For our feature interview this week we catch up with Marijan Raskovic aka Jelly For The Babies. The Serbian producer came up through the electronic music underground with releases on Frisky Records, Balkan Connection and LuPS Records. His progressive house sound has evolved immensely over the last year and his ‘Dream Hunter Chronicles’ album was a great example of that. Marijan has gotten 2014 off to a great start with releases on Mirabilis, Particles, Soundteller, Suffused and PHW‘s new Elements label. This week sees the release of his debut single on Russia’s Clinique Recordings. It’s track entitled ‘Cosmopolis’ and it’s one of Jelly For The Babies most inspiring productions this year. We had a chance to catch up with Marijan just prior to the release and a transcription of the interview is below, we hope you enjoy it.
1. Hi Marijan, thanks so much for joining us here. Let’s give the people some sort of background info on you so we’ll start with some basic stuff. Where are you based and how long have you been DJing and producing?
Jelly For The Babies: Hi, glad to be here. I am from Serbia. I was born in Pancevo, raised in Arandjelovac, and right now i live in Belgrade so we can write down that as my “life tour de Serbia” 🙂 I started with experimenting on music when I was young so my first beats were produced in 2003. and that was the year i played my first gigs in Arandjelovac.
2. How did you first discover electronic music? Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
Jelly For The Babies: My family was musically raised and my mom and dad…well they were not musicians but they were listening some old disco vinyls when i was young and firstly i was into the rhythm and then melodies. They enrolled me in music school and i was playing harmonica but i wasn’t so good at it. I seriously wanted to play synthesizers but there aint synthesis in musical school. Latter than I discovered electronic music like breaks and lounge.
3. What is the electronic music scene like in Serbia? Are there clubs you can go to hear the music you love and do you get a chance to DJ very often in your home country?
Jelly For The Babies: Scene in Serbia is very poor. Everything is going commercial nowadays but as i saw and heard, it’s same in other countries too. We have few really cool clubs where you can hear some deep vibes and non commercial music but I am not going out so much. I have regular job and right now i am all about my regular job and music so i don’t have much time for giging, except when i play. As time goes by i am more and more sure that there is no place for me to play in this country. I played a lot here but those were mostly gigs i organised.
4. You just played a few gigs in Lithuania, tell us about those, how were they?
Jelly For The Babies: Lithuania is such a wonderful country! I met a lot of pleasant people over there. I think they are slowly building electronic scene and if I can help them somehow i am in! I played at two great clubs, G-Loft and Amigos and I am looking forward to play there again!
5. What do you do outside of electronic music? what is a regular day like for Jelly For The Babies and what do you enjoy doing besides producing and DJing?
Jelly For The Babies: I am IT at Economic Faculty in Belgrade so I am mostly spending my time at my work. Regular day is like work-breakfast-work-home-music-series/movies. When I catch some free time I am playin’ basketball. Pretty empty right? It’s time to start thinking about family.
6. You’ve got a brand new track entitled ‘Cosmopolis’ out this week on Clinique Recordings, it’s your first single for Clinique which is one of this year’s most consistent labels for progressive house. Tell us a bit about the track? How would you describe it?
Jelly For The Babies: “Cosmopolis” ahh…I am in love in retro space art and that was the main thing that inspired me for creating this single. It’s a dark tune with light moments. Defo something i will play in my sets. This is my debut release on great Clinique Recordings and I hope not the last. We have two great remixes in the release and one is supported by almighty Hernan Cattaneo! All I all one great release and I am super satisfied.
7. At some point in the last year your sound changed to something that is much deeper and a bit more broad? Is this something that just happened naturally in the studio or how did this progression happen?
Jelly For The Babies: I think my sounds were always a bit deeper. It’s just bpm I think lol.
8. Your ‘Dream Hunter Chronicles’ album was released last year on Balkan Connection, would you say that’s one of the most proud moments of your career? and now looking back on it what are your feeling about it?
Jelly For The Babies: When you expect a lot you will always get little and vice versa. But yes, album had some bright moments like Top100 Progressive House releases. Hey people! Buy my album! It’s cheaper than a pair of Nike socks 🙂
9. You’ve got one of the more unique artist names I’ve heard, how did you come up with ‘Jelly For The Babies’ as your alias?
Jelly For The Babies: To be honest, it’s just something that I said in that moment. There is no super interesting story about how I come up with that alias. If I said Monkey Yellow Pancakes that day i would probably be Monkey Yellow Pancakes today lol
10. So you’ve been producing for 11 years, how has your studio changed in that time?
Jelly For The Babies: It’s just typical home setup. I don’t have real studio. I bought monitors, midi controller and sound card. Earlier I worked a lot on my 512mb/ram computer where you need to export your work if you want to hear what you did.
11. What does the rest of 2014 look like for you, any upcoming releases you can tell us about?
Jelly For The Babies: I am negotiating about some international gigs with some pretty cool names (i will not reveal that sorry 🙂 ) and i am working on chill electronica release for Particles and one deep release signed for Heavenly Bodies but i assure you that this year will be a very fruitful year lol
Ok now it’s time for some quick fire stuff which is generally reserved for our 12 Questions segment but for the sake of this interview lets have some fun and add it on here.
12. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
Jelly For The Babies: The Prodigy – Weather Experience (Top Buzz Remix)
13. What was your first and last DJ gig?
Jelly For The Babies: January 2003. at Papilon Arandjelovac, and last was April 2014. Amigos Lithuania
14. What was the first and last record you purchased?
Jelly For The Babies: first Daft Punk – Burnin, last Jelly For The Babies – 10 Would Be Fine
15. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
Jelly For The Babies: Lithuania tour for sure!
16. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Jelly For The Babies: I don’t really like house music at all. Kidding…Lone guy with a good sense of humor (i think) But how can I know that when I am lone? lol
17. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Jelly For The Babies: Ednner Soares, L8M8, Carl Canni, Aras Zemaitis, Paul Matthews, Thomas Stoffer, Luciano Lima, Senores Funkees, Mou, Adriano Mattioli…
18. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Jelly For The Babies: Oliver Schories, Edu Imbernon, Azedia
19. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
Jelly For The Babies: Azedia – Thunder & Lightning Such a wonderful tune! Would love to be remixed by Hernan Cattaneo for sure!
20. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days and the majority of people feel most of them are mediocre music factories. Which ones if any standout for you?
Jelly For The Babies: Poker Flat
21. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Jelly For The Babies: Jamiroquai – Deeper Underground CD1 CD2 UK 12″ (they are all in one pack)
22. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: goulash with macaroni
Drink: rum cola
Drug: coca cola
Animal: dog, cat, turtles, fishes, parrots
TV Show: late night with jimmy fallon
Movie: Moon, Oblivion
Video Game: FM Manager
Album: Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene
Track / Song: Air – le femme d’argent
Producer / Band: Air, Jean Michel Jarre
Record Label: Poker Flat
Nightclub: Fabric, Octagon, Cocorico
DJ: Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo, LTJ Bukem
23. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Jelly For The Babies: Johannesburg (Original Mix)
Jelly For The Babies ‘Cosmopolis’ is out now on Clinique Recordings, you can purchase the release: here