Hipodrome Podcast 021 – Scoro


Scoro aka Bogdan Scoromide is a constant presence in the clubs of Bucharest in recent years. He started his DJ career in 2009 by approaching an experimental style through various small locations in Bucharest. He was known for his rather difficult style, mixing electro-acoustic improvisations, modern psychedelic and free-jazz, later becoming a Control Club resident. This experimental approach was then channeled towards club music, and today Scoro mixes in his one style house, techno, post-industrial & jakbeat, all the time trying to create polyrhythms.

 

Can you make a short introduction to your mix? How, when and where was it done and what’s the idea behind it, if there is one?

I would’ve liked to give you something recorded in a club, but I can’t remember the last time I played techno in Romania, there aren’t many venues where you can play some non-commercial, badass stuff and expect to get invited back, and the ones where you can are too small for this genre. So, I did this at home, using two CDJ-200 & a Xone 23 mixer. It’s just atmospheric, diverse, dreamy ambient to banging techno.

The mix begins with an experimental track from Somnoroase Păsărele. Can you tell us more about this project?

It’s the musical creations of Gili Mocanu, known more as an abstract painter, but he’s been making music since the early 90s, using tape manipulation and vinyls, but now it’s all electronic. Techno, post-punk, experimental electronics or noise would be too restrictive and inadequate as labels. This music is an enigma, and it doesn’t strive for understanding. It’s highly original stuff, but one could detect a little influence by the spectral composers of the 70s and 80s like Iancu Dumitrescu and Octavian Nemescu, maybe also some early 90s stuff like Aphex Twin. Most releases are on cassette tape and you can also listen to just about all of them on Bandcamp. Sometimes I help out with the live performances.

You are not a new face on Bucharest’s clubbing scene, but in the last couple of years you have been more active. How did you start playing music and why did you keep such a low profile until now?

I’ve been actively looking for music since I was 8 years old, my first purchase was Metallica – The Black Album, around 1993, so by the time I grew up, my taste became too experimental to share with a large audience, so it never crossed my mind to organize anything. Around 2009, most of the people who would’ve appreciated the crazy electroacoustic improv that I was into were either the people making it or a few collectors living abroad. But I soon discovered a few in Bucharest too. There were some nice listening sessions like Sâmbata Sonoră and Clinical Jazz. Some DJs like Orbita Lacustră and Cliza & Stutz listened to a few sessions of mine and it was their idea to have me play more club oriented stuff.

What kind of music did you play then and how did you and your music style evolve?

Free-Jazz, electroacoustic improv, modern psychedelic, I’m just saying the names of these genres to give you some idea of what was going on, because I was never really concerned with genres,  I was just going with the flow, basically doing research rather than already having “the answer” and popping pills. I was satisfied with the sound, but not entirely with the intensity. Back then, I didn’t know about the more experimental side of techno, I just thought it was all boring and full of jocks. Usually someone starts doing some simple club stuff, then they move towards what they think is higher, like Jeff Mills playing with the Philharmonic Orchestra. I moved from what I think is highest – this raw, improvised channeling of ghosts – to using techno as a framework for it. There’s a lot of things that can be done structure-wise too, like the polyrhythms one can create by mixing or choosing certain songs.

Do you have some favorite djs/producers/labels and how did they affect your perception of the music?

Before we move to the club stuff, I just want to say, there is nothing more stupid than making electronic music while keeping the western classical music paradigm. You have all these possibilities of sound and structure and yet you do something that sounds like cuts from 19th century romantic melodies, except it’s done with synths. This is what trusting your teachers will do to you. I always enjoyed the ones that broke the mold, like Edgar Varese, Stockhausen, tape guys like Pierre Schaeffer, David Prescott and Ghedalia Tazartes, Sun Ra, the wonderful Romanian generation of Iancu Dumitrescu, Octavian Nemescu, Horațiu Rădulescu (sometimes tourists will ask around Bucharest “Where is the Horațiu Rădulescu museum?” and all they get is blank) and more recent explorers like Jerome Noetinger, Lionel Marchetti, Philip Samartzis, too many. Now moving on to the clubs, there were similar experimental attitudes (what I’m basically looking for) in the club music of Detroit and Chicago in the late 80s and early 90s. Producers like Juan Atkins & his crew from Detroit and influential DJs like Ron Hardy in Chicago, probably the first DJ who wasn’t just a crowd pleaser. More recent influences are DJs like Traxx (Nation Records) and Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis. They both do a good mix of sound exploration and intensity of the beats, and that’s what I’m also looking for.

You had your share of traveling around the world, so you can make a good comparison between Romania and the rest. What do you think about our electronic music scene? Did we develop a healthy scene?

