OWNING A LABEL, RUNNING A MUSIC SCHOOL & TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOUNDS EXTREMELY HECTIC BUT THIS TECHNO TRAILBLAZER TAKES IT ALL IN HIS STRIDE...
Hello Arjun, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Virtus, where in the world are you right now?
My pleasure :) I'm in my new home in Goa, India - we just moved a month or so ago, so taking a few weeks off to tweak my studio.
You have been in the electronic music industry for a number of years now, what was it that made you decide to take this career path & has your main interest always been techno?
I've been into music since I was a little kid - school bands, matching bands et all. It gradually moved to me playing small house parties when I was in school coz I always had the best collection. I guess in a way I knew music was something I wanted to do in some way or form.
Growing up in India, Techno was never a sound we heard, so in my early days one was into everything - and I started as a prog / breaks / house DJ. When I discovered Techno in the early 2000's I was immediately drawn to it and haven't looked back since.
What is the techno scene like in your home city & do you feel that you have really helped to push the boundaries of music there?
Well - the scene in my country, India is at a really great space right now. We have a massive pool of homegrown talent, an influx of the biggest DJs every week, and ofcourse world class festivals like Magnetic Fields & Vh1 Supersonic that even host a stage by Awakenings.
You have released a lot of music in your career and have been signed to such prestigious labels including Drumcode, Octopus, Suara & Tronic...what is your favourite ever track you have written? You can only pick one!
Oh Wow - now that's a tough one! Most recent - I guess it has to be my release on Drumcode 'Liquid' as the track just flowed out of me in a couple of hours. Music made that way, without too much thought and just being a form of expression is special.
At the beginning of 2017, you launched 'Odd Recordings' together with Ramiro Lopez, tell us the concept behind the label and what are your plans moving forward?
Ramiro and me have been good friends for many years now, and the plan for a label has been brewing for the last 3/4 years.
The idea behind ODD is to put out music we love - focusing on the harder, not-of-the-norm, unconventional Techno ... i.e. odd :)
We also don't really accept demos - the idea behind that is to invite artists who we admire and who's music we play out a lot - varies from younger to established artists, the key is music. Moving forward I think our sound will be a bit more industrial ... but we are odd that way, so you never know.
For anyone that doesn't know, you set up a music school called 'I Love Music Academy'...does it feel rewarding to be helping others realize their dreams with a gateway into this industry?
That's exactly it. Growing up I never had anyone to show me the way. As you can imagine, India did not have too many electronic artists, so the academy was something I always wanted to do. Really proud of the work my team is doing with it. We are one of he most forward thinking music schools in the country.
When you are in the studio writing music, what is one piece of hardware or software plug in that you always love to use?
My modular synth. I got into the whole modular game just recently (about 3 years ago) but I'm hooked and it's an obsession. Ever since then it's present in EVERY track I do.... even if it's just some random strange sound used as an effect. I've also added a few drum/perc modules and they just sound nasty and by default form a layer in most of my recent production.
What's the next Arjun Vagale release for us to keep our ears peeled for?
Last year I releases a lot, so I plan to slow it doing a bit this year ... tho I have a few in the works.
Too early to spill the beans, but another EP on ODD is imminent.
Are there any producers that you are really loving right now in your sets?
Absolutely loving everything Regal is doing. The Southern is on the ball making some nasty tunes as well.
Where can we see you play next?
After my short break, I'm back on the road. Next up is Vh1 Supersonic Festival in India - I'll be playing the Awakenings stage with Dax-J & Truncate. Then a quick EU trip playing Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
If you haven't already, check out Arjun's amazing latest release 'Age Of Lust' on Suara here.