In the next installment of our podcast series, Muno.pl proudly pres Viadrina, who have recently been dominating the dance floor on both sides of the Oder.
Viadrina, it seems, are on everyboy's lips these days. And with strong releases on Your Mama's Friend and Klasse under their belts, it really should come as no surprise. We asked the red hot Polish duo to record an exclusive mix for us, they agreed, and right in time for the weekend, we have the results for you in the latest instalment of the Muno.pl podcast series. Enjoy!
Viadrina made quite a name for itself last year in the Polish scene. Do you in any way feel that last year was an especially good year for you guys, or are you modest and won't admit it?
I don't even think that it is a matter of being modest, but if we were to make such a statement, it would be quite unfair to the rest of the Polish scene. To be honest, the biggest success story of last year was undoubtedly Pets Recordings. But that ,too, isn't all, as we also had many things to get excited about from the likes of Marcin Czubala, Catz n Dogz, Pol_On and SLG. And we also have to mention Kuba Sojka and The Phantom, who also made waves last year. Oh, and let's not forget about Chmara Winter's debut. In light of all of this, there really is no point to turn this question into a sort of list of the top Polish artists. But the truth be told, we feel that the Polish scene is moving in the right direction, and that things are very, very good. Anyway, yes, we do feel that we had a good year and we are more than happy to have been so well received in both Poland and abroad.
Before you made your debut, the word Viadrina was almost always associated with the international university in Frankfurt on the Oder. What is the story behind the name of your duo?
Well, coming up with a name is almost always a difficult task, unless the name comes automatically and in an organic manner. And if it doesn't come naturally, you have to be very, very careful, as it does define what you do in the future, almost in the same way a tattoo sort of sticks with you for the rest of your life. So, if you do not get it right the first time, what you are in danger of doing is changing and multiplying (potentially) names in the future. With that said, we talked and thought about the right name for our project for quite some time. And after looking into English names to no avail, we decided to look into something more Polish, which would represent us in the way we wanted it to, meaning that we wanted the name to say something about the both of us. So, Viadrina turned out to be the best possible choice, seeing as how one of us comes from Wroclaw and the other from Szczecin, and both of these cities are on the Oder River. The original Latin noun (Viadrus) sounded far too harsh and maybe a little too much like the name of a black metal band, so we opted for Viadrina, or 'on the Oder'. It sounded cool, female, and perfect for two guys who play house music.
Mateusz, you come from Wroclaw. And you, Konrad, you are from Szczecin. Was living in different cities in any way problematic in terms of the music making process when you got started? What is the situation now?
Well, I don't think we ever really thought about the distance thing in the beginning. We just wanted to make music, and the fact that we lived in different cities didn't have any influence on what we were doing. To be honest, we in a way are actually a product of the times – we spend a lot of time online just like the rest of our generation. And with today's technology, it is possible to send information at any time in almost every possible amount, so making music and living in two completely different places is far from being out of the question. Thanks to such a form o cooperation, it could be possible that we are actually inspired by what we see online. This could actually be true, especially if you take into account the fact everything we do is based online.
How long did it take for you to be happy with the music you made? Did you have people around you who gave you feedback?
That's a tough question, because we consider every new track we make to be better than the previous ones. We are still in the process of learning, more often than not from our own mistakes. And it isn't a matter of ideas and inspiration, because as well all know, the latter can be at times rather fussy. It actually has more to do with skills and sound, and at the moment we are capable of making the exact sound we want. We feel a bond with each and every one of our tracks, because we have memories of parties and the days when we were making the tracks. And yes, we do have our advisors, and we ask people who we trust for their opinions. And we don't just ask other DJs and producers, we also tend to ask our punter friends, too.
I would like to ask about the artists responsible for the vocals on your tracks. I only know the name of one, namely, Kathy Brown...
Well, the Kathy Brown vocal is actually a bootleg, and one of the first tracks we ever made. The track was more of an edit that we gave away for free online. We may go back to the track one day and give it a facelift, because we are huge fans of the acapella in question. Many people notice the vocals on our tracks, and one of our trademarks in a way, That and pitching the vocals down a bit, but that seems to be more of a global trend at the moment. In terms of where we get our vocal, well, our main sources are creative commons servers on which people share their recorded material with others.
You released the 'It's OK' EP on Klasse Recordings recently. What can you tell me about this record?
First and foremost, we are very, very happy with the release and the fact that we had the opportunity to work with the label in question. And thanks to the release, KLS Bookings, the younger sibling of Jackmode, took us aboard, which is cool, bacause this chain of events opened the door for us to playing in Berlin. But as far as the label itself is concerned, we really like what they do in terms of the music they release and the whole visual aspect. The fact that they like to have a family atmosphere at their label and never stray away from the underground in any way is also very appealing to us. So, the material we released there was by far the deepest we have ever made and in a way a return to more clubby sounds, following the more song-based material we put out on Your Mama's Friend.
Many artists decide to try their hand at using instruments when playing live. Have you ever thought of showing up at the club with, say, a guitar?
For the time being, we have no such plans. We have received offers to perform live, but refrained from doing so, despite the fact that we are thinking about it, but can't at the moment say exactly when this will happen. Why? Because we want our live sets to be more than just the tracks everybody knows, and we want them to contain stuff that people will only have the opportunity to hear when they come see us play.
Do either of you ever go back to you old projects?
Yes, it does happen, but not too often. If we do in fact play separate gigs, Konrad plays under the Harbour Horse or Hose Harbores moniker. Mateusz, on the other hand, usually performs as Kazüla. And this actually happens only in our hometowns, Wroclaw and Szczecin respectively, where we would not like to bore people to death by playing as Viadrina every single time. Anyway, we are both fully focused on Visdrina, and any and all side projects are on the back burner.
Any special plans for the near future?
After our EP for Klasse Recordings, our next release will be on Your Mama's Friend, which may come out before the Summer, but we can't say exactly when just yet. In March and April, however, a few of our remixes should see the light of day. One will be for our friend from Dresden who goes by the name Klangware, while the other will be a remix of a new project from Martin Dawson on the New York-based label, Stranjjur. Besides that, we have quite a few bookings in both Poland and abroad. Apart from all this, we are planning to continue doing exactly what we have been doing to date.
Finally, what can you tell us about the mix you recorded for us?
Well, the selection itself may not be too surprisng, but we figured there was no point in digging too deep or dusting off old tracks. With that said, the mix is basically a representation of what we are currently playing in clubs. You'll find a few Polish artists like Marcin Czubala and Pol_on, and also some stuff from the likes of Danny Daze and Eats Everything. In fact, come to think of it, most of the stuff on the mix is by well-known guys, so that is probably why we think that there aren't too many surprises on the mix. Well, there is one, our new track, which you will not find anywhere else.