[Music & Interview]: Abyssal Chaos

 

Music & Interview
Abyssal Chaos

 

Introduction:
Abyssal Chaos … Greek based in Berlin and man behind the Advanded Group

 

Interview:

Hi Alex, welcome to your personal edition of „Music & Interview“. Let‘s don’t waste time and start right now. Please tell us something about your childhood & youth. Where were you born and how did you grow up? Into what kind of music did you fall in love when you started listening to music (being a teenager)? When and how did you discover techno? What situation/event had such a strong impact on you that you started to dj and produce?
Hello dear Jurgen. Thanks for the invitation – I love what you do through NovaFuture and that means a lot to me. I was born in beautiful Crete, the big island in Southern Greece, however I moved to Athens when I was still very young. We had a very tough life financial-wise but yet fulfilled with love when I was a kid. When I was 15 I lost my beloved dad in a terrible accident (whose details I don’t want to share publicly) and that in a way led me being homeless. I lived in the streets for quite some time which was nightmarish but yet the biggest school in life. It showed me the very depths of darkness so I can appreciate much more the light now. People who haven’t experienced darkness take some very valuable things for granted and therefore it is way harder for them to become happy. I feel happy everyday for the fact that I have a roof over my head, food to eat and so lovely friends/family. I feel so happy that -maybe as dark techno DJ in Berlin I shouldn’t say this as I’m supposed to be always angry and sad (joke)- I regularly catch myself even singing on the street. That period toughened me up and brought me so much darkness that I now can take this ‘darkness’ (through raw dark techno) and produce light and smiles on the dancefloor.

After I somehow managed to return to “normal” life after living on the streets, and being slightly more mature from other kids at school, I learnt to play drums and I joined a street-punk band called “Τα Αρχιδια” which in Greek means “The Testicles”. That was my first touch with music. I liked punk and classic rock music. A while after my cousin (the son-in-law of my mother’s sister) showed me electronic music through psychedelic/trance. He was the leading member of a psychedelic band called “Space Odyssey” (they had appearances at Transistance and all those big trance compilations). I explored psychedelic/trance for a while but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I wanted something let’s say in between punk/rock and psychedelic/trance. And there the greatest love of my life (alongside Liverpool FC) came: TECHNO!

I was almost 18 when I started going to raves and techno parties. My first ever club night was 14 years ago when I was 17 to 18 at Athens’ most underground club at that time “Luv” which had invited DJ Hell. He blew my head off and that was the start of everything. I started digging techno record labels and artists, started going to more and more techno events and meeting people from clubbers to promoters, and very soon started working first as a PR to techno events. I remember I was getting 1,50 euro for every person I was bringing in my “pay-guestlist” and I was making some bucks. I was doing well and then I started climbing up the Athenian techno scene and by 20 years old I was already a promoter together with some partners. Meanwhile I was focused also in school and I got into a good university where I had started studying business management and marketing. And that’s how I started managing artists and record labels. We were bringing big international names to Athens and some became clients for artist/record-label digital services. The very first one I worked for was UMEK and his label 1605. Then more and more followed with some such as my brother Marco Bailey and his label MB Elektronics (and now also MATERIA) being still with me until today, without stop. At age of 23 I went to UK to take my master and one year later, I moved to Berlin where my music management agency (Advanced) started expanding and my dream kept unveiling itself more and more everyday.

So yes, I started and I was for a long while just label/artist manager, booking agent and event promoter. It was a bit more than 5 years ago when I started exploring DJing/producing and I created the Abyssal Chaos alias. I received some judgement at the start which I understand and accept. Most people were like: “look – the booking agent and promoter who became a dj”. Especially in Berlin, with so many artists existing around who unfortunately see you as “rival”, it can become really toxic. That however made me work harder and harder, and I believe by now, I have made most of them to shut their mouth when it comes to the “Abyssal Chaos” matter. Having said that, I’m having my 30-tracker album out in March and I’m beyond excited to show it that to you!

 

Abyssal Chaos 1
(Abyssal Chaos 2017)

 
Let’s talk about producing. What are your general inspirations for starting the production of a new track? How do you start with a new piece of music? How looks the whole production process?
As stated above, I’m still quite “new” with producing. Just 5 years which for me is still not much. It could be for someone else but for me, that I have to do office work 10-12 hours per day, I haven’t invested that much time as 5 years might imply. Due to my office work I listen to insane amounts of music and every little thing is an inspiration. Sometimes a demo from an unknown artist can be an inspiration. Or a track that I will listen at a club. I get some ideas in my head and then try to make something in the studio. Sometimes something else pops up in that process. So, let’s say that I just “go with the flow” when I work on something.
 


