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Feature: Ziger [Interview]

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Hailing from Athens, Harris Zigeridis aka Ziger would have to be considered a veteran of his country’s burgeoning progressive house underground. The long time Hernan Cattaneo favourite has showcased his music on Beatfreak Recordings, Eleatics, Plattenbank Records and Sudbeat Music. Now after months of anticipation the Greek artist launches his Eat My Hat imprint and we had a chance to catch up with him just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Harris, thanks for joining us today, tell where in the world you are and what are you up to? What are your plans for the week?

Hello and thanks for the invitation!!! I’m from Greece and I’m living in Athens. Busy life at the moment with music, family kids etc. So my weekend plans at the moment and due to the high temperature in Athens is taking my kids near the sea, having fun and relax.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

Well, as a kid and almost every kid in the world, i remember my self recording some tapes with my fathers stereo system. Tapes with music, with my voice etc. I really love it!! I remember having an old mixer somehow and experimenting in pushing the faders up and down..I really didn’t know what is a DJ and what to do with that (So here is the passion maybe about DJing later)

I discovered electronic music in the ‘90s. It all began when i first listened to some Psychedelic tunes!! That was my first contact with pure electronic music. I fell in love with that music also after attending to my first rave party!! That’s it!!! Take my money. Something that people didn’t know about me is that i grow up in the psychedelic scene. Slowly slowly i used to buy records, looking for unreleased stuff get connected with people from the parties, organizers and in all that I remember wanting more..I remember always wondering how its possible to make music. So it was that day – that i will never forget in my life-when a friend in school inform me about a way to produce and write music! Everything else is a story!

Name five tracks that were most important in your musical development and why are these pieces so significant for you.

1. The Prodigy – Out of Space
My entry into rave music

2. The Muses Rapt – Spiritual Healing (Shiva Shidapu remix)
A huge masterpiece..I need 3 days to describe everything about this track

3. Infected Mushroom – Deeply Disturbed
Magicians on duty!!! My all time reference about quality and clean sound.

4. James Holden – Nothing (93 Returning Mix)
I remember listening this track over and over to copy some elements that i like. In all these process i learn a lot of things, while experimenting and “copying” techniques

5. Sasha – Xpander
The classic anthem from Sasha. On repeat for many years, dreaming to make music someday like him…Still dreaming hahah

Tell us about growing up and living in Greece, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you are producing?

Growing up and living in Greece i think its a blessing! Greece – the beginning of everything, Democracy, Maths etc. but musically we are not in electronic music at all. Our music style is traditional Greek music with love songs about love, hate, relationships and more. All the lyrics are like “i love you .” Come back don’t leave me “and something like that. So its really hard to develop a music style in electronic music and its forms..Luckily we used to have record shops in the old days ,buying and listen the music we love and like and spent hours and hours listening

Are you musically trained? And do you think it’s necessary for success in writing electronic music?

Musically i am a graduate in Music Technology ..I’m sure that its not necessary to write electronic music but the more knowledge you have on something is for sure better! Of course if you play an instrument and know music theory its much much better as it helps you understand and listen music different but still not necessary for production in electronic music these days.

At which club or event did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories have stuck with you from that moment?

It was in the 90’s, psychedelic years, the club was in Greece called Amnesia. The guest DJ was Sahar….not our Sahar Z now hahah…My first party as a clubber !!I remember that i don’t even know how to dance! lol After that every Saturday it was a party Saturday.

You’ve just launched a new label ‘Eat My Hat’, tell us about that and your vision for it.

Yes, Eat My Hat Music….A vision that i have for several years and luckily 2019 it was the year of launching. All these years in production i didn’t feel so free about writing music and sending music to labels..Cause whatever style you produce you have to fit it to labels sound that you aim,..Completely understandable ,but now with EMH i get rid off this situation and i feel more free about what i am going to write/produce. Some times dreamy prog, sometimes tech-house,techno who cares…If it’s good it has to be out there. So i feel much better now that i don’t have to worry where my music must go!

How did you come to decide on Eat My Hat as a name for the imprint? It’s a pretty unique name for a label!

