I met Ognjen Zacevic, also known as EGOLESS during Outlook Festival. In between running from The Void (with Dispatch 15) to The Void (Contact) I stopped for a little bit at The Garden and spared a little time for the legendary Dub artists at Mungo's Courtyard. Behind the decks were the absolute pioneers Channel One, as I was walking down the stairs towards the exit and Ant TC1's set at The Void and I almost bumped into EGOLESS. In all honesty, I recognized him by the badge which carried his artistic moniker. Like a "true professional" I asked him for an interview without the thought of taking of my bandana even crossing my mind (during the festival it almost grew into my face).
Fortunately, EGOLESS agreed on an interview and here he is. During the conversation we gravitated towards several topics, as we accentuate on Outlook Festival in the beginning, then we gradually shift course onto his scenic performances, his musical capabilities and preferences and his creative plans. An interesting fact is that Ognjen answered us merely 2 hours after he received the questions, which makes him our fastest interlocutor ever.
Enjoy your reading!
Hello, Ognjen! A couple of weeks ago we saw the end of this year's Outlook Festival. How will you remember this edition of Outlook?
This has been 4th edition of Outlook I played in a row, and surely the most special one for me because it was the biggest gig I had on the festival so far, playing in the Moat, which is imho the best stage on the festival for this kind of music considering the ambience / lights / sound… It’s very easy to immerse yourself into sound there, and I was amazed to see so much people came in to support my gig there, it was almost packed from the start…
You were among the few Croats that took part in this year's event. Do you think there should be more local artists at the festival, even if they were to take only the opening hours?
I think there is enough artists from the Balkans representing their countries / scenes at the festival, there is even one night where the best of local artists / bands play under “Seasplash festival” banner, last two years on Arija, before that at the Garden and Courtyard stages.
We met each other at Mungo's Courtyard during Chanel One's set. Which other stages, artists and labels were you happy to hear and experience?
Definitely Mungo’s stage, side by side with the Moat. For me personally the highlights were SubDub takeover on Mungo’s, also Channel One & Jah Shaka on the same stage, Deep Medi at the Void stage, Bandulu takeover in the Garden and Hiatus Kaiyote on the Beach.
Recently, when on stage, you mainly present your live dubstep act. What pushed you towards launching this live project and leaving the conventional DJ set for now? How exactly are live acts different to general mixing and what makes them so thrilling?
Since I started playing out couple of years ago, I immediately started with the live thing, I never played a DJ set in my life. Coming from bands & instruments background, being the producer I feel this is the best way to express myself and also have some more control over the music I play leaving room for a bit of improvisation and surprising things & versions to happen. The most appealing thing for me is that even if I play the same tunes, they will never sound the same.
Apart from being a dubstep producer you are also very open towards other types of music. What instruments do you play and do you have any other musical projects than Egoless?
I play guitar / bass / keyboards / drums and some percussions. Can’t say I’m virtuoso player of any of the mentioned, but I have enough knowledge to express the thoughts in my head through them.
Your works are characterised by many interesting samples of musical instruments and memorable beat patterns. What inspires you?
Absolutely everything I encounter. I kind of learned to think in music language, whatever experience I have, whether it’s good or bad, I always have a musical accompaniment playing in my head, and I just try to translate that music using musical tools and instruments… For me, it’s all about the feeling, not techniques or some crazy-out-of-this-world complex sound design. It can be one repetitive note, if it triggers certain feeling inside me, that’s it…
Do think that it is necessary to divide music into so many genres and sub-genres? What are the pros and cons of this separation?
I don’t really think about that nor do I care about it. I guess a sub genre can be good in order to easily manoeuvre through the sheer amount of music created nowadays. Bad thing could be the possible emergence of elitism and over-exaggerated protectiveness in the scene.
What are you working on currently? What labels are going to host your near-future releases and when can we to see them out?
The usual suspects, System / Scrub a Dub / ZamZam / Blacklist… After last year and a bunch of vinyl releases I took a little break from releasing too much music this year, and focused more on playing gigs this year. Besides the releases from the beginning of the year I have couple of vinyls ready to be released by the end of this year, and we’ll see what next year brings, I’m currently experimenting a lot in the studio, discovering new approaches to sound so we’ll see what will turn out from that.
Is there anything you would like to add to the interview?
Nothing special, just a big shout out to all who supported my work over the previous years whether by buying records, attending gigs or just dropping a few nice words. It means a lot, thank you!
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Photo credits: Bartosz Madejski