Ibiza Voice Podcast 548 :: Mahony
Dance music has a lot to thank Bucharest’s Kristal Club for. In the mid 2000s it helped connect Ricardo Villalobos and countless other big western DJs to a young, audience who would years later go onto to forge this decade’s much hyped Romanian sound. Bucharest native Mahony is one of those DJs who found inspiration on Kristal’s dancefloor. He had a breakout year in 2017, touring in South America for the first time, releasing on Hector’s Vatos Locos label, playing Sunwaves 21 and of course, his longtime hunting ground, Kristal.
Ibiza Voice: How did you record the mix and what equipment did you use?
Mahony: I used Ableton Live [to create the mix]. There’s no particular theme or tactic. I just tried to do what I always do; start from a point and go to another point, creating a story.
Where do you get your music from?
Most of the music comes from friends and the people I know. Almost everyday someone is sending me a track that he/she made. I still go online shopping from websites like Decks or Juno but when I travel and have the time, I like to go to record shops. One of my favourites is Space Hall in Berlin. The guys working there are awesome, the place has a super friendly vibe and also, you can have surprises like bumping into tINI or Thomas Melchior while you're digging for records.
Tell us about your record collection?
My record collection includes multiple genres. I grew up with hip-hop and of course I've got 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A. and Rakim in there, but also [artists like] INXS, Miles Davis, and many more in between. I'm always excited to play records by my fellow Romanians, such as Priku, Ada Kaleh, SIT, Barac, Arapu and Premiesku.
So far I’ve bought a lot of records on my travels, and I'm always looking forward to visiting a record shop in key places like Berlin or London. My favourite [records] include releases by Ron Trent, Ricardo Villalobos, DJ Hell, but I must admit, my number one choice is Frankie Knuckles 'Your love'.
Tell us about the scene you came up in?
I started going to underground hip-hop clubs and as I grew, I started to discover more and more cool places such as Kristal Club. There weren't many clubs at that time; Studio Martin, WEB and a couple of after parties in small venues. But out of all of them, Kristal was my favorite. The artists they brought were crazy for that time. I remember full-house parties, big names, and a lot of dancing.
What's been the most pivotal moment in your career so far and why?
I’ve had a few pivotal moments in my career. The first back to back that I did with Loco Dice at Sunwaves [stands out] or when Dubfire invited me to join him for his South American tour and his showcase at BPM.
The lead track from Mahony’s 2017 EP on VL Recordings.
What made Kristal so special in the early to mid 2000s?
I grew up with Kristal Club, and I fell in love with electronic music listening to so many great artists there when I was a teen. Hearing people like Sasha and Digweed in a club in Bucharest, at that time was insane. I was lucky to have been to parties with a wide variety of artists like Trentemøller, Richie Hawtin, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, DJ Hell, Lee Burridge or Deep Dish.
I have so many amazing memories and I couldn't wait for the weekend to discover new names and learn more about the music. This inspired me to pursue my career as a DJ and I got to experience many trends from progressive house to minimal, learning from each one.
For the rest of Europe, Romania and minimal are so heavily linked, it's hard to imagine that the country listens to anything else but a:rpria:r! Your sound is a bit broader than minimal, do people from overseas mistake you for a minimal artist?
My sound varies a lot, and it's a lot different but it's amazing what the guys achieved. They worked hard and I know them since forever. I even opened for Rhadoo in 2007. It's always impressive to see the great connection they created abroad that translates into legendary Sunwaves sets, where a:rpia:r are adored by foreigners and Romanians alike.
What's the scene in Bucharest like now?
Things have changed a lot in the last five years. People follow trends a lot, and each generation has its key places. The afterparties are still long, the Romanians are playing their specific places, Kristal Club is still going strong with big names, new names and a variety of genres and artists. There are a lot more promoters and the audience is divided, but each tries their best to keep up with the trends.
It's interesting to see how things evolved in the last ten years. People started enjoying underground music more, and that brought a new wave of party-goers into the scene. I’m nostalgic about those times when everyone almost knew everyone, but this is the same trend that happens around the world. Electronic music starts to gather a bigger audience and the vibe changes, but the competition between promoters and artists makes the scene better for music as a whole.
To follow Mahony on Facebook click here.