Filed under: Interview
Interview by Tommy Wada (Session)
Tommy Wada (TW) : Welcome back to Japan, you gigged at Sessions 3rd anniversary last year, and it had a very positive reaction did you enjoy that night ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah it was amazing, I had a good time, I was impressed with everything, the club, the people, the sound system, the lighting everything.
TW : So you liked the people right ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah I didn’t expect so many, it was my first time in Japan, so I didn’t really know what was going on, or how it was going to be, you know. I had a really good reaction so was impressed with that. It was a really good night.
TW : So what can we expect from you on the fourth anniversary ?
DJ Vibe : Well a couple of good things, some new stuff and some dirty beats, some tribal stuff and some percussion. All good stuff !!
TW : Can you tell us about the recent situation with the Portuguese club scene ?
DJ Vibe : It’s ok you know, a few years ago it was really high, a lot of parties a lot of big events, in summer every week there was a big festival with all the bands, this is still going on with the bands and the festivals in the summer but the club scene is more quiet now, than 3 years ago. Everybody was there [before] playing, so the people have seen [them]. So now there are just a few names left which people will spend money and time to go and see at the club. I think the Portuguese public are very picky, they need to know the DJ and they need to know what is going to happen. If they don’t know maybe they won’t get a good house [crowd] so the promoters are quieter now about bringing DJ’s to Portugal. One or two clubs do that [ take risks bringing DJ’s over]. but not as many as there used to be.
TW : I went on line and saw where you do your residency, at Lux ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah I do Lux. Lux is the only club where they have talent every week, or every two weeks a big name and new things, new sounds, they want to bring this kind of talent you know. They [Lux] lasted because it is too strong, you know, the brand and the people who work there. So it is like ‘quality’.
TW : So it is very established ?
DJ Vibe : Yes. People know what they can expect from them, that is why they are still going. Last week was their 7th anniversary, that was massive, a great party. Yeah it just goes on and on.
TW : Does club room have different rooms ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah, there is a bar, there is a terrace – open air – which is open all summer and the main room is the club, it is beautiful club, the bar is quite special. The owners are architects and decorators so it is quite special in terms of decoration and what is in the club and it makes a difference.
TW : How often is your residency ?
DJ Vibe : I used to play every Friday when they opened and I did that for the first 2 or 3 years, and then I stopped for three or four months and then I decided to come back for once a month and make it more special the beginning the owner was like ‘mmm, I don’t know if it is going to work or not’ but it was the best thing for me to do, because it keeps it special and the people come once a month with more strength [energy] to enjoy the night, and it has been one of the busiest nights in the club, you know.
TW : What is the most popular style right now ?
DJ Vibe : There is a lot of electro stuff going on, techno, minimal techno, tech house are all big over there now. Electro pop as well, but also tribal stuff, quite progressive, stuff like that. Another scene is the commercial clubs, they are still around, a bit quieter, but there are places like that. But mainly electro and stuff like that. There are only a few DJ’s playing that, but I don’t think the people are really into it so much, it is just a fashionable thing to do. But when you play the sound I play, you know, you see completely different people enjoying themselves and dancing on the dance floor. And I am happy about that.
TW : Do you have any new talents coming form the Portuguese scene who you have your eye on ?
DJ Vibe : There are few young people starting to produce some new stuff, there is one guy on the island, Madeira who…..
TW : Sorry that is the name of a place ?
DJ Vibe : Yes, there is an island of Portugal, called Madeira, there is a guy who is called Micheal C who…..
TW : Oh yes he is on ‘Stereo’.
DJ Vibe : Yeah he did something for ‘Stereo’ and then he had his own label I think called ‘Tribal’. Yeah there are 3 new guys they have something new, a new project. But there are a lot of young people who are starting to get into production who are trying to see if they can find a label to pick up there tracks and put it out.
TW : So when the ‘Underground Sound of Lisbon’ made a breakthrough with ‘So Get UP’ in 1994, do you think it changed the domestic scene in Portugal ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah absolutely, absolutely. No-one expected anything like that. And definitely it has been an open door since Tribal picked up the record and Junior Vasquez did the remix and everybody was playing it widely, and everybody started talking about Portugal and and Lisbon, which created more motivation for us. And for the generation of ’95, ’96, we didn’t expect anything like that, we did it for fun, you know. Maroum?, me and Rui [Da Silva] were like oh my God, thats really good.
TW : ‘cos back then I was one of the ‘Fat Beat Kid’s’ I lived there [New York], and when the voice [on the track ‘So Get Up’] started, everybody went to the floor……
DJ Vibe : That’s what I heard when I sent my record to a friend of mine in New York, not a DJ, just a Portuguese friend who lives there, and he picked up the record and gave it to Junior Vasquez the weekend after and he called me and I was on the line and suddenly the music started and I was on the line for a, what do you call it, a call check. [Listening to the track over the phone] And I was like wow, it was really good. So I had that feedback right away. It was very exciting.
