You’re from Greece, a country that’s been in the news a lot recently thanks to its economic situation. How has this affected the scene at home?
“Interestingly enough when the economy was better, people weren’t interested in raving and would rather do other things. Personally speaking, for underground electronic music, this is the best time in Greece since the late ‘90s. I also feel really comfortable performing there right now as there is no obvious trend in music and you can go in any direction you want — as long as you are making sense, of course.”
Your latest album, 'Dominonation', came out at the start of the year. Can you talk us through it a bit?
“I always wanted to release a song-based full-length. To collaborate with a singer and work around songwriting, beats and arrangements was always an aim of mine. From that perspective, I was lucky enough to work with MAMA who is an amazing singer and lyricist. I used to be a big fan of Moloko, Morcheeba, Massive Attack and, of course, MJ Cole, so all these influences had to surface at some point.”
So are you in a very different mind-frame compared to when you’re producing an EP? Or is it pretty much the same?
“Without wanting to sound pretentious, my albums are more conceptual. 'Fundamentals', for example, was a tribute to the NY house music scene. My first album on Poker Flat was a collaborations-only full-length. But 'Dominonation' is a different story altogether. Last but not least, my ambient album on Permanent Vacation under the name Zodiac Free Arts Club focuses on '70s German sounds. I don't like putting singles together and calling it an album, so I pick a theme and start obsessing about it until it becomes reality. It’s a strange procedure that involves some interesting method acting!”
You’ve put out some huge releases over the years. Are you wary of making hits or do you rather just concentrate on making music that makes you happy?
“Hits make me happy too! For me, commercial success is not something ‘anti-art’ or something to be embarrassed about. We all make music to make history and be remembered — otherwise we would only listen to our tracks in our living rooms and never release them.”
As a musician, what’s the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your career? Have you ever had a bad dose of writer’s block, for example?
“Blocks are natural... even Prince gets them, I’m sure! But every now and then industry people can be a bit of a problem. It’s an emotional industry with big egos and huge insecurities, in which almost every newcomer has an aggressive manager while barely even knowing how to make a record. If a legend such as Kerri Chandler is so humble and respectful, I think we can all just chill and be nice to each other, right?”
You’re a resident at Sankeys this year for Tribal Sessions. Can you talk us through your relationship with the brand?
“I had played Sankeys Manchester, London and New York before I got the residency at Sankeys Ibiza. Our collaboration came from mutual musical and artistic appreciation. For me, the Sankeys brand carries the spirit of the Hacienda. I sometimes feel like I’m a part of Factory Records, and that’s a great feeling! I also really dig the Hacienda/Peter Saville graphic references we got going on in the club in Ibiza.”
What’s the best thing about playing Tribal Sessions?
“Forward-thinking music without prejudice. Also, the soundsystem at Sankeys this year is just beyond cool. I try to test my new tracks there when the club hasn't opened its doors, as it’s the most accurate and intimate acoustic experience on the island. Building the nights up alongside names like Alan Fitzpatrick, Levon Vincent, Josh Wink, Francois K, DVS1, Robert Hood, Redshape and Mr G, is going to be a real treat.”
Argy is a resident at Tribal Sessions at Sankeys this summer.
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