Bass Blog Mix #32: Interview with Robustus

'The goal has always been to bring some new quality music to the Bulgarian music scene'

We've not always been a site that pays attention to statistics, but when we recently did, we were quite impressed. Our platform was created as an informative blog-site with details about the Bulgarian Drum and Bass & Bass Music scenes only. Months after the website's launch we started working with different international festivals, music labels and organizations. This unplanned evolution brought us many non-Bulgarian readers and partners. Our latest statistics check surprised us with the number of our readers outside of Bulgaria. 1/4 of our readership consists of people born in different countries than ours! This unexpected fact made us really happy, so we decided to present one of our favourite Bulgarian artists to our foreign audience.

I know Robustus is from Bulgaria and we absolutely batter his tunes, so if that’s anything to go by then it should be great! - Halogenix, Ivy Lab /Critical Music, 20/20/ (read the whole interview)

Robustus is one of the few local artists with releases for international labels. Yes, we have many 'artists', but for one reason or another they do not release quality productions (or don't produce anything in general). But Robustus is not like the others. He is a part of Future Sounds of Sofia. The crew is one of the well-developed organizations in BG, which regularly invites audience-attracting artists in the country. Michail is also working with a number of interesting labels such as Demand Records, IM:Ltd, Elevated Press and a few more. 

In the next few paragraphs you can read about Robustus' goals and projects. In the interview Michail speaks about his releases, Future Sounds of Sofia and reveals some interesting information about his own label Temple Audio. You can find a set, made special for our Mix Series at the end of the interview. Bass Blog Bulgaria Mix #32 is full of deep unreleased tracks and brings a lot of positive vibes in it. Meet Robustus!




When did you start producing DnB? What got you started? What inspires you to make music?

I made first steps in producing around 2009-2010 while I was living in Long Island, New York. At the time I was collecting lots of vinyl records and was spending a lot of time spinning records in my bedroom. I also worked at a café with a friend of mine – Michael Micelli – who was very experienced with all things audio related – production, recording, equipment. He was like a mentor to me and we used to talk for hours about music. Together with having Soundcloud just recently created and actually being in the middle of a very inspiring period for drum & bass, when many new producers were surfacing and new subgenres were developing, in everything around me I found a reason to start making music.

At the moment you are a part of the Bulgarian Future Sounds of Sofia organization. Tell us more about the crew. When was it formed and what are your aims and goals?

We are a bunch of friends, some of us also relatives lol, who had their own individual music journeys and who joined forces around 2012. Me and Evgeni Phirah used to have a punk/hardcore band in high school – he was playing guitar, I was on drums. Petko Presize and my cousin Ivan Smartech have their own Drumrollerz project, which have brought a number of high-caliber guests to Bulgaria in the past and also both of them have been producing and djing for many years. After me and Evgeni came back from abroad for good, Valentin (who currently lives in Berlin and organizes a lot of events there), Stefan Chocho, Dilek Dural (Didi), Petko, Ivan and me and Evgeni all got together and started brainstorming on the concept and plans for upcoming parties. The goal has always been to bring some new quality music to the Bulgarian music scene.

You are one of the few Bulgarian producers with tracks and releases on international labels. Tell us more about your work. For which labels have you released material?

When I started making music I was all about the liquid. Then I started listening to more of the deep, minimal and half-step. Eventually I started working on something between the deep and dark and liquid and melodic, but still clean and minimalistic in a way. I think my newest tracks are a good example of that. I feel that after around 6 years of producing I am finally arriving at my “true style”. Otherwise, I have been releasing tracks for a lot of small labels, but I have worked more closely with Elevated Press, where I signed first in 2010 (a small California based label that is actually the only label that has consistently been paying me for sales throughout the years lol), IM:Ltd (a French imprint that really helped me a lot to get a wider exposure) and most recently Demand Records (a Swiss label with a great concept and a serious artists roster).

What have you been working on lately? Any interesting forthcoming releases?

There are two tracks forthcoming on Demand Records this year, one with the producer and vocalist Moody and the other - a solo business. The latter will be my debut vinyl release, which I am very excited about. Otherwise, lately I am working a lot with another local producer – Blackart and I am very happy with what comes out. On the side I am working on hip hop and deep house every once in a while as well.

In 2014 FSS started to grow as a label, but more than a year after the first LP there is still no follow-up. Are you working on new stuff or is the label project is completely abandoned now?

I believe that with the FSS release we really brought the whole scene together or at least we tried. I am happy with how it turned out. Honestly, we haven’t had any plans to do another big compilation. At some point the idea to start releasing somewhat regularly was floating around, but it is just too much work if you want to do it properly. At the current moment no new release is being planned. 

Besides the releases FSS is quickly establishing itself as a promoter-organization with a unique sound and vibe. What kind of artists are you inviting in Sofia and why are they your targets?

We were really focusing on artists that have not been here yet and are exciting for the people in the scene. This directly relates to our goal to offer something new and fresh.

There is always good visuals on FSS parties

There's a rumour going around that you are going to launch your own label. Is it true and what are your plans for this project?

I have been working on gathering material, but that honestly hasn’t been going that well. I have a couple of tracks I picked out, but it is really hard to find something you really really like among this huge abundance of new music. I have the local producer Arks on board with one really cool track, but I feel like I am testing his patience with my slow way of planning in regards to this project lol. Otherwise, the name of the label will be Temple Audio and will be focused on releasing stuff that just sounds very different and new – definitely deep and mostly melodic stuff. Not the regular kind of drum & bass you hear all around. However, as I said everything is in very early planning stage for the past several months and I am not sure when things will start moving.

In 2015 for the second consecutive year you and Phirah played at Outlook Festival in Croatia. Share with us your impressions from the festival and the vibe there.

Both times were great even though in 2015 I felt the festival had a more of a mainstream focus. Nonetheless both times artists lineup was amazing and the whole experience was one of a kind. Whether you want to chill on the beach or rave, you could do both. On top of that last year there was a huge Bulgarian crew so that was a plus as well.

Tell us more about the set. What kind of tracks did you choose for it and why?

There are lots of unreleased stuff, a couple of my own ones and a few classics. In the end I turn to a more of a hip-hop vibe.

Ok, is there something you want to add? Something important for you?

Thank you for the opportunity, Bass blog! It’s good to have you around.

Thanks for your time, set and answers. Wish the readers something!

I wish the readers to listen to great music and have lots of fun in 2016. Also come to Mixtape’s birthday this Friday – Smartech and I will be doing a b2b at 2:00 in side B.

Click on the picture for more info



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About Dobri Andonov

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