For those that missed it out, the fourth edition of DNB Konferencija was held on 9th of September this year in Croatia's capital Zagreb. Almost all Croatian dnb organizations participated in the event, resulting in a one-day mini festival with loads of music, workshops and discussions, a one-of-a-kind meeting that is key for the unity and prosperity of the local scene. Unlike the first three editions of the conference which all emphasized on local artists, this year's festival was the first to welcome international acts from Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia.
Among the best local acts at the Konferencija was Filip Motovunski. The Zagreb-based artist was happy to participate in a head-spinning set of events during the last couple of weeks. He was first part of the biggest sound system festival in Europe - Outlook, then DNB Konferencija #004, right before his 10-year-on-stage anniversary party which will be held in a couple of days. In order to talk about these couple of events and his musical views, we invited Filip for a short interview you can read in the next couple of lines.
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Hey, Filip! You were a part of DNB Konferencija #004. How did the event go? What impression did it leave on you?
Yes this is one of those special events where you hang with a lot of think alike people. Its like a little religion we are part of. You know, talking how fab filter is one of our Gods.. I played few times already on this event and each year is a bit stronger experience. This year was even more special because DNBK organisers managed to bring a few djs from outside croatian border, so it is basically becoming “balkanian” dnb conference. Feeling after the night is that you wish it happens more than once in a year because internet and regular gigs can’t substitute that way of real communication, experience sharing and making new contacts. :)
How much do you think events like these are necessary for the development of the music scene in a certain country? Does DNB Konferencija help the unification of the young Croat scene?
I don’t know if this is something crucial in scene development but, as I said before, it opens gates for some new collaborations and it surely breaks apart any possibly existed tensions between crews or djs because everything is different when people actually meet each other. For example, there were some people that I barely knew on internet and had some tiny part of image who they are but on DNBK I made that image complete and now have better picture where is who from, what kind of sound is he making etc.
At the event this year there were foreign performers (from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia). How is the concept of the conference taken outside of Croatia? Is there a chance it could play a part in the development of a unified Balkan DnB scene?
Yes, I think the way it started it could become bigger and gather even more djs, producers and promoters from all over the balkan. But it always depends on few people who actually organise the event and benevolence of guest djs because this is big bite to realise economically wise too. So from that point, the core should keep being strong and keep attracting particles!
Other than the long musical program, what other activities were available during the event?
Before party started, around 18h, there was a production workshop and, a bit after, round table conversation about the scene in general. Both were nice but both needed a bit better guidance because it was that hours when djs were arriving and everybody wanted to chat and hug and smile and yell! Imagine 20 djs, so excited to see each other, on same spot having to sit and keep calm. heheheh
Which artists impressed you the most and where did you see the biggest development in a single artist?
As there were 3 floors and djs were mostly hangin in backstage you just couldn’t check everybody out, but I saw maybe around 10 djs spinnin and was pretty amazed how everybody has mad mixing skills and obviously they were prepared for theirs sets as I was too, and that also showed how important that night was for us. Cant really point anyone out. Really surprised of the quality of all djs I saw. Maybe I could say that on that production workshop few of us managed to play out newest tunes on sound system in empty club and therefore Im thrilled how new tracks of Kodin, VRH, Fa11out, Okor and What The Funk sound. So, development is obvious in both dj and production skills. Obhearous.
Let's go a couple of weeks back, when you performed at Outlook Festival. What are you going to remember the festival for the most? Did you have the chance to take a stroll between the stages? Which acts did you hear and which ones left an impression?
This year I was smarter and consumed the festival a bit more organised. Aimed some artists on timetable and first time actually experienced a few whole dj sets and performances. It was really a lot of dnb, I could say it was mostly dnb which I don’t mind as a dnb fanatic. Like to see that my God is winning the game! hahaha On main stage i saw Hospital Records takeover which Im not the biggest fun of but S.P.Y blew me away. Personally, think he was best act in overall Outlook. Couldn’t see Andy C and Noisia cause I played at that time and since they are one of my biggest influences I believe they were actually the best thing. Also, there was The Garden stage with my favourite jungle/jump up artists like Randall, Hype, Potential BadBoy, Hazard… That was mad. Uh, now I realise that there was a lot more. Dispatch takeover was sick too. Outlook really offers all the dnb styles and as Im fan of a bit of everything I filled myself up with a lot of new inspiration. Gotta say that we had a bit smaller floor (still fitting around 700 pips) called Seasplash stage where local artists performed. Have to point out Billain who was perfect in his neurofunk expression but still conventional and driving vibe. So, to conclude, this year was sick, mad, crazy and maybe the best of all till now. Uf, that Damian Marley opening concert…
Excluding Outlook and a few other festivals on Croatia, how developed is the local Soundsystem culture?
