JM#205 – Limpodisco

Traversing an the astral plain on a musical groove, Limpodisco arrive at the Jaeger with a bag full of rare edits and ingratiating dance floor fillers. The production/ DJ duo channel the spirits of al those that walked before them and set about cataloguing their musical personalities across two hours for this unique Jaeger mix session.

From their roots in Ukraine via Berlin and eventually Oslo, Limpodisco have cultivated a singular sonic identity, built on the infallible groove of Disco as it snakes its way through House and Techno on its way to eternity.

Limpodisco are no stranger to Jaeger’s DJ booth and make their appearance at the Jaeger Mix with a keen ear for the sounds of the region. They channel this through their own distinguished tastes, coalescing around the primordial dance floor foundation and taken to the furthest extremes of their vast musical knowledge.

We haven’t had much occasion to discuss their own musical leanings or history in the past and relished the opportunity to find out more, with Limpodisco acquiescing with their own extensive responses.

Hello, thank you for joining us. Can you give us an introduction to Limpodisco?

Limpodisco is wider than even music. It is a way to shape reality. We provide you with two statements that we have been using for years: “The rustle of thick, dark foliage, ragged breathing, girls in palm skirts are dancing – all this is Limpopo.” And more: “Try it to be wet & sexy.” So, Limpopo – is our first name. And also it’s a real hot area in Africa and a river there as well. Choosing this exotic name, we wanted our music to not only melt hearts, but to make peeps sweaty on the dancefloor as far as you can dare to imagine. Later we added ‘disco’ to make it easy to google. So now everything you can find under the Limopodisco name – right about us.

Limpodisco is also about the whole psychedelic phenomena of repetitive tribal grooves and the wide spectrum of sensations. That’s why our collection goes far away from borders. We can put drops of techno, tranсe and even psy rock (for example, we play DJ Harvey’s “Wildest Dreams” heavy rock bangers which are the tribute to Randy California’s album from 1972).

Tell us little about your background in music? What kind of things were you involved with in music back home before moving to Norway?

We were in hibernation, in a certain meditative state to experiment with sound. We literally shared the bed with instruments. And we spent days in our penthouse because we were so caught up working in the studio. There was no point in crawling out of this synthetic den. Because no other place in our city gave us such vivid musical impressions. We remember when we bought our digital Allen & Heath mixer. Surprisingly, it sounded as good as some vintage consoles! And we stuck for several days simply experimenting with vox and synths, just sitting on the wooden floor in our living room with panoramic windows. We started to post some reels in socials and guests appeared in our sweet spot to hang out (some stayed for days!). And it was magical. So, this is our background. We wanted to create an open art space, a kind of showroom of our acoustical research. 

And another part of our background is, of course, festivals, discotheques in Europe and meetings with our friends and inspirers. We never went travelling just because we wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We always travelled for music, to see our Disco Family’s chaps. And souvenirs from our trips were not magnets, but records.

You were based in Ukraine before the war broke out. Please give us some insight into the music scene when you were coming up and how it influenced you.

We felt like we discovered a totally new movement. That was a time when a new wave of edits arose: unknown before style all the way from 90 to 115 bpm. Being literally hypnotised with the new groove, we were obsessed by the stars as Rayko, Fingerman, Trujillo, Chuggin Edits, Situation, Brendon P, Heion, Chewy Rubs, Seen On TV and many more, so much to mention! It was something bigger than just “one good compilation”, we felt like we found a gold mine where people are united to the great planetary Disco Family.

Listening to this music, we felt very relative and heart-connected to them. We had sex, we drank gin and smoky whiskey; that time we did crazy things at the best tv-channel in the whole country — it all was accompanied by their music. And definitely, absorbing the waves, we wanted to be like them. 

Then we just got free our monkeys and began creating our own edits and buying synths. And just one year later we became friends on Facebook with Andy Williams. And he offered us to release our first EP on the Midnight Riot label. It was definitely a transition. Next day after the launch of the promo campaign we woke up being real friends with such cool people, connected by music: so simple and welcoming.

What challenges have you personally faced in terms of making- and playing music since this war broke out and how have you had to adapt?

We got an important insight: your home is your body. Man literally lives inside and this is all man needs. The whole meaning of “house” disappeared at once (ironically! But we’re still house heads, yo). At any age you just must be ready to catch a van, put all your gear in and move to a different part of Earth (or maybe to another planet). First country on our way was Germany and it treated us insanely well. KitKat Club in charge of Disco Bizarre, Horse Meat Disco Berlin and Toy Tonics – in one month we played with these massive nuts. Then we reached Oslo and the first place that we played in was Jæger. It was so inspiring that we even left the bodies to the end, as psychedelic artists are supposed to do. 