TW : So it was first pressed on Kaos ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah, yeah, and then Tribal licensed it for America, then Uk etc and then re-mixes came in…
TW : It is now sampled and covered by loads of younger producers, what is your feeling on that ?
DJ Vibe : It is ok you know, new music is all about samples, for me, I don’t mind, it is a good scene to be around actually. When somebody picks something or likes an element of your track, it is like giving respect, so it is good for me, I don’t mind that.
TW : Do you still have a chance to work with Rui Da Silva ?
DJ Vibe : It has been a long time I don’t know, he moved to England. The last record we did, I went to England, recorded with him, after that he said he would be in Portugal to record the next one, he never came, so I don’t know if it is going to happen or not.
TW : So any chance of a reunion of ‘The Underground Sound of Lisbon’ ?
DJ Vibe : Well never say ‘no’, but I don’t know when.
TW : Talking about new technology around decks, such as Ableton, Traktor, DVDJ, what is your opinion about that.
DJ Vibe : Well I think it is going to be the future you know. Some people think that vinyl is going to still be around, it will still be around, but with all this new technology you can do a lot of stuff, you can work by much more than changing a record you know. I also started doing something with Traktor but first I need to practise and be comfortable with the machines. But I feel ok with that, and I feel that it is going to help with creation when I DJ, you know. So that is going to be the future for sure, they want to do something different than just change records you.
TW : You yourself, what do you use ?
DJ Vibe : I just use the FX now, the Pioneer unit, and also the Cyc-loops, I used to play with Kaos as well but they are now the only too machines I have with me.
TW : What do you do, can you explain [ how you use it] ?
DJ Vibe : You know, working with delays, echo’s, filters, on the FX500 or 1000. Cyc-loops is basically just looping in real time, you know your own mix live.
TW : So you just loop a break and just play it……
DJ Vibe : Yeah, make it longer, or bring it back to the track and do some acapella’s on the top. You know effects, whatever. Change the original track live.
TW : So like a live remix.
DJ Vibe : Yeah that is a good word for that.
TW : Are you buying music from digital download stores ?
DJ Vibe : Yeah I buy music from the web or order vinyl from the web, and yeah thats another good thing. We now all have computers and if we know the name of the track, we can just go looking for it, and you have the track right away. And that is amazing you know, instead of waiting and looking, going to the record store trying to find them. Because also in Portugal there are not a lot of record stores and so not a lot of music would come, so I buy a lot of stuff on the internet.
TW : It seems the growth of digital downloading in Europe has become something we can’t ignore anymore, and it’s speed is much faster than we expected, do you think this growth will eventually destroy the vinyl market ?
DJ Vibe : I don’t know because there are always some labels that keep it underground. The tracks you see on the internet are artists they sterilize, you know they are ready, they have been around for a couple of years, The new people, they just have to be able to put some records out, the download companies, they don’t sign contracts with the new people so far. So that is going to keep the vinyl in the record stores. But when those artists go up and become ‘sterilized’ they will see their own tracks on different places for downloading. So so far I think vinyl will be kept for the new artists and producers.
TW : When you did the residency at Kremlin in Lisbon you DJ’d every night of the week except Sundays, and each night was an all night set, you seem to have a love of the long sets, to continue that style over the decades, how do you manage yourself both mentally and physically ?
DJ Vibe : I need sleep a lot !! Basically I have always been involved with music, so I can work on some music and then sleep for a few hours and then wake up and listen to more music and play. When I started to play, the club I used to play at would open at 10pm and close at 5 or 6 and there would be only one DJ, so I grew up like that. So for me it is nothing to play like 6 hours. And then the Kremlin gave a big change to the city and the nightlife in Portugal because they started to go until eight, nine, and sometimes ten, and they they got a problem with the license, so they would open from 12am to 4am and then from 6am to 12pm. So it was like we thought the clubs were going to die, but we found that they waited outside from 4 to 6 and came back from 6 am stronger and with more power, and carried on until 10 or 11. So I grew up like that, playing long sets and different kinds of music, house, vocals, techno, a bit if everything, for me it was a natural thing, not complicated. I know in England and America the DJ’s don’t play like that, just one style for 2 hours, which is ok, but if you listen to one DJ for 5 or 6 hours just one style of music, then 2 hours or 3 hours later it gets boring. And it is the same all the time. So I’d still like to go up and down today and play different things, different rhythm and keep the people on the floor.
TW : How many years did you play at the Kremlin ?
DJ Vibe : I played 7 years.
TW : 7 Years !!
DJ Vibe : Yeah, I went for 7 years in the club. Crazy nights.
TW : Any message to your Japanese fans ?
DJ Vibe : Yes. It is a honour for me to play here in Japan to play for ‘Session’, thankyou for your support and I hope to see you guys soon on the dance floor. Thankyou.
TW : Thankyou.
End of the interview
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