In the second edition of our article series on this year’s Electric Castle we interviewed a quite eccentric haired DJ who has been in the industry for 13 years, so it’s no wonder he played 7 times at the festival over the last 3 years. In the interview Eye Scream told us what genres he doesn’t play (because that was easier), what symbolism he used when choosing his artist name, what you need for a good remix, what The Chemical Brothers do on stage, what adventure he had last year on the fest and he talked about where he organised a festival among ancient ruins. We share some useful tips about the fest as well.
Today you are playing in Form Space again, aren’t you?
– Yes, I will play on terrace in front of the club. Last week I played before Calix & Teebee and Madliquid (who we interviewed last year). Since it was a dnb event, I played some really fast drum and bass. The venue is really awesome, because even though it’s quite big and can house 800 people, there is always a great family atmosphere. And there many other events beside electronica, there are concerts, exhibitions, poetry, or even TED-X presentations as well, almost anything what is performance. Of course mostly music events.
And what are you going to play today?
– They asked for some faster house, so I’m preparing some of that.
Last year you played some tight garage house on the Booha Stage on the fest, however the next day I found you spinning some ‘70s disco and funky vinyls on the Hideout Stage, which was a thrilling experience.
– Yeah, well imagine when I was about to start my set on the Booha, I nearly got a heart attack. I put my pend drive in the slot, but the bloody thing refused to recognise the drive, which had all my songs of course. Things started to get really exciting as the the last song was playing from the previous DJ and there was only 30 seconds left. To avoid total silence I had to be creative and eventually the other player accepted my drive and I had about less than 20 seconds to find something to mix the song with which wasn’t much time but I managed just in time so the party could continue. Playing on the Hideout was completely different. There were these extra cool guys from Bucharest who organised that stage and the bar. It was called Viny, Rum, Tapas and Wine and let’s be honest, this is really good combo. Anything could go there, big ups for that!
How many genres do you actually play?
– Almost everything from chill out to drum and bass. Of course sometimes I get a specific request from the organisers, like for the 7 July Akua Naru show, they want to play more relaxed, more trip-hopy down-tempo thing, but for a show like I would prepare with the same thing.
Then I’ll ask differently: Is there any genres that you don’t play?
– Well my heart roots towards the broken beats and electronica. These will always enjoy priority for me, what I definitely don’t like is these mushroom induced styles like psy-trance and goa. I don’t think these are meant to be enjoyed in the city, but more like in the forest and fields. I play even house and techno if needed, but in Cluj so many people play these that I feel I don’t have room for that. It makes sense when you can give something to people what they can’t get somewhere else. Just like in business if there is no market gap, you can’t break into that market. In Cluj, and in most parts in Romania, people want house and techno, because it is easier, even simple people can understand it, let alone it isn’t a big deal to mix two 125 bpm songs together.
I heard the diversity was influencing your choice when you picked your artist name.
– Yeah. When I was thinking about my artist name, it occurred to me when somebody goes out to party and really wastes himself/herself, you need to present some kind of signpost to remind them where they were, who they saw. I wanted two things to remind them of me: One was my hair, which was inspired by the overly eccentric John B, the other had to be my artist name. When you think about it a screaming eye is not a big thing to remember, but then you give it more thought and realize: it’s ice scream. Ice screams consist of scoops which come in different flavours; I present different genres just like flavours. This way there is bigger chance to get to everybody on a party and make them feel better with my music.
So basically you play for your audience not for yourself?
– Absolutely. Music has no boundaries. The reason I am juggling all these genres is that I believe music the cure for the soul. If you have different kinds of remedies, you will see it better who needs your kind of cure.
If you have to pay attention to many genres, do you focus on some labels or artists, or do you do this?
– I have no favourite artists, since nobody can present a good song all the time. I try to give everybody a chance every time, even when the artists previous track was a complete utter crap, because what if this time he/she managed to create a bomb, and I’m afraid to miss out on that one. If somebody is releasing regularly, there is good chance he/she cannot always present high quality, not even when he/she has a serious music qualification.
Do you have any kind of qualification, or do you play on any instruments?
