A little over a year ago we welcomed Semantica Records owner, Svreca to London for his On the 5th Day debut and as expected, we were blown away and inspired to the max, not only by his musical prowess, addictive zeal and skills behind the decks, but by his unshakeable values and solid vision. Our belief in what we’re striving for with On the 5th Day was excelled to new levels thanks to our encounter and after just a few short hours hanging out in the studio, it hit us that that was potentially the beginning of a very exciting twist in our story.
We weren’t wrong!
Not long after that, Svreca agreed to be our resident for 2018, pledging to work with us to create three separate line-ups throughout the year, at which he would also play. So far, we’ve danced our way through an incredible night with Luigi Tozzi and Psyk back in January - absolutely one for the books - and we’ve locked July 21st in London’s techno diary with ASC and Hydrangea. Svreca’s final appearance of the year will take place in November and is guaranteed to be another humdinger!
In the meantime, it is our honour and privilege to share this short interview with you, providing insight into what makes Svreca tick, including his love for and commitment to the scene’s b-siders.
We're obviously hugely excited to be working with you, in your capacity as both an artist (whose style and approach motivates us on a personal level and pretty much perfectly represents On the 5th Day), but also as the boss of one of the most forward-thinking labels out there. Can you tell us a bit about why collaborating with On the 5th Day was appealing for you?
Thanks for the kind words. It's always nice to hear an introduction like this one about the label and myself.
I remember very well my feelings when I received the On the 5th Day residence proposal; I was so happy and excited because is very attractive for me to work over long-term projects for different reasons. We had an excellent first contact at many levels and the idea to create a stronger link and continue working together discover an amazing horizon to me.
The first date of my residency confirmed everything I had in mind regarding this collaboration. We developed a real relationship, a shared purpose. We met as friends and all the incertitude I have before any new gig got transformed into a very positive energy.
How would you describe the Semantica label to someone not yet familiar with it?
Not an easy question…. but I like to think is like that B side of a record you initially skip, but some time later becomes one of your favourites tracks. It’s all about timing.
No doubts you’re asked this all the time but we’re genuinely intrigued… How do you feel about the techno scene at the moment? Where do you think it's going and what role do you see Semantica, and Svreca, playing in this journey?
I think the techno scene is totally polarised, and this year is all about to confirm this. Techno became mainstream; the word ‘Techno’ became too many things and I hear again the worst stuff from the genre… but at the same time new artists and labels emerge with amazing ideas and in some spots the best of what this word means to me is happening.
I will try to continue spreading my vision and maybe it will be hard to understand, but a lot of people will check that B side later.
What do you look for when signing new artists or releases to the imprint? Is it purely a matter of your own personal taste and what you connect with at the time, or more than this?
Today it’s all about my input as a selector / Dj. That’s the way I discover new artists and later I may sign a release or contribution to the label.
For a long time I haven’t listened to any demo without having any link with the artist. I can’t tell you the number of demos I receive via email, Soundcloud, etc.
At the beginning I remember listening a lot to Myspace sites. It was an amazing way to discover new music. For example, I asked Grischa Lichtenberger for a remix after listening to his music on Myspace. What a talent!
It’s not easy to configure a good EP, so sometimes we invest a lot of time looking for the right tracks, and many artists can confirm it’s not easy to work with me at this level. I try to listen zillions of times the stuff to avoid - the kind of tracks that are very good on the first listenings but you get tired soon of them. Also, it’s quite important for me that the structure and other characteristics of the track have reasonable parameters to play it properly in a set.
How would you describe the feelings attached to a positive, memorable DJ set and what, for you, makes a stand-out or more memorable performance?
I think this is clearly defined by the connection with the crowd; if that connection is strong your set will be memorable no matter if you have some fails regarding mixes or tracks choices. There will be always a way to transform that mistakes into something beautiful or better than your initial idea or track purpose.
FRUE at VENT (Tokyo) was something very near of what I try to explain above.
Which artists currently inspire you and why?
Wata Igarashi, Hydrangea, Milena Glowacka, ASC, Blazej Malinowsky, Newa, Ruhig, Acronym, Pris, Kwartz.
There are a lot of names I could mention here. Anyway, I will be supporting their stuff out there.
How do you prepare for your DJ sets?
I work a lot over new music; check constantly new promos, new material from labels and artists I usually get on Bandcamp.
I separate the stuff into three different slots: opening – peak time – closing. So the result is around 1000 tracks. So I check this pre-choice constantly and mark tracks from ‘key’, to ‘very good’ and try to build around that tracks. You rarely play more than 60-80 tracks, so I define the direction of the set and pick the key tracks that will draw my idea.
Part of our mission is to be able to create an environment/experience where artists have the freedom to truly express themselves in the moment, perhaps pushing boundaries or going beyond what might be expected from them. Our impression from your amazing closing set with us in May 2017 is that you were able to stretch your legs a little bit on the night. Is that correct? Do you find you regularly have opportunities to do that or are you having to chase this type of opportunity – where you feel you can fully let go and deliver the true Svreca experience? What do you think the main/most important criteria for this type of experience are for an artist like yourself i.e. open minded crowd (which is then partly the responsibility of the promoter)?
Well, I had that feeling after dropping a few tracks and feel the energy from the crowd, but at the beginning I had a lot of doubts about the direction of my set and remember perfectly how I took a few minutes checking the folder looking for the right start.
Yes, I find it sometimes, and also because I’m looking for the right spots to play. Nobody wants to play in the wrong place, but it's true that I learned a lot about Dj’ing and my vision had changed a lot during the years in the way of understanding a crowd and translating that to music choices. But back to reference about what ‘Techno’ word means today… if I’m playing in the wrong place I’m sure I don’t have any of that techno tracks to please the audience.
I rarely think the promoter is related with the crowd, this is something that a promoter may shift with lots of years of work and background.
Audience empathy is a very important part of what I need for a true Svreca set, aside typical elements you can find in a club.
We couldn’t resist asking, what advice would you give to any budding producers out there who are inspired by you and Semantica?
Patience over the solid ideas.
Thank you, Svreca!
Check out Svreca's On the 5th Day podcast here, released 07-06-18