We had a few attempts, but now it’s more like a simulacrum of a scene. A healthy scene would be one in which people go out for the music that particular guy behind the decks is making/playing, while the promoters do all the calling and e-mailing, as they are supposed to choose the artists/DJs in a coherent way, based on an idea. I witnessed some rare examples of this up until a few years ago. It was all based on meritism, it was like we were practicing a better society. Nowadays, it’s all been ruined by money & kids who are all about the image and want to be famous,  who do favors in return for getting booked, the kind of people that message the shit out of promoters. I know one promoter  who currently has 14.000 unread e-mails in his inbox. If someone really has a love for music, they would want to experience the best, not necessarily play it themselves. This shows that the majority are into DJing for their stupid egos, thinking everyone else is also doing the same. After a whole week of going out and “supporting” each other’s DJ carreers, everyone is too tired to attend a serious club night and check out a guy with decades of experience in digging records, who is no one’s buddy or employee, nor an Instagram celebrity. So, don’t be surprised if you see a packed club in Bucharest, but the person behind the decks can’t mix two songs or can’t maintain 20 minutes of coherence, then you go to a real head like Hugo Capablanca and it’s only 10 people in the audience. You see, they’re all resting after a very busy week of attending each other’s DJ gigs. As for the minimal house scene, I’d rather not talk about that.

Do you think there are enough opportunities for talented young djs in Bucharest and Romania?

There are clubs who hold parties in almost every day of the week, so there are opportunities, but this flood of DJs who do favors for bookings and who get the organizers used to having their asses kissed all day long make it very hard for the rest of us. Some organizers/DJs won’t even talk to you unless you’ve previously invited them to play a DJ set in your town.

Can you give us some hints about some new acts from Bucharest that are interesting for you?

FrateleNord and Zmoalacazan are two good hip-hop acts. I also love Diana Miron, Laurențiu Cotac & Sian Brie, they play Jazz and other experimental stuff. Raw Tools and Listen2Me are good house/techno labels. There’s a mix somewhere in the vastness of the Internet in which I played only unreleased Bucharest stuff, check it out.

Nowadays a lot of people are producing music. Music is a powerful promotion tool. What are your plans regarding production?

Like I said, I’m not in it for the ego, so why would I produce some stuff that would probably sound decent at best when there are true musical geniuses out there who produce absolutely divine music? I’d rather promote them.

You are in the Jadd Association. Can you tell us more about it?

A little group formed out of love for free-jazz music. We did some epic stuff! We organized concerts with some of the most special artists in this world, and they were paid out of our own pockets, we got a little help from Control Club too. But now JADD is asleep, tired from things like other organizers making events with the same artists in the very next day after our concert, same city, but no flight sharing, get it? Hard to find an honest man out there, only ticks.

Are you currently working on some musical projects?

I want to do a compilation of Romanian stuff, like Bogman was doing in the 90s. I try to stay away from producing music as there are others who are better at it, but having Gili around is irresistible, so something might happen with Somnoroase Păsărele.

What do you listen to besides electronic music?

Every genre can be done very well or very poorly. So, I listen to everything that I think is good, but what I’m really into now is this underground cassette tape scene, where independent artists release their own music on cassette (it’s cheaper to release this way) and Bandcamp. Winebox Press, this would be a good example. Also, I still listen to my favorites, the Sun City Girls, I think they’re the greatest band ever.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have some unusual hobbies?

I play Football Manager at least one hour a day, that game was cited in many divorce cases, so watch out! I also love reading what they call “minor literature”, stuff that stands on its own two feet.

What is your favorite food?

I realized I’m a simple peasant once I visited Beirut. Love their cuisine.

You played recently in Sibiu for the first time. How was this experience for you?

Loved it, there’s a lot less cynicism in the air, I was in a Detroit House mood, but next time I visit, I promise to play the most far out set ever.

Do you have other thoughts for our followers?

Read Gilles Deleuze. Oh, and real love exists!

Tracklist:

Somnoroase Păsărele – GREF PENE MINA CO
Claude Young – Beyus
Savas Pascalidis – Reflection
Traversable Wormhole – Tachyon (James Ruskin remix)
Mike Parker – FWD (Donato Dozzy remix)
Surgeon – The Crawling Frog Is Torn And Smiles
Sleeparchive – Five Cubes On Twenty-Five Squares
Planetary Assault Systems – Call From The East
Abdulla Rashim – Weldiya 1
Infinity – Think Quick (Remodel)
Hypnobeat – Not From This World

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Hipodrome Podcast 021 – Scoro

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