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Interview with Viktors Buda Deep Baltic Interview: Era of dance / Will Mawhood

23:00 Era of dance Viktors Buda

04:30 Interview Unknown

01:30 Interview Liāna

03:00 Interview Donatello

What was the attitude of the authorities?

This must have been very dif youth movement the with previously. If w Latvia in the So Riga was the could get regard diffe s

Many people might be surprised to know that one of the key influences on dance music in Latvia came from a man already in his late 40s at the time when the scene started to develop, Indulis Bilzens. Could you tell me a bit about his story?

His life story is worthy of being filmed. Bilzens is one of the most important and, at the same time, underrated people of the last decades. He is a man of the era. I would say he is one of the most notable cultural diplomats of the ’80s and ’90s. He has been connected with the sphere of electronic music since the end of the ’60s when there was no DJ culture. In fact, he became one of the first outsiders who entered into the electronic music environment. Here it’s worth mentioning Cologne in the ’60s and the University of Düsseldorf, which at that time was almost the only university where it was possible

to study electronic music machines and their structure. Bilzens as a historian of culture was more interested in the principles on which to base this new innovation. The University of Düsseldorf from the end of the ’60s was a significant period because at this same university were studying a couple of guys who later became know to the world as Kraftwerk. They are not personally connected; however, they operate in parallel. Bilzens always knew how to influence to develop things and at the same time stay behind the stage curtain.


e Soviet

fferent from any ey had to deal we talk about oviet times, e closest you to the West. Different people ded the new innovations in erent ways. One part of society categorically refused to accept anything new. The other part was interested and involved in the new movement.

If we talk about Latvia in the Soviet times, Riga was the closest you could get to the West. Different people regarded the new innovations in different ways. One part of society categorically refused to accept anything new. The other part was interested and involved in the new movement. Communicating with witnesses and participants in those events, it became clear that the Soviet authorities didn’t really understand what this movement of electronic music represented. I think


the arrival of techno culture was justified more by the lack of information from the Soviet authorities than their precise position.

So when did techno reach the and how did it get there?

Techno first appeared in the B in 1986. The Baltic countries ha always been a bridge between the West and Eastern Europe – this was true even in the Soviet era. In the context of the history, all of us were more attracted not to the fact that it came first, but the personal story of the heroes themselves in this historical adventure…


Baltic states,

Baltics ave n

There’s a clear connection with Berlin in the film – and the time period covered obviously coincides with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why was this city so important? The second half of the ’80s changed everything. Berlin became the centre of Europe very quickly after the wall came down. What was happening in Berlin was considered influential and music has always reflected social phenomena that are present. But the story told in the film began much earlier and the early stages of any process always have a very special aspect.

Why do

Mmmm you ca more i depen Differe In som people people after I perhap


Any memories of your first rave? I don't know if you can call it a rave, but I was at festival Komēta. There was an insane moshpit where the group Spāre played, that was in 2016, when I was sixteen years old and that was, yeah, pretty intense. That was one of the first times I took substances like psychedelics. All that was something that I could define as a rave.

o you go to raves?

m … I like to dance and there an dance like nowhere else, it's intimate. I like the people, but it nds on the venue and the event. ent locations, different people. me places there are really cool e and in others — not. These e charge me in a way that feel energetically recharged, ps that's my reason.

Where in often?

I usually s to stand b I like it the to the mu at the bac that come do. It's no


the venue do you dance most

stand in the middle, I don't like by the side. I go in the middle, ere. In the middle I connect usic the most, and I think that ck there are a lot of newbies e in and don't know what to ot the best vibe at the back.

Do you have anything that you don’t like in raves? Hmm … I don't like when people go to raves not for the music but for the sake of flirting with someone, that makes everything much worse. When I was at a rave recently, it looked like some people didn't come there for the music, they just annoyed the people that wanted to hear the music. That is what I don't like.

What ar with rav

Freedom don't kn of every I feel like f w


re your first associations ves and why?

m, friendship and love. I now why, maybe because ything that surrounds me, ke the night will continue forever, but it won't. That's why the night must be enjoyed.

evitcejbus si hcihw cisum doog ot yleerf ecnad nac uoy erehw ecalp a s’tI .doog dna eerf leef enoyreve nehw haey ,mma tub esruocfo


What is a rave?

What are your feelings about raves, do you attend them?

I have been involved in the rave scene since I was 13 yea old. I came here to sup my partner, she is performing here r now. That's why this culture. Ba I went to ma than I do no the start 2000s Unde Pulk Space That's w perform m


e ars pport

right I am here, in ack in the day any more raves ow. But yeah, for me was the s: Club Metro, erground, kvedis and e Garage. when I started to myself.

So you rave sc

Yes, I di helped accepte Where I could. time for from th perform lot of liv differen in the p What influenced or inspired you to get involved in the rave scene? There was a lot of music that I liked. At the raves everyone singed along while the music played … But why electronic music... I listened to a lot of Linkin Park and Nirvana, there were a lot of punks. Then raves weren't that common, it was like nightlife music. Now it's more intelligent but anyways people got joy from it and I liked it. Those random people that I met and the feedback that I got the next day, the forgotten feelings … that's what I liked. I also played music, that caused a lot of joy for me back then. Now I live a bit different. I don't DJ anymore, I mostly do live performances — it makes me feel whole.


have been involved in the cene since the 2000s?

id some DJing there and as a sound guy, I was ed there as a volunteer. you couldn't get in under 18, That was a very important r me, now it's a lot different, he technologies to the mers. Right now there are a ve performances and it is a bit nt from the classical DJ sets past.

