Skopje, Marcedonia has played host to some of Europes most infamous clandestine music assaults in recent years, effortlessly fullfilling the criteria thats required to manufacture precocious artists and this weeks guest is direct evidence of it. From actively absorbing the foundations of music theory from a young age, hes engineered an ecclectic acoustic artery thats been integral to the succeses of the Djibouti EP in 2009, in turn cementing his position firmly amoungst the Dogmatik dynasty. This event transpired concurrently with the founding of his own imprint, Argumento Music Group, alongside Aleksandar & Darko.
Pausing to reflect, the majority of the electronic populace would feel as though they were nearing consummation, though its his approach to personal development and an impetus thats aligned with acidic progress thats directly facilitated the forthcoming material on Tangible Assets – an introduction to the chaotic summer thats now on Europes doorstep.
Stojche orchestrates the illustration we’ve conceptualised that doubles as this weeks broadcast.
Kn: Lets start by reflecting back to your late teenage years growing up within the music scene of Skopje. What defining moments inspired you during that period that directly impacted and shaped the artist you’ve become today?
S: Definitely the underground techno scene in Skopje initiated my inspiration. There were countless parties back in the day happening every week in different venues. The godfathers of Techno like Derrick May, KMS, Carl Craig were regular guests here. I was impressed by the fact of how the dj art can control the senses and the emotions of such a large group of people. I guess that fact had a major impact on what I’m doing today.
Kn: The production quality of your records suggests an approach to sound design that is meticulous. Was there a defining moment when things catalysed for you in the studio?
S: When I started learning how to produce, it took me a lot of time, and I’m still learning new things and sharing experiences with friends everyday. My friend Darko introduced me to the basics and from there on I had to invest more in the learning process of the actual music theory. My uncle is a professional musician, so I took some time with him in the process of learning the scales, harmony and chord progressions until I was confident enough with the process. I then began the process of sending out demos to record labels, once I was happy with the level of maturity contained in my records.
Kn: Looking back, the release of your Djibouti EP in 2009 on Dogmatik presented an undeniable magic. It also marked another turning point in your career. Can you tell us how that particular release effected your own evolution, and what have you taken from it and adapted to your approach today?
S: Dogmatik records definitely opened a new chapter in my career and I’m glad that I’m a member of the Dogmatik family. My 1st record on the label received a tremendous amount of support and was a regular spin-out in the boxes of a lot of djs. From there, the relationship has been constant and as a result of my releases on Dogmatik, I have received extra work for many other projects.
Kn: Argumento Music Group was also cofounded in the same year, and represents a number of strong releases. Tell us how the opportunity came about and the importance that Argumento has to the region and the local music scene?
S: My partners and I (Aleksandar & Darko) came up with the idea of building up a platform that is going to give us the opportunity to spread the music that we believe is worth being heard and played. We started to collaborate with people from the region (Kink, Regen, Marko Nastic, Subotic) that already gave their contributions for the label and also guys like Franklin De Costa, Alex Arnout, Ryo Murakami, Bearweasel, Anton Zap etc; all artist’s who’s music we respect, and who we believe have impressive catalogues to date. We keep searching for new music and new artists to bring on board in the future.
Kn: Artist’s have something more to say than the music they’re making. ‘Tangible Assets’ is your latest endeavor as a label owner. What was the impetus in setting up a new ‘vinyl only’ platform and what vision do you have for the labels future development?
S: The idea came out spontaneously. I felt that I needed a solo platform to express myself deeper. I didn’t want to compromise on sound anymore and I wanted to share those ideas with people that are still playing the vinyl format and have enormous amount of passion and love for it. Tangible Assets works without any kind of promotion. There is a limited amount of pressed records, so being vinyl only (as with most of the music I buy) it’s a fresh and interesting method for me. Somehow I’m more emotionally linked to my records than the digital stuff. And I’m really doing this just for the love of music.
Kn: The forthcoming release on Tangible Assets showcases another extension and sound of your persona. Is your production approach toward each project/label one that requires a change of mindset or does it all distill into one subconscious move? And what does this second release represent for you, both musically and personally?
S: My production approach is the same for each project. There is no specific criteria. I want to keep pushing my sound with every opportunity. Yeah, the second release on Tangible Assets was a similar process as the first release; distilled from a subconscious move. I’m always keen on bringing various moods, themes, drums and melodies to one piece of vinyl. I’m driven by the feeling in any given moment in time. By listening and playing this release over and over it’s obvious where my influences are coming from. I was always influenced by the Detroit Techno, Chicago House, the Dub Techno etc. I’m always trying to combine all these various influences in my personal creative manner.
Kn: Culminating all your prior experiences, what stands out as the most valuable piece of advice that anyone has gifted you?
S: Be yourself, follow your heart, do what you feel is right. Don’t ever try to steal or copy someone else’s work, because it is going to turn out that you are just a cheap copy without any proper value!
Kn: As the electronic music world broadens, so too does the ecosystem in which it operates. As a label owner, what exciting possibilities or opportunities do you see emerging in the future for our music?
S: It is a great phenomenon that a lot of new young guys are getting involved. Also some of my heroes from the start when I got involved are still doing a great job. I think that the hyper production of tracks today is setting up higher norms in terms of quality of music, that is, if someone wants to breakthrough. The industry is craving hard work, uniqueness, personality, timeless tracks and soul rather than just bongos and loops. So, I like it this way because I see a bigger challenge when I’m in the studio. The same for Argumento, we’ve created a network of people that we believe is a strong team behind the label to contribute in reaching our objectives.
Kn: As we move forward toward the European summer, whats on the horizon in terms of releases, studio time, the labels and events?…and stepping away from music momentarily, are there any burning ambitions that need to be satisfied along the way?
S: Big studio action will be going on during the summer, I’ll be working on new material for Tangible Assets, preparing the new Argumento releases, and will be playing again at Exit Festival, some european gigs, some local gigs……and when we step away from music, I’m a big football fan. I want to see a much stronger Manchester United next season. I’m a huge fan of Man Utd. This week I saw the title ambitions fading away for United. My booking agent Tom Craven (Illusion Recordings) is from Manchester, also a UTD fella, I want to celebrate the 20th title at Old Trafford together with him and the rest of the Red devils.
info [at] theillusionagency.com