Interview by Dan Prince
Livio, Roby and George..a huge welcome to DMCWORLD. Where on planet earth can we find you today?
Usually we are all over the place, mostly in planes but sometimes you can find us home in Bucharest where we have our base. Here we have friends, families and of course our studio, always good to be here.
What is the best piece of new music you have heard today?
Disorder by Joy Division, actually was doing some digging in that direction and we found some really cool stuff, but just remembered this one and haven’t heard it in long time. Good flashback.
A really exciting start to the summer for you guys with the release of your new EP on 2020 Vision. Please talk us through the music od ‘In Sfera’…
In Sfera release contains 3 tracks: In sfera, Fidelio and Point phrase, including a Enzo Siragusa remix. Every track is different as sound and all of them are coming from studio jams.
For example the track “In Sfera” was initially coming from a small jam made for our gig in Fabric from 2015, then the Fabric mix was out and after the feedback we got from the people we thought about making it into a full track, so in 2016 we continued with another live session on this and that is how we had the track finished.
“Fidelio” was another track started as jam and then after we tested in the clubs we knew we need to add a new bass and some funky sounds to make it fit more in our live act.
“Point phase” started with a live recording of the main synth melody riff made with our looper at a gig in Amnesia, Ibiza, we liked it immediately and then in the studio we made a track with it.
True or false – you love playing word games – and that’s how you came up with your name?
Yeah!, at least with Premiesku name. We wanted to give it a true born touch so the story goes like this: We were totally surrounded by the idea of giving birth to a live act that doesn’t use computers. Afterwards we developed our concept and we explored the potential impact in our world. On that time there were not so many people doing a full machine setup live act and in Romania we were the first ones, so for us this was more like a “premiere”. So guess what? Premiesku is composed from 2 words, Premiere and the suffix Escu which is a typical ending for a Romanian surname.
Before we get to your unique performing set up, let’s rewind for a moment. What are each of your earliest memories of music from childhood?
Roby – Oh wow, this one sends me clearly in the moment when my parents were playing vinyls on the home stereo system. This happened in the 80s, i was really small and of course i was so excited about the whole picture. Was very fascinating, not only the technology which was so amazing and still is, but the sounds in the perception of a young kid, so important for later development and education generally speaking.
George – Started with the 80s when almost every of my Sundays had a classical music hour with my father. In this period around 1983 by mistake my father received a Kraftwerk vinyl album called The Man-Machine and when I played the first track called ‘The Robots’ I felt a connection with that “strange” music. That was not by chance cause after the communist times were over in the begging of the 90s I had a strong connection with Depeche Mode and electronic music in general and when I met Roby and went for my real first club party that was like a natural journey for me.
What were your career dreams growing up?
Roby : In the beginning was always changing and confusing. I guess the first thing in my mind was to follow my parents career but I couldn’t really see myself in doing business management and all this things. Still I followed my studies in that direction finishing my university and meanwhile I was running a studio in Bucharest. In the beginning of high school I realized that I want to compose electronic music and spin records and this was the first time when I had clear thoughts about my future career. Never changed since then.
What did your parents (other than be happy) want you to do with your lives…
Well I think my parents did a great job, they really tried everything and checked me out of hidden talents, but nothing popped out in the beginning! Apparently my senses for music came later. I have a strong feeling that sometimes kids are loosing their moment because of their rebel side and because the system imposes certain unpleasant rules. My folks are really open minded people and they never imposed me anything and always pushed me to do whatever I like most, finding a place for myself, a career and a future.
How did electronic music first enter your heads…
Roby: It was entering obscurely throughout my childhood, from some electronic new wave pop bands but that period in Romania was very dark and couldn’t find access to almost anything. Being restricted from information and disoriented perception of things made the life quite difficult. As soon as the eastern block went down we stared to absorb everything and gained access to data, that was the time when I reached underground electronic music on cassettes and later on CDs. I remember my first encounter was with Future Sound of London, Laurent Garnier and Josh Wink, I was so amazed by it. Actually that was the moment when I truly wanted to make music and I was trying to understand how this can be possible, all the layering, all the sounds, raising big question marks.
Livio: Well that suppose to happen very early back in the days and is a nice surprise been asked this these days for the refreshing memories moments, been somehow surrounded by music in our family as my father played instruments and I used to carry an old Russian tape machine to friends parties on the weekend and to take me with him so this way I was learning the play and rewind buttons and how to pause a tape…at this time I was were listening to the 80’ but it was a very limited genre as we had no connection or contact with anything coming from outside of our country because of the communism restrictions in that 45 years. We used to swap tapes between friends and borrow them or re record in order to get new stuff.
