New Zealand born, Dilby lives and breathes house music. From a young age Dilby has been obsessed with hunting and collecting music and has always been passionate about sharing these treasures with others. This is evident in his DJ sets which span genres and create an infectious groove on the dance floor.
Dilby was first introduced to underground electronic music through the rave scene of the 90′s. His excitement and passion for everything house grew until he began DJing in early 2001. Since then he has not looked back and continues to grow and evolve his sound and skills on the decks. Dilby has played the best clubs and festivals all over New Zealand including a sold out Rhythm and Vines festival with over 25,000 in attendance and has shared the stage with many of the world’s top DJ’s along his journey.
Dilby has taken his passion for house music to the studio and presented his creative and inspired productions to the world. His tunes champion a signature groove and attention to detail that sets them apart from the crowd. His music is crafted from a classic house and techno pallet but presented with a fresh, modern and individual aesthetic. They are full of rich musical influences; from dub to progressive rock, ambient and tribal rhythms, but rest assured, they’re aimed squarely at the dance floor.
Dilby works with some amazing record labels including Beef Records, Baroque Records, Soulman Music and many more. His original productions and remixes have been supported by top DJ’s ranging from legends like Danny Tenaglia to Nic Fanciulli to modern front-runners like Waifs & Strays and Karol XVII & MB Valence.
Since a child you collected music, what was the very first record you prized?
As a young kid I was really into the stuff my parents would listen too, which was pretty varied. Everything from Grace Jones to Pink Floyd to Peter Tosh. My first memories of being super into a specific record was Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s album “Rust Never Sleeps”. I remember running into the room whenever it was playing and singing along next to the speaker, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away, my my, hey hey”.
Which was the first track you played as a novice?
I’m not too sure to be honest. I learned to mix records from my flatmate at the time who had a really cool collection of Naked Music stuff and West Coast house jams so probably something along those lines. The first house 12′s I bought myself were Steve Lawler’s “Rise In” (Bedrock) and Halo Varga’s “Future” (Hooj Tunes).
Which was the first party you had been to that made you realise you wanted to DJ?
There was a big outdoor NYE festival close to the city I grew up in called ‘The Gathering’ which ran from ’96 to ’02. I went to a lot of them and would get really into it during the events, although I was pretty staunchly into rap and hip hop at the time. At the 2001 Gathering I saw Way Out West play and it blew me away. That was really the point at which I decided I wanted to start DJing house music, although it had been building up for a while.
Are you more into making the music or would you rather DJ?
I love both to be honest. I started DJing long before I ever dreamed about writing my own tracks but now I guess they go hand in hand. I love the feeling when everything is working in the studio and it feels like the music is just writing itself but I don’t think it could ever beat the thrill of playing to a nice crowd on a big sound system.
Coming from New Zealand, how did your music bring you to Berlin?
I guess it is all just part of the natural progression of things. As time went by I put more and more into music and realised I couldn’t really do it full time in New Zealand. I knew people who had lived in Berlin and it seemed like the perfect environment and opportunity to immerse myself in music and to push things on.
Where has been your most memorable gig in Berlin?
Playing at Sisyphos was really cool. There is always an up-for-it crowd there, it’s slightly off the beaten path and not as famous as some of the other places which creates a really beautiful vibe there. not to mention, it was great to play at one of my favorite clubs in Berlin!
In your perspective what makes Berlin the worlds electronic music centre?
There are so many clubs, so many great DJ’s and producers and so many punters. The intensity of the music scene in Berlin draws people here and I guess in turn it is the people that create the intensity.
What is your mind set when you go into the studio to make music?
I try to keep a pretty open mind. I have a wide interest in music and I guess different things influence me at different times. I try to just vibe and see where it takes me. If I’m doing a remix I usually get an idea in my head of what direction I might take before I start, but that usually changes somewhere throughout the creative process.
According to you, which is the best track you have made?
