message.


How did you manage to keep the high level of interest of the newly formed crowd coming to The Block during 2020, with all the restrictions applied?

Well, with the club closed since the beginning of March, and with all the lockdowns, people of the community met mostly only in the demonstrations that are being held here in the last few months, in protest against the government. The nightlife played an important role
in starting these demonstrations. It may seem strange, but it also makes a lot of sense that the nightlife will be in the forefront of this protest. We have also used social media in order to support the protest, taking a stand and writing some very viral posts about the political situation in Israel. Apart from this, we did a couple of live streams from the club with the local residents, which were cool but ultimately we felt that we don’t really connect with this live stream idea so much, so instead we are now working on a new project that combines our love of sound and of video art – an online channel with exclusive musical and visual content. I am very excited about it. Stay tuned…

Credit: Goni Riskin

Will we still have the scene we had back in 2019, with all these strange times we’re living in?

I don’t know. I hope it will not return exactly the same as it was, because change is inevitable and good. I believe that whatever happens to us in life, we should try to make the best of, so now we have this pandemic, let’s try to find out what good it can bring, how can we change for the best because of it. Could be more time with the family, could be time for ourselves to contemplate, or could be a new project, doing something in a new way because of the changed prespective. We can see this as a great challenge, and challenges bring the best in us.


A few Romanian DJs who played at The Block told me about this amazing experience they had with the custom mixer. From what we’ve heard, the mixer was customized according to your requests…

No, it wasn’t customized according to my request, it was designed by me and built from scratch for The Block by an electronic engineer. That’s why it’s called Traxx1, google it 🙂 It’s one of my babies, I have a few. For the last 10 years I’ve been working on the next one, Traxx2, which I believe is a revolutionary DJ mixer, the next level from the first one (which is the best sounding mixer I’ve heard so far, you can hear it for yourself if you listen to XLR8R Podcast 477: Priku, this is a set recorded on Traxx1 and you can compare it with other sets online recorded on other mixers, you will be quite amazed by the difference). Many DJs have helped me conceptualise and develop the new mixer Traxx2, and Priku stands out as someone I’ve consulted with a lot on this. Unfortunately the new electronic engineer which I work with on this new mixer has disappeared for a few months now and he has the (unfinished) mixer at his studio, so now I just hope my baby will come back to me and finally be born.


Did you change / recalibrate the sound system to better fit the music Romanians are playing at The Block?

Well, I tune the sound systems on all the rooms at The Block on a regular basis and I also do many experiments with speakers placement and acoustics and electronics, always trying to find a better setup for the sound of each room. Of course I use reference music to listen to when I’m doing the experiments, and since I fell in love with the Romanian music(and the Romanian people also!), I’ve been using mainly Rominimal tracks to tune the systems and experiment, so naturally, all the tuning and setting up I did was based on this groove. You can actually say, tuned to this groove.


We had a chance to listen to a few young producers based in Israel and we’ve been impressed by quite a few.  How does a cross-cultural concept label, featuring both Romanian and Israeli producers, sound, from your point of view?

Well, the Israeli minimal producers are the resident DJs at The Block. These DJs have heard and have played before, after and together with all the best DJs in the world coming to play at The Block on a regular basis for many years now. They are super talented and super positive and spiritual people. A cross-cultural concept label, featuring both Romanian and Israeli producers, sound amazing from my point of view. A collaboration between Israelis and Romanians in music production is already happening for some time now  In fact, we did plan to do a label like this a couple of years ago, and we already collected many great tracks from Romanian and local producers, but back then the Israeli producers were still not at the level they are today, and also I felt that it’s too demanding for me to run a label + manage the club and
lineups at the same time + be the father of 3 little kids, and being an obsessive perfectionist, it was all too much. However, I believe it will happen in the future.

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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! 🙂

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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.

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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!

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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

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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. :))

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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 😉

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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
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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

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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
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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”.

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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!]

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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

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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)