Kasra V’s retro-injected club cuts are propelling dancers into the future

today28/04/2023 12

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What are the most memorable sets you’ve seen from other people?

There have been a few people over the years that I’ve really enjoyed. I saw Johnny Rock once in East London in a warehouse, and that was amazing because it’s always really nice to see someone and you don’t know anything that they play. And one time I hosted a party and Tzusing played, and he was mind blowing – music from so many different places, but so good. And seeing Marie Malarie at Adonis is always amazing, because she’s so cool and the energy levels are so high.

Obviously you’ve been DJing out since you were 17, how has your style changed over the years?

Yeah now I’ve been DJing for 13 years, but I guess professionally since 2016. It’s changed a few times over the years, but I feel like in the last two or three years I’ve finally found my club sound. I feel like the stuff that I play and the stuff that I’ve found is really sticking with me – I know that a lot of stuff that I have discovered is the sort of thing that I will play for a long time. Weirdly a lot of it is similar to the type of music I was listening to when I first started discovering music, like early Sasha sets that I used to download. Obviously those sorts of sounds are having a revival, but in general early-to-late ‘90s sound from Europe and the UK, and the US with Danny Tenaglia and Junior Vasquez stuff, I like.

We mentioned your NTS residency a bit earlier, but what does radio mean to you?

It will be 10 years next year since I joined NTS. It’s pretty much taught me how to DJ. It was my practice ground for many years. I’ve met a lot of new people who I’ve ended up becoming really good friends with. There were times when, because I’d been doing radio so much, that when I played in a club I almost forgot that I was playing in a club. There was a period where I would spend a lot of time making it almost a listening experience, though in the past two years I’ve been doing more club mixes – things that are more for dancing – but I think that’s just because I want to focus more on being a club DJ.

My relationship with it has changed a few times, there was a period where I used to do it every other week, but it got to the point where I didn’t enjoy listening to the music – it made me feel neutral – so I decided to take it down to one hour, once a month so I can focus more on making music but also be more excited about it.

Read this next: An oral history of NTS Radio

Do you feel excited about it now?

Yeah, in the last two years I [have been] feeling excited about music in general. Since lockdown ended and clubs opened again – being paid money to go and [DJ], if you told me when I was 12 that was going to happen I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s strange, when I was young I would buy DVDs of festivals, and watch people DJing and all my friends would be like: “What the fuck are you watching?” I mean where I grew up none of this would happen. So I would watch a DVD of Paul Van Dyk and get really excited about it.

I’ve tried quite a few different career paths, and think music is the main thing that I never feel distracted whilst doing. Whenever I’ve tried different [avenues of work] my mind is always like in five different places at the same time, but whenever I do anything in music I can really stay on it.

What was the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?

There’s probably a few, but Adonis New Year’s this year was insane. I played for two hours at the new space that The Cause has, and they have this room upstairs that has low ceilings, loads of lights. It’s really intense, it’s so hot there’s literally sweat dripping, everyone’s topless but I like it because it’s dedication to be there in that room – you’re either going to be into it or not. It was so good that when I stopped playing one of my friends hugged me and I cried a little bit because I was just so overwhelmed.

What’s next for Kasra V?

Actually good [things]. This year in general is the first time I have months where I’m DJing every week. I’m travelling a lot, Adonis again in May and doing Circoloco in Ibiza. And I have three releases as Flower Storm, two solo releases and a few remixes here and there.

And finally, can you tell us about your Impact mix?

It was recorded in my house on two CDJs and two vinyl decks, which is pretty much my setup, and my flatmate’s rotary mixer. I don’t normally usually use rotary mixers, I actually just prefer Pioneer – for me they are actually the best. But the mix is kind of retrospective musically, and I am retrospective personally and I’ve come to terms with that in the past year or two. I was listening to a lot of Danny Tenaglia’s Twisted America label and Global Underground’s mix series and this Tony De Vit 12-hour mix from TRADE, which back then must have been like what, 500 records? And also going out a lot at the time and listening to friends who I find inspiring every time I see them DJ, like Marie Malarie again, Byron Yeates, Alex Kassian, THC – so it was probably a mix of all of that.

Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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