We caught up with Vert3x who is currently working behind the scenes of the MO:DEM Festival. He was in Croatia when Anu Sharma spoke to him last night. More music, few words, he’s a sound selecta who likes to rock the custard (or so the saying goes). In fact, Vert3ex aka Valentino has been doing exactly that since he first helped kick-start the psy scene in his native Cyprus. London is where the magick really happened though and where he became co-manager of Psynon Records – a feisty label that emerged from some rather freakishly-lovely fiestas of the same name. No doubt many of you psychedelic pirates will recall (and continue to enjoy) those fabulous raw encounters of the dirty yet delightful London underground. And as many Londoners love to say: “Yes. We all went to Psynon. Together.”
Anu: Namaste! I hear you’ve been busy lately. What on Earth have you been up to?
Vert3x: Hi Anu, thanks for inviting me. I’ve been traveling around for the last couple of months to play at MO:DEM Festival teaser events, spreading the Modem vibe across the globe.
Anu: So you’ll be playing here in London for the MO:DEM party soon. London’s just got that something, don’t you think
Vert3x: London is one of my favourite places to party. The atmosphere is second to none. Combine that with the MO:DEM vibe and music approach – and you have winner. The London teaser will be a cracker and I’m looking to blasting out some tunes for you!
Anu: You’ve been part of the MO:DEM team for a couple of years now – tell us about your role in the festival – what do you do apart from walking around looking like a freakin’ pirate? 😉
Vert3x: Ha-ha! I wish I was – I’d have a lot more free time if I were a pirate! My main role in the team is overseeing the management of artists, promotion and helping curate the musical program of the main stage.
Anu: Actually, I did see you running around, juggling several thousand things at MO:DEM last year. Fun times indeed! What was your favorite moment?
Vert3x: Good times indeed! One of my favorite moments of every edition is when I hear the first beat coming out of that monstrous sound system at the main stage. I’ve got many beautiful memories from last year but my favorite was the moment I walked to the main stage for the first time around 3am in pouring rain – the first day the music program started. I was expecting to find a half-empty dance-floor due to the heavy rain – but instead, I discovered a totally vibrant dance-floor filled with a totally mad-for-it crowd having the best blast regardless of the rain! And this moment will stay with me forever. The vibe on MO:DEM’s dance-floor is always strong no matter the weather. It’s because of the amazing crowd and the magnificent vibe they create – and this is one of the reasons it’s so special.
Anu: You’re actually on site in Croatia as we speak right now. How exciting! What are you up to over there? What’s new on site this year and how’s it looking?
Vert3x: Every year we invest a lot of time and effort into improving the site and facilities to make sure the experience is as comfortable and as memorable as possible. So for this year. we’re preparing a few projects including a new compost toilet set-up. We’re also expanding the camping space, installing a new improved drainage system for the main dance floor in the event of rain. In fact this year we’re celebrating our 5th anniversary so we’re taking things up a level and will be presenting you with something even more special than last year. I highly recommend you check it out!
Anu: You come from Cyprus – a beautiful place! What is it that you love most about the scene over there? Is London worlds apart?
Vert3x: The two scenes are very different to each other. London’s scene is intense with a strong culture of underground raves. It’s also much bigger and diverse compared to Cyprus, where you will find smaller events with more of an intimate family vibe. Both scenes are special to me for their own merits.
Anu: So let’s talk about Psynon Records where you are the label’s co-manager. Now THAT is what we call a PROPER PIRATE name for a label. Who came up with that genius idea?
Vert3x: Yes – it is a proper pirate name! Jol (Dj Jibba) and Rahul (Dj Whichdoctor) came up with the name in the early days of Psynon back when it first started as a party crew. It was all about injecting a bit of British humour into the scene and having a laugh.
Anu: Tell us what albums, artists, projects etc we should be looking out for from Psynon in the coming year.
Vert3x: We had two new exciting projects jointing the label this year: Synthalienz the duo from Cyprus which have released their four-track debut EP – Digital Realms in January this year. The EP is available to download for free from our website and Ectoplazm. The second addition to the label’s artillery is the South African duo HigherWattska. They’ll be releasing their three-track debut EP – Nothing Personal, in the coming weeks. A couple of more releases in the pipeline include a five-track EP from our Brazil-based artist Smoke Ship with four solo tracks and collaboration with Whiptongue & Fungoloyds, and finally a digital VA compiled by label DJ Anakis.
Anu: Fantastic! Thank you for everything Valentino. Shine on!
Vert3x: Nice talking to you. And remember to Psynon and see you at MoDem Festival this year!