Has going to raves affected y somehow?

Yes! Of course! It varies depending on the time. Well, there were the disco times, it wasn't exactly a rave, the mus was quite different. A the exchange of drugs changed me. I couldn' bad way, more in a goo people and learned a difference



t sic And s, that really 't say that in a ood way. I met new lot about cultural es and all that.

How do you feel about the club was closed recently?

There will be new ones, I think i always been that way, in the pa at least … all the places that I c remember. Of course I felt sad they closed, but the venue won empty forever.

I think that a lot of a people that were in won't just sit at hom restrictions are ove was closed, it felt g it was a very sad tim


b that

it has ast can d that n't be

Maybe you know some venues that were closed? For me the important one was Space Garage in Andrejsala. There were a lot of raves happening there, people like Dmitrijs Zaga and Linards Kules were attending, along with a lot of others. But now all of them have gone to Berlin and stayed there. Yes, well it influenced me a lot. After that place was closed, there was Nauda, a known place that known people made happen. Now for the past year and a half I haven't been anywhere, and now everything is open again. I am happy that there are new people and listeners attending, everything will keep on moving forward.

artists and other n this scene, they me, now that the er. When everything gloomy to be honest, me for club life.

Do you think that raves have an age limit? If the person likes to go to raves then the age isn't really important. The people that have been in the rave scene, they have a different opinion about young kids being there, what they do there and all that. I have to admit that at my age it's more difficult. I look at the young people there and for them it's a lot different, and I remember myself and I feel like I am more closed off. But no, I don't think age is an obstacle.



When and where was your first rave? I think that, as I remember, one of the most memorable raves was some kind of festival. I was 12 years old and my brother took me there. It was in Lucavsala, maybe the Holi Color Festival? After midnight they started playing rave music and then I understood that I really liked this, I wanted to hear more. And yeah, I just went to them more and more of them. Someone also invited me to some raves. I want to go to a rave in the forest but I haven't been to a proper one yet.

Why do you attend raves? Well now I don't go to them so often. Because … I don't know actually. Now I have more stress in my daily life but when I want to go to a rave the most, it doesn't happen. And they come to me naturally somehow. It is so unexpected and unplanned, I just get ready really fast, in two seconds and I am there. What was the question? Oh yeah, I don't know ... the feelings that I feel and when it is over — I feel so ecstatic that everything has come to a halt. You are not even tired, but happy and there is this euphoric feeling that comes in, almost like after a sauna. You go away tremulous and drained, like after a very long work day, you know?! You feel rewarded that you have done something good.

How would you describe the rave culture, what is the attitude from others in raves and how do you feel there? Well … When I went to raves, I felt very good and everyone around me was very nice. I have never felt something off, like bad vibes on the dance floor. Of course drugs and alcohol make people a bit dumb and unpleasant but I don't know … of those that I have attended there wasn't really anything like that. I don't know, music makes people equal. Maybe if you go out of the rave and there is someone with a bad mood there, then it's not going to be very nice — but at a rave l haven't experienced anything like that. Yeah, everyone is nice.

Each raver is by themselves b time everyone is together in it their own bubble. Rave is no fo


but at the same t, everyone is in olk dance.

Has going to raves affected yo Has anything changed?

Absolutely. I don't know how I c along with a lot of thin happening right now. I would be hitting myself. Yeah, tha be put somew I have a lot somewh nobo Y Do you have any happy memories from raves?

The best memory that I have is that I went to a rave and I couldn't leave. Simply because I couldn't stand up when the music was over — your body just isn't moving, you can't even stand on your feet. You just lay there and breathe, that's the only thing you can do in that moment. You almost start to panic because you don't know how you will get home, but to be honest, the panic is not even that big. You just feel so good and you can't think of anything else, you are in such ecstasy, you lay there and smoke, wait a bit while your body wakes up again and then think how about you will get home. You are completely dirty, with dirt on your outfit and random bruises all over your body, with saliva on your clothes, you feel so disgusting. Then there comes the next two days when you have to regenerate and try to go back into the daily routine.


ou somehow?

could get ngs that are I don't know if g something or at energy has to where because t of it. I need a way to put it here in a healthy way, so that ody is hurt except my muscles. Yeah, I think that I would be a different person if raves didn’t exist.

ohw esoht rof egrahcsid lacisyhp ,lanoitome yrev gnihtemos si evar ,mA ylpmis dna ,ti lepxe ot erehwyna evah t’nod yeht dna edisni ssem fo tol a evah gnihtemos morf tuo enoz ot si tahT .taht od nac uoy erehw ecalp eht si evar fo dnik emos ni era uoy ereht ,gninnur ,gnikniht ,sserts morf ,enituor eht morf ereht taht kniht I ,enola ,krad eht ni ,ecaps ytpmE ..llew wonk t’nod I ,sisohcysp eerf dna lufrewop leef tsuj uoy ,laer roF .og tsuj nac uoy tahT .evar laer eht si .esle gnihtyreve ni dna stnemevom ruoy ni emit emas eht ta


What is a rave?

The place where it feels like home. The party is over.

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