Joss Interview

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– How are things in life for you right now?
My life is full of dynamics: I strive to achieve my goals and plan a lot of new tasks. The team at Artreform regularly set ourselves new challenges. Honestly, we almost don’t have time to chill, but I’m happy with such a sсhedule. Sooner or later, it will bear fruit.

– How’s everything in Ukraine this summer? Have you been playing out a lot?
There are a lot of changes in Ukraine that happened this summer. Life is boiling up in the capital. After the recent resonant events, it was not so easy to gather a big amount of people in one place, but now things are changing. It was a great summer and the new club season promises to be interesting. There are several new projects coming and couple of high-capacity venues are opening in Kiev. I’m sure there will be a lot of people and a great atmosphere.

As for me personally, now I try to tour less and to devote more time to work in the studio. This summer I was able to perform in several clubs in Ukraine. These were mostly showcases of our label Artreform. At the moment I’m selective in choosing where to play, and I stick to the opinion that it is better to play less, but to do so only in those places that I like.

– Is the scene at home every bit as exciting as it’s ever been for you?
Ukraine is trying to show itself as a rapidly developing country in terms of music. Every year there is plenty of promising and talented artists who find their audience. Existing artists are gaining more weight in the international arena too: iO, Outstrip, Woo York, Nastia and others. And despite the hard times, we have a lot of fresh music releasing, which is definitely a good news.

– Where would you say has been your favorite place to play so far, and what makes it stand out from the others?
I’ve always sincerely sympathized with the Israeli techno scene. Their parties and their approach to having a good time is something that is close to me. They percept the music sincerely and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a big rave or a small club. Such impression I’ve got after my set in former club Omen 17, which left only pleasant memories. I also appreciate music of producers from Israel. I can  mark our good friends Gel Abril, Chaim, Guy J and one of my favorite producers Guy Gerber, with whom I, unfortunately, haven’t had the chance to meet yet.

– Have you ever held a residency? How have you residencies impacted you as a DJ?
I’m convinced that residency is a necessity for a DJ. In fact, it’s similar to regular work when, within a few hours, you repeatedly work on your skills with high precision. This is the only way to have your skills polished, to bring your musical taste to perfection, to learn to speak with a dance floor by the language of music and, of course, to achieve professionalism and knowledge. Certainly, I had this experience in my life too. I went through several stages of residency in the Ukrainian clubs and, of course, 7 years in the status of resident and artist of the Republic of Kazantip were not in vain. I’ve gotten a huge experience.

– How would you say your music has changed with the years? What influenced this change more than anything else?
I think that my music develops in a spiral, like everything on this planet. The timbres, the arrangements, the sound, trends, mastering engineers and studios were changing, but the meaning remains the same for many years now. It’s Techno, sometimes House in its different shapes. The main thing is that music to be honest, and this is possible only when you are honest before yourself.

– So tell us a bit about the latest Artreform release – what’s the vibe with it and how did it come about?
For the recent half a year we’ve put out a series of ‘vinyl only’ releases with interesting music from our favorite artists. Some of them are made a debut on our label, such as Chilean producer Larry Peters and Moscow producer Harry Light. But, nevertheless, their debut releases turned out to be very successful, with excellent support from artists around the world. This year, one of the pioneers of the German tech-house scene Benno Blome has presented his release on Artreform. His collaborative track with Big Bully is a kind of reissue of their original tune ‘Free Moving’, released on legendary Berlin label BAR25, in a new form with remixes from Tripmastaz and Rhadow! Also there’s a fresh repress of our last year’s prime time weapon ‘Adit’ from iO, once again stormed the charts on Decks.

It’s nice to see that people buy our music and that our records are still popular among collectors and DJs. It gives us the confidence and optimism. Not only the music is important for us, but the sound as well. That’s why we are releasing vinyl. As for styles, we try to release what we like, but we give preference to tech-house vibes and to all that’s related to it.

– And David Keno – are you a big fan of his and how did you end up getting him on remix duty?
I’ve played his records for a long time already and I definitely like what he’s doing. I love how his music works on the dance floor. And of course, we want to see more interesting and original artists on the label! I am very glad that my EP with his remix will be released very soon.

– How happy were you with the end product and can you describe your thinking behind the tracks? Was the finished product just like you imagined it’d be?
In my opinion, we did a good job on the ‘Rolling’ release, that was put out last year. I really like the sound that we’ve came to at the end. Remixes from some very experienced producers Frank Lorber and Pazkal added the gloss to it. We always try to bring the sound of all our releases to the maximum possible level of quality. Our friend and mastering engineer Oliver Lieb is helping us with that. He has been with us since the very first release. Probably, the release turns out well only when you put all your soul from the idea to the final stage .

– How would you describe the music you make to someone who’s yet to hear it?
I would describe it simply: tech-house music with soul, that’s as good to listen at home as it works well on the dance floor.

– How do you stay motivated musically? What’s influencing you a lot these days?
Music inspires me to make music. There’s the creative aspect, because music is one kind of our self-expression, as well as the competition aspect. Any artist or label wants his music to be heard and to be in great demand worldwide. So the combination of these two components inspires me to work.

– What are your hopes and dreams for the rest of the summer?
Summer has come to an end and there’s full of work and, hopefully, a fruitful autumn. Our team is inspired by our plans for this season. We’re inspired by our release plan, which is already scheduled until March 2016. We are preparing a lot of interesting records from no less interesting artists. I’m also in anticipation of my own new releases on Artreform and of negotiations with other labels where I want to release my music. And, of course, an upcoming trip to ADE, after which you feel truly greatly charged for the upcoming season.

– What 5 things would you bring to a desert island?
Of course, I’ll take something out of my studio equipment. Think synthesizers and mixing console as one item;)
– Computer. By the musical qualification – I’m a pianist and the programmer by the technical one. So I can’t live without technology.
– Family!
– Credit cards, though why would I need them there? But let it be! 😉
– Solar panels. It’s necessary to somehow get the food there 😉

Interview by Dan Mackenzie

Joss’ ‘Solely’ is out on Artreform on the 11th September

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