It’s time for the first podcast from the new year and we bring you a very special session from a vinyl devoted person. Lektronikumuz, Remus Miron in his real name, is a true defender and keeper of the vinyl, one of the last of his kind in Romania. Remus is playing exclusively vinyl and he is, in my opinion, the only dj still playing regularly quality Detroit techno in Romania.
Tell us something about your podcast, how it was done and what should we expect?
Well… when you cross the road, or when you wait for somebody, in the rain, you have the chance to find new thoughts. It is enough to see some beautiful thing outside, inside or you are upset because of some unexpected or irritating moments… every second when you do your job, or in your free time, you can be inspire by something. I usually make “some kind of” dj mixes, only when i catch some particular moments. I never do mixes for promoting myself or other things, they aren’t that kind of mixes with “chart tracks” or “monthly sets”. Actually, because I am a records collector, not an usual dj, I need to put it together, record by record, every-time manually, trying to fix something, a smooth feeling.
This podcast is also something natural, something that I’m doing for the first and single time, everytime. It is not such a repetitive set, a perfect… you know… technic, software processed liveset. Are just 80 minutes caught in a specific and almost perfect period, when I feel I can do it. In this podcast I used 25 songs, some tunes I’ve never used so far, some tunes are my own test-press produced tracks, cutted on vinyl (there are 4 own tracks exactly), other tracks are oldschool combined with some kind of newschool sound. I used for this set 3 analogic turntables and a dj mixer to compile it for approximately 80 minutes. You will see that the sound is similar with generation of… let’s see… Jeff Mills, Jeroen… Oliver Ho generation, I think… but also in contradiction with new sounds… why not with Jazzy Dance influence and organic industrial techno….
I might say you are one of Romania’s veteran djs, playing for more then a decade now. Do you remember how you first started and how you entered in contact with electronic music for the first time?
Yes I remember, because I start with a true motivation, and it can’t be forgotten after ten years… I remember somehow, I was attracted by the constant and slow speed of analogic turntables, and by the effect of the red stroboscope of the turntables. At that time, I wasn’t sure about the quality of the music or about the djs, but I was just fascinated by this vinyl format. How it was so old and still used in our time, how can we discover, perfect and support it, after such a long period of time… you can also see it as a reference in the best movies, best commercial advertisement, also into a lot of stupid marketing images, for a lot of fake artists…. which it is a motivation that vinyl record is still no. 1.
You are an uncompromising dj. How did you and your music style evolve since you had started?
I remember that, I was so young. Let’s see, in ’97-’98 I was 15th years old. I wasn’t very mature, but I always learned to chose what I liked and not what all the others liked. I think, at the beginning the things weren’t to good. Electronic music knew a lot of changes and not just in its own genre, also in all sub-genres of electronic music. Every year, new artists appeared with new ideas, with new hardware, with new technologies, new software. I think, 20 years ago things were much easier for every simple human being, like me…. to chose what they like, what represents them, etc…. now because of so much possibilities, sometimes we are forced to loose the essential and to be stucked into some non-human perceptions…. too much artificial things around, thing that we need, just because we are not capable anymore of developing something new, or to create something original. A few artists, very few ones in our days, are doing things so well and they are a truly motivation for me to follow them and to promote them. I never thought to do something similar, as they are doing it so well…
You are using different names like Lektronikumuz, Lektro or Jaguar. Can you explain what are the differences between them and how did they came up?
When I started collecting records and mixing, I was into drum’nbass, techno, house, more eclectic, acid jazz, jazzy dance. I was so confused by so many possibilities in discovering myself and good music… all these was good and still it is today. Now I have respect and attention for all these genres, though I prefer techno. At the beginning, I didn’t thought about an “artist” name. Usually at the first events, I used my real name as remusmiron. My music was hard to understand for my local community and, I think, I was so motivated and uncompromised to do it…. that I went so far, that I would choose an artist name which I intended not to be very ease to remembered… something hard as the music I was playing. I had the perception that people need to like what I do and not what is my name or my face. It is like I am offended by putting my face on promotional materials… anyway… “Lektronikumuz” was a mistake, a wrong word written into an email I think. I was writing something about electronic with music, I don’t remember exactly how, but I remember that I sow the combination “electronic cu muzica” and I liked it somehow. I could imagine like it looked on a poster or something and immediately it changed into “Lektronikumuz”.
Lektro is a shorter version of the initial name, because this word, when you pronounce it is a little kind of stupid… it is not so serious… it makes you laugh when you pronounce it…. and after a long period…. everybody prefers to say Lektro.
