Arjuna’s highly anticipated debut album was a long time coming but well worth the wait when it launched last year. From Farebi Jalebi to Orestis – Primal Contact featured some shit hot collaborations and its release marked the 15th anniversary of the Parvati label. In fact, Arjuna has been a major part of the Parvati story and Goa has become the base from which he will continue to venture on to even more musical excursions: some of which we’ll no doubt hear at MO:DEM this year.
Arjuna spoke to Anu Sharma ahead of MO:DEM festival’s London party:
1. Namaste! Nice to catch up with you Arjuna!
AR: Hi Anu, nice to meet you again – digitally, this time 🙂
2. Congratulations on the release of your debut album last year. Primal Contact is doing well. What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
AR: Thanks, yeah it was an amazing experience to finally see my album out there. Can’t really say which is my favourite – but each track has a character and a vibe of its own. I’m quite happy with all of them. Adip lives in Australia so it was not easy to find the time and space to create something together, and when we finally managed I can say that our adrenaline was quite high… And so that’s the result 🙂 The Orestis track was our second collaboration. The track I think is very interesting because there’s a lot of Orestis’ character – but in a groovy, unusual mode and the effect resulted in quite a good blast on the floor. The collaboration with Sashe Atriohm took place during two big sessions.
The first session over 20 days in Goa, and the second session, in Macedonia where we worked another 20 days at an epic studio on the top of Galicnik Mountains where Sashe and his brother Leo produced the album, ‘Ukalen’ with Encephalopaticys. This place has a very special energy, totally mystic. Now if you listen to the track, you will notice the different vibes. The first part made in Goa is euphoric, happy, almost melodic – and the second part in Galicnik is deep, mystic and mysterious. Seb is my old partner and we still meet every year for some good sessions. The track took a long time to finish. We grew a lot while working on it- there was a lot of experiments and research, many questions and endless possibilities – so that’s where the name comes from. I can’t really say with who I prefer to work with, it was always a special experience with each of them – something we will definitely repeat as soon as possible.
3. That all sounds like a lot of fun! Does the character of the artist influence the style of the track? Who was the most fun character to work with?
AR: Totally! Each collaborative track reflects the character of each of the artists! AR: For example, the one with Farebi is deep and furious – this track has a very powerful energy and it’s coming directly from our long-awaited meeting.
4. As usual you’ve spent a lot of time in Goa – how was it for you this season? Any unusual activity that we have never heard of take place this year? In other words: What’s new in Goa man!?
AR: This year was confirmation that Goa has a very stable, growing underground scene. We can enjoy parties all night with high quality music. This year I had the luck of listening to a lot of new artists and other more famous international artists performing at incredible locations from the jungle to the beach, and at parties organised by people from all over the world who are collaborating and bringing their art and talents and work together. The new thing is that nowdays, things are getting much more organised than in the past. My favourite events this season was the Jungle Calling with Derango and Karakus Marakus with Orestis. Top Notch parties that makes worth a trip to Goa.
5. Seems the global phenomena of psychedelic trance continues to grow – a lot of artists out there are coming out of the cobwebs. Who would you say is your favourite newcomer DJ and producer of the last 12 months?
AR: One of the most interesting names I had the luck to hear Live is Metaphyz. This French guys makes really good music. It’s a very good combination of forest and dance floor music, energetic but deep at the same time. I must say I was quite impressed with his live set. And as for DJs – I really liked a few but they are not really newcomers… But still, they rocked the floor in Goa this year – maybe more than usual: Govinda, Seb and Mikel. Never a mistake, never a wrong track, always keeping the floor in their hands 😉
6. You’ve certainly had an interesting life Arjuna – specially as you were born in the Himalayas – the place of Shiva! Do you feel more Indian or Italian? What do you love most about each of these two different cultures?
AR: I was born in Dharamsala to Italian parents, so I feel like an Italian with indian roots. India has in my experience since I was born and I spent half of my life there, having the most important experiences of my life. But I never went to school in India and I never really learned the language properly so I can’t really feel myself to be that indian… Yet! I am planning to learn Hindi though once and for all.
7. You’ve been part of the Parvati journey for a very long time – and last year the label celebrated its 15th anniversary. There are not many labels in the scene that are able to last so long. Why do you think this is?
AR: The main reason is because Parvati Records is managed by a very sweet and serious giant called Giuseppe who has always cared and followed all the label’s works in the best way, supporting the artists and discovering future talents. The label couldn’t survive if it wasn’t for his determination to always be present and offer new, high quality psychedelic music from across the globe.
8. And finally – you will of course be joining us for the London edition of MO:DEM soon and in Croatia later this year. Tell us about your experience in 2015 and what we can expect to hear from your live performance when we see you at the main stage once again this year.
AR: Ahhh Modem, I can’t wait! 🙂 This is one of those festivals I would suggest to anyone. The location and the music make it really special and to play there is always unforgettable. You can definitely expect to hear some new Arjuna sounds, but also some new collaborations. I’ve been working again with Seb and Atriohm but also with others like Aztec Dosage who is a hi-tech artist – and the results are very interesting! Anyway, it’s not so good to have expectations! Just be there without expectations and prejudgement, just come to the floor, close your eyes, listen to the music and let yourself go!
Words by @AnuKi008