The latest artist to contribute to our mix series, Rhadoo, comes from a time where access to music was anything but instant. You couldn’t just tap in any DJ’s name into Google and instantly be able to hit play on their back catalogue of works, or just head to an online portal and be fed a string of audio to whet your palette if you hadn’t gotten as far as figuring out who you actually wanted to listen to yet. Today we are situated in a world where every effort is made to make sure information is on every possible platform available, if it’s not there it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist at all.
It didn’t used to be that way, we’re always hearing tales of lament over the good days past where people actually gave a damn and made the effort. With everyone shouting so loud there is something quite profound in the actions of those who purposefully mute their promotion and let the faith in dedication to music let the real appreciators gravitate themselves towards their output and happenings. Just like the good old days, those lost values come back into play and there’s something inspiring when you really think about it. Less the hype, less the hard sell but full of feeling and beliefs in true appreciators of the scene.
These are the values we are left to ponder after speaking with Rhadoo in our interview below and what is a very rare opportunity to engage in [email] conversation with the mostly press-aloof DJ. In it we get his own insight into what drives him with music and the answer is a pretty simple and honest, passionate approach to sharing and creating with those who care to listen.
So we really wanted to start from the beginning of your story, can you tell us a bit about when you first made your connection with music?
From an early age, I’d say. Music was always around the house, my parents were big music lovers and mainly listened to folk and jazz. We always had parties going on in the house, so I was there listening and observing.
From what I understand it wasn’t all that easy to get hold of electronic music when you were younger, so how exactly did you first hear dance music, what were your sources?
It wasn’t easy to find music in general. It was the time of dictatorial communism [in Romania]. The omnipotent party and the fearless leader. It was always about knowing someone who had something music related who was buying, borrowing, recording. It wasn’t easy but it was fun, the whole process was like a quest. Then when I got into DJing communism was gone but it was still hard to find records and information. The closest places to buy records was Budapest, Prague and Istanbul.
When did things begin to develop in Romania, when was there more access to quality electronic music and when did you start to see its own scene start to emerge?
It was around 92-93 I guess when I started to hear about Romanian DJs, bands doing something more cerebral and dance oriented music. There were the first clubs, first parties around that time but it was still a very small scene. I remember my first parties playing, a night with 50 people, I considered it a success. By around 97-98 we already had a bit of a movement underway.
When did you start getting involved yourself?
I think around 95. We were a bunch of friends, basically getting together in to a bar or some music friendly place, playing new findings one to each other. People just started following this.
That leads us to [a:rpia:r]– can you tell us a bit about the ideas that founded the parties and label initially?
When I started working, the DJs were working for clubs as permanent employees. So you can imagine, that any new comer was seen as a threat. So I dreamed about this community, where we could share ideas, music and work together without competition. During this time, I met Petre [Inspirescu], then Raresh, and then other friends started to appear. We started playing together doing things, until at one moment, the label idea became obvious. Since the beginning, the label has always been about releasing tracks of us, our friends and ideas that we liked.
How much does this reflect what’s going on locally? You’re travelling a lot now with your work do you still connect to it?
If you mean the music released on the label and what I play, it’s the very reflection of it. Yes, I travel a lot, but, I try, at least once a month, to party together with my friends here [in Bucharest] I still get to listen to my friends.
You’ve said about the release in your quotes about it, that you really wanted this to be a platform for these artists and your friends why was it important that you did that?
This is such a big topic for me, but I’ll try and keep it brief. Most of the people on this CD are people that I trust, not only with the tracks I chose for the mix but for their entire vision of their production. Most of them sacrifice a lot to be able to spend their time working on music and following their imagination. It’s the same thing like choosing records, you make a selection to have a good night at the club. Helping talented people is a selection for many nights to come. On the CD you only have a small amount of the people I trust and work with. It’s where the mix took me.
Can you talk a bit about these artists and the creative community it seems that you’re really driving that now, not just with featuring them on this CD but with activities you have going on there that you’re involved with?
I don’t think I am driving anything, it’s just a bunch of people sharing the same enthusiasm for the music. We play each other’s tracks and we share our thoughts on them. About the other things we’re doing here, I’d prefer not to talk right now. I think it’s nice when you discover things for yourself, when you dig for what you like.
You’ve included a remix from Craig Richards on here, what do you like about that track and how has Craig helped or inspired you?
This track has not left my bag for the last 5-6 years. I’ve listened throughout this time to most of 2020 Vision’s releases and never stumbled on this, it was a nice surprise when I did. This track has been out there for a long time and I’ve never heard anyone playing it. Craig is someone I’ve always looked up to. He is someone that has left his mark on this scene in a very discreet way.
How does the mix link into what you’re doing as a DJ when you’re playing in the club?
At least half of these tracks I’ve played in clubs for a while now, maybe at a bit of a faster tempo.
As well as being a platform for these artists what did you think about in terms about how you wanted your own sound to be represented on this release?
Firstly I don’t think this is about my sound, I also didn’t mean it as something spectacular. It’s just a mix of tracks I like. I tried to do a mix that even though it sounds like the club, it’s something for people to play at home. I thought about those mornings when I get home after the club and spend a couple more hours after the craziness [sitting up] and the music is somewhere on in the background.
How do you see the release as a point in your story, what do you think your next move is going to be?
It’s obviously a big thing for me, I mean I’ve listened to the compilations for years and wouldn’t have even dared to dream that I would ever do one. I will treasure this moment and keep doing the same things as always. Looking for music and trying to be better at what I do and love.