Remarking the occasion of Podcast No: 300, we invited Vlad Caia , the man behind the podcast that has got over 500k+ listens on meoko.net (Podcast No: 210) for a special interview. This podcast also marks Vlad’s return after over 4 years since his first appearance on Meoko, giving us a new, refined, and even more avantgarde guise of the Romanian maestro.
1) Hey Vlad! How are you, and how are you spending this extended lockdown period?
Hi Meoko, happy to be here again. I could say I’m keeping busy as much as I can these past months with doing stuff, I didn’t have time for it before. Finishing a backlog of music spanning many years, working and studying electronics as a hobby and doing quite a lot of programming. It’s a nice feeling when rediscovering forgotten things and coming with that “aha” moment. That’s just a small glimpse on things I’m doing at the moment.
2) You recently collaborated as SIT for a charity event together with Scene Noise and Symetric Sound to raise money for the city of Beirut after the terrible explosion back in August. What do you think of the relationship between music and politics, not intended as “parties” but capabilities and wants to be concerned about society?
It’s a good question with a complex answer. Music is a powerful voice that can and should be put to good use. It’s a direct channel between our awareness and the reality of society. You can put aside the political aspect for a limited time until something of a big importance comes around and a statement is needed. I’m happy we took part in the charity to raise the help the people need and will continue to do so in the future.
3) Are there any other causes that you care about and you would like to tell us?
Not specific ones but as we all know it’s enough to watch the news and check your daily FB/Insta feed. The hardships, isolation and disconnect are all too real. People need to take care of each other more and look after their loved ones.
4) What’s the thing you miss the most about being unable to DJ /perform in clubs during the pandemic period? And what’s the thing you miss the least?
It was a fast transition last year from a full-on schedule to being at home every weekend. I felt like the machine was losing steam and you are thrown out of your routine. Slowly things calmed down and after a much-needed break I began working-from-home just like everyone else. I enjoy the free time I have now a lot. It’s time I can be with my loved ones and family.
I just realized that an important thing we can’t get back is our spent time. Time lost in airports, waiting for a ride and so on. I’m looking forward to performing again but I will always see it from this perspective from now on.
5) I’m sure that with all this “extra” time at your disposal, you’ve listened to tons of old/new stuff. Is there any fresh name that particularly got your attention or old gems that brought you special memories?
There’s so much new stuff coming out it’s hard to keep track of them all. I’ve been receiving a lot of new music from my friends and also people I haven’t kept in touch with for a long time. Everyone is keeping creative and I think that’s the most important fact. I’m also re-listening to a lot of old music and sorting them out and it sounds fresh as the first time and it’s awesome.
6) And I am sure that you have been producing also during this period. What does 2021 hold for you? Any releases lined-up yet that you can share with us?
A lot of things spanning may projects so I’m just going to write about the solo ones here. I’m doing a release on Uvar records coming in a couple of weeks with a 3-tracker record. Very happy how that came out and how diverse the music is. A couple of remixes for Alsi, Zefzeed, Alex Font and Nils Weimann and last but not least a remix for Tripmastaz on BodyParts records that just came out. Other stuff will come out in the following months on a new label called Synkro along with other remixes I’m working on now for new labels.
Amphia is preparing a new release by Ferro with beautiful atmospheric and minimalistic tracks. As SIT we did a couple of digital releases on VA albums these couple of months, for VBX, Trommel to name a few. These will be followed by new music coming out on Cali Lanauze’s Opulence label and a remix for Ada Kaleh released on Dialogue records. As Amorf we just released our new record “Shattered Glass” with two freaky and funky tracks and more are in the works.
8) How would you call the differences between playing alone as Vlad Caia, duo as SIT and trio as Amorf?
There’s a big difference between these. I have more control of the narrative and drive when playing solo. However, changing the direction of the set is a bit more challenging than playing SIT. With SIT is more of a table tennis kind of game. You can bounce ideas of each other faster and easier while keeping the entire game interactive. Doing live shows with Amorf is another different thing, when listening to each other is very important. We put a lot of thought into improvisation and doing things on the spot so it’s important to take notice of these big or small things happening from each other of us.
9) Tell us more about the story of the SIT project. How did you get in touch with Cristi? What makes him an ideal partner? Tell us also one of his ability that makes him outstanding!
We met online in the early days of MySpace many years ago. I was uploading some music I was doing at that time in their sound player and that’s how we connected. We’ve been working together more or less since then going through different stages of projects and I enjoy the creative work ethic we have.
10) Are there other artists with whom you’d like to work?
Many of my close friends I havent had a chance to work with yet and there are quite a few. I have so many ideas I want to try, I hope in the near future when the right circumstance shows up.
11) Do you think that the Romanian scene, thanks to its great cohesion and unity, is responding better than others to the disastrous period we are facing? And how do you see the scenario for the entire dance movement?
In my opinion, the Romanian scene was alive because of the many events that were going on pre-pandemic, festivals, club nights you name it. It was growing as a unique phenomenon at a steady pace. People attending these events were growing in numbers and also the artists were perfecting their craft. With the huge drawbacks and pandemic policies of today, this growth has been reduced drastically. I don’t think the response is better or worse I just know we as a people are used with shortcomings and will get through it hopefully stronger.
12) Do you have any favorite venue or festival that you feel very connected to and you can call home?
Lots of favorite venues so I just will name a few, The Block, Supermarket, Goa, Vent and the list can go on.
13) Any special shout out or final thanks to anyone in particular?
I would like to thank my loved one and my family. I would like to say thank you to my closest friends for being there and last but not least, thank you to all the hard-working and honest people in this industry keeping the vibe alive. You know who you are.
Your MEOKO Podcast is by far the most-played mix on meoko.net with over 500k+ listens. And a special THANK YOU from everyone at MEOKO for the Round 2.
Thank you Meoko for hosting me.
Words: Francesco Quieti / Erchin Jon
Photo Credit: Jan Bernet Photography