It is mentioned in your Bassiani profile that you draw on a wide range of musical styles as inspiration. What are your earliest memories of electronic music?
My first memories are of my parents’ tape-recorder. Using it, I used to listen to the radio continuously. They also had a record-player and records, and their collection included psychedelic rock, pop, soul, r’n’b and funk. But later when the internet came about, my music taste changed and I delved into genres like industrial, ambient, glitch, post-punk, synth pop, IDM, and much more. Throughout my whole life, music has always played a great role.
Can you describe your experience of growing up in post-Soviet Georgia?
I was born during the revolutionary events and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because of this and the drastic change in the system that affected the previous generation to such a huge extent, it also shaped my generation and me – we were the people of the transitional stage. I must acknowledge that it’s extremely difficult to live in Tbilisi but exciting at the same time, and even now I witness events and change taking place. The fact that Tbilisi is today going through the processes which most European countries have already experienced makes it really interesting to live through.
For me personally, it’s important to be a part of these processes and participate in them. My generation is making an attempt to act in this country and are determined to change things. For this to happen, it’s vital to always look to the events taking place and aim to understand them clearly so that we can be prepared for any threats to progress.
Within that context, what inspired you to get into DJing? Were you able to build a community that had a similar way of viewing these social changes to you?
I was a frequent visitor to nightclubs at an early age, but if I had to pinpoint a turning point for my relationship with clubbing culture, it would be Kreidler’s live set, which I attended at one of Tbilisi’s clubs. After that, I got really interested in DJing and production. Soon after that I was given an opportunity to learn how to play and I started playing at clubs. At the same moment that I started playing, Georgian electronic music was rapidly developing, and I was in a circle where we were all shaping and creating the scene that’s continuing in Georgia today.
All of the residents at Bassiani have very unique approaches and styles. What emotions or stories do you try to portray in your sets?
All sets are individual and I approach them as if I am crafting a musical composition. I try to bring varied sounds to my listeners. All of my sets have their own stories which start with me, and then at some point during the set, the music becomes independent and can be interpreted individually by the listener.
As my experience continues to grow, my sets tend to change in character and style. In the initial stages of DJing, it’s more difficult to convey the meaning of what you want to say and go with the flow, and it’s impossible to move forward and progress without self-confidence. I have taken so many influences from different genres, but now the shape and direction of my sets is much more distinct than it was four years ago.
Are there specific DJs that have helped you grow in this way or that inspire you?
I have been a loyal visitor to Bassiani since it was opened where I have listened to countless DJ sets. But among those that made an impression on me, I would single out Florian Kupfer, whose dynamic set I still remember vividly, and other artists like Wata Igarashi, Voiski, Blawan, and The Gods Planet.
Besides those, I have many other favourite artists, whose sets I always listen to with admiration and excitement. On 1st January, a Giegling night was held, and as you know, they were playing on the Bassiani stage during the nightclub raid on the 11th of May. That particular set will stick in my memory and has a special importance for me. And I’ll never forget Cadency [also known as Hector Oaks, a Bassiani and Herrensauna resident]’s extremely energetic and long sets performed on the Horoom stage [a room at Bassiani which is more house music-focused] which impacted me greatly. His selections are pretty varied and he merges them all together very harmoniously.
Among local DJs I would single out Zitto, who made a great contribution to the introduction and establishment of the techno sound with his diverse taste and professional attitude to this field. He is interesting and communicates something new to us each time he plays. Also HVL, who has a sophisticated taste and extremely interesting productions.