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SPTL126: Arjun Vagale

Greetings from India.


The Mix

Talk us through the track selection in the mix.

"The mix contains some new and fresh music that I've been playing for the last few weeks. It has some unreleased gems in there and some of my productions."

Tell us about the podcast - where and how was it recorded?

"It was recoded in my studio in Goa using Traktor and an A&H Xone 92. It's been a while since I've recorded a mix so I'm glad Ibiza Spotlight requested for one."

Just to state the obvious, there's not a single Bollywood track in there. Where has the influence for your taste in dance music come from?

"Ha ha yes... No Bollywood ever! I've been playing dance music for over 16 years now, and being in India it's an uphill battle as Bollywood / commercial EDM is everywhere. Over the years we have built a healthy scene here and it's only getting stronger."

The Plug

What is keeping you busy at the moment?

"Honestly, I'm taking the month off as the year end was super hectic with back to back gigs. But I've been busy in the studio, just finished my next EP for Trapez Ltd that should be out in March. My last release for the year was a remix for Victor Calderone and it's good to see it's still rocking the Techno charts (at the time of this interview)."

You have a weekend off, what do you do? Where do you go?

"I've recently moved to Goa, from New Delhi, so I try and explore the city and its amazing culinary delights, because Goa has a massive expat population with quality restaurants run by them. Yup .. I'm a big foodie! As much as possible I stay away from cubs & party's on the off weekends."

Not much is known about the dance music scene in India, can you give us a snapshot of it all?

"The scene in India is on its way up, though it's dominated by Trance and this whole 'EDM' sound, the underground is at the strongest its ever been. We have some super talented DJ's and producers who do all they can to push the scene in the right direction. The influx of International DJ's is tremendous, and that's a sign that India is on the wish list of everyone."

How have you managed to take yourself from a relatively unknown scene in India to the level you are at now?

"Like I said, its been an uphill battle, but I've had my goals very clear right from the start. I'm a studio buff and i'm always making music, and in today's market it's not possible to be a DJ without being a producer, so that has really pushed me on the international front. Since I've been DJ'ing for ever, it has also given me the space to do my own sound and to build something fresh."

What plans are in place for the coming year?

"The years going to be real busy, and I'm still working on plans, but I will play a few gigs in the US this year which i'm excited about. Will also do my annual Europe tour in the summer, Sonar included, and hopefully take a few days off to go to Ibiza again. Studio wise, things are already looking good ... can't really talk about much at the moment as contracts still need to be signed... you know how it is!"

Biography

Arjun Vagale is arguably one of the most in-demand DJs in India. As one of the country's biggest Electronic music exports, he plays over 100 gigs a year, touring regularly in Europe and Asia, often spends his summers in the
world's techno Mecca, Berlin. A man with a true passion for underground music, which he relentlessly plays, produces and promotes. No wonder he was awarded 2011 – 2012's Best Techno DJ and DJ Of the Year, and
most recently, took top spot on the first ever DJ Mag India Poll.

He has played alongside such heavyweights as Apparat, Sasha, Fat Boy Slim, Fergie, Dave Seaman, Nic Fanciulli, Paolo Mojo and Cari Lekebusch while his live act, Jalebee Cartel, has shared headlining spots with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Modeselektor. His knowledge and use of technology in the booth is second to none, often adding drum machines and samplers to create a uniquely raw, funk-laden techno set.

It has been almost 10 years since Arjun, along with 3 friends, formed India's biggest live act, Jalebee Cartel. With its genre-bending sets, the band has generated a huge buzz and has featured in DJ Mag, MixMag and Elle's list of Rising Stars, and has even graced the cover of Rolling Stone, India. The live act has released over 50 singles on Ostwind Records, Neurotraxx Deluxe, Vapour, Baroque among others. 2009 saw the release of Jalebee's critically acclaimed debut album, ONEPOINTNOTHING! …But it is Arjun's solo productions that are now making some serious noise.

2010 saw the release of “Kill the String” on Tom Budden's ALiVE Recordings. It quickly caught the ear of Fergie, who played it on Digweed's Transitions to great feedback and immediately commissioned Arjun for an EP on his new Tribal Rage imprint, and followed it with two Vinyl releases on Excentric Mizik. Carl Cox, Karotte, Kaserdisco, Sebastien Leger all supported these heavily. Remixes for Fergie, Denis Horvat, Solead, Dale Anderson and a chart topper for Montero followed. His releases with Cologne's Trapez, are much applauded by DJ's and clubbers alike with the massive Ibiza hit ‘Terrakoz' while his collaboration with Tim Richards on Kaiserdisco's KD Music stayed on the Beatport & Vinyl charts for well over two months, getting numerous plays from Richie Hawtin. Carl Cox even licensed it for his 2012 Space Ibiza CD.

He now counts the greats, Hawtin, Dubfire, Carl Cox, Stacey Pullen, Victor Calerone, Karotte, Paco Osuna and Kaiserdisco as regular supporters, and has been signed to Stephan Bodzin's Herzblut, Mihalis Safras's Material Series, Octopus Recording, Suara amongst others, along with forthcoming remixes for Victor Calerone and Wally Lopez, both requesting Arjun personally.

Never one to play Top 10 tunes, Arjun's always scouting out fresh underground tracks – the man never sleeps! His latest venture has been to found and manage a young record label, Mak.Tub Music, with partner Logistic Soundz. Over the last three years, the imprint has an impressive roster of artists, including Alex Dolby, Jay Haze, Jimmy Van M, Dave Ellesmere. There's good reason that Arjun Vagale's name has become synonymous with high quality in the Electronic Music scene. Whether packing in the dance floor or producing yet another monster tune, Arjun's absolute dedication to house and techno is apparent in everything he does.

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