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The Juice with DJ Vidis

You'll know these two from their beautiful 'Changed' track, come and learn a thing or two.

Counting names like Giles Peterson, Pete Tong, Jazzanova, Laurent Garnier, Ewan Pearson and Toby Tobias in their fan base, Lithuania's Mario & Vidis are hot electronic property to say the least. Their recent debut LP, Changed, is testament to the diverse quality they are capable of, and so we decided to ask the latter a few questions about said album, slo-mo dance music and something called Vilnius house.

The Plug

Changed, your debut LP, arrived last month. For those yet to hear it, how would you describe the release?

It's a manifest of love, devotion, and craftsmanship. A melancholic dancefloor affair for those who care about what they dance to, and a version of modern day house music coming from a place which has not yet been known for electronic music.

For a first album a double-CD is quite ambitious, why did you decide to do that?

It happened naturally. Our musical material is quite diverse in a way. It ranges from electronic songs to dancefloor bangers. Spreading it over two CDs made it sound more organic and consistent- we had enough time to go from A to Z.

There's a wide variety of influences evident in your music, in terms of this album are there any specific artists that you think effected the production?

One of the common influences we shared was the era of so-called nu-jazz. Acts like Jazzanova and Bugge Wesseltoft were big influencers of ours. And even though these two come from different backgrounds they always have shared the same goal; to marry the spirit of jazz, blues, and soul with the soul of the machine. We also like their variety and range.

That's a value long gone and really missing in dance music these days. Even though boundaries between different styles have blurred it's still very much about one particular sound someone is playing or pushing. But when you look back to the roots of dance music, you find out the guys in New York, Chicago and Detroit were loving and playing literally everything.

In terms of styles, the LP has house, funk, nu-jazz, pop, and ambient tones. Would you ever be satisfied just making a dancefloor record?

We would be satisfied but we can't do it really… Just making a dancefloor track. Every time we work in the studio we come up with something we haven't even intended to do sound and style wise.

We always do some kind of hybrid tracks. And that's the thrill and the magic of course. By not bothering too much about how to pigeonhole things we've invented our own style - we call it Vilnius house.

The track list is full of collaborations, is there anyone in particular that stood out as the best person to work with here, and is there anyone you would have liked to appear on the album but didn't?

We love all of the guys that were featured on the album. Some of them are old friends of ours, some are new acquaintances, others are vocalists, and some instrumentalists. We've got different stories to share with all of them.

We've always wanted to do a song with Prince, but it's not likely to happen. So we might end up doing a cover version of one of his perfect songs some time very soon.

The Issues

The whole slow motion house-disco thing really took over last year - why do you think people are so responsive to music at that tempo?

Dance music and its trends go round in circles. After a period of really stripped down, dark and futuristic minimal the time has to come for a more melodic, laid back and retroactive attitude, simple as that.

There are a number of other Lithuanians on the album- Jazzu, Giedre etcetera- is your country experiencing a surge in electronic music culture at the moment?

The club scene is experiencing a decline as an aftermath of the so-called financial crisis. But creativity wise the scene is blooming - we haven't ever had so much creative output.

We even have an inside joke for that - we say less of the night life and parties going on gave us more free time to spend in our studios. There is always two sides to every story.

We're quietly confident everything will be OK, but 2012 means Armageddon to some. If music production ended tomorrow what one record would keep you interested?

Oh… This is the hard one. It should be some work of genius - a piece of classical or jazz music. I might go for something by Eric Satie. His music is crystal clear and visceral, and I can hardly get bored of it.

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