Interview w/ RAR

What represents your DJ nickname – RAR ? How would you describe yourself as a DJ?

– There’s not too much mystery behind that pseudonym which was given to me by my friend Ivan Wagner. hahaha ☺ RAR is an acronym of my name. Hi, I’m Rajko Ristanović.

I know you’re a passionate record collector. Where did that passion came from, and what’s your favorite record?

– When at the end of the 90’s I feel the need to begin learning DJ-ing starting collecting records was the most natural thing. CD players were very new and not that widely spread technology, and things just started to happen with Final Scratch and SERATO, so, vinyl records were basic medium from which music was played in the clubs.  It was a love at first site, there’s something special in actually being able to physically “feel” the music you play, also, record covers were very interesting to me, sometimes they’re actual work of art. The whole record buying ritual was always a big “high” for me, making a stack you go through listening in a record shop, leading to taking home just a few of favorite ones. I enjoyed all of that, and it got under my skin, it’s addictive in a way. Once you “catch” that virus it stays in you till the end of your life, you can ask Dušan Kačarević about that. hahaha ☺ My favorite record, actually itćs a 4 record compilation – Carl Craig / Workout.

You’re against differentiating of music by genre, what’s the range of music we can hear in your sets?

– Yes, uniform, strict 4/4 sets bore me, I like when set has big dynamic range as opposition to one straight line. I don’t have anything against “cutting” a techno set with one or two house tracks, that’s a risk that doesn’t pay off every time, but when it does it’s something special. People shouldn’t be underestimated, and in my opinion  DJ should never  play a track just to please the crowd. DJ should present the music people should wish to hear (I’m paraphrasing an old BBC slogan ☺) and in that way open he opens up a musical spectre, motivating them to further explore label or the artist he presented to them.  

What’s the track that marked year 2017. in your opinion?

– I just can’t simply pick one track, there was so many great ones. I can say that ARTS label from Berlin, lead by Emmanuel who is a fantastic DJ and a great producer, really got themselves a place in the spotlight  this year.  Emmanuel brought together a very talented group of producers from all over the world giving them freedom to make music they want to make without molding into commercial trends dictated by the mainstream market. Artist like: I Hate Models, Keith Carnal, Shlomo etc. really made a name for themselves publishing tracks on ARTS. Emmanuel himself released a game changing album just a few months ago and it will be very interesting to see in which way he will further develop the label now when it’s on everyone’s radar. (Track named Conductor from Emmanuel plays in the background) hahaha ☺.

DJ you admire and club you would like to play and why?

– It was a long time ago when I was admiring DJ’s. hahaha ☺ When I was younger my favorite DJ/producer and role model was Juan Atkins. club I would like to play is REX in Paris, cause I’m connecting it with Laurent Garnier who also had a great influence on my music taste.

Besides you’re a great DJ, do you practice music production?

– Thank you for saying that I’m a great DJ, there’s always room for progress. hahaha ☺ No, I’m not practicing music production for a very long time now. At least 10 years passed from when I was sitting behind some kind of software for music production. While I was making music it was in REASON, and later on when it was possible I was rewiring it with Ableton LIVE. That was long time ago. ☺

Music Reactions organization absolutely proven itself right after first REACT party. How MR was “born” and what is the essence of the organization which you co-founded?

– Organization emerged from some kind of revolt and resistance against what was at that time offered to the people from electronic music menu. We hated the sound that was becoming dominant and the list of international guest artists  coming to Serbia could be very easily predicted cause it was following a simple pattern. When we got the chance, or better to say when we collected the funds for that quest, Ivan Wagner and I came to an idea to start with Music Reactions. At the beginning we had a lot of help coming from another friend – Petar Kovačević. Main goal of organization is to present values of techno culture, most important of them beeing – freedom, love and respect, but also we wanted to be the force which would inspire people to be more curious in researching and learning new things. Ivan and I are giving our best to always bring and offer something new and different to the people, and to intrigue them in a aesthetic way.

What can we expect from Music Reactions in the future?

– It’s certain that you can expect interesting things, cause the trust we feel coming from the people is giving us a sense of responsibility from which we won’t be hiding. For 2018. ,with friends from club Drugstore, we already closed a couple of excellent bookings which we will be announcing soon.