Minimal and Techno legend and one of the most sought out women DJs – Sonja Moonear – will perform in Belgrade’s Barutana on September 22nd. After her debut before Serbian crowd at last year’s Let’s Mix It! Festival, Sonja returns to Belgrade.
She is the leading name of world’s underground electronic scene rightfully nicknamed “The Female Villalobos”. After studying classical music in her youth, Sonja Moonear set aside the piano in favour of the turntables and bought a Roland R8.
Surrounded by the Swiss mountains, Sonja immersed herself in the Geneva underground before finally infiltrating the ranks of the Weetamix residents in 2002. From that point on, participating in ever more ambitious projects, she was tapped by an international agency and started the road trip.
Moonear slowly began collaborating with artists – friends and crews – like Luciano or Cosmic Chile Zürich, along with Dandy Jack as Junction SM. She has acquired an impressive international reputation, playing in clubs and festivals worldwide.
In the last couple of years she’s been releasing her own tracks and remixes on renowned international labels such as Karat and Perlon. She runs the label Ruta5 and organises various events in Switzerland aswell as the ever growing Kiss Me festival. On top of that, she is a sound designer for the swiss-french TV.
This artist from Geneva evades easy categorization however: her sets reflect an enormous wealth of ideas and creativity and lead her to perpetually redefine her style. Her musical background, eclectic tastes and enviable record collection have made miss Moonear a much sought-after DJ.
Tell us more about yourself, so our crowd can get to know you better since this is your first time in Serbia.
Born in Iran, raised in Canada, lived a long time in Paris France. This is the basics of it. I’ve been a DJ for 20 years. I love what I do and find it the best feeling in the world to share this passion with music minded people and crowd.
How did you enter the world of Electronic Music?
In the mid-90s in Canada, we had an incredible rave and club scene. The reason I got into it at first was from a Chicago DJ/Producer by the name of Derrick Carter. His perfection in the art of mixing was/is unmatched and It sparked a lifelong interest in me
How has working with Ricardo affected your career? How have you started collaborating and what does it look like playing with him on tours?
Ricardo and I are great friends. This is the most important thing. He’s also one of my main inspirations from a musical perspective and as how he is with is fans and surroundings. His genius in the studio is undisputable. As DJs we have a very similar approach which is essentially to play to have fun. Not to overthink it. We also have the same obsession for old, obscure Chicago or New York records. This always creates fun conversations on the road. For all these reasons we enjoy playing together. We always have fun and this creates a lovely and relaxed atmosphere during our sets which gives a super nice result for the party. I’m very happy and humbled to be able to share my time on the road with such a great person. It has affected me positively in a lot of ways. You know, in this industry we have a lot of people that take themselves very seriously and change their attitude and approach towards people. What I’ve learned the most from our dear Ricci is that it’s important to always stay grounded and approachable to your crowd. This is a quality that is so beautiful to see.
What unique experience from your career won’t you ever forget?
If I had to pick one today, it would be when I played nearly 14 hours, with some of it being a surprise back to back set with Ricardo, at Sunwaves 2017.
What is your favorite party destination? Whose show wouldn’t you ever miss?
There has been so many amazing places I was privileged to play these past year. Again, Sunwaves is one destination I hope to be a part of for years to come. Caprice festival. Piknic Electronik in Santiago, Chile. Aside from that, if I have an off night and ZIP is DJing somewhere, I wouldn’t miss it.
Your favorite artist and album of all time?
This is always tough to answer. Prince will forever be in my top artists of all time. Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” is an album that has stayed close to me since it was released.
Your top 3 tracks of any genre?
Tone Theory (Derrick Carter) – Limbo of vanished possibilities
Prince – Uptown
Arthur Russell – That’s us/wild combination
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t plan much in advance. My goal is to keep doing what I’m doing and make sure I enjoy it as much as I do today, every day. The day it’s not fun anymore is the day I stop.
Do you have something special in store for our crowd, what can we expect?
I’m really excited to be in Belgrade because it’s my first time there. I’m very much into reviewing a city’s history before I travel there for the first time. I look forward to being there and to play for a new crowd. I usually pack more records when I go somewhere new, so you can bet I will be ready. Expect to dance on June 15th
Born in Barcelona, Lexlay has been showing the world his own way of understanding music for more than a decade. After years of work and driven by his resourceful character he´s been placed in a respectable position in the national electronic music scene. We caught up with him before his Belgrade premiere on May 18th in Barutana.
You started three projects: Happy Techno, Lexlay & Friends and the Happy Techno Music record label. Tell us more about them and how difficult it is to manage a successful brand; what is the road to success?
