Catching up with Ivaylo

It’s been an exciting year for Ivaylo and Bogota records. The label adopted the vinyl format for the first time, releasing Bulgarian artists Sound Solutions’ “It’s All About” which featured some great remixes from Norwegian talents De Fantastiske To and Of Norway. As well as a steady stream of releases, which will see Terje Sæther inducted into the Bogota family shortly, Ivaylo has also taken his show on the road, bringing the Bogota showcase to clubs like Renate in Berlin and Nitsa in Barcelona, playing for audiences into their thousands. As a DJ he’s also made a few trips back home to Varna, and it seems from Ivaylo’s perspective that there might be something interesting brewing in the Balkans. But it’s been a year since we last spoke to our resident for the blog, and with all these new developments we thought it’s time to catch up with Ivaylo ahead of the Bogota showcase at Jæger this weekend.

It’s kind of weird doing this Q&A with you because we see each other almost every day. But a load of stuff has been happening with you and Bogota records since our last interview, almost year ago. Can you fill the good people in on what’s been happening?

We switched to the vinyl format; established great bases for showcases in both Berlin and Barcelona, which was the main goal for 2016!

Lets talk about the vinyl release. Why did Bogota decide to make the move to the physical format?

We have actually always had the vinyl format in mind as the way we want to release music. As the digital/streaming format has taken priority on the music market and those formats are essential for establishing platforms for promoting and sales, I simply wanted to make Bogota accessible to all in the digital domain. We’re going to keep both formats in the future as I don’t really see the big difference between them, but people are different and have different needs.

What spoke to you particularly about this release that you wanted to invest in the physical format? 

It’s a funny story. I heard the original 7 years ago in a skate shop where Ogi from Sound Solutions worked. We were hanging out there and I remember both Strahil (Kink) and I liked the bass line of the track. Last year I just came accross the track on my hard drive and it took me a couple of minutes to call the guys and ask them if they still have all the parts and if it was possible to do a re-work. We got the track month later and here it is.

There’s a host of Norwegian talent remixing a Sound Solutions, a Bulgarian act. Is this something you always intended for the label – bridging the gap between the country of your origin and the place you call home today?

Well, that’s the main thing with Bogota. We are always trying to build bridges with our releases and as a Norwegian label and me from Bulgaria the answer was simple: “It´s All About”.

While we are on the subject of Bulgaria… You played there recently. There are a few eastern European countries that have made quite huge impressions in electronic music recently – countries like Romania, Croatia and Hungary. Is there anything, artist, club or style, that you encountered on your recent visit that could include Bulgaria amongst those countries soon?

I played couple of gigs in both Sofia and Varna this summer. There is guy from Sofia called Ivo Graves, who I know from before. He is a great DJ, selector and the best thing is that he has started producing music as well, which for me is the one to look out for!

In Varna I played and put together on an outdoor party with my friends. The party happened in a parking lot under the longest bridge in Varna. There is this guy called Borg, that I’ve been following for a few years now and this time I was really impressed with his skills behind the decks. He is maybe the only one from Bulgaria at the moment who really gets me into what we used to call the “Bulgarian underground flow”

Your hometown, Varna has all the ingredients to become quite a clubbing destination. A nice little beach town with enough gritty warehouse-like locations to make Berghain look like a five-star hotel, but the last time I was there they seemed to mainly focus on beach-bar Ibiza style places, without a real focus on music. What’s it like there now?

I wouldn’t call it little beach town, as there are 1 million people in the summer and over half a million the whole year round. We started a music platform called “Collective Varna” last year and the goal is exactly as you mention in the question, to find abandoned buildings in the city still there from the communist era. There are plenty of locations and it seems like even the Varna multiplicity is willing to help us of organize different music events at those locations. As for the Ibiza style beach bars and clubs – yes they are there – we just don’t see them.

What is the next release scheduled for Bogota?

We are coming out with BOG009 on September 27th. It is a 3 track-EP from Terje Saether with 2 more remixes from Alex Jangle & Matztam and Rave-enka. All the guys on the release are from Oslo.

You’ve got all the guys, bar Sound Solutions from the last release coming to the showcase. They’re quite a varied bunch. Where do you find a connection between these artists and how do you think they represent Bogota individually?

“Its All About” the sound. No hahaha… the thing with Bogota is, that I personally know most of the signed artist, particularly the line up for this showcase. They all know my ideology within the label and the sound we represent. Also except for Slammer and I, they are all from Oslo (although Arildo is half Spanish grew up in Oslo ). I’m personally very exited about the night, as the line up is set up in particular order (time wise) taking care of each individual artist and their way of playing.

Slammer is putting together a live show for the event. What do you think we could expect from that?

Slamming deepness.

And you’ll be closing the night off with a DJ set obviously. You mentioned to me the other day that you as a DJ will be going back to DJing with vinyl more. What encouraged you to make the move back to that format?

I simply find better music released on vinyl nowadays. But as you know I love to edit tracks and use my own sounds in a DJ set, so I´m going to go on 50/50 with the formats.

And what tracks are you looking forward to bringing here with you?

The new release from Bogota, a couple of tracks from me, and lots of edits.

Last year’s event was quite a success and you’ve been playing to crowds in the 1000’s at clubs like Renate and Nitsa. What do expect from this next showcase and what will you and the guys be taking with you from previous showcases?

Honestly, my only expectation, as always, is that the musical journey will be kind and strong enough to keep everybody in the flow of the moment.