feeder insider w/ Vivi.St [en]
If you don’t know him yet from the Bucharest Fixed parties or the endless nights at Terasa Baraka, Traian 42 or Aviatorilor 9, which he stirred up with the help of his Inhere crew, then it’s high time you got acquainted with Vivi.St. DJ and producer from Galați, Aurelian Stoleriu a.k.a. Vivi.St made his way up on the local, as well as international music scene through a style combining the aural drama learned through years of sound designing theatrical productions with the precision and exigency of an underground techno connoisseur. His tracks speak volumes of a complex personality and the musical backdrop which shaped it, but until his next release is out on Eighteenthirtyeight, we’ll have to make do with words to discover him.
keywords: groove, Detroit, connection, dub, synth
On rainy days… I go to a jam session or watch Nordic movies…
It relaxes me to… chase the clouds.
My favourite spot in Galați… on a boat down the Danube…
The latest record I added to my collection… Thor – Consequences (Sushitech Records).
I like movies which… are shot analog and have a sunny lighting effect, like the Boards of Canada videos.
I’d spend my next vacation in… Barcelona… I sort of missed it in recent years.
The best memory from a party… I don’t remember. Maybe that’s why it’s the best.
Image without sound… is like a pint without beer.
Sunday mornings… are long and neverending.
3 tracks I have on repeat…
Dub Taylor – Urban Silence III
Szare –Action Five
Koss & Henriksson & Mullaert – Hello People of Earth
Violeta Năzare: Hello, Vivi.St, good to see you again! For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself: when did you start playing music, what attracted you to this field and most of all what does Inhere stand for? How did musical collective take shape?
Vivi.St: I started playing and buying music when I was about 15 years old. It was a bit more complicated back then, you had to go all the way to Hungary for the nearest record shop or know someone from the area. I was fortunate enough to have many friends living abroad, who’d help me on occasion and who were actually producing. It was easy to realize where I was headed.
Inhere is the result of a conversation I was having with Dudu (Relish) on our way to a party. It had been a while since I had been playing music with him, who had an impressive audio collection, and with Alex (alecsm), who was always buying records, and also with Tudor (Tudor Neve), who was also charge of graphics.
We didn’t know exactly what to name it, but we had created a concept which became clearer once we found the name thanks to Tudor, who suggested Inhere would be nice. Then we decided to divide the label in 2 and so it broke down to Inhere and Outhere.
Inhere showcases the bright and groovy side of techno and house, whereas Outhere represents the experimental, dubbier side.
V.N.: Your music hints at a strong appreciation for analog and Detroit techno and a penchant for chords & drum machines. How did your sound pan out? What artists, mediums or experiences had the strongest influence on your musical style?
V.S: Since I’ve been listening to techno for a long time I stayed loyal to it… each track I produce is massively rooted in dub and techno, which has come to influence the Romanian sound as well and that gives me great joy.
Black Music – if one can call it that – has swing, groove, it’s beautifully balanced and that makes me move more naturally, whereas European music is more accurate, more coherent and borders on design. A combination of the two enables music to retain a more modern but also more mysterious sound.
I may seem like a purist because I don’t like combining acoustic instruments too much with this type of music, I strive to take creation to a level that’s as minimalistic as possible, I rarely use loops and sampling, to the point of not using them at all, I enjoy doing everything by myself and I’ve never done a remix. I prefer synthesizing and modulating just about everything. When it comes to electronic music, the synthesizer is the contemporary artist’s instrument, and that makes me skeptical about VSTs.
We grew up in a time when live acts were respected, you couldn’t just show up with a laptop. We’d look at our favourite bands as if they were superstars, they’d bring a large portion of their studio equipment for their live performances.
The biggest influence came from the UK from Warp Records, The Orb, Swayzak, Blueprint, from Germany (Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, Force Tracks, Mosaic) and of course the stuff you found in Berlin (Hard Wax) also came from Detroit/Chicago (Metroplex, FXHE Records, Echocord). Let’s not forget France with Mile Plateux.
V.N.: This year in March you had a release on Eighteenthirtyeight, Alex Meshkov’s label. Horizon EP was well received, gaining support from artists like Pheek, Danny Tenaglia and Koma. What’s next?
V.S: I’m working on my next release for the same label, which will have a strong Berlin techno influence and more authentic TR990 sound.
There’s a surprise in store from Inhere, where we’d like to get started with our first analog release by the end of the year.
V.N.: We’d like to know more about your creative process; is there a ritual you developed, any software you prefer? Where do you draw the inspiration for your tracks and what are the stages you follow when working on an EP or a mix?
V.S: I use Ableton Live for editing and recording, for the rest I prefer hardware.
Inspiration comes when I’m experimenting… I think it’s the result of a long training period, the imaginary playground is infinite. Going out in nature and listening to music under the sky give me the biggest boost, but modern urban architecture also plays a part in my creative vision.
You usually know where you’re headed, you know your label and it’s based on recipes – ones we’re obviously trying to disregard as much as possible, without floating adrift.
Having a jam session with the guys from Inhere breeds great ideas.
V.N.: In terms of gear, what does the perfect studio look like? What piece of equipment is currently at the top of your wishlist?
V.S: Hardware is like alchemy. It’s different from one person to the next. I’ve got my eyes on a Prophet 06.
V.N.: form_2 is the alias you use to explore the house and minimal genres. What are your plans concerning this project?
V.S: It’s a nostalgia of jazz scales and groovy rhythms. I’ll be focusing on this project for a while, I have a selection of songs lined up for mastering…
V.N.: This month we were able to hear you play in Brașov at the Amural festival, alongside Moduler [Outhere] and Relish [Inhere]. What other events are coming up in your calendar?
V.S: Brașov was nice, it’s great throwing a party at a festival where lights turn into shapes. Alina (Aural Eye) managed to organize something special, I hope we’ll meet again next year.
I found a new spot in Bucharest for my upcoming party, it’s soundproofed and cozy. We’ll be setting a date soon too.
V.N.: When you’re not behind the decks in clubs or at festivals, you do sound design for theatrical productions such as Henrik Ibsen’s WILD DUCK, which was played this summer at the Bulandra Theatre. How did you get into the theatre scene and what draws you to this field?
V.S: I started working for plays while I was a student because I knew Ioan Mihai, a young director with a fresh perspective. He’s a fan of Aphex Twin and John Cage, I guess that created a kind of bond between us.
V.N.: The sound designer bears the responsibility for creating the acoustic ambience which supports the story being played by the actors and which transports the audience in its center. What are the specific challenges in this line of work and how would you compare being a sound designer to being a producer?
V.S: Theatre is fun and there’s an entire crew to work with, you create ambient and aural drama together with the scene and the character, it creates a dialogue from the beginning to the end of the show, for 2 hours you live every single movement.
I like pushing composition as much as possible towards sound design, make it cinematic and dissonant, I use field recording a lot and more tone scales than classical music. It works better with the play’s space and the way you watch a show, sitting, whereas electronic music requires a bit of movement so jazz or funky swings are a better fit.
V.N.: Through the insider series, feeder aims to expand the existing dialogue between artists and the public, exploring music, contemporary art, architecture, street art, design and technology. What are you always glad to find out from articles about the artists you follow and what message would you like to give to our readers?
V.S: I’m always happy to find out about new projects or concepts imparting a different vision from the one on the market, I like free and eccentric people.
As for the message: Go out to dance, not to hook up!
Feeder Insider explores the universe surrounding music and visual arts through open conversations with local and international artists. Join us here on our weekly crossing of the border between human and technological. An editorial project co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN).