Catching Up With..Varoslav + His mUmU Podcast
Not so long ago, we gave you lucky listeners an exclusive download to Varoslavs R2P002 release “You” on his label Rue de Plaisance. Not ones to do things at fiddly half measure, this time we’re back to bring you our interview with the Parisian house heavyweight as we get the story on Rue de Plaisance, the labels which inspire him and his honour to play mUmUs 4th birthday at our disco this Saturday night.
On an audio tip, we have Varoslav mUmU podcast on heavy rotation, treading different vibes, moods and grooves of experimental deep techno to funk driven house music.
Hi Varoslav. How did you hook up with mUmU and how does it feel to be a part of their birthday celebrations on 31st March?
It’s a pleasure for me. Trevor from mUmU asked me to do the March podcast for his website. At the same time I also got in touch with Lee, the resident DJ of the mUmu parties. Two weeks after, I got the request from fabric to play for mUmus birthday and I was really happy because I heard great things about their parties in UK. I did some cool parties in London but it's an honour to me to be invited for the birthday and to spin records at one of my favourite clubs in the world.
Can you tell us about the mUmU podcast you’ve done?
I tried to show some different faces, vibes, moods and grooves. I play from experimental deep techno to funky house music, sometimes up sometimes down with relief, dark and groovy - this is how I like it for podcasts. If I want to make some timeless podcast, it's important to put special music and not only fashionable tracks.
So tell us, are you a self taught music maker?
Yes totally. I grew up with some hip hop bands around me and for long time I was thinking that's not for me. When I got into the house music vibe and I saw that new cheaper technologies for producing music were out there, I suddenly felt that I had to try something. At this time, I started with my friend Lulu who is video maker now.Today I have the chance to be in touch and work with great musicians around me, it brings me a lot and I discover new things every day.
How would you describe your style and sound behind the decks to those who haven’t seen you play out and in what ways will you be pushing boundaries next month in Room Three?
I don’t know how to describe my style but I can tell you I’m going to prepare some great old records and some fresh deep house-techno music that you haven’t heard yet. There are some cool promos from my label coming soon.
We want to know all about your label, Rue de Plaisance. What was the decision to start your own label and how does it currently fit into flourishing French electronic music scene?
Rue de Plaisance is my baby. This is the name of my street, my studio is there and I was living in this place for years. After the little "success" of my bootleg label series, I got a lot of feedback and contacts with artists here and there in the world; it inspired me to make my own personal project.
Actually my graphic designer Cedric Virassamy is in charge of all the visuals, every drawing is a handmade one, with paintbrush and Indian ink. I’m so happy to have him invested like this on my project. My old friend Xavier Cariou is in charge of the photography side and my girlfriend who is helping me a lot is in charge of the label's management and also my bookings since the label started. I know many artists are looking for agents but I prefer to try to build something friendly. If people want you, they will find how to contact you. I really wanted to have direct contact with people, promoters etc.
I’m not looking for music demos mainly because I prefer to select artists by myself.I’m also close to my distributor Syncrophone and without them my story would not have seen the birth its had.
You took the reigns on 002 Rue de Plaisance, backed by Deetron's remixes. You kindly gave us the bonus track ‘You’ to download. Tell us about it for the listeners out there?
For the R2P002 I wanted to have a really personal release not based on the dance floor imprint but still groovy. This is why I called it 1OO (like 1OO bpm). I decided to pick some punchy remixers for this project with Chaim, Jef K and Gwen Maze's to make the release reach wider audience.
"You" is an original vocal track dedicated to my love. I was playing with my Juno 106 and my machine drum. I wanted something simple and I decided to keep the first recording of it. I’m also happy to give this present again to fabric's fans.
R2P004 "Better Talk" EP is ready to drop in April from yourself and David K, including two remixes from Seuil and James What. Can you tell us about the decision to collaborate with David K and what we can look forward to from the release package?
David is my best friend and this mean a lot to me. I consider him as one of the best artists/producers on the scene. l learnt a lot from him and during all the years he has always been a good advisor to me from the beginning. I’m really sad he has just moved to live in Berlin.
“Better talk” is one of the last tracks we did together before his move. It’s a simple acid track based on a big Juno bassline synth. We played with my vocals and totally destroyed the texture of it. I tried it in several clubs and people went really crazy when hearing it. My buddy Seuil who is a great artist gave me a trippy and really well produced interpretation of our track. James What takes a very nice place on the EP and I thank them again for their happiness and their support.
From 2007, you co- run the Supplement Facts imprint with Guy Gerber. Tell us about your time working together?
Working for Supplement Facts was definitely a great experience for me. I met amazing people and it gave me a lot of opportunities. I met Guy with David K a few years ago; he was just putting out his first album on Cocoon. They came to my house at night, we started to talk about music and I was playing some old records. This was the first meeting and after time we became good friends with Guy and one day he asked me if I would like to manage the label with him. It didn’t take me too much time to accept!
Even though I was quite far from his trancey music, I directly felt Guy's big grooves potential. He started to develop his new sound and I was feeling really good with him there. I started to bring my DJ background to the label to find some new and cool artists alongside Guy's productions and we made some of my best tracks. I had the chance to play in some of the best clubs in the world thanks to him. I decided to leave Supplement Facts last July. It was time for me to develop my label, to focus on my own imprints. It’s also more motivating to work for myself so now I’m looking into the future.
You’ve got remixes coming soon for Bad Animals, Bloop Records and Apparel. Can you drop us some remix tips and if you could have any artist remix one of your tracks who would it be?
It's important not to accept all requests. I have to select friends label or releases or at last for a label that I really like. I have no special rules, in general I like to go on the opposite way for remixes. It also depends a lot of the parts you receive. If they are good, it will be easier and better. In my dreams I wish I could get a big Kenny Larkin, Maurizio or Levon Vincent’s remix.
What other exciting projects do you have in the pipeline for 2012?
Actually I’m working on some different beats with my friend Gaffy. I don’t want to talk too much in advance. For Rue de Plaisance, I can say that a collaboration between Chaim and I is coming with great remixes from Franco Cinelli and Oskar Offermann. Also a really talented French new producer will join Rue de Plaisance's family so yes many things on the pipeline for 2012! Big thanks to the Rex club Paris, for supporting my project till the earliest days. I will host a summer residency for my label.
Finally, who do you look to for inspiration both in music and in life?
In music, my roots are definitely from hip-hop-soul funk of the 80- 90’s, I grew up in this vibe. Today labels like Dial, Pampa, White/aim, Rush Hour, K7, Circus Company are inspiring me for the variety in their releases. People I love in life are definitely my first inspiration.