I started around 12 years ago, with my party brand Happy Techno and also my artist name Lexlay. Along the way I realized that it was also necessary to have a record label to explain to the world my particular vision of music. About the second question…the road to success is unstable, unpredictable, today you can be up and tomorrow down. I think the most difficult part is not to become successful, but to be able to maintain success for a long period of time.
Techno music is constantly changing. How do you deal with all those changes on the scene and music market?
This question refers to what I have said before, to be up to date, to work hard and to adapt to the new currents … in short, to constantly update and renew oneself. We are in a new era where changes happen faster. In addition, in the music industry these changes are more accentuated by the great competition with great artists, record labels, artist agencies etc .
What is your favorite party destination and whose show would you never miss?
Without a doubt it would be Tomorrowland, for its positive energy, open air, the amount of people that come to this festival. I am a person who moves by positive energies and Tomorrowland gives me a very good vibes.
We heard that you eat eggs and kiwi for breakfast. Do you have any other interesting food combinations? How do you find balance between the nightlife and a healthy lifestyle?
One of the keys to managing the stress that this life entails, is undoubtedly eating healthily, playing sports. It is very important to have a balanced mental life, sport is my way of escape, to feeling relaxed after a hard day’s work.
This is your first show in Belgrade. What can our crowd expect from you on May 18th in Barutana?
What people can expect from my set, is a lot of energy, happiness and high doses of good proper dancefloor music. I’m going to mix tech-house and techno, I hope people go home with a big smile on their face.
How does it feel when your dream comes true and did you have doubts on way to the top?
Actually, nothing really changed. I’m still doing my job. I am still believing in myself and the thing that I’m doing. In the first 8 years of my career, it didn’t work out so well. I needed to work as a bartender to earn a living. After that it got better step by step. At some point, I could afford to have my band play with me. Then I was able to move the studio from my living room to an actual studio place. In the end, it does not feel like a dream come true. Maybe because it was a gradual and long process and I needed to work hard to make this happen. It’s not like I won the lottery. What people don’t see is that I’m also just doing a job. It’s frustrating at times and it’s often hard to motivate myself because of the enormous pressure to keep producing and releasing. People consume a track in 5-7 minutes but don’t realise how much time and energy went into those 5-8 minutes. But this is me complaining on a high level. Being able to earn a living through music makes me happy in the bigger picture. A dream come true would be a house in the mountains though. 🙂
Why did you decide to include band in your live performance and what is the most exciting thing about performing live with a band?
It’s much more fun to play with the band. On my own, I’m pushing buttons, playing samples and mixing them live. With the band, there’s a totally different dynamic on stage. The guys and me have been friends for such a long time now, we even played in the same punk rock band back in the days. So obviously, it’s much more fun to travel and rock together. Maybe you can compare this to playing soccer. It’s fun to shoot a ball by yourself. But it’s a different and much more rewarding and fun experience in a team. There’s also more room for surprises. Not everything works out when we’re playing with the band. But sometimes things happen, that we could not have planned any better. Those moments are amazing. We are creating something new while 5000 people are there with us to witness this moment.
Is there a finish in art career? Are there things which you achieve and after them you can say your heart is full and you are done?
No! Thankfully there is no such thing as an end. I wouldn’t want to do a job that you can fully complete without any chance of development. I love the fact that it’s not only possible but almost mandatory to reinvent yourself in my line of work. It’s a challenge but also the biggest reward. I don’t see myself ever completing music. At least not in a lifetime. Maybe I won’t be on stage for all my life. But I definitely will make music one way or another.
Your favourite artist and album of all times?
The answer to this question is always a different one. It changes the way I change as a person. A couple of years ago and for some time, Trentemøller’s Last Resort was my favourite, after that I loved Stephan Bodzin’s Power’s of Ten. Back in the days, my favourite album of all times used to be Radiohead’s OK Computer. In general, I have to admit that I’m not a person who listens to an albums from start to finish. The reason: There’s always been a song or songs on every album, that I didn’t like as much. That’s even true for my own album. 🙂
What’s on your bucket list?
To stay satisfied and healthy, to reduce stress, drink less alcohol and work out more, to go hiking for 3 weeks in Patagonia, and Nepal, and to make the people in the audience happy with my music.
From your last performance in Belgrade it has been a year, what exciting happened in the meantime?
We’re almost at the point of finally releasing our audiovisual album that my band and I have been working on for the past 1.5 years, so working on that project was one hell of an exciting journey.
You are inspired by well known artist like Kubrick, Lynch, Bergman, Dali… Are there some contemporary artist which you would like to point out?