(full length streaming of the EP “Illusions”, Abyssal Chaos’s debut EP on Advanced (Black))

 
One track seems to have a very special meaning for you with a strong message: „FCK NZS“. Could you please tell us something about your reason to compose this one? What is the story behind it? Usually techno is not very political but in the past few months there were several demonstrations in Berlin eg against the right-wing party AfD. Do you think more producers & DJs should stand up and articulate their opinions?
Techno is an expression – of acting/doing/being. I want my music to mean something about me in many ways. And the whole part of me is all the way against fascism, racism, sexism…

Indeed more DJs (especially in rave scene) should stand up for especially a matter like this but honestly I do believe not many want to lose potential fans. Getting out any message like this limits down the target groups of an artist. I knew that releasing this track, right immediately all the techno-lovers who happen to be racists or sexists (oh, the irony…) immediately stopped being my potential fans. In the madness of social media and in an ocean of artists, where artists go hysterically crazy for the numbers of fans, almost everyone wants to get the maximum possible and therefore don’t want to limit down anyone. They just make techno hoping as more as possible people will like it and like their facebook page – no matter who.

Personally, I want to really and intentionally filter my fanbase. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, in a way techno should be for everyone and some people tell me that I can’t say “far-right party voters are not allowed to listen to me” because it might make me appear one of them BUT I show my middle finger and here is why: The term of democracy is created for and based on high values such as freedom, human rights, acceptance, self-expression and equality – those values are absolutely broken by what the nazis/fascists/racists/sexists represent – it’s the ultimate contradiction. They can’t play a game if they don’t accept/follow its rules, right? That way I exclude far-right fans from my music and that track is there to shout it out loud for me. Techno supports the actual spirit of democracy -freedom, acceptance, equality and unity- way more than any political party. Fascism has no place in the world and I want to shout that out through everything I have – my techno included. In my opinion techno is very political and whoever can’t see this, is ignorant. My personal humble (but maybe wrong) opinion.

 


(Video for Abyssal Chaos’s “FCK NZS”)

 
… back to music itself. You just announced the release of an album for March. What is the idea of it? Is it an album with a specific topic? Is it a bundle of single tracks or did you produce them with the knowledge that they will be part of the album? Is there a difference between producing tracks for an EP and tracks made for an album? Which? A different process? Tell us something about your album please.
Yes my album “Dark Fairytales” will be out 4th of March and it will have 30 tracks. 16 new and 14 of my most-favorite old ones where I will include in the package for a special offer through bandcamp (all 30 tracks for 15 euro). I didn’t try to actual create a “story” in this album even though eventually a story got created. I started creating tracks for the album as I decided to do it over a year ago and those tracks will vary (some more raw, some more hypnotic, some ambient) but no, I can’t say that those tracks have any specific relationship or continuity between each other. As stated above, all track-titles are specific and dedicated to something/someone: to my best friends and to the dog I would take a bullet for, things I love (wolves or ayahuasca), to things I hate (nazis, clowns, system)….
 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(cover artwork of Abyssal Chaos’s album “Dark Fairytales”)

 
You run the Advanced label with the sublabels “Advanced Black” & “Advanced White“, a booking agency and many other music-related services. What is your job at these different companies? How do you select the artists you release on your label and these ones you sign for your booking agency? How important are services like you offer for a young artist in times when you can easily start your own business? Is it necessary to release on a label or sign to an agency to get booked?
My company Advanced Music Management offers all kind of office services a label and artist needs. I do everything needed to help the product (aka label or/and artist) be created such as mastering, distribution, press, PR, promotion, social-media management and then trying to sell them (through booking agency). Some clients I just create (do the management/promotion part only) and I have them at other bigger shops (aka booking agencies) so they can be sold more effectively – some I sell also myself being the booking agent.

Unfortunately (or not – that’s relevant to someone’s success) in our era image does the work and not the music only by itself as it used to be back in the days. Social media image and numbers are highly important for an artist to get bookings and in many cases in the less underground (mainstream) and therefore kind of less educated techno scene it is the only important. Promotion and social media are a necessary evil for someone’s success in our days. I can’t say if I agree or not with this (as underground techno artist possibly not), but yeah – I will be honest, my company makes money out of it.

