Buy Link: bit.ly/2GARGVB
Athenian DJ/Producer Stelios Vassiloudis is a Bedrock regular whose diverse musical palette has cultivated an individually distinctive sound, reflecting his rich and diverse musical background. Classically trained, Stelios has carved his unique path in electronic music, developing a style that transcends the dancefloor via an emotional narrative of complex soundscapes, intricate melodies and hypnotic rhythms.
We had the chance to premiere ‘Zabriskie Point’ from his new ‘99.9’ EP and catch up with Stelios ahead of the release.
EG: Hi Stelios, thanks for making time to chat with us, and congratulations on your new release on Bedrock. ‘99.9’ is the third (and final) instalment in a series of EP releases – can you tell us the story here?
Stelios Vassiloudis: Thanks very much and I’m happy to provide a little insight for your readers. As I have a consistent working relationship with Bedrock, I had this idea a few years ago to create a short series of EPs (’33.3’ / ‘66.6’ / ’99.9’) that would be connected by style and certain aesthetic qualities. I find the notion of producing functional music with a finite shelf life, on spec, for a wide variety of labels in the hope that it will empower your social media content, very superficial and out-dated. My ambition was to make music that will still sound good in a couple of years and that I would be proud to be associated with. Hopefully, people might notice a slow evolution in my sound and design over the course of the releases. I’m really grateful to John and the label for supporting me over the years and the freedom he has allowed me to express myself musically is very telling.
EG: What is the creative process when you work? What key bits of kit did you use to produce these tracks?
Stelios Vassiloudis: In the current production phase, I’ve been using a very tight and refined DAW setup, relying on a few key bits of kit, such as Maschine by Native Instruments and an amazing VST instrument called Serum by Xfer. I’ve been through a period of considerable temporal challenge, so keeping things uncomplicated in the studio is a key consideration.
EG: How does your classical training affect your electronic music production? How would you describe your style to anyone not familiar?
Stelios Vassiloudis: I’m sure that there are people that will argue against this but classical training is not essential to electronic music production. Like any language, it helps to have an expansive vocabulary to draw from, but unless you’re creative in the way you use it and inspired in the way you string things together, it really doesn’t matter. I like to think I have a broad-enough production style that ranges from ambient and downtempo, through to dancefloor-minded works, but I’m constantly amazed these days by how far people are pushing sonic boundaries. The simple answer, for those who like to pigeonhole, is melodic electronic house.
EG: You’re constantly travelling around the globe as a DJ, playing shows in a huge variety of locations – where are the most exciting places right now?
Stelios Vassiloudis: While I’m tempted to reference perennial hotbeds in South America, I find that locations with developing scenes – with all their imperfections and shortcomings –are more aptly described by the word “exciting”. I think Beirut is one of the coolest places on the planet for clubbing right now, as is the “new” underground scene in SoCal.
EG: We’ve heard a whisper that you’re working on a new album – can you let us know any details?
Stelios Vassiloudis: I am indeed. I have about 4 or 5 finished tracks and about 20 more ideas floating around in varying stages of completion. Time really is short these days and I’m constantly interrupting myself by taking on projects of more immediate importance or reward.
EG: And an accompanying live show? What are the key differences in terms of the experience when playing live compared to DJing?
Stelios Vassiloudis: Absolutely. My long-term goal is to completely abandon the club environment and gravitate toward live venues, where I belong. DJing is highly overrated as a skill in my opinion and I find the competition among professionals and undue idolization from punters to be utterly ridiculous – at least in our little corner of the music spectrum. Playing instruments in front of an audience is a more gratifying experience, as there is an immediacy between what you are creating and what people are experiencing. I also think there is a broader scope for the artist to express him/herself (apart from the glaringly obvious point that he/she is performing original compositions). Plus, I feel that people pointing camera phones at me are actually getting something worthwhile.
EG: Where are people going to be able to hear you playing in the coming months?
Stelios Vassiloudis: I’m going to be back west in May, taking in some dates in the USA and Mexico and then I’ll be sun chasing in the Med for most of the summer. I’ve also made a concerted effort to make more frequent appearances in the UK in the next few months, which is nice as I have so many friends and family over there.
Release Date: April 9th, 2018