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Dream, hope and love

Interview with Petar Dundov

Dream, hope and love

05-09-2014 | 11.31

We've all come to know Petar Dundov as one of the most enigmatic techno live sets of the last decade. Born in Zagreb, his career in dance music stretches back the best part of 20 years, but it’s only in the new millennium that he’s been using his own name for his productions. His 2013 album Sailing Off The Grid got raving reviews and enforced his unique style of making techno music to expand people's horizons. Petar returns to Trouw this Saturday to play at Something Happening Somewhere with Etapp Kyle and Nuno dos Santos. A lot has happened since we've last seen him, so we were thrilled to have a chat with him in the middle of his busy schedule.

What does a typical day in the life of Petar Dundov look like?

"I wake up in the morning (not to early), make myself a coffee and check my email. I answer back and then I am off to studio. I work on music until somewhere late afternoon and then I go home to have dinner with my family. We talk for a while, maybe we play some video games, and then we go to bed. Sometimes I have some good inspiration at night, so I sneak out of bed and work in my home studio for a while."

Having lived in Zagreb your entire life, what were to the first parties you visited that attracted you to the kind of music you're making today?
"in the beginning of 90's, there were couple of good clubs that started throwing techno parties. Musically you could hear everything from Techno, Acid House, Hardcore, Breakbeats, Trance etc... People were into it so much and this new sound and feeling of unity really attracted me to dig deeper into it."

I noticed on your Facebook that you recently played DC10 and Space Ibiza on the Balearic island. What makes Ibiza such a special place for you?
"It's the vibe of the island that's so unique. First of all, the place is beautiful: perpetual sunshine, kilometers of sand beaches, top clubs and restaurants, you name it... But the most important thing is the atmosphere that people create when they visit the place. Everyone from all around the world comes there to party and have a good time. No worries, just happiness. I love it and I am happy that I have opportunity to perform there."

You just came back from playing Dimensions in Croatia and seem to be a real advocate for the music scene in Zagreb as a Croatian yourself. What is the current state of the local festival/club scene in Croatia?
"Croatia is burning at the moment. There are lots of things going on, especially during the summer. There are many festivals growing every year. The number of DJ and artists that are visiting Croatia is just amazing, I think the whole world is coming over. This is great for the local scene, this cultural exchange is something that will permanently stay here. Also lots of clubs are now benefiting because of the media frenzy about music events and dance phenomena here, so everybody is happy."

Looking at young Croatian musical talent, are there any names that we should definitely keep an eye on?
"Ilija Rudman, Homeboy, Examine, Davor O, DJ Zero are some of the people you should look up. Lots of good stuff is coming out from these guys."

As I've read in this thorough Noisey piece, you're completely in love with analogue gear. What type of gear will you be bringing to Trouw for your live act?
"I will bring my little portable studio on stage. I use a couple of monophonic synths, like DSI Tetra, MFB synth, DarkEnergy and computer running virtual sampler and strings. I have lots of controllers, MIDI keyboard, I use all kinds of technology to be able to recreate songs live on stage. It was something I wanted to do all my life and now it is possible because all this electronic stuff has become so small that you can pack everything in two bags."

What's the hardest thing about playing live sets?
"The hardest thing for me was to find a way how to bring the music making process on stage. I always wanted to show people how it's done, what kind of vibe is it when you are playing electronic music and creating a song from scratch. Obviously people expect some songs they know, in that sense some parts are preprogramed, but eventually I like to bring them into an extended variation of the piece and there, I need to be able to go wherever I want to go. That level of control over sound was hard to develop."

What's the most enjoyable thing about playing live sets?
"It's the moment when you're in the zone, one with the people and everybody's synchronized to the sound. This shared feeling is the best thing any musician on stage can feel. That's why you never want to stop doing it since nothing can really top that."

What was your best summer moment this year from a performing point of view?
"I had a couple of those actually, one in Artheater in Cologne and recently in Mondo Club in Madrid. Both gigs were extraordinary, from performance to atmosphere. I was carried away by the energy, it was truly magical, a surreal experience. I like those mid-sized clubs where you can be close to the people."

Are there any new projects you are currently working on?
"I am working on a new album for 2015."

If we were you describe your music in just three words, what would they be?
"Dream, Hope, Love."