Probably “I Went Back” featuring Lowqui, which came out last year on Beef Records. It has a deepness and emotion that I really value in music. It was also awesome working with Lowqui who is a total veteran of the Drum & Bass scene, not to mention a good mate. We have just started work on a follow up so watch this space.
When composing your music, how do you choose the elements to make your sound unique?
That’s a hard one. I think creating a unique sound is a combination of your workflow and techniques and finding original sound sources. Follow your heart, not the charts.
When working on collaborations, how is it done – do you just amalgamate your ideas, or does one make it and the other re-edit it?
It totally depends on who I’m collaborating with and the level they are at in terms of experience and technical know how. I have found that it is generally always a lot slower working with others though. I have a record coming out later this year on Escapism Musique that I wrote with a good friend of mine, Bastian. He hasn’t done a great deal of studio work but is an awesome DJ, super creative and has played drums and piano so had a lot of input to give but I do all of the engineering in that partnership. He also did some vocals on the record we did together which was awesome and brave. I’m also working on something at the moment with a buddy from Berlin, Carlo. We have similar levels of experience so we just kind of share the engineering and creative process. The hardest thing about collaborating is finishing things you start!
Having an eclectic taste in music, only broadens your own style, do you agree and why?
Oh for sure. I think it is really important to have a wide interest and knowledge of music in order to progress as a DJ or producer. Variety is the spice of life.
It is known that your music is made for the dance floor, what is the trick to keep us dancing?
Drums! You got to have good drums. Create a good groove and hook that grabs people and locks them in on the dance floor.
Your latest mix named Secret Recipes 001 – Burgers and fries is a banging set of tunes, but mostly it is intriguing that you have called it Burgers and Fries, why is that?
So Secret Recipes is the name of my new podcast series. The whole name is kind of a joke, because I hate to take myself too seriously. I am really into cooking and food and just decided that the naming theme would be a different food for each episode. There will be some guest mixes coming up too, so the guest DJ will choose their favorite food to name the podcast. Secret Recipes 002 – Spaghetti and Meatballs will be served up in February.
Today we are flooded with DJ’s and party people are rather spoiled with so much music, according to you, what makes you stand out and bring something fresh?
That’s a hard one. If anyone has an answer to this please email me! For me, I just try to make and write music that stays true to myself and that I am passionate about. I’m not super interested in riding the crest of the next big thing’s wave. I just do what I love.
Being supported by some big names like Danny Tenaglia or Nic Fanciulli is a big deal, tell us how did you first get noticed?
I think mostly that is down to working with some cool labels that do good promotion and work hard to get my music into the hands of the right people. Thanks to all the labels that peddle my music. I love you all!
Which is your favourite DJ and how has he/she inspired you?
There are so many amazing DJ’s and producers out there so it is kind of hard to pick one currently but the most important influence would have been my old flatmate who inspired me and got me into DJing house music, thanks Zac!
The most important thing about music is?
To listen to it and dance to it and enjoy it. Regularly and religiously!
If the world were to end, which 3 tracks in the whole world would you play?
Van Morrison – “Moondance” and Al Green – “Let’s Stay Together” because they are amazing songs I’d just have to hear one last time and then Leftfield – “Open Up” because it is the perfect soundtrack to the apocalypse.
Please tell us the one song or track that would define you?
Impossible! There are too many awesome tracks out there and I would hope that my answer would continually change as music continually evolves and, hopefully, so do I.
And lastly, what are your aspirations for 2013, where can we find you to shuffle our dancing feet?
Just to continue to work hard in the studio really. I have lots of exciting releases coming up including releases on Beef Records, Escapisim Musique, Form and Function, UM Records, Gartenhaus and lots more. I plan to be DJing more this year after taking it easy in 2012 to focus on studio work. I am working on dates for later in the year in Netherlands, UK and lots more but you can catch me playing around Berlin for now, check my Facebook page for dates and details.
Stathis Lazarides has the musical ethos and mentality of an artist who finds it impossible to compromise with trends and to specify genres when in the studio or in the DJ booth. Music has been his foremost priority for 20 years and the concept of sitting down to compose in his studio without a specific plan, mainly working on impulse, is for him the building block of underground music.
