Stelios Vassiloudis joins FRISKY with the premiere of Modus Operandi
With a deep rooted appreciation and passion for the music, Stelios Vassiloudis has been sharing his emotional and intricate sound for many years. Whether you’ve heard him as Stel, or as a part of Stel & Good Newz, it’s likely that you came across his tracks in the early 2000’s, tracks that offered a distinctive tech, melodic, and progressive blend that was released on legendary labels like Audio Therapy and Baroque Records. His production prowess has continued to grow with multiple releases on Bedrock, Selador, and many more distinguished imprints throughout his career.
A classically trained musician, Stelios always aims to go above and beyond to transmit a versatile and distinctive style through his music. As a DJ he has traversed the globe, playing for audiences of all sizes and styles, transcending the usual in order to create complex and creative story lines through sound. With many guest mixes on FRISKY since 2012, including a recent mix on Priya’s Provocateur, Stelios Vassiloudis has been sharing those stories with us. Now with the premiere of his own show Modus Operandi, we will have the chance to listen every month.
Get ready by getting in deep with Stelios Vassiloudis:
What influenced you to get started in electronic music?
I’d have to it was a combination of factors. The first 2-3 productions I was involved in were pure studio experiments and side projects with my (then) production partner; we were really lucky to have them signed to some great labels back in the day. I’d say that the validation and sense of approval we got from having our music officially released is what encouraged me to pursue producing electronic music in a more professional capacity. As for DJing, I have to admit that I initially considered it to be a necessary evil-something complementary to my profile as a producer. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now and it’s safe to say I enjoy it a lot more now.
What have been some of your favorite moments as a DJ and producer?
Some of my favourite moments as a producer were during the production of my first album. Breaking out of the routine of producing EPs and remixes, to undertake a larger and more expansive project, was really liberating and allowed me the context to compose and create without the limiting parameters that so much of contemporary dance floor-oriented electronic music is associated with.
It’s difficult to single out a particular DJing moment; sets are usually either good or bad for me with very few grey areas. The fact of the matter is that, as an expressive art, it’s essentially all about song selection and programming so if your job is to connect with the audience and make sure you’re providing the sonic backdrop for them to connect among themselves. Whether that happens with 100 people or 1000 people in attendance, is just a matter of scale for me.
Are there any particular messages or emotions that you aim to share through your music?
Not consciously. I rarely produce tracks with vocals so the absence of lyrical content limits my options! Even if I did have any sort of profound or personal message(s) I’d like to share with people, I think there are far better forums and genres of music suited to that sort of thing. Having said that, I suppose I do have a certain set of aesthetic and philosophical principles I adhere to and certain practices in the industry landscape that really irk me that I try to avoid. Composing and producing music has always been, primarily, about self expression for me so I do my best to make things that reflect that honestly and transcend petty considerations of genre, popularity trend etc. I hate the notion that what I’m doing is functional social media fodder.
What type of sounds do you love most?
It depends on what I’m in the mood for; I could just as easily get into some grainy, glitchy, saturated crunch noises or a beautifully recorded, organic and earthy string quartet. If I’m being honest though, give me a high gain amp driving a 4×12 cabinet pushing air any time of day and you’ll get me to smile.
What are you most passionate about within the music these days?
Despite the doom and gloom that digital distribution technologies brought during most of the 2000’s, and further to the fact that the collective music industry was caught with their pants around their ankles, I’m delighted to see that the constant flux has yielded a more democratic and level playing field for the artists. I don’t want to crap all over the current distribution paradigm and highlight all its imperfections and inadequacies, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the future involves fewer middlemen. I’m excited about the possibilities of connecting with audiences better, faster and more independently than before.