I follow too many different ways of artistic movements that I can’t choose just a few artists to be honest 🙂
Top 3 tracks of all times from various genres?
Oh, guys, this is a very tough question haha. There would be a lot more than just three.
Your new album or better to say project will be finally released in April. Tell us how was the whole experience during that journey?
Crazy, challenging, a bit exhausting at times, but overall amazing. This might be one of the biggest projects of my career, so I’m very proud and happy we’ve managed to turn into reality.
You already met our crowd, what do you expect from them this time and what can they expect from you?
We loved the crowd last time we played in Belgrade, it was very open-minded and the vibes were just great. We had a good time and we are really looking forward to coming back on the 13th. Pretty sure it will be just as great!
Barutana and Blender announce with great excitement the appearance of the unique Denis Sulta at the most beautiful open summer location in Belgrade.
Denis Sulta distinguished himself as one of the most exciting young names of the fruitful musical underground scene in a short period of time. His unique sound is carefully crafted, and he owes most of his music education to working in an internationally renowned Rubadube record store.
Holding his craft under the leadership of some of the most respected local music selectors, DJs and producers, Denis Sulta was given the opportunity to present his vocal performances for Dixon Avenue Bassement Jams in 2014. Even then, the electronic music industry acknowledged his rich and dominant abilities along piercing releases for the Numbers label, and more recently for its own label Sulta Selects.
Sulta has a very precise and diverse approach to dance music. He immediately distinguished himself with the visible ability to reach incredible heights for someone who is still at the beginning of his journey. Constant praise and support from colleague DJs and producers, some of whom, Jackmaster, Skream, Four Tet and Optimo, greatly helped the hard work of Sulta’s work, which eventually led to collaborating on projects for Annie Mac together on Radio 1 and the legendary club Space on Ibiza.
This extravagant producer has successfully graduated from the Red Bull Academy in Montreal, currently playing radio stations and clubs around the world. In 2016 he reached the 26th place of the Resident Advisor list, becoming the best-listed new artist, arguably of all time. It is undoubtedly clear that there’s no slowing down the rhythm for the already famous Mr. Sulta.
Jan Blomqvist, an avant-garde German electro-pop artist and one of the most sought-after live actors in the world, will perform for the first time in Belgrade, accompanied by a band, on Friday, April 13, in Hangar near Luka Belgrade (Knežopoljska 3). Spanish DJ, producer and live act artist Henry Saiz with the band will be the supporting act for the night.
Jan Blomqvist invented the concept of a concert featuring techno sound with dreamy vocals and simple minimal notes. Growing up, he played in grunge and punk rock bands, until the age of nineteen, when he moved to Berlin and soon became fascinated by electronic music. James Holden and Stephan Bodzin were his heroes. He absorbed a lot of musical knowledge through Radiohead concerts, clubs like Bar25 and after parties. He wanted to bring a concert feeling to the dance floor through a combination of simple vocals and minimal beats; to introduce R’n’R into clubs; to keep everything simple using fine details. Jan Blomqvist’s performance at the Fusion Festival in 2011 was singled out by all of this, at the same time making a turning point in his career. That same year, he published releases for Dantze and Stilvor Talent. A year later, his legendary concert on the terrace of the Berlin club Weekend made him stand out from the rest. In the next three years he had 350 performances in the world’s major metropolises. Jan’s first album, Remote Control, was released in 2016, and has been a great success with its modern portraits of Portishead and Radiohead, along with r’n’b, soul vocals, perfectly packed with an unavoidable minimum beat throughout.
As one of the most talented on the electronic music scene, Henry Saiz has made a unique journey in his musical career for over ten years, distinguishing himself with a specific sound combining the influences of club music and a wide range of musical styles such as the pop 80s and progressive rock. The music he composed was always ahead of his time. Wanting to get closer to the audience, he returned to his first love, live performances with the band. One of the pinnacles of the live band concept of this electronic trio is their Boiler Room debut in 2015, an absolutely brilliant performance full of soul, powerful grudge, seductive vocals and exciting emotions, featuring their special approach to house music. Last year he started an audio-visual project in which he recorded 10 songs in 10 different and unusual locations around the world. The concept of this album, which will be released on April 13th, is to materialize the essence of every place and convert it into a song. On some of the adventures on this trip they recorded the sound of a synthesizer inside the pyramids of Egypt, composed the theme during a walk in the national park where the unusual Joshua tree grows, made a song in Tokyo with the help of virtual singers, played drums in volcanic caves on Lanzarote Island and had a techno jam session with members of the Massai tribe. Henry Saiz performed all over the planet and was part of the festivals, such as Sonar, Glastonbury, Ultra, EXIT, Creamfields and Global Gathering and popular Circoloco parties in the DC10 Ibiza.