Early musical heroes…
Roby : I was always surrounded by different genres, I grew up with rock and classical music from my parents and then I started to discover by myself more electronic orientated projects. Digging more and more and accessing information I started to follow more underground music back in the 90’s, listening to Laurent Garnier, early works of Josh Wink and Baby Ford changed perception completely, actually is the same period when i started to produce some beats.
Livio : Once discovering the LPs and remix versions it was a completely new era for me. I was curios and wondered why they are selling a track in different versions that we know other than radio edit or hearing it on MTV. This got me into the world of remixers and electronic this had a massive impact in what I discovered which took me into club music, house or techno.
I remember the Shamen , The Prodigy , Pette Heller, Tori Amos and Bjork..Uk and German influences most of all LIKE “ ELECTRICA SALSA’ but also US house and club dance like David Moralles, Junior Vasquez, Master at Works and Todd Terry.
How did the trio form?
Roby : Myself and George met quite long time ago in back in 2002, that happened in a common friends studio. From the first time we met we just connected, we clicked, we had a good vibe and we said that we should go on this road together.
Not long after, we opened a studio in the centre of the city. That was the moment when we knew exactly that this is our journey. In 2005 I met Livio through a common friend and then the same story, we just got along so well, we shared the same musical taste and seemed that we can work together, making a lot of music that’s where the Livio & Roby project came to life.
In 2007 we wanted to make a new project where George can get more involved and in the same time developing a special live act. We had different concepts on the way and we changed it all the time until Premiesku took life. First release was in 2009 and immediately after that we knew exactly how our live act should look like.
You guys have a very innovative live setup, entirely analog. How did the idea emerge for creating such consoles?
Well, in the beginning we tried different methods of producing sounds and we always felt comfortable in an analog environment because the sound is more alive. The whole process is more interactive, you touch a real machine, an instrument and everything becomes animated. This was basically the main point, the main attraction that drove us doing a live act. Then was the authenticity, we wanted to have something quite unique that defines us.
After you decided what exactly you wanted to create as equipment for yourself, what difficulties did you encounter until you brought it to existence?
Was a very difficult process, everything started of course with the concept itself and then with some drawings. It took a while until we found the team that can help us finalising our project. We remembered that the biggest concern was that we were too late and we had to perform our first show. Was a last minute rush, very intense actually but that made it also special.
What feedback have you received from other artists?
People liked it immediately as they saw it. We instantly aroused curiosity because was very unique and of course everybody wanted to see and hear. One of our first gigs was over strung because was very new even for us so we had to adapt and stretch everything perfectly. Every gig and every new place gives us the possibility to understand more there is always something new to learn.
Next weekend sees the mighty Revolution Festival return to Timisoara with three days and 7 arenas including Dubfire, Rudimental, LTJ Bukem and yourselves. How does this festival rate up there compared to other events around the world?
The Romanian scene is thriving right now, there are a lot of nice events all over the country. It’s a particular vibe here, people who came to sun waves can confirm that, but all the places have their own charm that’s why it’s cool to see them all. Living in Bucharest we could feel that in the last years the local movement started to evolve on a different level, there are so many good parties around, you just need to go out from the house and you’ll find a cool event. The festivals are rising up as well as this summer there were a lot of good parties.
The underground scene in Romania continues to flourish. Who are some of the other artists currently making waves in your home country?
There are all time new kids popping out, every year new talented producers and DJs getting more known and actually they do an amazing job. We’re really happy to see this happening because we really appreciate quality and these people are just looking to get the best out of it, nothing else. So many to name but lately we’ve heard some great tracks from Lizz, Cosmjn and Vicentiulian.
What is each other’s most annoying habit on tour?
Roby : Haha, wouldn’t say annoying habits because we learned how to look after each other. This is very important, we traveled together so many times and we know one another so good. It’s difficult to name bad habits because we don’t really see it that way, its more about understanding and reaching your goal rather than getting annoyed.
Enzo Siragusa is a big fan of yours and always invites you to his FUSE parties in London and Ibiza. Tell us about Ibiza, what do you love about the White Isle, what are some of the best experiences you have had there…
Roby : There are great memories surrounding that place. We love the island even though so many things have changed lately. Ibiza is the place to be in the summer. Every year i get excited to go back there. We used to live there for the whole season, or at least 4-5 months a year. Was one of the most special periods of my life, living there changes your perception about the island and makes you take it from a different angle. When you come there couple of days or just a week as a tourist, you don’t get the spirit. I have great memories with amazing people, we discovered all the special places and we had enough time to explore every little corner, it’s fascinating. I took a break couple of years but now I would love to live there again, I feel it’s the right moment to bring back that magic.
And finally, what is coming out next from you guys musically?
We’re working on our album and on updating the live act. It’s been a couple of years since we put out an album, we just felt is the right moment and we started working on it. Pretty excited actually. Forthcoming we also have an EP coming out in July on the legendary Vakant, the release will be both vinyl and digital including a huge remix from Varhat.