We caught up with Vinyl Speed Adjust ahead of their upcoming set at The Cause in London which takes place July 13th, having grown up in the heart of the Romanian house scene the duo run us through what they have coming up soon and how they prepare for sets.
WWD : Hey Guys, it’s good to have a chat with you today! Where are you in the world right now? And what have you been up to recently?
Hello, thanks for the invitation. We’re currently based in our home city of Bucharest. It has been a very busy first half of the year, especially on the gigging front, which is great. We’ve been lucky enough to tour across North America and Mexico, as well as visiting Australia for the first time, to play in Melbourne and Sydney. More recently we were invited to play at Club der Visionaere and Sisyphos, two of the most highly regarded clubs in Berlin, which was pretty special, and we also returned to play at The Block in Tel Aviv for the second time this year. It is one of our most favourite clubs in the World to play at, so if you’ve not been yet then we definitely recommend you check it out! You may not expect it, but they have a really strong underground clubbing culture in Tel Aviv, as well as it being a beautiful city.
WWD : Clearly you both love vinyl, what makes you hold true to it? Would you ever switch over to a digital setup?
Well our affinity to vinyl is partly to do with the music we grew-up on, most of which we collected on wax. Record collecting is a part of our lifestyle, and whenever we’re visiting different cities for gigs we make the effort to drop-by the local record stores to do some digging. You can’t beat finding hidden gems to play!
We also think it has a lot to do with the sound quality too. We feel that the music we produce is complimented better when it is played on vinyl. So if you’re asking us whether we’d substitute vinyls for traktor, then absolutely not. We usually play across three CDJ 2000’s and two 1210’s, so we aren’t averse to a digital set-up, if you’re referring to playing with USBs. But you won’t ever see our heads buried in a laptop, that’s just not for us. We do hope one day to be able to curate our own live show, which would no doubt incorporate both analog and digital, but there are no plans of this happening anytime in the near future.
WWD : 2018 has been a big year for you both, after a 12 show tour across across North America and Mexico. What’s next?
Is has indeed, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down which is great! We’re off on our first tour of South America on July 20th, where we will be visiting seven different cities across Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, before returning via Paris for our first show at Concrete on August 22nd. It should be a great experience, and we feel very privileged to have this opportunity.
We should also mention that on the 13th July we’ll be back in London to play at The Cause. We took this show without a fee because we believe in the project and want to support the venue in raising money for mental health charities. If you haven’t heard of it, then you should definitely check-out one of their events – most artists waive their fee with the proceeds of the events being donated to charity. It also has a killer custom-built Core soundsystem! You can find out more about The Cause here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3232
WWD : You seem to have a close relationship with Visionquest, anything coming soon you want to tell us about?
We do for sure, the Visionquest guys are great. We first met Ryan, Shaun and Lee when we were living in Barcelona back in 2015. We shared some music together, and they were digging our sound, so they invited us to release on their label. A few months later ‘Carpe Diem’ was released, with our second EP ‘Retro’ released a year later in 2016.
We’re very pleased to say that we recently signed our third EP on the label, ‘Back and Forth,’ which includes four original tracks from ourselves and will be released sometime in September. So we feel very much at home on the label, and we’re excited about what what the future holds working together.
WWD : The Romanian scene has been picked up on a global scale in recent years, why do you think that is?
Romania is of course an inspirational hub for electronic music, and the country has produced a lot of great artist over the years. But a mistake a lot of people make, is that they regard our underground music culture as something very recent, but in fact it goes a lot further back than most people understand, especially when we are talking about the minimal scene.
Playedby wrote a great article on the genre’s history earlier this year, so if you really want to know about what has inspired what we do today, and why the Romanian scene has so much global recognition, then you should definitely check it out… http://playedby.club/thehistoryofrominimal.
WWD : Your bookings seem to be going global, anything coming in Ibiza this year?
Yes we do. We’re very happy to be heading back to Ibiza again in September, as we’ve been invited to play at Underground for Nima Gorji’s NG Trax series. It is a club which we respect a lot, and many good artists have played there, so we are looking forward to playing for the first time there too, it should be great.
We last played in Ibiza at Space during its farewell year in 2016, and also for Unusual Suspects at Sankeys the same year, so it will be good to be back on the island as we feel it is an important place for us to share our music.
WWD : Ibiza turns into a hot bed of dance music every summer, would you ever consider a residency at a major club? Any one in particular? Why?
This isn’t something we’ve spent much time thinking about to be honest. Of course we would always consider a residency, as you can create something very unique with the venue if you play there on a regular basis.
But if we had to choose one club, then Underground would probably be the best fit for our sound, it also shares the same ethos as us. In the meantime though, we’re just happy to be invited to play there as a guest.
On the topic of residencies, we’ve actually just signed our first club residency last week. We can’t say too much about it yet, but all should be revealed soon enough. We’ll be playing the first residency show during one of Europe’s biggest festivals in October..We’ll let you ponder over where that may be.
WWD : Before you play a big set, is there anything you both do to help you get in the zone?
We spend a considerable amount of time carefully selecting which records to take with us for a gig, and also sifting through the many promos we get sent too. Most sets we play nowadays are minimum 3 hours, but playing more than 4 hours is quite normal, so we have a lot of records we need to bring with us!
On the night itself, spending time with the promoter and the people who have invited us as their guest, always helps to create a nice vibe, and it is one of the most special parts of the experience which we enjoy. We always feel ready to play a big set after a nice meal, good wine and great company!
WWD : Every DJ has something that pushes them to create their own tracks, what was it for you guys?
We’ve always been motivated by passion and love for the music, so our motivation is innate rather than being driven by anything extrinsically rewarding. We get excited at the prospect of sharing our creativity with people through our music, so it never feels like a chore. Also, playing in so many amazing cities around the world and experiencing all their different cultures, keeps us very inspired to push ourselves further. We channel a lot of this inspiration into our music.
WWD : You have a really strong back catalogue, if you could pick three of your own songs as favourites, what would they be
That is a difficult question, especially as we’re our own biggest critics. But also because there was a reason why we created each individual track at that moment. At the time that is how we were feeling, and how the music came together in the studio.
All the tracks we’ve produced fit into a bigger story which we are still telling today, both through the music which has already been released, and with the music which we will release in the future. Some tracks will resonate with certain people, whilst others won’t, but that is not for us to dictate…
So we’d rather sit on the fence and say all or none of them to make everyone happy!
WWD : If you could pick three DJs to share a line up with for one night in a club, who would they be?
Another tough question, and one we’ll also have to sit on the fence for we’re afraid. It is really difficult for us to pick three specific DJs to share a lineup with, as we respect everybody that we have played with, and there are lot of artists with whom we have yet to play, that we will enjoy sharing the stage with too when that time comes around.
The most important thing for us at any party we play, is that everyone has a good time and that the people enjoy the music.
WWD : Cheers for speaking to us today !
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To see Vinyl Speed Adjust on July 13th in London, get tickets for The Cause on Resident Advisor here.