Stathis has started his journey into the amazing world of dance music at the tender age of 17. The setting was a small pub in his native country, Greece, but the impact to his life was massive. After spending some time DJing on various Greek Islands and enjoying a residency at the legendary Kinky Bambolina club in Thessaloniki, he moved to London to study sound engineering and gets his first taste of an illegal rave in the middle of a field in Bedfordshire.
After successfully finishing his studies, he started his own record labels, Funktastique records and Bailado Music, and enjoyed a string of releases, favored by some truly renowned DJ and radio stations.
Around the same time, Stathis began his residency at the world famous, club Cavo Paradiso, where he has been the resident DJ since 2000, and had regular appearances at Ministry Of Sound, Turnmills and Egg. He has also been noticed by labels like Azuli, Steve Lawler’s Harlem and Sandy Rivera’s Blackwiz label.
Stathis has also been the driving musical force behind the Rhythmatic moniker, a party that has gatecrashed onto the London scene two years ago and has a impressive roster of guest appearances such as Gregor Tresher, Spencer Parker, Kreon, Lemos, Kabale Und Liebe, Fabio Giannelli to name a few. Stathis has regarded his residency at Rhythmatic as important as the one at Cavo Paradiso and the future holds exciting new projects for the party not only in London but also on the international scene.
It is impossible to define his musical style in a few concise words. Deep evolution, Funky sentiments, Dirty intentions, Atmospheric, non pretentious, quality underground music, Or a reflection to his emotions. His style obviously has a good presence of house and techno surrounded by a range of elements. But imagine what would happen if several people were asked to describe a very large and complex object that they can’t see, but can only feel. In this case the object seems to be music!
Speaking with Stathis Lazarides, it’s obvious that he has an old school DJ’s story of how he came to the scene and his experiences…
You first stepped into the underground scene starting at the age of 17 DJing in a pub back in Greece. But were there any instances or influences before that, which brought you closer to the underground scene or was DJing in that pub and working your way into the scene complete accident?
I lived my teenage years in a small rural village and I wasn’t even aware of the meaning of the word underground back then. Urban society was a world away and my influences were what the radio was playing plus a local record store. I started buying music at the age of 12 with the pocket money I was getting from my summer job as a petrol station attendant but my interest in vinyl started even earlier as my brother was older than me and he was getting music from Germany. We had a neighbour who was driving his lorry to Germany once a month so he was bringing all sorts of things including German electro pop records. I then started a short lived pirate radio station and got my first gig at the local pub at 17. I was playing everything from electro pop to reggae, funk, soul, disco, rock, even Greek music… My fateful meeting with house music happened in 1993 when I visited a gay club in Athens called Factory. By that time, I had already left home after finishing my studies and my army service and was working in a bar in Piraeus, the port town in Athens. I remember coming out from the place in the morning and thinking this is my life path, it was such a revelation!
Back when you first started DJing, how was the underground scene in Greece?
It was exciting, just as it was in all the other big cities around the world when House music started to take over our lives! It was a purist heaven really, no gimmicks, no confetti or lasers, no media hype and no marketing… Plus most of the times we didn’t even know who was DJing. What was powering the whole thing was the anticipation for the weekend to see all those like-minded people and experience a musical revolution together. I remember my residency at a club in Thessaloniki called ‘Kinky Bambolina’ – yes I know it sounds like a prostitutes name, so what! We had 800 people on a Tuesday night with just the residents playing. It was really all about a basement, a red light and a feeling. Happy days!
What made you move to London to study Sound Engineering and did the experience live up to your expectations?
My decision to move to England was taken after I spend 6 months here with my girlfriend in the winter of 1994, were I met a rave crew from Luton called Exodus.They showed me for the first time the machines they were using to make electronic music and this was revelation number 2! It was easy to decide to come here permanently and I started working in a factory in Slough in order to save money to study at SAE. I remember the first time I went record shopping in Soho, I came out at Oxford Street tube station, turned towards Soho and was then led to the shops by the sub bass I could hear coming from different directions, it was as if I just landed in promised land.
