What a fantastic and candid interview, thank you Kosta for this.. and for all reading, don’t forget to book your ticket now!Metrolux label boss XDB will be playing for Meat Free on Friday, July 22nd, alongside Belfast’s Twitch DJs, don’t miss out.
You’ve been djing since the 90’s – are there any stand-out artists that have influenced your style over the years?
The biggest influence comes from listening to an eclectic mix of music over the years and I simply pay huge respect to all those genre pioneers . Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus aka Basic Channel / Rhythm & Sound / Maurizio for example have been an influence for the dub part in my music selection for sure.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen over the years of playing and listening to music in clubs? Negative, and positive?
One negative change I’ve seen over the years while playing music is that quite a lot of people take too much care about their cellphones, even on the dancefloor . It’s a vibe-killer and another one is caused by the non-smoking rules. People move out for smoking, coming back in for a couple of minutes and go out again for the next cigarette. This goes on and on. I remember those days of people dancing for hours non stop .. falling in love with the music and dancing like there is no tomorrow..
You’re the successful head of your own label – what has running Metrolux taught you, have you felt that it has helped you develop as an artist? Has it ever surprised you?
Running Metrolux has taught me that it is a good opportunity to have an own label and being able to share the music you like most with others around the globe and it kicked off surprisingly good and every release sold out within two weeks. 6 releases in 9 years so yes there is no rush at all.
Bringing out music is like connecting to the world musicwise and yes it helped me for sure to develop as an artist. I mean I was DJ ing since 1993, but my first gig abroad was at Labyrinth festival in Japan in 2008, so that´s 15 years later and this daydream did not happen in first place just because of being a well experienced DJ but also because the person who runs the festival was a big fan of my productions. It kicked off some things for me for sure.
Family and music – do you have any insight into how to juggle the two?
My wife is the captain of the boat. She is super supportive, manages everything at home when I’m abroad for DJing . I am very thankful for this. Our daughter Melina, 9yrs old is surprising me each and every day. She has just wanted a metal detector and it arrived this morning. So we’ve kept an eye out for the big treasure today and found two coins and a screw outdoors which resulted in great happiness. Yes I am a proud father and loving it, to spend as much time as possible with her and my wife … really super lucky to have such a lovely family. During the night when both are sleeping, I do start doing my music related stuff. Checking out new releases, working on remixes or new tracks. Well I need some sleep aswell, but too much of it makes me lazy.
You’ve become a Free-rotation favourite over the years – what do you love about Free-ro?
Free-ro has such great vibe and for me one of the best crowds. A family weekend full of lovely people and music heads. This makes it easy for me to play just the stuff I like the most, it does not matter whether it is more house, techno, electro or something inbetween. Festivals like Freerotation are super rare and it is an annual highlight for me to come play there and spend good times with likeminded people. It is also the place where my booker Lerato Khathi aka Lakuti heard me for the first time as a DJ and inviting me to come play at one of her Sud parties in London with Levon Vincent – which resulted in another invite to join the artist roster of her Uzuri Agency. I am very happy and grateful to be in such good company.
You were born and have been living in Germany for a long time but your parentage is Greek – do you still have a strong connection with Greece and can you describe the music scene to us there?
Yes I was born in Germany and live there with my greek passport in this small student town called Göttingen . My father sadly passed away earlier this year but they both liked it a lot to live and work there too. Greece has been a holiday place for me and I had no connections to the music scene at all there. It took quite a long time to get my first request to come play there. That was 2011 in Athens and most people didn’t even know that I am greek. Almost everybody thought I am US-American and spoke to me in english. It felt strange somehow just because I do speak greek fluently. I’ve been telling them “Hey I am greek and I do speak your language!”
Played a couple of gigs in Hellas since then and the people still prefer to talk english.. well that´s fine. Every country has its electronic music scene, always enjoyed playing there and also have heard really great things coming out of Greece. Been blown away and I recommend to check out the “Into the Light Compilation – A Journey into Greek Electronic Music” – classics and rarities from 1978 – 1991 on Into the Light records.
Do you have any go-to DAWs, synths, hardware for producing music?
There is no secret weapon. Simply trusting in my ears and personal taste in music . With enough time, effort and your own sound signature you will be able to come to a result which pleases yourself and also some more people around the globe..
This can be done in a studio full of high end gear but it is also possible to do the right thing just with your small laptop, cubase vst and a couple of old plugins.
You’ve been involved in many collaborations and releases over the years – do you have a favourite? If so, why?
My favourite is probably the collaboration with Patrice Scott. He is the man, an awesome DJ and great producer too. We met through Myspace and started both with our labels in 2006. I bought the first four Sistrum releases before we contacted each other. He asked me for some tracks for Sistrum. I really loved that label and sent him “Espac” and “F.E.B”. He liked both tracks.. did not even ask for other / better ones. He just brought them out on SIS 005.. as simple as that. Another one came out 5 years later, the “Frocks” EP. We played together in Berlin and I played out “Frocks” from CD and he was like “wow, what is that tune?” I told him it’s my new one and it is going to come out on Diamonds & Pearls music (DNP).
I could tell you a long story about what happened afterwards… well in the end it came out on Sistrum and the EP became charted at the Groove Magazine Top 50 in position #2 and we did several represses.
Also always great b2b gigs in the past and looking forward to play some upcoming 10 years of Sistrum nights with him and other artists presented by the label.
You’re fabled to own 10,000 vinyl records – it’s safe to say you have a vinyl love-affair, what started it off for you?
Well it started with the Dead or Alive “You Spin me Round” 7″ in 1984.
Other people do spend money on cigarettes, alcohol, cars or whatever else. Honestly I’ve never been a smoker and never had a big car, simply loving it to buy, collect and play out records. Yes truly a kinda love affair and there is no end in sight.
What can Manchester expect when you play for us on 22nd July? We’re excited!!
It´s an honour for every artist to come play in Manchester and its clubbing history. My third performance at Soup Kitchen… thanks for the invite .