Interview with Oskar Szafraniec & Caruan
Feeder Interview with Oskar Szafraniec and Caruan, who’s running Deset. Record label where Ricardo Villalobos put out his Mandela Move EP this year.
f: How are you both, what’s good, what’s bad in your world right now?
CARUAN: I’m well, the good thing is that we still love the music and we trust on the quality of it. We believe in true relation between art, music, people and the feeling between the DJ and the dancefloor…music is magic, the music is the reason why we make sacrifices everyday. We think that good work always wins!! What we don’t like is that sometimes you don’t get what you deserve without compromising your career and some colleagues decide to change what they are, the music they do, just to become someone.
OSKAR: I’m good, thanks. What’s good in my world right now? The music is definitely good; it’s always been, it’s what keeps me motivated every day, what keeps me smiling and thoughtful throughout every single day. It’s art, colours around me, my family and friends like Caruan whom I love. It’s the relation I have with these people; it’s the lessons I learn. It’s long blurry nights and frost Berlin mornings.
f: How did you two first meet, where and when?
CARUAN: We met in Berlin at Club der Visionaere more than two years ago, I remember it was in May.
OSKAR: Oh yes, I remember it very clearly. CDV is a special place for both of us. It was Caruan’s birthday and also the day after. We went to this karaoke bar on Warschauer Strasse and had an incredible time together with a few other friends. We got really close since then! You know that feeling when you believe you’ve known someone all your life? That’s it. Not long after that, we’ve met during Modernity Cruise, Sonar… It never stopped since then!
f: What’s it like making music together? Who does what? Why does it work? Why do you get on so well?
CARUAN: I think it is a good combination of art and life experience. Oskar is fresh and talented, I have a background with many years of experience as a DJ, selector and dancer. I know a lot about music. Oskar is something magical… when he touches his studio equipment he speaks very confidently through the instruments.
OSKAR: Beautifully said… There are no rules about who does what. Caruan carries years of experience; he often surprises me with the music, the records I never heard of. We speak a lot, jam and listen to music. I believe the most important thing when it comes to collaborating with someone is finding a compromise; you need to really respect each other and understand, or at least try to understand, the person you’re working with… And that’s what happens with us – nothing more, nothing less.
f: Tell us about your new EP on Deset – what inspired or influenced it?
CARUAN: Our EP is a combination of Jazz, techno, classic house, minimal and electro-Pop. We love Piano, we love jazz. We collaborated with influential jazz Musicians from Italy, and you can hear it in all the tracks: the classical piano, Rhodes and modular synths …it speaks about our musical experience.
OSKAR: ‘She’s lost’ speaks of relationships; it speaks about love, it’s what creates us, what made us the people we are now. I’m quite romantic in that sense, I’ve always been. As a form, we used many jazz influences or techno as Caruan mentioned above. It’s like a collage between analogue, organic and digital. Singing and playing to tell our stories.
f: Do you play in the club together as DJs? Would you like to if not?
CARUAN: We played many times together, and we always had fun Oskar is definitely more new school compared to me, but he selects very intelligent music, it’s innovative and elegant.
OSKAR: Caruan is a very good selector, he has an impressive collection of records and looks back on many years in the underground scene, he surprises me very often with music I haven’t heard before, he’s Italian and he is strongly influenced by the Italian 90’s electronic scene. I like to play long, extended DJ sets with him; we’ve done it before at Wilde Renate or CDV in Berlin. Our DJ sets are a mixture of styles and sounds; we don’t stick to any genre. Music should be free, out of any borders, that’s also our concept for the label. We want to present good music and not just a specific style. That’s our mission!
f: As a duo that is a mix of young and old – what are the similarities and differences between how you approach things? Do you find common ground or is it case of opposites attract?
OSKAR: Most of the time we find common ground, we might think differently sometimes, but it’s about respecting and talking until we find a compromise about what we want to release on the label or produce and play in a set.
f: How did you Oskar come to work with Ricardo at such a young age? What was it like?
OSKAR: It was through the Roland AIRA project, we did a split 12’’ to promote the new machines. We’ve met a few times in his studio back then; he’s an incredible person and a gifted artist. It was an honour to sit next to him and to be able to speak about music and life.
f: And how come you toured with a Guy Called Gerald? What did you do on tour? What was it like?
OSKAR: Gerald was always my mentor. He’s one of the main reasons I moved to Berlin at the age of 18; we’ve been working in his studio, I learned a lot from him back then. We went on tour together; I’ve been playing live as his support before each show. We did Japan, Moscow, Italy, Poland and some places in Germany together. I’m thrilled he’s getting involved with Deset now after many years. We invited him to play live for our Deset night at Hoppetosse on December, 21st. I can’t wait.
f: What have you got coming up/are you working on with the label and your own projects?
OSKAR: As a label, we’re trying to break the boundaries and continuously provide people with exciting music, no frames or particular styles. We want to keep the releases a secret for now, but we also throw Deset showcase parties, you can catch us on December, 7th in Italy with Juan Atkins and December, 21st at Hoppetosse with A Guy Called Gerald.
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