Studying at SAE was one of the best decisions I have ever taken in my life, it was the best kick-start in production I could have wished for.
Once you had finished your studies you started up your own record labels; Funktastique Records and Bailado Music. Although you enjoyed a string of releases that gained support from Sasha, James Zabiela, Seb Fontaine, Steve Lawler, John Digweed, BBC Radio 1 and Kiss FM, how easy or difficult was it to run your own labels and achieve that kind of success?
I decided to release most of my early productions myself as I wasn’t a fan of waiting answers from record labels. Most people back then were doing the same thing, it was easy to do a P&D (Press and Distribution) deal, all you had to provide to the distributor was the music! Although promotion played a part on the success of your projects, it was easier even without promotion to sign a track on a good label after it got noticed because you pressed 300 copies and distributed them around London. There were probably 100 record shops, possibly even more, so the industry knew if a track would cut it or not. I miss the good old ‘just vinyl’ days to be honest with you, there was such a buzz around London on Saturday mornings, thousands were out shopping records, people even knew delivery times so they could be there first.
You became resident DJ at Cavo Paradiso, in Mykonos. How did that come about and how would you describe the vibe at the club?
The promoter from the Kinky Bambolina club in Thessaloniki introduced me to Cavo Paradiso in the winter of 1998/99. They were interested to book Erick Morillo and I had a contact with him through Tim Deluxe, so I made the deal, flew over with Erick, did my first gig and they offered me a permanent position as a resident DJ and artist booker, plus I was responsible of looking after the artists. Next year will be the club’s 20 year anniversary and my 15th consecutive season there, what can I say, it’s my home from home. The vibe cannot be described, you have to be there to experience it. I don’t think there are many clubs in the world located by the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea plus I am sure there are only a handful of clubs that can have a 40 back 2 back show schedule with the biggest names of the industry. Cavo Paradiso should be on people’s “things I have to do before I die” list.
Since then you have become resident at one of London fastest growing underground nights, Rhythmatic. A night which has played host to many outstanding DJs. What’s the principle behind the night?
The principle of our party couldn’t be any simpler: punter satisfaction!
There is no better feeling than receiving comments of appreciation and gratitude from people that trusted their Saturday night out to you. I mean, of course other things come into the equation such as breaking musical boundaries, reaching a togetherness on the dance-floor and so forth but if you zoom out and see the bigger picture, the party is the people, without them there can be no revolution!
Having played at numerous clubs and parties, which club would you say has been your favourite to play in and which party has been the craziest for you?
The first time I played at the Ministry was memorable for sure. I also love playing in Italy. I remember back in 2006 playing alongside Carl Cox in front of 5000 crazy Neapolitans at the famous Angels Of Love party. Rhythmatic events are always very special to me and the craziest of them all was at Cavo Paradiso in 2001; It was myself and John Digweed, I played from midnight to 4am and then John did the longest ever career set from 4am to 4pm. We went for a kebab afterwords and John passed out halfway though his on the way to the hotel. I think the word epic was invented for situations like this.
You have also played with some of the scene’s greatest DJs, which DJs are top of the list for you personally and has there been a DJ that really impressed you unexpectedly?
If I had to single out one DJ then I have to say Louie Vega, he influenced me so much on my early years in House music, so much that I named my son after him. The person that has impressed me the most recently is fellow Rhythmatic Archie Hamilton. I knew nothing about him before I was introduced to him by my partners and I was pleasantly surprised by his DJ sets. He has a matureness that is difficult to see in young DJs these days and I am sure he has a bright future in front of him.
As a DJ, what has been the most important tool or instrument for you?
Technics SL 1210 direct drive turntable system….Period!!!!
What do you have planned for the near future?
Lots of time in the studio with Archie Hamilton and Alex Celler, great Rhythmatic parties coming up and also looking forward to start writing about the scene and the politics of it all!
