On Friday the 23rd, Sono Unica will take over Kvarteret, bringing their own well-known distinctive sound, as well as one of Romanian’s finest DJ exports – Sepp. Having already played around the globe in places such as Sunwaves Festival in Romania,The BUNK3R in Sydney, at Electric Pickle in Miami, at Corvin Club in Budabest amongst other places, Sepp is on the verge of realeasing his first album on UVAR, the label he manages with fellow colleague Nu Zau. He’s also started out his own project, Catren, a lyrical inspired platform that aspires to a more organic and subtle sound than what we’ve come to know and love about him.
Meanwhile, we had a chat about growing up in Romania, his sound and inspirations as well as about his own take on different music-related matters.
Hi Sepp! Thank you for agreeing to have a chat with us. How are you this period and how has your summer been so far?
Hey. Thank you for the invite. This entire period has been quite crazy for me, in a good way. I got to travel a lot and play for amazing crowds from all around the world, from Europe, such as Frankfurt, Kiev, Belgrade, Barcelona, London, Ibiza (where I played at Underground for the first time and completely loved it), and so on.
Safe to say it has been a good year and it continues being so, both locally, having played at Sunwaves summer edition this year, and internationally, having in plan to return to other countries that I love such as Sweden, Finland, Israel, Swiss, South, Central and North America, etc.
Rominimal! How would you define it?
I believe Rominimal is a lot about the people: both the Romanian DJs and producers and the people listening to it. I think we each have our own way of understanding and playing this type of ″rominimal” and that at the end of the day, it’s all about the energy we transmit and that we receive back.
Why and how do you think this specific sound has risen into prominence?
As mentioned, I think it all lies in what it transmits to the public. People seemed to naturally find themselves into this type of music, and as everything else that is well perceived, its growth was rather organic. Of course, it would’t have been possible without the promoters, festivals and of course the crowds all around the world that also embraced our style and understood its potential from day 1.
How was it to grow up in Constanta and when was your first entry into the club scene there?
During summer time Constanta becomes the one of the main party scene in Romania and that’s because of Sunwaves festival as well as being an important destination for clubbers all around the world. Growing up there and being the resident DJ for LaMania club, which was one of the largest electronic clubs in the country and one of the top ones in the world (considering), allowed me to get a real sense of the people, of what they are looking for in music and in going out in general.
How has the club scene in Romania changed over the years from when you were a teenager and how do you think it will evolve in the coming years?
I believe Romania overall has grown and developed a lot over the past years, especially when it comes to art in general. People are eager to discover, experience and learn about new forms of art or new trends and even develop their own .. such as ″romanian microhouse” as people mention often.
I think the following years will bring further progress locally and internationally, with an even higher interest from abroad for Romanian music and the people behind it.
If we were to visit Romania, which clubs would you recommend us to go to except the known-touristic places?
Hah! There are so many clubs and venues that u can go, places where I’ve had such great times, it would be unfair to name only a few. However, I think that the people from @plan.program (a recent online events promo platform from RO) are doing a great job at promoting our events and, implicitly, places from around the country. You should definitely visit Romania and when you do, check them out. – they will lead you to the greatest spots.
Do you have a favorite place you played so far and if so what made that experience memorable?
I’ve added a lot of favorite places on my list over the past few years, but I have to admit I am still a huge fan of The Block from Tel Aviv and the sound system that makes every experience for an artist so memorable – Playing in a great room full of speakers that are adapted to a one of a kind mixer, well… that’s something you can’t forget.
3 words that describe the current vibe in the Romanian club scene?
″Amazing” and ″Constantly evolving”
‘Cantor des cimpoi’ is a track that has been stuck on our repeat button. How did you come about to produce it and in general what inspires productions like this one?
When I produced ″Cantor des cimpoi” I was going through a phase were I was looking to produce tracks as clean and natural as possible. For example, even though there are no actual sounds of a bagpipe (that’s “cimpoi” in romanian) in the song, the elements are inspired by instruments like this one: clean, with no “electronic” intervention on them.
As for the inspiration, I produce exactly what i feel :).
‘Voronet (la sud)’ is part of Si Cheile Bicazului EP that just came out last June. We love that track! How was it releasing on Rawax (for the second time)?
Thank you – happy you guys liked this one as well. As for Rawax, Robert is the guy behind this label and of course Pleasurezone the one where ″cantor des cimpoi” was released and it is always a pleasure to work. I was very happy to see how nicely people reacted to the releases.
What type of software do you use in your studio?
My music is a combination of software and hardware. However, when it comes to software, I use Ableton.
What do you want to transmit to the crowd when you are DJing and how do you prepare for a set? Do you have in mind a starting track or do you improvise judging on the place and crowd?
I believe ″good energy” would be the short answer to your question.
As mentioned, I always find my inspiration in my own feelings, while keeping in mind and at heart the people listening to my music – so yeah, I don’t actually prepare for a set. I show up and I go with my own flow and theirs.
I have read that you had been working in Marketing before. What made you to devote yourself full-time into music and ditch the 9 to 5 job?
I think that when you finally find your true calling, you want to devote more and more of your time to it and, in the end, all of it. That’s what made me quit my job: I chose music and to work hard for it, in order to turn it into both my passion and full time job.
Lastly, what should the crowd expect at your gig in Stockholm?
Well, I already know what to expect from Stockholm, since it will be my third time playing there – already did it at a wonderful event named Sono Unica, where everything was just perfect; always surprised to see their love towards the music and the event’s concept as well: super welcoming crowd, full of good vibes and energy. So they should expect exactly the same from me.
by Maria Pelagia for Kvarteret