DJ Tash has been at the forefront of electronic music culture in Greece for the better part of the last 4 years. His Movement Recordings imprint is now one of Europe’s premier progressive house labels and boosts an artist roster that includes: Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile, Cid Inc., Darin Epsilon, Eelke Kleijn, Guy Mantzur, Dousk, Luis Junior and Magitman. His Movement events, nights and stages which seem to be popping up at festivals and clubs all over Europe continue to showcase the best and most cutting edge electronic music on the planet.Tash has been on a huge tour all summer long and we had a chance to catch up with him just following his gig at the massive Ozora Festival in Hungary; a transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. Most of our readers know you from your productions on Tribal Vision, Vapour and Lowbit and also for being the brains behind Movement Recordings but what were you doing before all this? Were you involved in the electronic music industry? And what was it that led you to start Movement Recordings?
Tash: Well, from my childhood I grew up with a lot of music & arts surrounding me, I nowadays feel very lucky and thankful for that. From high-school I was involved in Graffiti, having my first touch with Dj Gear & Turntables from my past with HipHop, Funky Breaks & Miami Bass sounds. At the age of 16 I discovered Progressive House & Breaks, buying my first EDM Vinyls & getting my first Residency @ Mojo Bar in my hometown (Veria, Greece) in ’00!
There was the place where I met my best friend, mentor & partner-in-crime Stage Van H from Holland, delivering a massive warm up set with common vinyls of his destroying his planned set & we immediately stick together and started playing gigs around the country, and later on start working on our own beats in mid ‘00s.. Our first releases came on labels like Greed’s SOG Records, Italian Presslab, Balkan Connection, Kasey’s Vapour & more as well as my solo works for Pure Substance, Tribal Vision, Echoes, Andy Moor’s AVA Rec, ao.
For the next 3 years, we became also busy promoting our DJM (Dj Movement) events as well as playing at major gigs in ’05 and since then we hooked up with some great artists, such as: Kasey Taylor, Andy Moor, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Gabriel & Dresden, Eelke Kleijn, Leama & more, sharing thoughts, ideas & decks, and we ended up at the conclusion that if we’d need our works released properly, we should launch our own label, as many of our international friends have suggested.. So we took our chances & released the debut Tash & Stage Van H album entitled ‘Movement’ on CD & Digital format, as the launching release of our child, Movement Recordings!
2. We hear you’ve been on quite a long tour over the last few months, whereabouts have you been and give us some highlights of some the events you’ve played.
Tash: The last 4 months I have been around Israel, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary & Greece, meeting & sharing decks with really good friends & great artists such as Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Eelke Kleijn, Luis Bondio, and more to mention.. Also, in April 2013 we had the 1st edition of our festival in the city of Thessaloniki where our base is, entitled 41N Festival (41 Degrees North = Latitude of Thessaloniki), which was another dream of the founders of Movement getting flesh & bones through a beautiful collaboration with great people helping the Movement family grow bigger! However, my most recent & great experience would be O.Z.O.R.A. Festival in Hungary, being the biggest gig this year (20,000ppl) – after last year’s FusioN Festival in Germany (50,000ppl) – playing in August 9that the Pumpui stage featured with artists like Minilogue, Dnox & Beckers, Lank and many more!
3. How tough is it trying to produce on the road? do you get much work done? and are there any interesting collaborations that we may hear as a result of your travels?
Tash: I think producing on the road could be either the easiest or the toughest thing.. There might be Artists that cannot produce ‘on the road’ or be tight cause of itineraries, but most of the times for me is like the happy Breaks of my ‘Writer’s Block’ while I’m busy with various things back in the base. The last months I have traveled & shared ideas with many friends & there are definitely some cool new stuff and experiments to be accomplished but till now they remain in the unfinished folder so I’d like to keep them secret for now, and I really hope to surprise you in the coming months!
4. When we last spoke to you the Movement Nights at Volt were running pretty regularly, you’ve moved on from that since then. Have you basically taken Movement on the road to some extent? Are all the parties and gigs you’re playing all over Europe an extension of Movement so to speak?
Tash: Well, Volt was something very important for me personally & Movement. The management of the club (by Movement) helped us to provide to the local crowd some top club nights with important artists of the EDM Industry from House, Progressive to Techno & Trance. For me it was something really unpredictable in between the hard times Greece is being through with Economy to gather people back in the club & make the difference in the territory, but the most important for me was the chance to have some great artists and never heard in the city playing, and building some very influential relationships with people worldwide.
