FEATURED LABEL: URGE TO DANCE
october 10, 2022
by: miguel perez iii
urge to dance is quickly growing into a name AND LABEL THAT IS MAKING AN IMPACT IN THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE, RELEASING MUSIC FROM SUCH ARTISTS AS ALL EYES ON YOU, FEC, SELDERV, AND RADIAL GLAZE TO NAME A FEW, ALSO ACCOMPANIED REMIXES BY AUGGIE, SOUVEQ, COLOSSIO, AND ZOMBIES IN MIAMI.
THEIR GRAPHICS AND DESIGNS ATTRACT TO YOU TO THEIR MUSIC CATALOG WHICH CONSISTS OF MELODIC HOUSE/TECHNO, AND INDIE SOUNDS.
we recently had the honor to catch up with THE Bulgarian label'S TWO HEAD HONCHOS, maksim (Krembo) & Aron (Peril) TO GET A GLIMPSE INTO THEM AS ARTISTS, LABEL OWNERS, AND SOME PERSONAL PREFERENCES.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOUR MUSICAL JOURNEY BEGIN FOR YOU GUYS?
My electronic journey started in the second half of the 90s when I discovered The Crystal Method, The Prodigy, and Future Sound of London. Then suddenly I started digging into everything electronic from The Wizard (Jeff Mills), through Joey Beltram and Sven Vath to Goldie. Then somehow, I discovered the Psychedelic Trance and my first DJ-in steps were with it. It truly has been a journey throughout the years and it feels like a never-ending transformation. For the last 20 years, I've always been searching for the sound that challenges me, that makes me dance, could make other people dance too. I have no idea what sound will excite me next and which direction I would be taking, though one thing is for sure, I have certainly pitched down the tempo. From 144bpm 20+ years ago to 120-122 nowadays.
My electronic journey started not so long ago in 2015. I was at a private party where some proper tunes were dropped and that's when I realized I had been missing a lot. I started going out to parties, but my first steps were in the field of techno until one day in 2017 I went to a party of Âme. His set was 5-6 hours and it was a musical experience I had never had before. It was mind-blowing for me and I believe this was the moment that evoked my urge to dance, followed by my desire to dig deeper into the world of electronic music.
HOW WAS YOUR SUMMER? DO YOU HAVE DJ SETS PLANNED AT THE MOMENT FOR THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE?
Summer 2022 was the first that felt normal since 2020. It was a funny summer and I definitely enjoyed it. Currently, we are working together with Aron (Peril) and Pavel (our third partner in Urge To Dance) on several Urge To Dance showcases, so we hope to be able to share more information soon.
My summer was pretty busy and generally more hectic than Maksim's (Krembo). He is more focused on label development at the moment and I am focusing on developing the sound that we love in Bulgaria. Currently, Bulgaria is a very much house, tech-house, techno-oriented scene with a very limited presence of melodic house and techno, indie dance, or deep techno. My residencies at two of the established clubs in Plovdiv, as well as gigs at the seaside and the capital Sofia, are focused on driving change. In the coming months this will continue with the several Urge To Dance showcases we are planning to organize.
YOU GUYS ARE THE FOUNDERS OF URGE TO DANCE. WHAT COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT IT? WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT ROLES IN THE LABEL?
I've had the idea about Urge To Dance for years, but never really did anything to make it happen. I met Aron (Peril) in the summer of 2019 when we started talking about music and exchanging it, then we had several B2Bs and parties together and we just clicked together. We were very close to starting something, but we were missing an ingredient. The final piece of the puzzle was found when we met Pavel, our Art & Innovations Director. We had multiple long discussions, exchanges of ideas, and concepts about why we want to start Urge To Dance, what we are trying to achieve and how we are going to do it. Our mission is based on three pillars: Artist-centricity, innovation, and of course, delivering the music that would evoke in you the urge to dance.
We put Artist-centricity at the core of everything that we do. Our Artists are involved in the co-creation of each release, from artwork creation, through mastering finalization, to pre- & post-production. There are so many talented Artists part of the scene with so many terrific music to be shown to the world and we want to showcase the Artists and their music beyond just being a name of a producer, the name of a release, or "track ID".
We have been growing quite quickly since we started, so we need to be really organized in everything we do. Maksim (Krembo) and I are responsible for A&R, with me also taking care of Marketing while Maksim is handling the business development. Pavel from his side is responsible for transposing the music into visual art and our overall artistic strategy. He is also the person to always challenge us since he is responsible for innovation. Sometimes Maksim and I get so focused on the music that we need Pavel to come at us with his broader view and challenge us on what is next for the label. He is developing our omni-channel approach to be much more immersive by utilizing the web3 ecosystem. We have had our first two NFT drops and he is now developing our own ecosystem that enables our token holders with special perks like pre-release music, event passes and curated digital experiences.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE OF THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN? WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE REST OF EUROPE AND THE REST OF THE WORLD?
For the last 20 years, I have lived in Belgium, and since 2018 in London, UK, so I have been lucky to be at places where the electronic music scene is so alive, despite all the difficulties in recent years. Few places could be compared to London where every weekend you have at least 2-3 events to go to.
I am based in Bulgaria, where the scene is pretty conservative. House, tech-house, and techno are dominating. Minimal has been growing in the last years due to being southern neighbors of Romania. Generally, everything new on the scene takes some time to be accepted here and this is a real challenge for us. But it is a challenge that we are willing to take on. That is why I feel delighted every time when at a party someone comes and tells me: "I was recently in London (Berlin, Amsterdam or other big European cities) and I had fun there and I am happy that you are playing music that is different from I hear every weekend in Bulgaria".
WHAT EVOLUTION DO YOU THINK ELECTRONIC MUSIC IS EXPERIENCING ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE?
Sometimes I am really missing the good old club times, or maybe I am just getting old :). In my view, the commercialization of electronic music and scene has resulted in a model that is not sustainable. Big festivals are inflating DJ fees and clubs are struggling to cope with this. At the same time, nowadays social networks have a huge impact on awareness, while DJ-ing is becoming increasingly commoditized. In this environment for us, the key is to keep delivering quality music from talented Artists. We just want to keep searching and delivering the music that will make you dance.
Musically speaking, I believe that the boundaries between styles are becoming less and less visible. Clearly, melodic house and techno is becoming so huge that nowadays you can hear techno legends dropping tracks with melodic house and techno vibes. I am happy to recently see some more housey vibes returning to the dance floors, but I guess this is just part of the constant music evolution. The evolution is now happening at a much faster pace.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE PRESENT AND THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE? DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW PROJECTS COMING UP?
My immediate plan is to have some good sleep because recently I have been traveling a lot. But if we talk about projects, we are working on several showcases in Bulgaria and Europe, but more info will come soon.
In regards to Urge To Dance, there are some terrific releases coming out and we are so eager to share them with the world. I am also working on my first EP and we will see what will happen with it.
FESTIVALS OR CLUB SETTING?
Clubs, all-nighters, or b2b open-end all-nighters with Maksim (Krembo). Though, he is always the one to get tired first ;).
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU TAKE OFF YOUR DJ HEADSET?
I consume all types of music without limits. But I am always happy to play some Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, or Queen. When I need to chill or I need something intimate, and touching, with a glass of wine or whiskey in my hand, I am a huge fan of Elias Mazian's series Private Hearts (on Soundcloud). I also love what he does as a producer.
Frankly speaking, I think that recently I have been enjoying silence whenever I could do it. I do not limit myself when it comes to music and I can enjoy anything good, from hip-hop to pop to rock music. Still, when I am not behind the decks, I prefer others (my friends or family) to choose the music that is played when we are together.