 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(Advanced logo)

 
In 2018 you started organizing a fetish & sex positive party called “Sweat“ at Polygon in Berlin. Additionally one of your EPs is called BDSM. What is your special interest in this topic? How did the idea of running a fetish party come up and what was your idea of organizing such kind of party? How did you start the organization of it? What things are different in comparison to normal techno parties?
To me, techno and open-spirited sex, are really tied. Techno is hedonism and hedonism is techno. Techno –at least the style I like and play- is very very sexual to me. I want people to let loose and explore all the dimensions of hedonism. I want them to explore the freedom that techno represents with the maximum of their bodies too. I want them to dive in a sphere of hedonism – both acoustic and physical. My first couple SWEAT events in 2018 took place at Polygon but now in 2019 they are moving to another, bigger and more fitting place. I have big plans for it with stellar line-ups and erotic performances, erotic cinema, erotic shops and more surprises (I have the idea of everyone before gets in the club to be given an elegant erotic masquerade mask at the door as long as he pay so the event be more anonymous for those who want). I’ll announce news about it very soon!
 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(facebook banner for “Sweat” party series)

 
Techno sets contains often the tracks of the last 3-6 months. Do you have some favourite tracks/records that inspire you so you play them again and again? Please name 10 of them and tell us why they are important for you.
I do actually a hybrid set so I play tracks that I like as “base” and with ableton I add on top loops or effects or vocals from other tracks/samples, my own kicks or hihats with roland tr8 drummachine (connected with a distortion pedal so I can make usually the kicks even more aggressive) and a roland tb3 to add some (mostly acid) effects. But yeah – you are right indeed, the tracks I use are 80% of the last 3-6 months and plenty of promos that I am lucky to get because of my business. I like to play some old EBM or techno classics (such as from Thomas P. Heckmann or The Horrorist or Front 242 or Front Line Assembly or Nitzer Ebb) and usually towards the end of my sets some new-wave, synth-wave or dark-wave gems that I love.
 


(Video for Nitzer Ebb’s “Murderous”, released in 1987 on Mute)

 
Let’s get more personal. Before being a musician, label manager and booking agent, what did you want to do for your daily living? Did you study a certain profession? You also identify yourself as a wolf. How and when that started?
When I was young I wanted to be a football player. I was in a young team of a big club of Athens. That was going on until I go homeless at age of 15. When I “returned to normal life” I started partying and to enjoy booze/junk-food so I dropped the football-player dream. I wanted for a while to study football science so I can become a coach but that was during my first days exploring techno and eventually techno won 😉

About wolves, I just love them with all my heart. It’s something way beyond than just my spirit animal. Call me crazy, but I really do believe that I have been a wolf in a previous life. I had this attraction since very young kid. If I would see a wolf on TV I would run to hug/touch the screen with a big smile on my face. It’s a kind of recognition. I can’t really explain it. Words can’t describe how much I value and connect myself to the personality/spirit of this animal.

It’s in the wolf’s nature to be kind, sweet, honest, gentle, loyal and loving but when it comes to matters of protecting himself or especially his loved ones, he can be the most relentless wild beast you’ve ever seen. I love that. He can actually be the most cuddly and sensitive creature but also the most wild one – within seconds – depending how anyone treats him. Same with me. Not everyone gets the same version of me. Some will tell you that I’m the sweetest and generously kindest person they have ever met. Some others will tell you that I’m an aggressive asshole. Believe them both. I’ve been giving my everything to the ones that I love but I’ve also fought and took down without mercy or hesitation some very powerful people who tried to harm me or the ones I care for. A wolf is a mirror of someone’s energy/behaviour towards him. Be nice to him and he’ll be 10 times more nice to you – the most loyal, supportive and protective friend. Try to unfairly harm him, and he’ll instantly jump to rip your skin apart. Freedom is my and every wolf’s greatest virtue. I highly value freedom of others so it’s always someone’s choice what will get from me – cuddles or bites. A wolf has two very contrasting sides – white and black – good and bad. It’s wrong to choose just one side as life isn’t only good or only bad. The white wolf and the black wolf inside me are polar opposites and therefore the perfect pair. I have to feed them both so I can survive life.