Before coming to Norway, we met our close friend, cool Norwegian producer and DJ Jarle Bråthen who is living in Berlin now. And he guided us a lot on how to move to Norway fluently. He connected us with an awesome Jæger’s team. So, he did a lot! And we also chose Norway as our new place to live because of Northern Disco Lights movie. We just watched it and said “Follow the light!”.

When did you start taking your first steps towards becoming a DJ and producing?

We have been collecting vinyl for 25 years already. It’s longer than half of our life. That’s why our selections can be weird from time to time. In a sense you can meet beyond recalls. Something from The Modwheel (cult project by Tom Middleton), pretty unknown Dave Lee and Ray Mang works, tunes from Underground Resistance, Svek and NRK labels all mixed up.

From your name and this mix, it seems that eternal Disco groove is a big proponent to your own musical tastes. What is it that first drew you to this kind of music?

It was a grand discovery. It turned out that the vast majority of the music that inspired us in our youth came from disco! When we were just starting to get into the deep house wave of the Glasgow Underground label, some of the epic tracks from Defected and paperecordings, we, due to our youth and inexperience, believed that this was a fully unique sound. It was the very beginning of the 2000s. And some compilations, mixes and releases of that time simply made an indelible impression. And we literally learned some tunes by heart. And then one day, about a dozen years later, we accidentally found a radio station on the Internet that played 24/7 only disco and nothing but disco. And imagine our amazement when we started finding sample sources track after track! This was an amazing insight. The whole world has turned upside down. We thought we were listening to unique, original music. But it turned out that almost all of our favourite compositions sampled disco classics in one way or another.

At the same time, even now, when it is quite easy to find hundreds of versions of the same tracks, we still believe that re-editing is an art. Out of these hundreds of versions, we choose exactly one that ideally matches our vision. The other versions can also be very good for other cases, for other artists. So, it’s fantastic how different all those may be. For instance, we have a great remix of one tune, the remixer did only one thing: cut the original track in the middle and swapped the parts. But it feels totally different! Just one cut makes sense — without any mess of rearrangement! And it is an act of art.

When did you start taking your first steps towards becoming a DJ and producing?

It’s hard to remember the year and how many decades have passed. But Sanyo’s first sets were played from “frogs”, as we called them, or cd-players (omg, they were without antishock!). The coolest club D.O.M. (translated like “House”) in peninsular Crimea, Ukraine, hosted Sanyo for several years. There were silly parties (just look at the pics!). So first cds and then vinyl records which were gently collected by him. Sanyo was a student that time and definitely spent almost all his money for fresh inches.

Julia joined Sanyo in 2013. They met on tv, but both together became a duo of producers. We were buying synthesizers greedily. And we even dug up Juno-106 and SH-101 in Odesa, Ukraine, that was a kind of prodigy. In the picture you can see 106 beauty lying in our bed. Pretty sexy, isn’t it?

How has it evolved since then?

Understanding that we want to remix, re-edit and remaster some of our works, hha! Something about refining the hearing. And our technique has changed. Now we are using more MIDI in our arrangements than samples and printed audio parts. So, it’s all live. Our past material is still shining: melodic patterns, vocal ideas, the whole meaning — it’s all alive. But we are really interested in re-engineering using our modern knowledge. And we’d love to reissue those updated cuts.

In general, the attitude towards sound has changed. We are now gravitating to live performances and building our live show. These are mostly lyrics written by Julia over the years complemented by our joint sounding pulsations. But this is not even Limpodisco anymore. This is Eat Nobody and this is something that we’re not gonna publish on the Internet, because it’s all created on and for the stage.

Even though that groove is always there it can go into elements of Techno and House. What is the essence you look for in music that you bring to your sets?

We just choose an evolving life. That we cannot be stuck in one genre. Because so many things exist around and affect us. Let’s say our dj-sets are products of research: we simply don’t know the result before it happens. We need to find it together with the audience.

Tell us a bit about this particular mix. The music goes from things like those early Disco edits to things like Paul Woolford’s Erotic Discourse across the two hours; how do you make this connection across your selections, is there a pre-planned narrative?

This Erotic Discourse we have in edit by Greg Wilson! It was pressed by 20:20 Vision and this record is still going ahead of time. Original tune is perfect for bringing a rave atmosphere to any floor. But this exact version is slightly different: with the touch of Greg Wilson it became even way more underground for our taste. And we just love to bring a more obscure feel to the disco floor, at those moments you can start naturally to realise that you are trippin’ away.

