Vibes party took place at Culture Centre Grad in Belgrade on the 25th of June. We did a short interview with special guests Food for ya soul and On the corner Djs.
Boo, so you guys are settled in Brussels, Belgium… Can you please tell us more about the music scene there, since maybe music is not the first association when we think of Brussels and Belgium nowadays?
« Well I’m originally from Switzerland but i moved to Brussels about 3 years ago (like many people involved in the music scene..) and the music scene here is really alive as it should be in every big city around the globe. It’s a city with history music wise and you can feel it. Many young producers, either from the electronic scene or the hip hop scene are emerging and many events, parties, festivals are organized throughout the city without any boundaries of genre. It’s really stimulating to evolve in such a scene !»
Can you tell us more about your DJ and promo work and how do you work and fit together. How did the collaboration with you two come about?
« It’s great to work with Boo. As we don’t seem to share the same musical sensitivity, we can cover a larger musical spectrum. I feel empowered to have endless discussions with him regarding the new stuff that we are listening to on a weekly basis. He is more organized, pushing me to be more active on social networks and so on. I tend to focus more on the creative aspects, creating visuals for the next party or searching for obscure Peruvian rhythms!
FFYS is a collective created in Switzerland (nearly 11 years ago) with Boo and other DJs to throw music compilations and after that, parties. Lefto was invited to one of those parties, and made the connection between me and Boo. After that, I was invited regularly to play with FFYS and that’s how I became a full member. »
We’ve noticed that you traveled widely and played at many different festivals all over Europe. Can you please tell us which one of the festivals or the life experiences from your music travels you remember best and what about the future touring?
Boo« Every travel and gig is special indeed but I have memories of two in particular: Montenegro’s Southern Soul Festival, and the Worldwide Festival in Sète.
I’ll start with the first time we played at Gilles Peterson’s Festival beach stage. It was a crazy hot day, middle of the afternoon, but surprisingly the beach was teeming with people eager to dance to the max. The sound system was probably one of the best I’ve tried so far and I think we did one of our best set ever. I never danced so much myself…
Also last year we were lucky enough to play at the SSF, were we had been invited, thanks to the crazy talented and good friend Eddy Ramich. Again it was on a beach, in a tiny surf house with a much more intimate crowd. We meet so many great artists and people there and the vibe was only about music. On the last night we did a massive back2back2back… with all the DJs. It is still one of my highlights so far. »
Boo, we follow you every second week on Rinse France, representing your Parisian Nowadays label and it sounds very eclectic and fresh. What are your plans with the label for the autumn, what about the show and maybe some other new stuff coming ‘from your kitchen’ ?
« We can’t tell everything right now but yes many plans are in the pipeline for the future.. 🙂 We will of course continue to be on the air on Rinse France and you will see us touring either with our Label Nowadays Records for their Nowadays Party through France or with our Swiss Fam called « la Grosse Famille ». Next big thing besides v!bes in Belgrade will be Dour Festival mid of July ! »
Guys, have you been to Belgrade before or have you heard anything about this city and the party scene? What do you expect it to be like here?
« No it’s gonna be the first time and I am really looking forward to discover the music scene and the city… »
« First time too ! Heard a lot about the scene, the culture, the food (!) over there .. Looking forward to discovering it ! »
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On The Corner Djs
J-Buck, so you’ve been coming back to Belgrade now for the forth time in 9 months, what is it that seems to be driving you back to us? What is the plan for the near future when it comes to you and Belgrade ?
Yes I’ve been traveling back and forth from London to Belgrade with a huge box of records strapped to my back for a while now. There are many reasons why I’ve been making these journeys. The kind hearted and open minded people of Belgrade are the backbone to making these trips happen. I play vinyls that I ve been told aren’t so often heard in nightclubs in Belgrade. With a rich house and techno music seen my mainly Afro, Latin, Soul and Jazz records are a million miles away from the bass driven sounds found at most other parties in the area. Initially i was drawn to Belgrade after DJing at Southern Soul festival last summer. I saw a city that has a real buzz about the place. A city that may have had its problems in the past but is moving forward still keeping its gritty rawness intact. I feel that you can make many comparisons between Belgrade today and Berlin of 20 years ago. We all know what a thriving culturally rich city Berlin turned out to be, so I hope i can play a small part in making what has already started happening to Belgrade, happen. Moving forward i want to keep doing what I ‘ve been doing for the last 9 months, being involved in the fresh, soulful music seen in Belgrade. I want to help the vibes parties grow to higher altitudes so that more and more people can get the opportunity to hear our music and feel the love of vibes. I also want to use my network in London to assist in future bookings. This will in turn help bring a flow of artists to Belgrade that have a like minded ethos to ours.
Pete, how is your label growing and what does it take to build one in such a competitive environment as London?
Patience, failure, learning, patience and more patience. It is tough and trying to back these projects is no easy feat but putting music out that we believe in is what it’s all about. I don’t fear the competition from releases as I dig out so many other labels and there is a community and for the most part they are true heads and supporters of the culture. Moving on, the OtC team is coming together with passionate, talented people that I’m proud to be a part of.
Who has also supported the label like the mighty Gilles Peterson did and how much is that important for you?
Well Gilles’ support is just brilliant. He’s been an influence forever and amazingly he still takes risks and embodies the culture of that infamous search. Yeah, big shouts to Gilles and the team. Amazing to get such recognition and a mention in the Worldwide Family Blog. DJs such as Tom Ravenscroft, Patrick Forge and of course Dom Servini of Wah Wah 45s have been crucial too. He’s been an inspirational support and friend all the way. Having the label’s music played on the radio is crucial. So many blog and magazine doors remain closed but radio DJs know what’s up and we love them. So many DJs have supported us so the list is long and we appreciate every play.
Pete, what does it take to a DJ or producer, especially in such a competitive musical environment like London to always be afresh with rare and exotic tunes?
I think play what you enjoy and try and take people with you. So long as it has the vibes – I’m happy playing MP3s or a dollar bin special. I love what Unwanted (j-buck’s DJ collective) do in getting heads to come and find the deeper treasures in their collections. That’s about sharing and also breaking down the homogenous walls that get erected on dancefloors. I try an’ keep my ears to the ground, we are many and I’m always, always hearing new gems and learning from the DJs on the scene. That goes for OtC too.
J-Buck, can you tell us more about the South and East London DJ scene and about the hype parties there? Is there any similarity to the parties you organize back home with v!bes parties ?
I’ve been throwing parties with my DJ collective ‘Unwanted Family’ in all parts of London for the last five years. East London’s been our main home because it’s been at the forefront of London’s party scene for many years now. As of recent the rise of Peckham and surrounding areas means South London’s catching up with its rivals north of the river. One party we throw has many similarities to Vibes at KC Grad. This particular party is set in the heart of the industrial part of East London, Hackney Wick. Many free thinking, arty type people from all over the world live there and enjoy swinging and swaying to and fro by our parties to soak up our openminded musical ethos. With KC grad being the culture centre of Belgrade, set in a converted warehouse building and with Vibes incredible musical policy i very much find similarities here to what Unwanted Family are doing back in Hackney Wick.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.