The history of the name “Jaguar” starts in 1999, when I heard, at Rex Club in Paris, Laurent Garnier playing one record a few times. This track influenced me so much…. In that period in Romania the electronic music scene didn’t exist. Also I remember it was a period of the tapes not CDs. We were recording sets on tapes, mixing tapes… The internet wasn’t very accessible, so the information about that particular track I head in Rex Club, was discovered after one year of deep searching, writing letters, etc etc…. In the summer of 2000, I received a Reel2Reel 26” AKAI tape, from a friend, who had brought it from Poland. The 2nd track on the A Side was that TRACK…. following the tracklist, I saw there the remark “The Aztec Mystic – Knights Of The Jaguar” :).
You are more into Detroit oriented techno, funky and tribal ghetto stuff. What do you think about the new sound of techno, coming from labels like Ostgut Ton, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Fachwerk or Prologue, just to name a few?
“It Is So Good Today”. Somehow this sound is more known today… but it is not such a new sound. A lot of similar tracks, similar quality, similar sound, were released before 2000-2003, at other labels… tracks that have that kind of sound like the ones you mentioned in your question. I like it. It’s COOL!
Please name some of your favorite djs/producers and how did they influence you?
DJs and producers can influence in a lot of possibilities. New talents are inspired by them, in different ways. I know that when you have 50 records from Jeff Mills, 30 records from Paul Mac, 15 records from Laurent Garnier, etc, etc…. hundred and hundred, and than thousands and thousands…. you became inspired by your models in some kind of financier way, money invested into records. Its a different way that a DJ/Producer can inspired you…. You are a part of a limited record collection, that was released by the artist, touched by him, sometimes signed by him special for you. This plastic material makes you a part of this artist’s work, that you like and you know that if this is shown, if you are honest and buy his work, your artist will continue to produce how you like. But if you stole his work and he will not sale his project, he will be forced to create other kind of easy tracks, to be sure he will sell it. So, this is an important thing in the evolution of today’s music. You hardly find , in these days, artists with a strictly own direction…. This is one of the ways a truly artist inspires me.
You are a vinyl junkie, collecting records and playing only wax. What do you think about the new generation of digital djs playing only laptops and CDs? What do you think is going to happen to vinyl?
Well… if you make separation between profession and hobby, you will understand that you cannot do it together… rarely maybe. You are into a single one, not into both. So, if it is your profession, you are able to use what you consider yourself. As a dj, I prefer to use vinyl because of a lot of advantages, but if you are a producer nobody can’t stop you or tell you what format you need to use. You can use CDs, laptops, shoes, whatever, it is your business problem….
I have problems with vision about djs, who plays music made by other producers….. and, lets be honest now…. how many djs buy digital wav/mp3 and make CDs?… not everybody…. At the beginning, the role of a dj, was created by the necessity of eliminating pauses when changing tracks and then by the mixing, beatmatching, scratching, etc…. You need to have skills to play records well, so because not everybody accepts this kind of dj-ing, the new era of digital formats offers possibility to everyone, even to non talented djs, to play very easy on digital easy processed controlled formats….
But in the same time, a lot of things that you can’t do with only 2 hands, manually, you can do now with software. You know, there are a lot of kinds of human as djs and a lot of kinds of music as genres. Depends what kind of human are you, how you mix and what kind of music you play. Of course, you can choose the perfect format for you to make it better. But here are also 2 new problems…. Commodity for some djs and problems with records flying between continents in same weekend, loosing bags in airports, etc, etc… for vinyl djs. If you play record let’s say…. Friday you play in London, Saturday in Madrid, Sunday in Amsterdam, and than go back home to I don’t know… let’s see… Chicago…. you can’t do this all the time. With digital formats you can have with you a lot of music and you are ready to play for a week non stop, in every new place, while with records you are limited to 1-2 nights, with 1-2 bags of 100 records…. This thing with vinyl, cds, laptops is an old story, but it is not applicable in our country, where we don’t have so many Producers. Seriously, we don’t have a 20 years vinyl culture, we don’t have Labels, big Labels, we don’t have so much talent to revolution music over the world, so if we copy all what everybody plays outside, I am for the vinyl…. and everybody know that…. let’s be sincere!!! In the end, who know what kind of “USB4” will be invented, or what kind of wires will be connected directed to the brain in the future. Vinyl will be very rare, but such expansive, a luxury thing. Will be that thing that even if somehow it will loose some respect, it will have enough high price, that not everybody will have possibilities to buy it, use it and produce it, even in near future….. with all “FUC***G DIGITAL MACHINES”. Humans makes vinyl not a computer. Humans makes also computers. So let’s leave in secondary plan, this “rubbish” digital craps.
