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Lucia Udvardyova: Easterndaze still functions. It’s a project we established in 2010 with Peter in order to explore the emerging Eastern European music scenes. We travelled through the many countries, recording interviews (for Resonance FM and Czech Radio), and we still document the scene through our Facebook channel and blog. Over the years, we’ve met many fascinating musicians whose music wasn’t being heard, so we decided to release it.
Quâ€™est-ce qui motive le label? Quels objectifs ou intentions? What drives the label? What purposes or intents?
L: We were born in communism, still in the 1980s. Our region has undergone numerous changes, and it still is in transition, marked by political upheavals, unemployment, and also a change in arts. The artificial state-sanctioned artistic production â€” which as its antithesis had the miniscule dissent/underground scene â€” has been replaced by commercial pop and underground or the DIY scene, which had to reinvent itself. Nevertheless, we exist in a global world, connected to the same channels via the same media, so I wouldn’t say the differences in theory are so huge anymore (of course, the context and the conditions are).
P: I consider the changes in the region mostly positive, although they have brought also many negative things and have led to eradication of many different forms of life, some of which were slower, more relaxed, less penetrable and streamlined than the global culture of individualism that started to spread around here. I personally think a certain slowness and opacity might be a good thing in an accelerating world, almost like a strategy. The changes are not evenly spread, there are huge differences between urban centers and the countryside, and between the countries as well. The transition has many forms and was successful to various degrees.
Selon vous, dans quelle mesure ces changements se traduisent dans la musique Ã Prague, Sofia ou Budapest? To what extent do you think these changes translate into music in Prague or Sofia or Budapest?
L: Several interesting local scenes have sprung up. In general, let’s say even ten years ago, there was this fascination with anything Western and global, but now there’s a focus back on the local (not as in local sounding, but existing in a certain local context, a scene, if you will). The differences between Prague, Sofia and Budapest – I guess are the same as the differences between Paris, Brussels and Rome.
P: The most interesting things happening in any of those cities are built from the bottom-up and based on DIY principles, which are not only some ideals but also a necessity. Very little is done with the support from official cultural institutions or the state, which in many cases serve conservative backwards thinking purposes.
L: We basically release music we like, usually by artists we have personal connections with, but not necessarily (as proven by CVN:).
P: There is this feeling when you are listening to a demo and after several seconds you feel this excitement and know this is it, it is perfect, it is genius, it must be released. Such was the case with CVN. In such cases we donâ€™t look at the origin of the artist, which never was a fetish for us anyway.
Comment le DIY est perÃ§u par les artistes, auditeurs, labels? How is DIY seen by artists, listeners, labels?
L: They are our friends. I’m currently based in Budapest, I know them personally and go to their events. Farbwechsel epitomizes this new sort of locally-focused music community based on friendship and mutual musical and artistic inspiration and collaboration, which is also plugged into global happenings on the electronic music scene. I guess finally there seems to be a more active interaction between the various Eastern European scenes, at least in Central Europe.
P: Only in a way. I think cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are the future of money and will reshape this world like no other technology has since the industrial revolution, but I might have different reasons to believe that and support their development than for example some proponent of crypto-capitalism. Having to sell music via Bandcamp, which uses Paypal, it is easy to see why we desire a decentralized platform for music, that would be peer-to-peer and using cryptocurrencies for payments. I think if someone started anything of this kind it could be a massive success.
Partant de lÃ , que pensez-vous de Deezer ou Spotify? What are your thoughts about Deezer or Spotify then?
L: We have just released a new album by Estonian artist Benzokai. He uses his voice a lot, which is maybe different to our previous releases. The whole thing has this anxious, but mellow vibe. This would be followed by a 1980s experimental album by Czech band Quarantine. And there’s more ;)
P: I look forward for an album by the Czech experimental duo Sister / Body and for the sophomore record of the Mexican visual and sound artist living in Prague Laura Luna, both to be released in autumn.