Normaal gezien moet hier een gevatte intro voor het interview met The Bulgarian staan, maar die houden we voor een keer voor na de jump. Vaak worden interviews vertaald, waardoor de schoonheid der Engelse taal vaak verloren gaat. Om dit te vermijden gaan we nu geregeld Engelse interviews posten. Aangezien de meesten onder jullie niet onder een steen wonen, zullen jullie deze taal toch ook beheersen, nee?
“Meet me in Room 511,” said The Bulgarian. I checked my watch, had I gone back in time and stumbled into the plot of a bad Cold War thriller? No, this was Brussels 2008, and I was being invited to interview one of the rising stars of the ever-expanding world of Fidget House. Born in Bulgaria, Dimitre Vassilev moved to South Africa as a child. After relocating to Europe last year (first London and now Sofia) he has been tearing up dancefloors from Camden Town to Cape Town with tracks like ‘Crazy Dog Biscuit’ and ‘Jack it Like a Zombie’, a string of sick remixes, and a mixtape for the super hip No Love Lost Recordings (NLLR).
VICE: So, how did you become “The Bulgarian”?
The Bulgarian: I became The Bulgarian about 18 months ago. It is one of several aliases I use, like Mr. Elastik and Tone Deaf Junkies. With The Bulgarian I try to do the whole Fidget thing and stick to that. My Fidget epiphany came at the Exit Festival in Serbia a couple of years back. Switch happened to be playing in the dance arena and after a few too many beers and several-thousand-watt sound system, it all sounded really good…I was just like, “I have to do this!”
Do you like the name Fidget?
It’s cool. It’s better than what I was calling it – electro-jack.
You grew up in South Africa, has this influenced your music at all?
I try to avoid making ‘African music’ – all tribal-y or whatever. There’s enough of that. I try to do something else. I’ve worked with Spoek Mathambo from Sweat. X, but there isn’t really a ‘Cape Town scene’. There’s not very many of us doing this… Before I left I was way more famous overseas: I used to get maybe one gig every two months or so in South Africa. And when I came back from touring, everyone and their grandmother wanted to come along. People were asking: ‘Have you been to South Africa before?’ I was like ‘yeah-eah’. ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Here’.”
So why did you leave South-Africa?
Well, I was more popular in Europe, but South Africa’s piss-poor Internet tipped the scales. Everyone gets 3 gigs of bandwidth a month and that’s it! Downloading anything more than an mp3 is a bit of an issue there.
You’re based in Sofia now, what are you up to there?
Amongst remixing for people like Larry Tee and the Round Table Knights, I’ve actually found time to set up my own record label, called Feta. My partner in this venture is Vlad Sokolov of Sokolov Sounds, originally from another land of brined sheep’s cheese: Serbia.
Isn’t Sokolov more into Breaks than Fidget though?
He was, but he’s come to the conclusion that Breaks is finished… Would he read this? Errr, no, Breaks is cool!
And what are your plans for the future?
I’ve always dreamt of remixing Nine Inch Nails, and maybe releasing an album as The Bulgarian. It would be fun to do, but I’d like to make it a bit more varied, which also runs the risk of alienating people: ‘Where’s my Fidget, man? What’s this melodic stuff, I don’t like it!’ For now I’m taking it one track at a time. My motto still is: “Don’t take it all so seriously: It’s just life.”