Next up in the series is Iranian born Reza Athar who is now based in Nijmegen, Netherlands. An artist who goes beyond set genres and is known for his wide ranging musical tastes. This has led to him being a regularly fixture at the acclaimed CockTail d’Amore parties in Berlin and building a reputation as a much loved selector in the underground.
1) Introduce yourself?
Hello, it´s Reza here. Can you hear me?
2) What have been your highlights from the last 12 months?
Phew.. quiet a lot of highlights to be honest. I think one of them is that I finally found the time and motivation to keep my promise and record a mix for you guys (Sorry Tom, for taking so long)
On a musical note I guess. Dalston Superstore in London was special. Also playing Cocktail d’Amore gave me goosebumps and wet eyes. Ohh… Let’s not forget about the Russia. I got invited back and damn those Russians know how to party.
3) What do you have lined up for the coming year?
Not so many things concrete tbh. There are some cool things evolving but nothing I can tease you with at the moment. Just fax me in a couple of weeks and I might be able to tell you about it.
4) Which track in the mix is your favourite right now?
That’s so hard to choose. It’s like choosing your favourite choir member. It’s the power of the whole choir singing together that gives you goosebumps. But I guess my favourite track of the mix is my favourite EP of 2018. It’s by a producer who rarely releases a track or a remix, let alone a whole EP. 2018 was a year where he decided to release a full EP and break the hiatus. This track on that EP made me go mad. Usually I don’t like too much emotions in 1 track, but the way Zongamin does it, is as tasteful as it gets. This track has everything from joy to loneliness to fear to freedom and to celebration.
5) What is your favourite track of the last 12 months?
Next to that killer Zongamin track I have enjoyed a lot listening to the following tracks the last couple of weeks
“The Woodleigh Research Facility – Heilige Seidhr”
“F – Monastic Chant”
“Jonny Rock – Kardes”
“Chris Liebing – Novembergrey”
“Eva Geist – Urban Monogamy (Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold Mix)”
“Repetentes 2008 – Gelo Geronimo”
“Bell Towers – Approach & Identify”
“Thomas Leer – Saving Grace”
“Persian – Khaab”
6) What is the last record you bought?
7) Whats your number 1 go to track ?
Again an impossible question to answer. I guess my first musical memories are the most cherished ones and the ones you carry with you the rest of your life. I grew up in Teheran. So we listened a lot of Persian music at home. My brother had friends who recorded cassettes from MTV artists back then. But the Persian artists made the most impressions I think. Those are the tracks that touch me the most when I hear them back. Artists like Hayedeh, Googoosh, Ebi, Farhad, Kourosh Yaghmaei, Fereydoon Fouroghi, Moein.
8) Who or what are your biggest musical influences?
The ones that remind you that don’t giving a f*ck is a matter of choice. The ones that resist the zeitgeist, because they are an institute on their own. The ones who are a personality to others without seeing themselves that way. Artists who are outspoken with their music and win the crowd with their personality by being the most welcoming host at the same time. The ones that have empathy for their fears and enemies to understand what is needed to close the gap between them.
9) Tell us about 3 DJ’s / Producer’s we may not know but should be looking out for?
Thanks to internet artists now can’t be ignored anymore.
In terms of dropping artist names that deserve more recognition I would like to give a shout to Jamie Paton. An artist that always get my attention with his releases. There is also a Polish band called Niemoc that makes amazing music. Russian Odopt also deserved some recognition.
When it comes to dj’s I enjoy listening to sets and mixes from DJ Sundae, Sascha Mambo, Budino and Cosmo Vitelli.
10) What is your favourite Venue or Festival to play at and why?
Dalston Superstore and Griessmuhle. Dark, sweaty, hedonistic. No more words needed. Visit it and lose yourself.
11) Do you have a ritual before you start playing or straight after?
Collecting requests from the people on the dancefloors
Annoy the sound guy with silly questions
Telling the dj before me which tracks he can’t play
Asking ridiculously expensive drinks from the night/stage manager
Adding extra guests last minute to the guest-list 😉
12) What is your dream destination?
Brazil, Australia and far Asia
13) What makes you smile?
My son, my wife, my family, my close friends, my colleagues and my students