Interview w/ Lag

The past few years have been really outstanding for you, with reputable releases & amazing tracks. Could you tell us how a regular day in the studio looks and feels like for you and how do you approach the entire music making process?

– It really depends, from track to track. For example with the upcoming EP on MORD I had a very clear idea what I wanted from each track and any happy accidents which resulted in something soundning cool but different from the initial idea I scrapped and pushed towards the very clear vision I had for the tracks. Some other times I just enjoy playing around and seeing where the music takes me. As for the process – I still work in Reason and greatly enjoy doing so. The program has so many possibilities when it comes to coming up with interesting stuff via routing and playing with CVs and such. Even though I have the version which supports VSTi I still only use Reason devices and Rack Extensions. I love the limitation, and I live the possibilities provided by the extra routing options.

First experience with electronic music, and how you got into Techno?

– I think it was mostly me watching MTV and seeing Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Unkle… you know, stuff like that. There were three major things that really got me into the scene though – the Techno Sensation parties in the local club which actually got me into techno, the Exit Festival which brought so much good music into my life (especially the Happynovisad, now No Sleep Novi Sad stage), and my electronic music friends such as Mikadroid, X-Coast, DJ Kilibarda etc. who pushed me to discovering amazing new genres and artists.

Were you influenced by old records and tapes if so which ones?

– I still dig back for inspiration and good music as I always have. For example I recently discovered this amazing guitar player called Gabor Szabo through youtube’s autoplay. It just kept sitting there on Rabih Abou Khalil and Yussef Kamaal related videos. Back in the day I loved listening to Tom Waits, Coil, the Neverhood OST (where I first encountered wordless singing) etc. I like to draw a lot from the outside of electronic music.

When and why did you start playing?

– I think I got my first turntable in 2004. or 2005. I just listened to Darren Emerson’s Singapore mix (which I still love to bits) and decided – yeah, I wanna be a DJ.

Do you get nervous before a performance? If so, how do you deal with it?

– Always with a new crowd. It’s the good kind of nervous. The ideal scenario is to just take it easy for the first 20-30 minutes. Feel the ground, take it easy, don’t rush to “buy” them with the obvious or safe stuff because that tells you nothing. Listen to the responses and see where it takes you. The Fiend EP was about that. Trema literally means stage fright and Kontrola is the point of control you reach after you have all the cards in your hand.

Define a superior DJ.

– A person who plays music in a way which makes you know him or see him. If he manages to communicate with the crowd through the music this is, for me, someone special. Whether it’s a full on party DJ like Dave Clark and Sunil are, or someone who’s more into music selection and exploring the depths like Nikodem Langfur or Dasha Rush – if you can really feel the persion behind the mixer it’s always something special.

What inspires you as a producer, where do you get your ideas from?

– TBH it just comes out. I’ve always been a fan of the broken rhythm, whether it’s Dom & Roland or Loktibrada, so that’s what mostly comes out. Same goes with the vocals. I can’t understand lyrics as my mind perceives vocals as just another instrument in the mix and the semantics are completely lost on me. So I just use it the way I hear it.

Artists you wish to collaborate with?

– Oh god. Surgeon, Autechre, Aphex, Plaid, BoC, Ancient Methods etc. All the unique ones. Amon Tobin, Clipping, Clark. The list goes on.

What are your personal favorite artists to listen to in your spare time?

– Too many to count tbh. BoC, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Unkle, Bibio, Childish Gambino and Morphene have been in my Winamp the most recently.

Amount of unreleased tracks on your hard drive?

– Hm not too many. I have a ton of ideas laying around and if some of them seem to have potential I just sit down and give them more work. As for actual tracks which need final touches and some more editing… I guess about 10-15.

What can people expect from your set at Friday of October 27th in Belgrade? – Good luck, can’t wait to catch you on the dance floor!

– I always have both fresh and oldschool stuff with me. The rest is up to the soundsystem and the way that the crowd vibes. It’s a dialogue so even I don’t know what to expect. All I know I’m excited for this one.