Ingrained into London’s underground clubbing scene as individuals for some years now, Italians Davide Zeta and Claudio Basile have truly become a force to be reckoned with since their decision to join forces a few years ago. As DZeta N’ Basile, the duo have managed to carve a name for themselves amongst the underground elite with their very own strain of stripped back, deep house. Already a favourite in the capital, regularly impressing at the city’s premier clubs such as Fabric, Ministry Of Sound and The Egg, the guys have also seen their skills behind the decks generating much more demand further afield into Europe in 2011. Recent months have found the guys in a prolific mood production-wise too, with a flurry of new material either just been released on the likes of VIVa MUSiC, Plastic City, 1Trax and Akbal Music or set to drop on equally impressive imprints in the coming weeks like Luna Records.
It’s easy to see that their stock is on the up, something that is only set to continue to rise in the near future, their G-Sounds mix rightly demonstrates that.
What were your very first influences of music that you can remember? Claudio: We have been involved in house music since the very early age, clubbing as teenagers in Milan since 1988 and dancing to acid house and the early techno. The Italian scene was very underground in those days, and our passion for house music quickly turned into two decks a mixer and a collection of vinyls.
Where exactly do you come from in Italy? Davide: We were both born and lived in Milan.
What made you both decide to move to London and was it something you did together, or did your collaboration actually start once in London? D: We actually met clubbing in Milan, as I was working as a promoter for some underground parties in the north of Italy. In 1997, both attracted by the London house scene, we decided to move to the capital, and quickly became very good friends but we only decided to start collaborating 10 years later.
Tell us a bit about how you both got involved in underground music? C: As I said before it all began at a very early age for both of us, but things really kicked off just over a year after moving to London, when I started DJing for Vertigo at The Cross, where Davide was working as a promoter. At the same time we both felt the desire to start making our own music, and after experimenting for a while with different softwares, we decided to take a music production course at the London School, Point Blank. After releasing a few tracks as solo artists, in 2008 we decided to work on the first project as DZeta N’ Basile, and four years on here we are!
What has been a highlight for you so far in London? D: London for us has been a roller-coaster of highlights since the very beginning, but honestly the last couple of years have been the most intense for us. Our main highlight must be when we were selected by 1Trax to remix the legendary “I’ll be your friend” by Robert Owens, alongside names such as Jamie Jones, Soul Clap, Matt Tolfrey and Inxec, Cozzy D and Claire Ripley. Also we have coming up our new EP,The Others, out on vinyl, on the wicked English imprint, Luna Records and best to come we were asked to remix “Bar A Thym” of house master Kerri Chandler in collaboration with our friend DJ Ivo Toscano, from the legendary label King Street.
You have provided us with the next instalment of G-Sounds, how would you describe the mix and is it very typical of what people can hear you play around London? C: It’s a blend of deep, tech and hypnotic sounds, always with an eye, each, on the dance-floor. Of course we try to adapt it to the particular time and place where we play, but we also want to make sure that the crowd can recognise our sound when we step on the decks.
You say that the Italian scene was very underground in those days, how do you feel that the scene has change, particularly in Milano, would you say it’s better or worse since your acid house days? D: Of course in those days the the underground scene was fresh and more exclusive than now, with a strong door policy that would guarantee a very selective crowd. Small clubs were dominating the scene rather that big venue as it happens nowadays. You can still find good parties in Milan, with loads of international DJs playing every weekend, but I think the nineties were on a different level.
Why do you think your collaboration or partnership works so well? C: I think that the point of strength of our collaboration is the fact that we come from the same house background and we can bring those influences into our music. Although we are very different in some sides of our character, we always try to bring our individual strengths in the work we do, and this seems to have paid off so far.
The last few years it seems that there has been a wave of Italian talent within the underground scene that has further strengthened the Italian calibre. What do you think has spurred this wave? C: I think that the Italian underground scene has been present in the industry for the last twenty years, let’s not forget that some of the biggest worldwide house hits were produced by Italians! Certainly the success of some of the best parties in Ibiza such as Circoloco has helped the Italian wave to grow in the last few years.