“Eat my Hat” #idiom (Having confidence in a specific outcome; being almost sure about something. When a person is very confident about something, they may use sayings like this to describe how confident that are. Let’s say that “I’m sure tomorrow my team is going to win. If not i will Eat My Hat”. So, yes we are extremely sure about the quality we spread out there with our releases.

The first release is a new single from yourself entitled ‘Faded Realm’, why did this particular production feel right to launch the label.

I think of it really hard about which track will be good for the launch of EMH..After testing some tunes in studio and gigs i decide that this is the right track for it!!!Hope that i make the right decision..or else i will EMH……!

Please walk us through the production process on the track, how did it come together for you?

Usually when I’m producing something i have the same project in 1million different versions like every producer out there!I was missing something in all the versions i have.Suddenly i came up with the main melody and quickly understand that this is it!I find what i was missing ..So i re-arrange the track due to the new melody riff and ended up as “Faded Realm”

There is also an amazing remix from Beatfreak Recordings boss D-Formation, tell us how it complements the original and why he was a good choice to remix the track?

D-Formation in music is a LEGEND and in real life is a really amazing person! I am a big fan of his music for many many years.We are really good friends and it was the best choice for me to remix that Original…His sound and style its really really in my taste !!

In terms of DJs and artists who would say are the biggest sources of inspiration for what you see the Eat My Hat sound to be?

As i mention EMH has not a specific style for releasing music…ok we are not going to release EDM ,we aiming in the underground scene. The sounds that we like is from the style of Brian Cid’s till Township Rebellion’s punchy stuff and more..

What advice would have for an artist hoping to sign their music to the label? Both in terms of presentation and stylistically, what are you looking for from a new artist?

If the music is good and can stand out there, yes we are in!!!!!!! So simple.

So now that you have your own imprint, when you finish new original tracks how will you decide whether or not to shop them to other labels or releases them on Eat My Hat?

My main goal is to release my music in EMM. For sure my music will be out in other labels also as Originals or remixes, but when a track is ready is ready for EMH..I skip the thinking where else to release it!

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than just the music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

We live in a world these days that everything is around social..If you are a God in social and luckily you are a little bit good in music, that’s it, you are the KING…The truth is that you must be good with your music also not only with your social ..The quality will survive for sure! But of course its really important and they play major role in our business ,to show and expose our music in the world.A MUST tool!

With the barriers to production at an all-time low for many people, and the availability of studio software so easy, do you feel it has had a negative impact on the electronic music market?

In my point of view it doesn’t matter if you use hardware or software.If you use Ableton or Logic or FL..It’s all about inspiration, techniques and what its in your head! Of course equipment upon your needs helps you out but there are tons of good software tools out there that can do anything you want ..Of course opinions differ

What’s a piece of gear that always gets used when you’re writing a track?

Arturia’s Keystep

What tracks are you loving right now?

1.Monastetiq, Key M – Lume

2.Heerhorst – Seny (Teenage Mutants remix)

3.Le Jeune Flueck – Foenix (Township Rebellion Remix)

4.Jerome Isma-Ae, Alastor – Timelapse(Extended)

5.Ziger – After Midnight

6.Ziger & Blusoul – Delta (Jerome Isma-Ae remix)

7.Citizen Kain – Durban Poison (Heerhorst Remix)

8.Quivver – 2 Shadows Jerome Isma-Ae Remix

9.Simos Tagias – Down To Earth

10.Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic – Nostalgia (Plus Thirty remix)

What can fans expect for the remainder of 2019? And what festivals will you be playing this summer? Anything you can share with us?

You can catch in some shows in Europe, Turkey while I’m planning my Argentina tour. You can expect some super hot releases from Ziger and of course some stunning releases and collabs through Eat My Hat Music. I’m in the process remixing some originals for EMH and for some other labels while some other artists remixing some Ziger originals for EMH! You can catch in some shows in Europe, Turkey while I’m planning my Argentina tour.

‘Faded Realm’ is out now on Eat My Hat Music, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/2IF5gGYa>

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