The magical thing in the Movement nights @ VOLT was the vibe, the mood and the need of people to have fun & dance with the finest quality of EDM music that can be provided.. So after getting connected with promoters, clubs & artists abroad, finding lots in common & trust which is the most important, we made some very good friendships based on common ideas & progressive thinking that we found very familiar with us.. After that, we thought that it would be nice to ‘move’ the greek Movement vibe into other countries & shows that our label artists (brothers/sisters) can be involved!
5. So Movement’s up to almost 80 releases now, Hernan Cattaneo, Cid Inc., Dousk, Deepfunk and a long list of top producers have made appearances. We can guess you have some great stuff coming for the rest of 2013, what can we expect hear?
Tash: We definitely wanna focus on Artists that ‘feel’ the Movement vibes & we already consider as family, but Movement was mainly launch to promote fresh & cool new stuff (besides our work). Killer works are coming up next from ‘usual suspects’ of Movement such as Nikko.Z, Luis Bondio, Cesar Lombardi, Beat Syndrome, Marcelo Vasami, Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic, Stergios, Weepee, Erdi Irmak, that bast@rds Tash & SVH and more, as well as some cool new additions on the roster incl. Sahar, Tim Penner, Dale Middleton, Tvardovsky between others!
6. Movement’s been running for many years now, the label recently celebrated its 4th birthday. Going back and looking at your vision of the label when it started are you happy with what you’ve achieved so far and what are your goals for the future of Movement?
Tash: Well, as I told you in first sight we have launch the label to promote and push our own work as well as friends’ music that we thought proper to be heard and danced.. We never thought it would grow that much & Artists that were our ‘masters’ to be featured on our Catalogue, so this was totally bigger than our expectations and I really feel blessed & thankful for that! I think that the next goal for the future would be to exceed our nowadays’ expectation, with the Movement nights becoming transatlantic in order to bring the Movement vibes in other continents as well!
7. You’ve recently started a new division of the label called Movement Dark Roasted, what can you tell us about that?
Tash: As a Producer & a Party Animal, since the past I’ve been attending various kind of events & was really attracted by the Psy/Prog Trance scene.. At the Volt times, where we had also some trance nights, I came very close with many skillful Artists of the scene, admiring a lot the crowd of this scene & being introduced through the same vibes & feeling of the Movement nights! So after Volt, and together with my nowadays partners in 41N Festival – being involved in the Trance happenings years ago – we have start some fresh Psy/Prog Trance events series in Thessaloniki, creating an amazing core of people following our events & bringing back the groove on the dancefloor with the contribution of many important Artists of the scene, putting g their trust & support on us.. The support & love of the people brought the result to launch MDR, pushing sounds of Artists involved in the MDR events!
8. The current trend in electronic music has certainly been a deeper sound, has this had and influence over type of music you play in your DJ sets and also look to sign on Movement?
Tash: What I used to say when we’ve been listening on demos with Stage in first sight, was that we need music ‘that shakes our a$$’, so from day one the first criteria was the groove and music that is dancefloor friendly. We never wanted to focus on one specific genre, but establish the sound of Movement being recognizable from lovers & artists of different tastes, styles or genres. So far we’ve signed Deep House, Tech House, Ambient, Breaks, Techno & Trance besides Progressive House.. who knows what else is there next! As about my sets & productions, I always liked the definition of term ‘progressive’, trying to be one step forward. Indeed the Deeper sounds are ‘hot’ and it definitely influences my sets&music, although I’m not trying to get into deep, but get the deepness in my music instead!
9. There always seems to be a great up and coming crop of talent from Greece. What new producers from Greece have really been impressing you?
Tash: Yes indeed, but I’m very happy to observe that many young Greek Producers print a different ‘character’ that makes them hard to compare even with bigger Greek Artists, or say that there’s only ONE big talent at the moment. This is really impressive and I would be very unkind with so many talented people if I’d name someone.. Although we always tried to push greek young talents through Movement, so maybe that might be a better answer!