Apart from yourselves, who would be a stand-out Italian DJ in your eyes? D: If we have to pick a couple of names out of all the amazing Italian talents, those would probably be Marco Carola and Davide Squillace. And when you see them performing live you understand why!
Do you feel that an Italian DJ generally plays differently to an English or German DJ, and if so how and why? D: I don’t think is much a question of playing differently to an English or a German DJ, but it’s more about the connection that we make with the crowd.
Who or what has been a significant influence for you in the underground scene? C: For us the biggest and most significant influence has definitely been the classic house sound that has characterised our first years of clubbing and today is still having a big impact in the music that we produce in many ways.
What record are you playing a lot at the moment? D: As usual there’s always tons of great music in our bags, it’s always more a question of not having enough time to play everything. As we mentioned before, we just finished remixing “Bar A Thym” by the legendary Kerri Chandler, in collaboration with our friend from Circoloco, DJ Ivo Toscano. The release will include two remixes, one with a peak time feeling and the other for a more after hours sort of crowd. We’ve been playing both mixes a lot and they’ve both gone down quite well on the dance-floor!
What’s the best gig you’ve played so far and why? C: We’ve been playing at some amazing parties throughout our collaboration, but Room One at Fabric for WetYourSelf last year is still one of our most remarkable gigs to date. The response of the crowd was huge with a club offering one of the best sound system that you can find anywhere.
Living in London you must up picked up the slang. What are your favourite words and do you prefer English slang over Italian slang? D: Easy peasy, dodgy, mental and cock up are quite common during our conversations, especially during studio time although we always love a bit of our Italian slang, considering that we both come from Milan and we perfectly understand each other when talking slang.
Greg was touch by music from a very early age when he was given a soundtrack that took him on a sci-fi journey and as an impressionable young lad he was drawn into to the music. Since that very first moment, Greg has been embedded in music; currently resident for London promoters GetDownGood and contributing writer for their respected associated blog. By day, Sawyer works as the PR and Editorial Manager for house heavyweight Defected Records and contributes to leading electronic music magazine Resident Advisor. By night he spins at some of London’s hippest venues, playing alongside underground luminaries such as Osunlade, Daniel Bortz, Severino, Jichael Mackson and Sei A.
Darin Epsilon takes G-Sounds on a progressive journey…
Internationally acclaimed DJ, producer, radio host, and label owner Darin Epsilon is often referred to as a leader of the Progressive & Tech House scene. His ‘Perspectives’ radio show and podcast, along with his frequent guest appearances on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, allow him to reach out to listeners across the globe. He launched his record label ‘Perspectives Digital’ in November 2010 as an extension of the brand, further solidifying his influence and presence within the global dance community. To top it all, he was named one of the winners in John Digweed & Beatport’s DJ Competition during the summer of 2011.
Geshe Ewing was being influenced by music from a very young age and got his first pair of decks before he even hit his teens. By the time he was in his early teens, he was already DJing on London pirate radio stations, which finally lead him to play in some of London’s renowned clubs at the time.
After taking a short detour via Hip-Hop, Daniel has landed comfortably into the world of Berlin Techno and of Highgrade, a world where he finds himself in extremely good hands! At thirteen, Daniel started recording music from the radio and performing his first experiments in mixing music with a double cassette deck. Up until 1993 you could always find his Hip-Hop mix tapes circulating around West Berlin, that is until he found himself in the legendary Bunker club and experienced the infectious beats of Techno.
Establishing her deep raw sound on the London scene…
Originating from Sydney, Monika has been engulfed in the electronic music scene since 2000. Being at the forefront of underground deep and tech house she began establishing a name for herself playing at intimate clubs involved with Sydney’s intricate scene. It was during this time that Monika got involved in radio and landed a slot hosting and producing ‘Frequency’, FBI Radio’s Friday night electronic show.
Fresh on the scene both behind the decks and on the air her innovative style and approach to broadcasting proved to have an infectious effect on her listeners both on the air and in the clubs.