Darius Syrossian is an avid house music activist tapping into his audiences’ tribal instincts, keeping them trancing, dancing and advancing.
The Pied Piper of ambient rhythm and funk, DJ, producer, label boss and radio host Darius Syrossian prides himself on his unequivocal and deeply affecting love of true house music. Basing his creative processes around unearthing decent beats, jacking records, coining catchy vocals and inciting higher states of euphoria amongst his crowds, Darius’s forward, thinking understated sound is born from years of obsessive crate digging, raving and club DJ’ing. Layered, intelligent, infectious, hypnotic and intrepid, the sampling scattered about each set he creates takes unwavering direction, carrying listeners to a higher place of impenetrable and harmonious platitude. Boldly going where no house musician has gone before, his intentions lie beyond having a good time; he wants you to enter into a world unaffected by anything other than the music he lays down. Indoctrinated by his musical mantra, i-D online took to the floor to find out what direction the motions coming out of Darius’ beat-deep oceans maybe.
When did you first start making music? I got my decks in ’94 and by ’95 I had my first gig in a club. I started teaching myself how to produce in 2000. Back then even a soundcard that was half decent cost at least £1000 and the software was nothing like it is now, no Ableton that makes it so easy these days. So I bought a lot of hardware which I still use now, but the fact that I started producing many years after first DJ’ing in clubs helped me a lot. I seriously believe the experience of DJ’ing and seeing how a dance-floor works has helped me in the way I put a track together.
What specific elements of house music excite you? Any track that can get that natural instinct we have as humans to dance, it’s about the beat and the rhythm, the drums and the bass. If you dance to a tribal rhythm for more than two hours non-stop, your body releases natural hormones that allow you to get lost in it. It sort of sends you into a frenzy, this is what house music is about and why it’s so addictive.
What up-and-coming artists and producers are you excited about right now? On an international level I’d say Tom Ruijg, William Kouam Djoko, whose music Nyra introduced me to. Deetron, Camiel Daamen, there are so many but from my hometown Leeds there is a guy called Cera Alba. To be honest Leeds (and I’m not just saying this because I’m from there) is full of talent, so many new producers making absolute killer tracks and signing to huge labels. The list is endless, from Miguel Campbell to Laura Jones to James Barnsley. Then you have established artists like Gavin Herlihy, Simon Baker, Paul Woolford, Burnski- that’s the producers. As for DJs, Nyra my good friend and a kid called Bruno Schmidt, both these are into music for only the right reasons and it shows in their sets.
What are the all time best clubs and venues you have ever played? The End before it closed; that place was just something else! But if we’re talking more recently a gig in Moscow a few years back the atmosphere was electric. The new Elrow club in Barcelona that I played at with Steve Lawler, Radio Slave and Leon for Off Sonar is AMAZING.
In your opinion what qualities define an outstanding DJ? Not effects, not gadgets but 100% the most important thing is track selection and applying what YOU are about musically as a DJ to the particular gig you’re playing. The crowd, the venue, the vibe of the room and applying what you’re about in that situation, that’s what makes a good DJ.
What’s next? DJ wise I have another tour in the USA coming up. I have my new residency at Sankeys which I am totally chuffed about and also there is a new night starting in Leeds I have been asked to be a resident for called ‘Coloursound’ which is going be big. The line-ups are immense and already DJ’s such as Derrick May, Heidi, Reboot, Stacey Pullen, Robert Dietz and loads more have been confirmed.
Top 5 vinyls of all time?
1. Joey Beltram – ‘Energy Flash’ – (R&S) (1990)
2. Liberty City – ‘Get Some Lovin’ – (Murk Recs) (1992)
3. Underworld – ‘Dark & Long’ – (Junior Boys Own) (1994)
4. Robert Armani – ‘Circus Bells’ (Hardfloor remix) (Djax Records) (1993)
5. Deep Creed 94 ‘Can u Feel It’ (Eastern Bloc Records) (1994)