Tickets for this event are available at Gigstix and Eventim ticket stores.
After a series of incredible bookings, Blender platform again decided to launch the event that will announce and set on fire to the summer season on Kalemegdan fortress. Under the open sky of the most picturesque clubbing location in Belgrade, two great names of world Progressive scene, Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren will give their performances on June 8.
In the recent explosion of talents and deejays produced by the music industry in the last couple of years, rare are those who can boast of their long-lived careers set in stone three years ago like the artist Hernan Cattaneo. He is one of the leading underground artists that Argentinian House scene can offer to the international one. His sound sets in the borders of Progressive, House and Techno, and he is also the founder of “Sudbeat” record label and the host of a show which goal was to introduce new talents to the scene, apart those well-known like Guy J, Nick Warren and Henry Saiz.
Put simply, DJ Nick Warren is the ambassador of Electronic Music. He has eight albums released on “Global Underground” label, tracks on “Renaissance” and “Balance Series” labels and the new and popular “The Soundgarden” mixes which all make him one of the first superstar deejays in the world, that decades later holds on to that very same title. Warren has a sort of musical depth and variety that make his every performance a unique listening experience, while his specific approach enabled him to connect with clubbers all over the world. Despite all his achievements, Nick Warren does not rest on his laurels, but always keeps focused on future projects.
A favorite of Belgrade’s crowd will shake the walls of Hangar doing what he does best on March 3. The excitement is mutual, and Belgrade has become one of Matador’s favorite party destinations. The crowd took great interest in his previous appearance and the sold-out show was remembered as one of his best. Impatiently, we await this event and Matador who will leave us breathless as always!
Gavin Lynch, known as Matador, was born in Dublin where he started his career as a sound engineer and DJ in smaller clubs, carefully planning his next big step. In just three years, he climbed to the top of the global DJ scene, vastly helped by Richie Hawtin’s record label “Minus”. Soon enough, Matador was on every major clubbing event line-up around the most famous worldwide clubs, alongside other DJs on the “Minus” label. In 2014 he was declared as the best LIVE act in Ibiza, and year by year he confirms it.
The Islandic avant-garde electro sensation, GusGus, will perform in Hangar Luke Beograd on December 8. Supporting acts will consist out of the experimental duo Karpov Not Kasparov from Bucharest, as well as the local duo of Chorbika and MKDSL, a producer and multi-instrumentalist.
Ten years after their amazing Belgrade concert, GusGus is preparing a new, extravagant harmony of music and stage performance, with a lot of positive energy, still using analog equipment for maintaining that real electronic sound. Just before the release of their 10th album Lies Are More Flexible, Serbian crowd will be among the first ones to hear their new songs live.
They follow the principles of music being an unlimited process of creativity and they are able to create their unique sound mainly because they never gravitated to some popular music trends, but staying true to their souls. Although authentic and unusual, after two decades on the scene they are still exploring. On their return to Belgrade, this is what they had to say:
The show that we prepared will cover our entire career up to the latest works. We carefully selected the songs we are going to perform. Every time we go on stage, we do it with an intention of making a spectacular show. Over the last couple of months we performed in Russia, USA, Mexico and Eastern Europe and the reactions were incredible. People were screaming out of joy and happiness, and that is exactly what we want to happen in Belgrade. Expect a ton of positive energy and emotional charge, just as on the previous show. It is going to be terrific and exciting, a true eruption of pleasure.
GusGus was founded in 1995 as a collective of musicians, producers, movie creators and performers, during the shooting of the movie Pleasure (Nautn). Their second album Polydistortion from 1997, made them celebrities in Great Britain, after which they sold out many shows all over the world. They climbed to the top of the charts several years later with their single David, on their 4th studio album Attention (2002). Their biggest success was the Arabian Horse release in 2011 with hits like Over and Arabian Horse.
They are known for their eclectic sound and unconventional fusion of Electro, Techno, Trip hop and House, effectually combined with Pop and other music genres. They collaborated with numerous legendary artists such as Björk, Roisin Murphy, Depeche Mode, Sigur Rós and Ian Brown.
Karpov Not Kasparov from Bucharest, was founded in 2009 and many people call them the GusGus of the East. Their sets are done in form of an experimental live show, and they truly bring something special to the table. They have highs and lows, plot twists and near climaxes, like any good chess game. Like in chess, on which rules and strategies they base their musical creation, Karpov not Kasparov’s sound is a mathematical fusion of electronic music, an early 80’s sound and some jazzy-oriental flavors.