It’s great to see someone enjoy playing music as much as the people dancing to it… Ian F.’s spirit is contagious, filled with energy and joy, he’s bringing his passion for this genre of music and feeding off the public as the two converge. I’m super excited to have him share with us some of his views and experiences with the scene over in Slovenia and the rest of Europe, along with some of his influences from along the way.
Questions & Answers with Ian F. –
Who has been a major influence / collaborator in your experience djing? Would love to hear about your collaboration with Valentino Kanzyani and if there are any other early influences that you would like to mention?
My early influences were Snap, KLF, Technotronic, Pink Floyd… which I heard from my older cousin when I was a child. Few years later, already in the nineties, I heard for the first time techno and house music from Detroit, Chicago and European cities as well. I live in Slovenia, close to the Italian border so I could reach few Italian radio stations that were broadcasting this kind of music only by night and I was recording cassettes every time and would then listen to them on my Walkman while on my way to school the next morning.. There were two main djs in my country who were playing this sound at that time, Valentino Kanzyani and Umek- I started working in the club Ambasada Gavioli as a teenager as a flyer distributor and they were residents of the club at that time. Valentino was giving me some music cassettes with dj sets and info about the dj guests who were playing in the club.. This was for me the only way to hear this music and get information about artists and labels at that time since there were no internet and dedicated shops in my country. At the same time I started buying my first records and learning to dj… Soon I could visit Valentino in his studio from time to time and I had the chance to listen to some of his records so I could travel to Italy or Germany later and buy some of them… It had a big influence on me and definitely helped me to develop as a dj. I was lucky to have someone like him as a reference and I’m very thankful for that. With time we became good friends and started collaborating… I’ve been doing A&R for his Jesus Loved You label, we were playing at the label showcases in club K4 in Ljubljana, did some work together in the studio as well with Aneuria… Later, when Valentino moved to Ibiza, we were inviting him regularly back to Slovenia to play at our Colours Music events at K4.. Then in 2013 I spent the summer season in Ibiza at his place where we were residents at Next Wave nights as well.
Can you talk about what the music scene is like where you’re from in Slovenia, and how it compares to other places that you dj?
If I talk about underground house and techno scene, which is my genre, there’s only smaller venues where you can do cool events with the right people and get from 150 to 500 people to attend for example. They are located mostly in our capital Ljubljana, besides that, there are just few other cities with their small local scene. It’s all so small that it’s hard to keep constant with gigs as there are not enough party people here. There are only 2 million people living in our country but this small percentage of them who are going to our kind of events are true and real party goers. I’m living at the Adriatic coast in Slovenia which is a small area and here we have only one big club which is Ambasada Gavioli and it’s open just once a month, more or less. The rest is mostly small summer clubs that are open only during the summer season and there are mostly playing local djs. Compared to other countries, I would say there is a much bigger scene going on, an entire industry and the bigger the city, the more venues and regular nights. It’s definitely much easier to work outside Slovenia for me. Otherwise I enjoy every gig where there are positive people and a good sound system, no matter where it is.
What’s your favorite spot that you always hit up when you’re back at home?
The first thing that I hit at home is the couch, as I usually come home destroyed. After a good sleep, I mostly enjoy walks by the sea in my hometown, Izola, or anywhere else in nature. As I said before, it’s a small and calm area with a Mediterranean climate, so it’s perfect to come back home to such a calm atmosphere after traveling around for a while. I really enjoy nature and the sea here.
Before Valentino moved from Slovenia there were Jesus Loved You showcases at club K4 in Ljubljana and we regularly played there with my friend and colleague Aneuria. We were also working a lot in his studio at that time and developed a similar vision and taste for sound, so when Valentino moved to Ibiza they stopped doing the showcases and he encouraged us to start our own label and continue with our own nights, as we had always had a nice crowd at K4. So we started With Colours Music label and our own events and had 4 or 5 very busy seasons with a lot of nice artists and a great crowd. We decided to open a free net label and release tracks that we like and give them for free as a gift to those who support us. Later on we got Francesco Del Garda from Italy and Vid Vai, Fraku and Roiss to join us in the crew who are younger and very talented artists from Slovenia and we had two various artists CD releases as limited editions. And now after those busy years with the Colours events we decided to slow down a bit and also concentrate more on our music production and the label so we could finally start with vinyl releases as well. We are all sharing the same passion for music and have respect for each other and this keeps us together and we enjoy to do what we do.
What are five important things for you in life besides music?
Health (physical and spiritual).
Love with family and friends.
Contact with nature.
Knowledge Human values (fairness, honesty, respect, joy, inner peace…)
This summer was pretty intense and I enjoyed it a lot. There were a lot of festivals going on and nice parties as well. In June, I was at the Re-Form Festival in Calabria, Italy. Then we had our Colours label night at club K4 with Nicolas Lutz, and a HOME event at Studio 338 in London which was also really special. In July I enjoyed playing at the tINI & The Gang event in Ibiza and at Ibiza Underground as well. In August there were another four festivals finishing with a week at Sonus Festival on Pag island which was amazing and Over event in Venice which was also great at the end of August.
Can you talk to us about your experience with Sunwaves Festival?
Sunwaves was an incredible experience for me every time I was there. Amazing music and people at a nice location where you can have the longest dance marathons ever. A lot of friends from different parts of the world come together every year and it’s very nice for us all to have fun together. I always come home inspired and full of nice memories from this festival.
Where and who would be your dream lineup for a party and why?
It’s hard to answer to this one There are many places that could be a perfect spot for a nice party. I usually enjoy smaller venues so it could be any nice place with a good sound system with the right people on the dance floor… Or even some spot in the nature would be great with a nice view of the sea for example. There are also many artists that I always enjoy listening to, so I’m gonna name just few that come to mind right now in no particular order: Zip, Arpiar, Francesco Del Garda, Ricardo Villalobos, Praslea, Nicolas Lutz, Valentino Kanzyani, E/Tape, Moritz Von Oswald,..
Do you have any releases coming up and if so, tell us about them please?
I haven’t released anything new recently even though I’ve been making music when I have time. I decided not to rush it, but rather concentrate on honing in on the sound that I want to have. Now I have finally scheduled better my time and bought some studio gear, so this is my plan for autumn and winter- and I’m really looking forward to it. At the end of this year, I should have a remix on vinyl that I did for Alex Baciu, which is the only new thing planned for now.
When was the last time you travelled and took a vacation (not for dj gigs) and where did you go?
Too long ago, way too long I really miss a proper vacation but can’t afford it right now. Of course I take some days off when it’s necessary and enjoy my free time with my girlfriend, but I would love to have a real vacation where I can disconnect for a month. The last time for me was ten years ago when I went to Brazil for 5 weeks.
What’s your choice, Pleterska Khruska, Vodka or Gamrbinus?
Alcohol is not my favorite choice but in this case I would choose vodka.
What makes you smile?
A lot of things, right now I’m smiling at our cat who is running around like a crazy. :)