10. So a lot of our readers are probably wondering what your studio setup is like, can you tell us a bit about that?
Tash: Well, in the studio I’m very easy, simple & satisfied with what comes on hand.. Meaning that my basic setup includes one PC/Audio Interface working mainly on Cubase, focusing a lot on VSTi, a Midi Keyboard & additional Synthesizers as ‘guest appearances’ in my homestudio, but I’m really used to fit & work in studios of friends – happens a lot traveling abroad for gigs – on various Software such as Logic or Ableton, and of course any hardware around is interesting & can be used!
11. What parts of the production process do you find the toughest? and what comes easiest for you?
Tash: I always like to create a theme before everything, or work on elements of a theme (on remixes), then get in the groove and work on drums but sometimes those two can come vice versa.. But still on both parts it’s easier as either the theme or the flow is being created and the repeat is much more amusing.. I’d say that the finishing part maybe is the only part that takes a longer time for me.. The problem is that sometimes I’m not sure about the last touches, but at the same time I don’t want to overdo myself.. So that’s the only part I try to gather opinions and takes me longer to preview many times & make a decision.
12. Where does your studio inspiration come from? What producers consistently inspire you? Who are some of your favourites?
Tash: My inspiration.. Hmm, where does it come from? I’d say my inspiration comes from a mixture of beloved elements & artists that attracted me from first sight in the EDM scene till newer generations.. From legends like Sasha, Oakie, Digger, Hernan, Warren & Way Out West from back in the day, to great producers such as Infusion, Harry Lemon, Dj Remy, Roland Klinkenber, Minilogue, as also fresh sounds of Dnox & Beckers, Dousk, Max Cooper, Microtrauma, Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Henry Saiz.. So many to name
13. What artist or track would you love to remix in the future?
Tash: To be honest it wouldn’t be an EDM tune, I would say it is much more amusing & would give my all in various genres of music, but I think the most adventurous so far were unofficial remixes from pop, traditional or world music, greek or international artists as well as my first experiments productionwise with lower tempo electronic music with natural instruments & sounds.
14. What do you like to do for fun outside of the music?
Tash: I really love travelling, it’s out of the music but very reachable for me thanks to music. Sometimes travelling in seasons, relaxing in nature either on a mountain or a nice beach.. I adore hanging around with friends, being a big fan of coffee and beers as well, I like Cinema & Art Expos.. When the weather is good I’m dying for bike rides! As an X-Graffiti Artist, a professional Graphic Designer & a poor Greek workaholic in between the euro conspiracy I also have fun designing stuff (not always for work).. But mate, there’s not really fun out of music!
15. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic?
Tash: I’m a fan of Ambient as well as TripHop, Electronic & Dub/Reggae sounds. I also adore bands like Royksopp, Gus Gus, Morcheeba, Florence & The Machine, Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Schiller, Dead Can Dance.. Impressed by DJs like Kroeder & Dorfmeister, Dj Shadow, RJD2, several HipHop Bands as well, and also paying respect always to legends of music like Jean-Michel Jarre, Vaggelis, Pink Floyd.. Confusing? 🙂
16. Tash Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Not really ‘current’ though..
Food: Proud for the Greek Cuisine & Flavours, Big Fan of Asian Cuisine as well
Drink: Beer, Cajpirinia & Greek Raki
TV Show: Southpark, Simpsons, Friends, American Dad, Jackass
Movie: Inception, Limitless, A Clockwork Orange, Tarrantino
Video Game: Oldskool stuff: Pac Man / Tetris / Shinobi / Pang
Album: Morcheeba ‘A Big Calm’ / Dousk ‘DIY’ / Sasha ‘Airdrawndagger’
Track / Song: Really Hard To Say!
Producer / Band: Junkie XL / Morcheeba
Record Label: Sudbeat / Tronic / Gem / Proton / microCastle
Nightclub: The Gallery / Ministry Of Sound (London UK) / Café D’Anvers (Antwerp BE)
DJ: Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Dj Remy, Jody Wisternoff, Harry Lemon
17. If the final DJ set of your career was next week what would be your last record be?
Tash: In first sight I would say ‘Go to hell man!’ .. But thinking again, if that would ever happen I guess it would be a very special production that does not excist any more.. My last ‘confession’ .. !
Release Promo would like to send a huge thanks to Tash for taking the time to do this interview.
Magshine’s ‘When The Stars Are Falling’ is out now on Movement, you can purchase the release: here