Last few years surprisingly well! There is few really big and good ones like Boca, Saso Mange, Digitron, Seaplash sound systems etc. This summer Seasplash festival was in general sound system oriented so they were all at the same place. I even had first experience to play on 3 sound systems plugged in during my set. Best ever. Also we have some new events specialised for dub and there they also bring all the possible sound systems from Croatia. Pretty big for small Croatia.
You've been making music for more than 10 years now. What music genres do you dabble in (other than DnB) and is there a common ground between the different styles of Bass music, in your opinion?
Oh yes. I come from hip hop, reggae and dancehall so it is all still here but in drum and bass form which is for ten years my basic glue whether its jungle, half step, neuro, deep or jump up. I love them all. Basically all the music has common ground. Even off beat stuff like Bach you can always make “on beat” and put some bass on it.
Tell us more about the expected big party for the tenth anniversary of your career start. When and where is it going to take place? Which artists are going to perform?
Its going to happen 1.10. in Močvara, pretty big place in Zagreb. I invited 21 djs and mcs mostly from Zagreb. All these artists are my good friends with whom i played or produced in last 10 years. Since we have one floor I couldn’t invite everyone I wanted so that was a bit sketchy for me. I filled the lineup that much that everyone will play half hour set and hopefully it will end up like one big b2b set of 8 hours. Also, the label that released my double cd called PDV Records will bring their merchandise stand with all of their vinyl and cd releases plus shirts, stickers, hats etc. Artists that will play are: 207, Leeks, Chatko, Danny Bwoy, Ervin, Jan Becele, Jin San, Kodin, Meniga, Peter Posh, Strapazoot, Tekitoka, What the Funk, Yesh and mcs Diyala, Big Oz, Popay, Remi, Shot, Tone Tuoro, Yuri.
Which are your best and your worst moments as an artist in your ten-year long history?
Actually this would be hard question but this year i really marked two moments being my best and worst and its not because I forgot last 9 years! I will exclude first CD album releasing cause this is obviously best thing ever, but will say that I had best gig ever on Seasplash festival this summer. Somehow everything went perfect, from this 3 sound system package to a lot of people with united good vibe and my well prepared dj set. There is two good video shots on you tube that can describe it best.
My worst experience went something like this. I played on this little art festival where I played few years in a row and was always great. This time there was a bit schizophrenic vibe because of a bit older people and young people wanting different music styles to party. I started my set and first half hour the floor was a bit empty and suddenly around 10 meters in front of my dj booth cca 15 of these “older” guys made a connected line and started waving with hands towards me. I was happy because looked like floor was finally filling up, but then I looked again while mixing and realised that they were pointing to the big wall on the side. What I saw was immediate good vibe changing to really unpleasant. They literally projected big writing on the big wall with the big projector saying “BORING MUSIC” with red letters. Then after few loooong seconds of really bad feeling I took over the situation with my microphone and thanked them for this newest experience with few more wise words making the situation funny instead really sad and bad letting them to play a bit of their music. One of their guys plugged the laptop and played the shittiest “music” ever for 10 mins then a little war started. People who wanted me to play between people who didn’t. At the end we won and I finished my set. Don’t ask where was the organisator…
We're at the finish line of the interview. Do you have anything to add?
Since I haven’t done salutation thing in first question, here it goes! I salute you and thank you for your interest in my world!
Thank you for your time! Please, wish our readers something.
Thanks again and I wish your readers who are probably dnb heads to keep producing, playing and consuming this beautiful rhythmic pattern called drum and bass!