– No, I don’t, I do everything based on my instincts. But my parents told me that when I was only one years old, I shook my tiny bottom rhythmically to Lambada and Gipsy King’s Bambolero. Most probably something already was driving me. Later I got sucked into the ‘90s Eurodance movement, but by today they only play these on retro parties. I am not saying you only have to play completely fresh releases, because that will not make a good set, but inserting an older song reminds people to the roots, and you mustn’t forget those.
If someone browses your Soundcloud feed, it is clear that your remixes and bootlegs often from the past. I guess this is your way to remember your roots.
– Yes, but you have to be really careful how you treat the original, because if someone can afford to have a go on a ‘80s or a ‘90s song, he/she has to improvise something so that the original would be better by this. A lot of people just fuck up the original.
What is needed for good remix/bootleg?
– A little brain! A lot of people lack this, but they have very good contacts…
Did you play every year on EC?
– Except the first one. But what started as 3 gigs turned into 7 over the four years. They told me there was an empty slot here, an empty slot there, and I always said yes, because I am going when they want me. I really love playing.
I saw you first three years ago in the Dance Garden when you were playing breakbeat and Galaxy Bounce by The Chemical Brothers. What a set that was!
– Yeah, The Chemicals are big favourites, but I am not sure whether they actually do anything behind those decks. I guess for them it’s enough to press play, maybe they might not even have any mood to do anything. Who knows?
What do you think about the business model of the EC that they spend a portion of the profit to renovate the castle a bit each year?
– I welcome it! I like playing on charity events as well, because it makes me feel good and if something good is being built, you should place a brick as well. In 2011-2012 I also organised a small festival 12 kilometres off Zilah among more than 1900 year-old ruins. Smuggling electronica into an almost 2000 year-old ruins is one hell of a feeling. I tried to introduce history to electronica, and electronica to history. Unfortunately it costs a great deal of money to organise such an event, it just burns all your money. We were bringing all the money we had at home, and money we didn’t have as well. Next year The EC kicked off and we did not want to compete with it, not without access to serious money. So playing music on a historical site was always very close to me moreover if a substantial amount of money should find me somehow, I would do it again.
Who would you like to see year on the festival?
– I have seen a lot of artists from this year’s line-up, but since I like so many artists, there will always be ones that I hadn’t had the opportunity to catch so far. This year Trentemoller, A-Trak, House Of pain, Beardyman or UNKLE draws most of my attention, but some smaller name also appeal to me like Claptone or Boca 45.
Useful info about the festival
If you have a ticket but you don’t know where to sleep, it’s high time you got one of the camping passes as well, since the house of the locals are on rent for the prices of a room in the Hilton. You might even have to pay more than €100-120/person but only if you can share a house with 5-6 other people. Last year and the year before the rain was an issue, but thanx to the Rain or Shine app now you will be able warn your buddies about the weather conditions, let alone you can help 25 families to get electricity in Bontida, which is a great initiative by the festival. Talking of rain, this year there will be a completely covered stage, called the Hangar, where no planes will take off but will house great shows from GusGus, Punnany Massif, Claptone, Metrik, S.P.Y., A-Trak and many others. The Booha Stage will only stop for a few hours, they will host an almost 24/7 reel there. The detailed schedule is also out, so you can start planning.
Previous Electric Castle articles
The Soul of a Nation – interview with Alex Chronic, Dudawles and Madliquid
Critical Mass – review of previous years and overview of 2016
Only Good Vibes This Year – festival preview and interview with Andi Vancza for 2015
Ruff in the Garage Business – Ruffinaments interview
Indulnak monstre nyereményjátékaink az Electric Castle-re – helyszíni riporttal
Az emberek a részévé válnak – hármas interjú a román elektroszcénából
Kritikus tömeg – élménybeszámoló és ajánló 2016-ra
Boncidáig és vissza – riport a második EC-ről
Az első nagy nemzetközi fesztivál Romániában – interjú Andi Vanca szervezővel
Mint tíz éve a Szigeten – interjú a Ruffinamentsszel
Nem csak játék és mese – a 2014-es EC ajánlója
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