 


(full stream of Abyssal Chaos’ “White Wolf” from the EP of “The Wolf”, out on Advanced (Black))

 
Originally from Greece you now live in Berlin which is still famous for being cheaper than other cities, for a long and heavy night life, for being a creative city. You don‘t speak fluent German as I know. So please tell us something about your daily life as a foreigner who became a citizen of Berlin. Is it easy to handle all the small things like shopping (I know many of the shop assistants at German supermarkets don‘t speak English fluently)? Always trouble with German „Bürokratie“?
I am coming from a very conservative place in Greece. My hometown is just an island.

Imagine that in my hometown Crete, if you sleep with a girl, he has to marry her otherwise her brother/father will hunt him with a shotgun. I’m not joking. That wasn’t the place for the free-spirited, open-minded and polyamorous me. In Berlin I found my true home. Berlin is not Germany. It’s an utopian magic bubble where everyone from every nation/culture/background/race beautifully co-exist and enjoy the ultimate freedom of acting, doing, being. That’s the magic of Berlin. It is full of colors and contrasts. It’s not a german city and that’s it’s beauty. Before any angry Germans get triggered and start yelling at me things I don’t understand, I mean this for every city/country. Athens misses magic because it’s just mostly a greek city, Rome misses magic because it’s mostly an Italian city, Sydney misses magic because it’s mostly an Australian city and blah blah blah (insert every city here but Berlin). Berlin has no specific identity – it’s nothing and therefore it’s everything. That’s what I love here – that at actual “Berlin-y” parts of city everyone feels accepted and not judged. Personally I don’t feel comfortable at any other metropolitan city in the world. I’m 7 years here and exploring something new almost everyday, still falling in love with this city. Of course I’m aware that it’s located in Germany with german bureaucracy (not a fan…) but I manage do right the things that must be done. Not a biggie. I don’t know if I want to “die” here. My dream is to get a beach house somewhere in the Caribbean side of South/Central America (I’m not far than getting a land in Ecuador which is incredibly cheap) but comparing to city-life which is something I want in the foreseeable future, I can’t change Berlin. Nothing else is not even close. I love being here.

 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(Abyssal Chaos on tour)

 
And already coming to an end of our small feature I would like to know more about your future. Except the album: are there any releases planned? Any special gigs or parties? A new edition of „Sweat“?
The highlights so far are:
My album which is coming in early March, an “album remixes” release where 10 great friends/artists will pick a track out of the album and remix it (I did a similar release recently with my productions so far – it’s out since last month called Abyssal Chaos – The Remixes EP), some planned album-release label nights in Berlin/Stuttgart/Rome/Amsterdam/London/Athens (and more to be confirmed), my south/central America tour in October through our new project Klubnacht which aims to promote Berlin club culture/sound at other places in the world with already confirmed gigs in Brazil-Argentina-Colombia, my SWEAT events and some other extra nights in Berlin. I have in general several gigs lined up at places that I was looking forward to play such as ://aboutblank, Tresor and Sisyphos.

Follow my facebook page to be updated with news 🙂

 

Recommendations:
Abyssal Chaos’ album “Dark Fairytales” on Advanced (Black)
Abyssal Chaos’ “Unicorns On Acid” on Advanced (Black)
Abyssal Chaos’ “BDSM EP” on Advanced (Black)
Space DJz’ “Hidden Systems LP” on Advanced (Black)
Kevin De Vries’ “We Are All Prisoners EP” on Advanced (Black)

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Abyssal Chaos – Through Darkness Comes Light
02. Rezystor – Shut You Down
03. SNTS – Violence and Force / Loyalty and Devotion
04. Abyssal Chaos – Unicorns on Acid
05. Abyssal Chaos – Litany Of Curses
06. Corroid – Wenn Eine Maschine
07. Mayeul – Allnite
08. Ethan Fawkes – Forget The Sunrise
09. Delectro – Mechanic
10. Adult. – Irregular Pleasure
11. Crystal Geometry – Social Injustice
12. Kotai – BA3 Breathing (Len Faki Hardspace Mix)
13. Halo Effect – Melt My Brain (Abyssal Chaos Remix)
14. The Horrorist – The Hell You Love

 

Booking:
MainFrame Artists

 

Websites:
Abyssal Chaos

 

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