SFR: Live performances seem to be becoming more popular amongst both DJ’s and fans, where do you see the trend moving towards in the next 2-3 years?
ICS: It's definitely going to be something more and more complex, incorporating live instruments as well. I mean, even now there are great artists which perform this way, and you feel like you are going to a concert, and in a way you are.
SFR: What would you like to start incorporating into your own Live set that you feel may help you stand out from the rest?
Age : 30 Sex : Male Zodiac : Capricorn Country : Romania City : Cluj-Napoca
Type : Exclusive Live Mix Genre : Tech-House, Deep-House, Minimal
Hardware : Midi Controllers, Guitar, Percussion Set Software : Reason / Ableton Live
Smelly Feet Records : Tell us where the name ‘ICS’ comes from.
ICS: I get this question a lot. If you read the letters in Romanian, the word is spelled just like the letter "x". So, basically, ICS means X, which is a nickname I adopted many years ago as a generic name, an unknown name, something with the same meaning as "John Doe".
SFR: Describe the electronic music scene in Romania as you see it.
ICS: The Romanian scene is very strong now. We have DJ's earning honourable positions in the latest Resident Advisor's Top 100. We have DJ's on respectable booking agencies around the world. I believe this comes from the fact that we have a lot of producers that eventually become DJ's.
"I was always attracted to music and the idea that you can create interpretation through sound."
SFR: What steps did you have to take to get recognized as an artist? Are there any stories you have about your journey?
ICS: I started making music by playing with a small keyboard I had when I was just a kid. In high school, I started using a computer and in a short time after, I was making hip hop and dance instrumentals and selling them to high school bands. I was always attracted to music and the idea that you can create interpretation through sound. I had a project with a friend, and we performed at several parties with my desktop computer (haha). It was a pain in the ass to carry and setup the computer on the stage. Eventually i focused more on house music and in short time after, my tracks were being played by local DJ's.
SFR: Let’s talk about your Live performance. What inspired you to start producing and performing this way?
ICS: I had the idea to start performing my tracks when I first experienced Ableton Live, which I still use to this day. I believe my first live performance in a club was in 2008. I chose to do it this way because I didn't have experience as a DJ.
" I don't want to do extremely complicated things because I also need time to stay focused on what really matters... entertaining the crowd. After all, it's dance music, and people should dance...''
ICS: For the moment I am using only software with a bunch of midi controllers but I would really like to add some hardware synths, like Spectralis or Virus TI. Of course, there should be a limit to all of this. I don't want to do extremely complicated things because I also need time to stay focused on what really matters... entertaining the crowd. After all, it's dance music, and people should dance, right?
SFR: We see that you have been signed by more than a few labels, with one signing that really caught our eye, Dirtybird. This is a very recognizable label, especially in the U.S.A. Being from Romania, tell us about this accomplishment and what it meant to you.
ICS: The Dirtybird release was a big one for me. It really helped me understand how this business works, and also provided me visibility. I got that release after I won a remix contest for the Martin Brothers. Claude Von Stroke asked me for an additional track that he would insert in the Fabric 46 Compilation, and I gave him two tracks. From there the ICS - EP on Dirtybird was born.
SFR: What is your long term goal as a producer and how do you do you plan on achieving it?
ICS: I always dreamed about making a decent living out of music and now I am closer than ever to achieving this goal. On the other hand, I want to stay in the underground scene. Going mainstream could bring a lot of financial benefits but this also means I would have to make some compromise regarding my sound, and I don't want to do that. I know it's a jungle out there, and only few manage to stay more than several years on the higher grounds. I make music with passion and I will never stop..
''Going mainstream could bring a lot of financial benefits but this also means I would have to make some compromise regarding my sound, and I don't want to do that. I know it's a jungle out there, and only few manage to stay more than several years on the higher grounds. I make music with passion and I will never stop..''
SFR: ICS, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration. Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
ICS: This performance was recorded last weekend in my studio. It features my latest release on Jargon! along with some new sounds I made in the last week. What I like about performing live is that almost everything you will hear in my live set will eventually become a full track, ready to be released. I like that I can play with the sounds. Although I follow a mental pattern regarding the arrangement, I am not limited to it, so if I want to insert percussion from another track, change the bassline, create a break or play on the keyboard, something different than the main theme of the track, I can do it.