Secondly, we feel that “Disco” in our name means more “Discoteque” than a particular genre. Finding ourselves playing something sounding closer to Trance than to classical Disco, we can freely say so.

It happens when we put on stuff from PBR Streetgang (we are playing one in this mix). It lies in between everything. Electro stabs, leftfield synths and nasty disco vocals mixed right in that proportion to complement each other. 

And the whole Norwegian Wave is just about it. You can hear Fehrara by Prins Thomas in the middle of our mix. It was pressed by Full Pupp and hey, at first glance it is a very minimalistic tune which can pass even to the Techno domain, but it feels at the floor just like a merry cartoon’s soundtrack: so cheerful and easy to engage it.

And when we select wax for each party, we have some imaginal, idealistic view of the night. But the whole concept just happens at the DJ booth. It’s all live, not too much of pre-planned transitions.

Considering that, is there a central track or tracks in this mix from which the rest of it takes shape?

It starts with the synthetic pleasure of Mad Professor’s tune “Oh Hell”. Can you believe it is a wave from 1989, but sounds so modern! And it was taken from a relatively fresh Love International compilation made by Orpheu The Wizard, co-founder of Red Light Radio. Who is truly a selector as we can hear. Love International at all is our beloved festival and place must to be for us. And the start of our mix and the whole intention are corresponding to what we have heard there, at the festival’s coast. It is a 100% danceable dope cheerful vibe which is impossible to replicate outside the festival’s location. But it is circulating in our minds and bodies thru all the years. So we just wanted to share it here, on a different side of Earth.  

And the set is finished with a tune from our Norwegian friend label Lek.rec made by Patås, that is so experimental and mind-opened. So, those tunes both together made a strong loop from start to the end.

And inside the mix also is Scott Grooves’ track named “Basic Part: Finished”. First we heard this tune at legendary Heideglühen club in Berlin during Session Victim dj-set. And we were completely astonished: they played around 11:00 in the morning, dancefloor was full of happy people who spread the energy such intensive, smiles were everywhere around. And Session Victim duo worked just like Prodigy at good old days, electrifying everything. Of course, there was just no wish to try to shazam any tunes (and in Berlin clubs they have a good tradition to cover your phone at the entrance by special stickers. So, you just have no wish to use personal electronic.) But then we suddenly found this tune digging wax on the internet. Recommendations algo just made this match to us and at that moment we immediately turned back in time. The chords are such romantic and naive to remember! So, that tune is one more respect to this splendiferous duo Session Victim and their agility to select vinyl and bring rays of light to the floor.

Did you approach the set any other way considering it was a recorded mix?

We just let Jæger do this magic. It is maybe a house of worship to the music here in Oslo. When you are staying in the booth where all the stars have performed before, you are just feeling something that is rising from this place. It was a peaceful night on Wednesday, but no matter if it’s in the middle of the working week, you just feel this Cosmic Microwave Background. It might be a totally different mix if it was not recorded at Jæger. But it was great to do it inside, and it awesomely represents the situation during the best nights there.

Only one thing: we just did a bit smoother transitions as we usually play, considering it was recorded. Because regularly we mix more brutal, time to time even with pauses or fades. It is not the opposite to the total “Sync” button, because we love when tunes are in sync and in key other time. But we describe our style of deejaying as “College Disco”. You know, like in those movies, where inspired amateurs took control on decks. Usually it acts perfectly on a dancefloor, and we saw once DJ Harvey playing that way: he just stood in front of five hundred people, elegantly holding a glass of whiskey with a big grin during about 30-seconds pause between tunes. And it was clear that people may rest a moment before diving into the next epic founding of him. At that party we realised that we are not only ones who just love to put records, enjoying the selection and more vintage vibe of mixing under the disco ball. But this time we made our mix a bit “glued”: still with some level of imperfections, but more fluent as it might be “for the record”.

What do you hope to relay to the audience listening to this at home?

Going nerd, it’s fair to say that some tunes from this mix are just impossible to find on the internet. Other records we played may cost some silver on Discogs. But no matter how we did it, just imagine the hot tribal dance under the palms and it will be enough to get into it.

Where is the crossover between the music you make and what you play out?

We love repetitive parts, you can notice many of them in our sets. When you dive into repetitive music, you allow your brain to do the rest of the work by imaginations. When really good lines are constantly the same, your consciousness finishes the picture. And don’t forget about the art of small changes. Even microadjusting the levels and frequencies can carry a message signal.

Where can people catch you playing next and what else is on the horizon for Limpodisco?

At Horse Meat Disco Berlin party in 2024. Other occasions are spontaneous and surprising even for us.