By Oana Vasiliu
One of the most beautiful quotes that exists, when it comes to the art of entertaining audiences through DJing, refers to the DJ as God, life as a dancefloor, love as the rhythm and you as music. For more than 10 years now, Alexandru Manda and Vlad Matei, more commonly known as Disco Sigaretta, have been packing dancefloors with music lovers. OZB caught up with them between sets recently.
- What’s with the Italian nickname?
More than 10 years ago we discovered Italo Disco and due to its revival back then, many international DJs took a fake Italian name. Our name appeared whenever we featured in articles. It was the pre-Facebook period and the links between music fans were basically made on other social platforms like Myspace and blogs.
We chose Disco Sigaretta because in the 1980s the Italo disco producers used English or American names to look like international bands and subsequently get a broader audience and that’s what happened to us. People thought that we were foreign DJs, they came to our gigs, they talked to us in English and we got the “special” treatment. This was one of our marketing tools and it certainly helped, extra especially it helped since the music we were trying to promote wasn’t well known. Currently, Disco Sigaretta is our name for the parties we host in Control Club.
- When did you start DJing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
It was in 1997 that I met my DJ partner Vlad Matei – we were exchanging cassettes and magazines, especially hip-hop, and especially materials brought from other countries. We were constantly looking for music and in that period before the internet the joy of discovering a new song on these cassettes was absolutely amazing. A constant influence for us from our hip-hop period was Dj Sleek / Bogman, to name but one. Then, there are a lot of people who became our friends and are similarly constantly preoccupied with music: they were talking about music, writing about music and even making music.
- What was your first set-up as DJ like? How was it compared to the parties you are invited to now?
At that time, the setup for the DJ was already made, we only needed to bring the music and the headsets. There was a time when we just used our iPhones and headsets at our gigs.
- Let’s say you have a gig coming up tonight. What does your approach look like – from selecting the material and preparing for opening and then building a set?
We make a profile of the place and of the expected public, that enables us to best create a chemistry between the space, the people and the music. And our gigs are divided into club music and music in bars or private parties, so different events have different musical setups.
- Can you describe your state of mind during a DJ set?
At first it was the hype of putting on music mixed with the alcohol of course, but with time we’ve become more focused purely on the music and its effect on people, we’ve also become more aware of the effect of music on us and this helps us when it comes to better understanding the state of mind of our public on the dancefloor.
- Why we should attend a Disco Sigaretta DJ set?
In 90% of our shows, Disco Sigaretta means Control Club parties, where you can listen to our music for 8 hours straight, which is basically a journey through several musical genres, but from different periods of time and even different continents. People should be aware that we have special guests from abroad and each DJ comes with a slightly different energy and style and every time we invite them to perform with us we are confident because they are almost always our heroes. Last year we had guests from the United States, Japan, Sweden, Great Britain, Portugal, Germany and in 2019 we expect DJs from Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, Australia and Russia.