Darius Syrossian’s Do Not Sleep imprint is a label that needs little introduction. In just a few short years the brand has gone from strength to strength, hosting parties from Ibiza to Ireland and serving up tasty releases from some of the scenes hottest rising talents. With Ibiza season soon approaching, and big things already on the cards, When We Dip sat down with the label frontman to talk all things production, collaborations and new releases, as well as what Do Not Sleep has in store for the White Isle this summer.
WWD: I had the pleasure of seeing you play down at Portsmouth in October for a Concrete Thursday night and you ripped the basement to shreds! As a DJ, do you favour the intimate vibe a nightclub provides, or the large scale productions a festival set brings?
My truthful answer to this is the smaller intimate club, the low ceiling, where you can really go as deep and weird and soulful and trippy and it still works. With the big festival stage thing, that doesn’t really work as well, it’s mainly peak time tracks. Obviously a good DJ can make everything work, but it’s just a well known fact among all DJs that when you are given a more intimate space, the music takes over everything else, and it’s not about the spectacle. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some unforgettable sets on big stages, like Hideout and other festivals, or for example Space closing, but hand on heart, some of those sets I used to do at Sankeys Ibiza in that basement I still get people messaging me saying, “Darius, please go back there”, and that for some it was the best nights they ever had. I remember one time the vibe was that good, and everyone was on exactly the same level, so much that when i finished my set & the lights came on not only all the crowd was showing appreciation even all the bar staff were stood on the bar & were all dancing at the end. So yeah, give me that intimate club vibe with a low ceiling and I’ll play a 10 hour set happily.
WWD: Do Not Sleep has cemented itself as one of the scenes most respected brands in the last three years, and has been responsible for plucking some of the ripest fruit from the tech house tree including Cuartero, Hector Couto, Emanuel Satie, Leon, Tommy Vercetti Harry Romero & more. What can fans expect from the label in 2017?
Lots of good music that fits the ethos behind the party, and it can be anyone from upcoming talent to legends like Harry Romero, it’s all about the music being right, we have some amazing stuff coming out.
WWD: The monthly Do Not Sleep radio show never fails to disappoint neither, and with guests such as Detlef and Yousef it’s not hard to see why! From a DJing perspective would you say you prefer mixing in the studio for the radio podcast, or to larger crowds at events?
From a DJing perspective, of course to a crowd, that’s the fun part, making people go on a journey. The show is different, still fun of course, but nothing beats being in control of making people have a good time and losing themselves to the music.
WWD: In the past, you’ve teamed up with the likes of Doorly and Hector Couto to produce some killer tracks, as well as Josh Butler more recently. In terms of 2017 are there any other collaborations on the cards? And who would be your dream producer to make a track with?
I’m doing a lot more solo work at the moment, I’ve just had releases on legendary labels like Mobilee, 20/20 VISION, Kaluki Musik, and I’ve signed solo tracks to Snatch and also Alan Fitzpatricks new label WE ARE THE BRAVE, which come out later in the summer. I have probably the biggest collab ever that I just completed this week, myself & Steve Lawler have just finished 2 tracks which we are both really feeling. Stay tuned for more info on this.
WWD: The Do Not Sleep Ibiza tour will be heading to Dublin’s infamous District 8 at the weekend, and with Flashmob and Mihalis Safras joining you it’s safe to say things are looking exciting! You’ve played at this club before and it’s always gone down a treat, so how important would you say the venue is in creating a wicked night?
I have never had a a bad gig or even an average gig in Dublin! I love the Irish and I love how much passion they have for music and life. Last time i played District 8 it was absolutely amazing so I’m really excited to play there again!
WWD: In the Soundcloud comments of your New Year’s Day mix for Kaluki live at the Albert Hall you alluded to a new track coming out soon called ‘Moon Buggy’. We heard it in the set and it’s certainly a belter, with plenty of hard hitting beeps to get any raver grooving. As you can tell we’re proper excited so we had to ask: any news on when/where it will be released?
Yes as I mentioned in an earlier answer, it’s coming out on Riva Starr’s Snatch Label, along with Fugazi Land, another track I have made. We are just waiting on the label to sort the remixer out and then we can schedule a release.
WWD: Can you tell us a bit about the DO NOT SLEEP plans for summer? we hear rumours your party will be throwing another weekly party on the white isle & you also have a show at DC10 as well?
Yes, I could take the easy option and just guest around and play for other parties, like 2 shows each for 5 or 6 other parties but that isn’t as rewarding for me. It may be financially but that doesn’t come first for me.
I prefer to have my own party and see the people come weekly, and those who come, come for the music that we do, you build a family vibe like that.
We had several options and some offers from the biggest clubs but I want to take it back underground this summer, I want to really enjoy the music and have a really underground venue, not about being in a super club where a lot of the crowd are tourists rather than true music heads. All will be revealed soon, but yes apart from our own weekly party, I’m doing a show at DC10 for Paradise and Jamie Jones. Also I’ll be doing a couple of shows for Blue Marlin with the Kaluki guys as a day party, plus a couple of other one offs that I can’t say yet. The main thing will be our weekly DO NOT SLEEP party. I’m excited & hope to see loads of people