How big is your vinyl collection?
More than 4000 rare records, i think. Just with Electronics, without records I collected from my young period, with all types of rock, punk, funk, acid-jazz or synthpop old records.
As a producer you have some releases out. When did you start to produce music and when should we expect the first wax release?
For the moment I am into experimental projects. None of these I consider to be a serious tracks, which it is necessary to be released in mass pressed series of vinyl production, at my own label or outside country’s labels, especially Europe. But I have my own tracks, cutted on limited vinyls, incl. mastering, records that sometimes i use at events, parties or demo mixes. But these vinyls are very limited and not for sale. I never think seriously into producing, because I have future planes to buy good music made by good producers…. I have more than 5000 wishlist records that I need to have in my collection and than maybe I will start to do music. I also don’t have time for this, because I am not a DJ/Producer. I am officially and lives from my based professional activity as Surveying Engineer and I work in Engineering and Architectural Design. But many times I had plans to focus myself, more into music producing… maybe in the future… I think it takes time to learn a lot of things, to have culture, enough to start to do things well…. it is easy to produce a BAD VINYL…. I find a lot of BAD VINYLS on market in our days…. but this thing is not a model for me, to follow.
You are known in Romania for your DJ mixes and mostly for the Analogic Sounds and Organ Hammond Skills videomixes series. Are these your communication channels with fans and techno lovers, or there is a deeper meaning to all of this?
“Analogic Sounds DVD” was a very young video project made. It is still crazy for me today :). Other video projects that followed, were somehow “unknown artist”. These were done for a based ideas of how quick and simple some records can be compiled… good ones I think…. in the hope that djs will prefer records spinning and to chose this format…. and not to find possibilities how need to look face of a djs, or what kind of skills he used, or how much technical it is… Music can be fun. Records can be fun. Find things that can be fun for you and it is enough somehow.
DJ Bela it is a very good friend of mine, he is also very old into the music. I invite him into my project, to make things very well, for Brasov. From the beginning of the local electronic “early movement” DJ Bela was involved. Maybe because he is also just vinyl dj player. I see that he has personal ideas and original style. Together we have much power in our journey, making people to listen to other music that everybody gets. The collaboration with him, and also with other local artists… it is still moving today… so this is so good for everybody, somehow. No financial implications of course 🙂
In 2007 you organized the first, and the only one until now, Romanian Electronic Festival, bringing artists like Octave One, Luke Slater, Cristian Varela, Dave Angel, Paul Mac, Danilo Vigorito, and many more, some of them for the first time in Romania. How did you manage to organize something so big and innovative for Romania and what were your expectations from it? Did you feel that your efforts were fully reworded?
I managed it alone. But I was asked before by another friend, who pressed me somehow to do this movement. DJ Darius is the man. I never had expectation about this movement. I will not do it in the future, for these reasons…. Romanian Electronic Festival was a test to see if after 10 years of techno events, Romania is ready for something so exclusively. Something that I wanted to do in my own way and as best as I could. Nothing important…
Do you think we are ready now in 2011 for a new edition of the Romanian Electronic Festival? If not, when do you think we will be ready for something like this?
We Are Not Ready and we will not be ready in near future. Romania is ready to do profit and it is full of guys that know very well how to do it. Why it is so important to do these kind of events? if we copy everything from outside? We find outside things older then all our PR/Manages, made a thousand times better.
You had your share of traveling around the world, so you can make a good comparison Romania and the rest. What do you think about out electronic music scene? Have we developed a healthy scene?
Yes. Things are so good today, somehow. Also I know a lot of places that are not so good, in an artistic way… I mean Romanians are somehow very well informed into culture, history of music, artists, labels, etc etc…. but even if we are very well prepared, many times even more prepared than other….we are still not enough in numbers. Also I think our economical possibility, keeps us at home and forces us to piracy and other manifestations against good examples from outside. You know, things are different in everybody’s perceptions.
What do you feel we are missing here, in Brasov in particular and in Romania, in general?
40 years of non-freedom period, which it costs us today.
What do you listen to besides electronic music?
Acid Jazz, Nu Funk, Disco, Rock, Punk, never turn on the radio, tv, etc. I prefer internet for podcast, radio shows, live concerts, and rare music that I feel myself that it is good, not by a billboard top, dj chart, most sales, etc.
Do you have some unusual hobbies besides techno? What do you like to do in your spare time?
Swimming, Traveling, Photography.
Is there anything else you want to add or to transmit to our followers?
You will not be again on this world, so leave something behind you.
Analogue Adored. Digital Deplored!!!