For nearly 5 years, Damascus Underground Session has introduced FRISKY’s global audience to the electronic music scene of Syria. Mixes produced by show host Bob VanDer exemplify his passion for this special place, a subject which we dove deeper into in the exploration of its evolution with the article Shaping the Future of Syria’s Underground Music Scene. In the interview he shares, “The kind of diversity that electronic music brought together would probably be one of my favorite things about its community in Damascus,” and he plays his part in making this happen as the host of DUS, where he has invited a wide-ranging group of artists as guests on his show. From fellow Damascus underground DJ Yara M to Internationally renowned producer Robert Babicz, each guest has brought their own unique perspective on the music, further spreading the sound of Syria to the rest of the world.
Read about their experiences below and listen to their mixes on demand to hear it for yourself.
What was the focus / intention behind your mix for Damascus Underground Session?
Robert Babicz: Like always I play my latest tracks, as I am not a DJ, I only have my own music to play. [Listen to Mix]
Moshic: First of all collaboration between 2 people from a countries with so many years of stupid conflict! It’s a message of peace and shows that music delete any boundaries. [Listen to Mix]
Nikko Mavridis: My intention was to make a set that represents my sound and taste in Underground Electronic Music. The kind of music that DUS presents in really successful way! [Listen to Mix]
Adonis FR: My intention for the DJ mix for DUS is to present a selection of my tracks since I started producing my minimal high-tech, with of course some surprises, unreleased tracks and future releases. [Listen to Mix]
Adexe: In fact, the main focus was to be a special guest for DUS and Friskyradio, I’ve selected a very specific tracks and sounds so it fits the sessions style. [Listen to Mix]
Leila Scheiwe: I chose songs that I like a lot and wanted to make a set where the listener had several different sensations in that one hour of music. [Listen to Mix]
Yara M: For me it’s all about spreading the Music everywhere possible, and share with the world the sounds of the Middle East. People need to know that despite all the circumstances our region is going through, we insist on playing Music, giving others the escape they seek from all the troubles they’re facing day by day… [Listen to Mix]
LynnMayya: My main intention is to express my self and my personality through music, also to present a new image of the Syrian talents, away from how the news and stereotypes present the Arabs. [Listen to Mix]
Susan Right: I really really love to make ethnic mixes, so that was my focus for my guestmix for Damascus Underground Sessions. [Listen to Mix]
Vertigo: The intentions behind my set for DUS was as pure as it flowed. Aiming for support and seeking for exposure along the way. Initiative like DUS raises voices of various talented artists, and unites them for the purpose of making the art of multicultural sounds. This concept is one that deserves my time in the first place. [Listen to Mix]
Kade B: To be honest there is no focus, I do it for fun and because I like to let people enjoy good music. And DUS was good place to show that. [Listen to Mix]
What did you enjoy about having a guest mix on DUS?
Robert Babicz: It’s great to get invited, makes me happy.
Moshic: I like the host haha and mostly I like his passion about this sound and show!
Nikko Mavridis: I have recorded many sets for Frisky Radio so far! This time I am really impressed by the fine promotion, Bob has made in all aspects. A very good job!
Adonis FR: I thank Bob VanDer for the invitation, DUS is a serious radio station with good artists, I couldn’t refuse the invitation.
Adexe: In general, I always look forward to being with a DJs who play what I love to hear, so playing with one of my favorite DJs makes it very special.
Leila Scheiwe: I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to show my music to a different audience. It’s my first set on Frisky Radio.
Yara M: I’m so happy to play on Frisky radio, I’ve been listening to it since forever. And to be a guest on a show hosted by one of the talented Syrian artists, makes it more exciting and fulfilling,
LynnMayya: What did you enjoy about having a guest mix on DUS?i really like the diversity of sessions and the open space that the session is providing for the artists to participate and share their music, it is a great opportunity.
Susan Right: I have a lot of Syrian friends and collegues, they taught me a lot about the Syrian culture which I’m very grateful for. So when Bob asked me to do a guestmix it was directly a YES!
Vertigo: I enjoyed the hype, the fact that somebody is on a road trip listening to your sound in the car live is a moment of belonging. You just simply got the chance to wave in a world for an hr into your tunes. Live as they go.
Kade B: I enjoyed the good music, everyone playing good taste in music as I said I enjoy that because it is a passion.
What have you been focusing on?
Robert Babicz: I just released my latest album UTOPIA on Systematic and have a full album inside the next QUATRO album from John Digweed.
Moshic: My 8th double album is out! And also a big remixes released by global friends I’m so excited to release a work of nearly 3 years… especially in this crazy Covid 19 lifetime experience
Nikko Mavridis: I have, so far, signed quite many originals and remixes that will be out in 2021 on great labels! Of course there are scheduled some interesting collaborations with Greek and Foreign producers.
Adonis FR: I have a lot of tracks in preparation, this year 2021 will also be a year for remixes and collaboration, there are a lot of talented producers in High-Tech Minimal. I also prepare live streams and the production of my tracks stay tune!
Adexe: ‘Adding spirits to dark pictures’ Lately, I have been focusing on searching for tech melodic sounds with dark grooves and rolling fat bass,
this rare combination that I am trying now to add into my mixes.
Leila Scheiwe: I am currently finishing a song called Big Fight, which will be released soon by the Brazilian label Terasonic Records. I am very excited to be able to show this work to the world.
Yara M: Because I’ve been traveling a lot in the past year, I’m now focusing on making events every weekend in different venues in Damascus city, alongside my show “Mindset” every Friday evening on a local radio channel “Mix Fm Syria”.
LynnMayya: Currently am working on improving my musical skills and knowledge as there is a lot to learn, hopefully i will be able to produce my own music, takes time tho.
Susan Right: The last few months I’ve been focusing on producing my own tracks. I have a lot in the pipeline and you can expect my first releases soon!
Beside that I did a lot of guestmixes which can be heard on several radio stations throughout the world. And of course don’t forget to check out my frequently podcast series ‘Parallel Visions’ and my ‘Disfruta Ahora Sunset Sessions’ on my Soundcloud.
Vertigo: Music wise i have been focusing on exploring new genres, ones that are combination of Psy, Minimal and Progressive Techno. Ones that lead, progress, drive, and repeat.
Kade B: I’m focusing now more on releasing new music soon and on my radio show.
Catch the next episode of Damascus Underground Session on June 16th @ 12 PM EST [convert timezone].