[Q&A] Djaikovski: Roma Brass is one of the trade marks of the Balkan music

This weekend, between the 30th and 31st of July, at Kavatsi Beach (near Sozopol), the latest edition of Kavatsi Beach Fest is going to be held. The seaside event is a result of the cooperative work of Alcohol Beach and Club Stroeja. Amongst the headliners we can see the names of the Serbians S.A.R.S, Romanians Subcarrati, Dutch / American project Jaya the Cat, Bulgarians Wikeda and Kotarashki & The Rain Dogs and many more. By our personal opinion, the biggest headliner of the event will be Djaikovski's project, which will be visit Bulgaria with its full force again.

Thanks to the organizers of the festival, we got the opportunity to make a mail conversation with the mastermind behind the Djaikovski project - Macedonian Kiril Djaikovski. Our talk started with a few questions about the Ex Yu regime in Macedonia and the nascency of the electronic music in the region, we then touched upon the personal projects of the artist and ended with the representation of his 7-members band, which is going to perform at Kavatsi Beach Festival. Hope you'll enjoy the interview! Have a nice reading!



Hey, Kiril! Your path as an artist starts in the early 80s with the project Bastion. Tell us, how hard was it for you to become a recognized electronic music artist on the “wrong” side of the Iron Curtain?

Interesting and inspiring period, with a very creative music scene of the former Yugislavia. The electronic projects at the time were mostly influenced by the new wave synth pop projects coming out of the UK, but there were also people that were involved in more experimental stuff. Generally, the scene was very open to new sounds and those early experiments with electronic instruments found big support from the audiences.

What did the Balkan scene look like at that point of time? Was there any electronic music out there? What were the most popular genres?

The Balkan music scene at the time, and here I am mainly talking about Ex Yu, was probably at its best. The whole scene was very much influenced by the post punk and new wave music trends worldwide, but with a strong original stamp, very much in tune with the big social changes taking place.

What pushed you towards making electronic music in the first place? How were you introduced to the digital sound, what was it that you found so captivating about it?

Since the early days of my music career I had interests in experimenting with electronic instruments and naturally my first inspirations came with discovering pioneering electronic artists like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Brian Eno. All this later took a more serious turn with the explosion of the club culture and the modern electronica in the ninties which was tremendiously inspiring and influental to what I do with electronic music today. I specially found inspiration in projects that were including various ethnic influences in their work, such as: Transglobal Underground, Leftfield and the London Asian underground scene.

For more than 10 years now you’ve been making film music. What are the differences between making film, album and concert music?

As you can imagine, completly different, but as equally challenging and creative. The process is very much studio based and being in sync with pictures, there is a big technical aspect to it. But the final result and its presentation has the same energy and excitement as any concert or album.

Although it’s a trivial question, that I have to ask. What inspires you as an artist?

All kinds of music, but also film, literature and arts in general.

Currently you travel around the Globe with a band of 7 motley artists. Give is an insight on the band- who is in it, what instruments they play? How do you manage to combine their style with your electronic sound without losing a bit of the magic from your live acts? What do you find key in similar crossbreed bands?

I am proud of the fantastic and colourful musical team that I take with me live. I have on stage a very talented young Roma brass band called Serdzuk Orchestra and the maestro violinist Vladimir Krstev, a member of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra and acclaimed studio musician, and two very special vocal guests: from the US TK Wonder and from Australia MC Wasp.

You are always accompanied by an MC on stage. A lot of people share the idea that MCs are redundant during acts like yours, however, you prove the opposite. How should an MC sound in order to fit properly in similar projects? To what extent do the other members of the band have to sync with the one behind the mic?

TK Wonder and MC Wasp are not just MC guests at my performances, but also writing collaborators. Their role goes beyond just MC-ing, but it’s more of a complete performance integral to the original tracks. That’s why they are more like vocalists, rather than just live MCs, fully integrated in the live show.

At the end of the month you will take part in Kavatsi Beach Festival in Bulgaria. What do you expect of the event and what can we expect to hear from you on the 30 th of July?

I have seen some video footage from previous years and it looks very exciting. Great location, we are all looking forward to being on the Bulgarian coast for the first time. The set list will include a lot of new and unreleased tracks, some of them performing for the first time.

You’ve been to Bulgaria before. What impression did the Bulgarian crowd leave in you the last time you came by?

I am happy to say that the last time we played in Sofia as part of the Exit Adventure Event we got a great response from the audience and that performance was truly one of the most energetic and memoarable concerts of the tour.

Like most Balkan projects, you place the stress on Roma Brass in your works. Why Roma Brass? Do you think this is something identical for the region? Is this “the sound of the Balkans” according to you?

In the music I record I incorporate an arrey of instruments characteristic to the Macedonian ethnic instrumentation, like zurla, kaval, violin,tambura, clarinet, brass and string ensemble. The brass ensemble has become more prominent in recent years, as its become an integral part of the live set up. I don’t know if it’s “the sound of the Balkans”, but it’s definitely one of the trade marks.

Thank you for the time you gave us! Wish something to the readers.



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