Mislav Bobic of the Burek record label and Singaporean event coalition, Mugic Soundsystem, waxes lyrical on the scene in Croatia, some of his favourite records, labels and his thoughts on the state of the music industry. Mislav will debut at Midnight Shift x Zouk: Alpha this 26 Jan.
How did you begin DJing? What was it like then?
One day in mid 90s I just got myself a pair of decks and a mixer. Actually it is pretty much the same for me now as it was then i.e. all I need is 2 decks/mixer/bags of records. Also since my dad used to run a night club in Zagreb in late 80s that's when I first got to play with the proper DJ gear since I 'worked' there during school summer holidays making some pocket money.
Some of your favorite labels?
Ohhh that's tough one...OK, lemme try. Talking purely about floor orientated stuff beside obvious and legendary (still going or defunct) labels mainly from Detroit and Chicago, if I'd have to choose more recent one then definitely that would be Mathematics label run by Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being. And I really feel stuff by Big Strick coming out of late. Another relatively new name in the world of techno which I am so eager to hear more from is this guy releasing stuff under Gesloten Cirkel moniker. Also I would say watch out for GB aka Gifted & Blessed who had far too few but very strong releases over past year or two. There is also so much good and promising stuff out there such as this great small low-fi labels like LiveJam/Relative/Appointment sticking to basic approach achieving devastating results.
Best gig you've played? Best gig you've attended?
Without a doubt some of the best moments and most cherished memories are the ones with my Mugic pals in crime, Uly & Kentaro playing those marathon Mugic sessions at legendary Night & Day here in Singapore.
What do you love about music?
Being universal language however cheesy this actually sounds.
Tell us about your label Burek, how did it come about, where is it heading?
Burek is roughly 2 years 'old' now. I've joined Mario less than year ago and we run it together now. We are now working on our next release by Snuff Crew w/ Juju & Jordash remix later to be followed with more stuff from Esa, Fudge Fingas, Cottam, Aubrey, Specter, Clapan, hopefully another KiNK and Humandrone EPs and who comes our way. Also, we will be introducing two sister labels at certain point so expect a wide spectrum of music released. But we won't be pushing it, instead we just kinda wait for things to happen so let's see how that goes.
You also will be starting an artist agency?
Agency's already in motion and you can check full info at burekmusic.com
How is the scene in Croatia?
Pretty slow during winter months. In my hometown of Zagreb, Sergej runs Sirup club for 5th year now bringing really good DJs. Last time I was there few weeks ago, Daniel Bell killed it! However, during summer months everything explodes at the Adriatic coast with many established festivals doing fantastic events at beautiful locations. Also we see each year new festival organizers coming down to do their thing. Last year Dimensions festival was a personal highlight. This year look for Burek label presence there, hopefully with a proper kiosk there selling hot fat bureks to help you through the night. Basically, summer tip for Croatia would be: come check some great festivals and then rent a sailing boat and go for proper summer chill with your friends or friends to be.
Compared to Singapore?
Would be good to see more quality festivals since Singapore has a round year of suitable weather and the combo of beaches, jungles, urban locations, etc on disposal.
Top 5 list for now?
New Robert Hood album
J Velez - MMT Tapes
Optic Nerve - Detroit Commuter EP on Puzzlebox
DJ Stingray 313 - F.T.N.W.O on WeMe Records
Terrence Dixon - Minimalism Re:Vision on Thema
What is your approach to mixing or DJing?
There is no approach as such really. Go with the flow I guess...surprise factor is what I personally remember most from those WTF?!? moments on the floor.
What do you think of the state of the music industry today?
I see it as a non-stop evolving thing so with many opportunities you get quite a few challenges but overall, I find it getting better and better actually. Of course, sad to see many good record shops and labels gone in result but there are also many of those who re-adjusted to new environment so to say. And those have not only survived but came out stronger. Since I am still buying wax mainly, have to give heads up to places like Rush Hour, Clone, Hardwax, Soul Jazz and many more who still strongly support wax releases, re-mastering and re-releasing long gone/obscure stuff, putting together fantastic compilations of lost and hard to come by music from all over the world. Basically enormous amount of information is available out there to anyone willing to dig enough so yeah, it is great if you ask me! As you can tell this is purely from my pretty narrow perspective since I really don't follow nor have enough knowledge to get into more serious general music industry debates.
What's next for you in 2013?
Another year of great music of course and more substance over style please! Otherwise you can check Mugic nights we do at Broadcast HQ every last Saturday of the month. Personally I will be playing at festivals such as Hideout and Dimension and will do some gigs around Europe this coming summer. Who knows, maybe we even manage to put together Mugic/Burek collaboration nights in Singapore and Croatia.
What can we expect from you at the Midnight Shift party?
You will just have to be there on 26th I guess.