Ivo Graves

Ivo Graves is a Bulgarian DJ, who since the late 90s became well known to fans of electronic music. In 2001 he moved to Paris, living there for seven years, he mixed in small but well-known house clubs. Returning to Sofia, he put together club - "Plan B", which will always be remembered as a place for good sound, hard parties and a great DJ selection. His 20 years of experience behind the turntables and vast record cases filled with 'trippy' house and techno tracks, leave us in absolute mystery as to what "journey" he will take us on during his next set.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hello Ivo and welcome to the world of EILO. So happy to have you with us. How are you?

Better than ever

For those who don't know much about you can you tell them about you, where do you come from?

My name is Ivo. I was born in 1978 and I’m from Sofia.

Tell us a bit more about what it was like to be grow up there? What is the best memory of your childhood?

I wouldn’t change a thing about it. My life is the only one I've lived and I can’t imagine it without my experience. The best memories are from my childhood, from the summers I spent in my grandparents` village which is situated in the north-west part of Bulgaria. The freedom and being in touch with nature during childhood is essentials for a balanced shaping of a person.

How were you introduced to music? What was your first touch with it?

My earliest memories related to music are how I played with my mother’s old and dusty accordion. I was 3 or 4 years old at the time. A few years later, I started to listen to my father’s cassette tapes. With the political situation in Bulgaria in mind during these years, it was really cool to have the Beatles and Pink Floyd at home. When I was 9 years old, I recorded my first cassette tape, it was Depeche Mode – Songs of faith and devotion. In my teenage years, I was listening to bands like Front 242, The Cure, Underworld, Leftfield and all kinds of electronic music mixtapes that could be found in those days.

When did you realise that djing is something you enjoy doing?

I think that it was in 1996 when two friends of mine who were DJs, bought a pair of Technics SL1210 decks and a crate of records. They couldn’t find a place to store them and finally the turntables and the records arrived on my desk in my room. So, I had the chance to play with them for a couple of weeks at that point I understood that spinning records was my thing

Which dj or artist has left the biggest impression on you?

During the years, I’ve played very different kinds of electronic music and I was inspired by many different DJs, bands and producers, but I think that those who left the biggest mark on my mind are my DJ friends who I have been able to exchange music, ideas and emotions with during the parties we’ve played together.

Do you think it is necessary to be musically educated to become a good artist?

I don’t know but I’m sure that the scholarly system instils some boundaries. For 5 months I've been taking solfege lessons and I recognize that now I’m making less bullshit than I did before and that’s not a good sign

When it comes to a gig, how do you prepare? What sort of things do you consider?

There are many things to consider. The venue, the time I’m playing, the capacity of the sound system, the lights and the visuals, the music that the DJ played before me and the reaction of the crowd to his music, etc., etc. The vibe that was created by all these details. That’s why it’s important to get closer to the dancefloor and to feel the track we need to hear next.

Can you define what success means to you? Does it have to include popularity?

Success has nothing to do with popularity. Today, the devil is selling us a very slippery definition of happiness. We have to be very careful with that. Success is when you feel like you want to slow down time, so you can do the things that you are actually doing for longer.

Is there anyone (dj, artist, producer) you wish you could work with?

Of course, there are many DJs and producers that I like and respect and I would like to exchange ideas with, but actually, I’m working with the people that I wanted to work with. Two great producers and also very interesting people that I’m fitting in very well with.

What style best describes your personality?

As I said, during the years I’ve passed through many different styles of music. Actually I play mostly deep techno, techno and a type of tech house. I also bought some hip-hop and jazz records that I only play in close circles. I can’t say that my personality can be described by a style of music. I hope that one day there will be a style of music described by my personality.

What is your opinion on the young generation, those that are just starting to raving? Do you think that they are creating something new or just following an older path?

I think that technology is changing the game. …as usual! In the past, if you wanted to be a DJ, you first had to make a good vinyl record collection, to find turntables and learn mixing. It’s the same with production. You first had to dedicate your life to music and then you can, eventually, touch the equipment needed for the creation of electronic music. If you followed all these steps, it meant that you really had something to tell to people using the language of music and you deserved to be heard. Today it’s enough to have a laptop and everything is accessible at one click. I don’t know who called Facebook a “social” network but I prefer going to the record shop.

What would you like to tell to people who think electronic music is dangerous and leads to drugs?

I would tell them that I grew up with electronic music, and I don’t take any unauthorized drugs.

Tell us about your future projects what are you working on?

I've been in my studio for the past 3 months with Milan Zdravkov and Petar from the band Gravity Co. We've already finalized a couple of tracks. In our opinion these tracks deserve to be released on vinyl and we plan to find the right label for them very soon. I also plan to buy a minibus and convert it into a small camper. I’m very excited about this idea.

Thank you for being our special guest and the lovely mix!