Kristan Caryl, London - United Kingdom - on 29/5/12
With the Fairy Tale EP just out on Memoria recordings, Kristan J Caryl spoke to Greek duo Nino Santos and Lightem about childhood influences getting props from Erick Morillo.
Tell us about the music you grew up around. Nino : My parents were always into disco music so as a small child I remember putting the vinyl on the turntables and dancing to Bee Gees, Abba and all that kind of stuff. There was always the odd moment when they would hear some Greek music but I would just close my ears. [Laughs]
Lightem : As a child I was always interested in hip hop, funk and breaks music. Cypress Hill, Mos Def, Onyx and Aretha Franklin were some of my favourite artists. I still have a lot of vinyls around with some gems from that era.
What music did you grow up around in Greece and is it still an influence now? N: When we were growing up and definitely until that moment Greek music is still the leading genre in our country. That means a lot of ethnic and traditionals involved like the world famous bouzouki and clarinet. And of course all these have been influences for us in our productions, in fact we heard a lot of the so called Balkan sound in electronic music over the past years.
When did you first hear electronic music and what did you think? What influenced you? N : I started listening to electronic music around 1998-1999 when it was still being played at the Greek radios. Mainly house tracks that were huge around that time from the likes of David Morales, Danny Tenaglia and more. From then on I moved to more underground stuff but I remember thinking that house music sounded to me similar to disco which kinda caught my attention.
L: For me the first contact with electronic music was also around 1998 when I got attracted to the sound of The Prodigy. I remember being a big fan of Liam Howlett. Their sound was so raw and so new for me at that time that I felt like I had to continue exploring it.
When did you start making it at first? Where did you send your first stuff? L:We started making our first beats at the start of 2010 using Logic Pro. We sent stuff to small Italian and German digital labels hoping to be accepted. We weren’t bothered with the bigger ones since we knew our productions weren’t good enough for them at that time.
Is there a scene in Greece you got involved in? Tell us about when you first started out. L:We wouldn’t say there was a scene in Greece during the previous years and even there was one we were definitely not involved in it. We did events occasionally but due to our base being situated very far from Athens we couldn’t do more.
What are the key things,artists, labels which have influenced you over the years? L:We wouldn’t say there are specific artists or labels that have influenced us over the years. We admire many of them though like Loco Dice, Marco Carola, Matthias Tanzmann, Ricardo Villalobos, Dj Sneak who started from zero and slowly built up their carreers reaching up to being international stars. The way the have done this and how they stayed loyal to their sound and origins is something to be admired.
Tell us about your new EP on Memoria Recordings, where and when was it written, what was the thinking behind it? L: The Fairytale Ep was finished back in February in our studio. Our goal to create something that could be played in a dark room and at the same time in a terrace giving people exactly the same feeling. In that sense we think we achieved this since the ep got major support from Steve Lawler at Time Warp, from Dj Sneak and we just got a licence request from Erick Morillo for the next Subliminal compilation which one could say is commercial but in reality it shows in how many different situation those could be played.
How did your first hook up with Memoria? What’s it like working with them? N:We first hooked up with Memoria at the end of February when they signed our EP. We have to say it’s one of the most professional labels we have ever worked with and it has been a pleasure working with them. During the process we also entered their management and bookings agency something which already is helping us a lot build our carreer.
What else you got coming up/are you working on? N: Production wise, we have an EP coming at the Spanish Cray1 Labworks label coming out this summer and a remix on Egal 3 for Memoria which will be out in vinyl also. Gigs wise, our summer is also booked with dates around Greece and abroad but if we had to select any of them as special would be it would be the 2 parties during Sonar in Barcelona playing among artists we really like such as Robert Dietz, Livio & Roby, Dubfire, Leon and so many more.
Who are you on the daily outside music? What do you like to do ? N: We are pretty normal people or at least that’s what we’d say about ourselves. One of us has a day job (Lightem) the other one has been looking at the sky for 2 years now! But apart from that, we like to hang around with friends, watching sports and lots of movies!
Kristan J Caryl
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