It’s popular at the moment for DJs to combine electronic elements with classical instruments and I would like to mention two artists who are particularly good at this.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting PAJI, who seems to be both a lovely person and a hugely talented musician. Perfect! He started playing the violin at the age of five and was telling me that through playing for various events accompanying different music styles (non classical) he migrated into the tech house genre.
He played a brilliant set at XOYO, London in March where he played his violin live to accompany another DJ and then alone. It really adds spectacle and drama to an already pretty exhilarating situation. Plus I imagine it is very challenging. Kudos.
If you want to get stuck into his work there’s a nicely manageable amount at this stage and his EPs are on Spotify (listen to Viola first please, thanks). I think this track is a nice reflection of his sound because it combines the ordered nature of electronic music and the elated flourishes of his violin. It’s very beautiful and fun. Wotan is a little more intense and echoes in some places the artist’s cultural heritage. So both are worth a listen for an idea of his range. He has just been touring in India (lucky!) so I’m hoping when he gets back he might start on an album. I plan to keep an eye out.
Anyway Worakls. He’s French (yes, the focus of this blog might need to change!) and I hadn’t heard of him at all before the festival. Probably because I was busy ploughing through all the Germans. He has his classical background in common with Paji but he, friends, is a pianist. And a pretty bloody good one! He started playing at the age of three. Oh these bright young things, eh?
I HATE describing tech house as euphoric. It sounds so tacky and Ibiza-ish and like you are referring to music on a really scratched CD with a grossly tasteless, crappy purple and silver cover. And that cover would have bubble writing (bubble writing!) And it would probably also be a compilation. Ugh.
That said, having piano set on the backdrop of decent techno really does make it incredibly cheerful. You might want to put your hands in the air or something. And not in a 2000s RnB sort of way. You know?
There was a noticeable feeling of anticipation in the crowd when Worakls played after Joris Delacroix (also great) last Sunday. I had no expectations (I find this approach stands me in good stead in most situations) so was pleasantly surprised, plus I had a reasonably good spot to see him play from. I like to hover at the edge near the front in case you’re interested. I DO NOT like to compromise on dance space. Anyway there were inflatable flamingos and everyone seemed very happy. Euphoric even. Good job.