UN009: Unrushed by Dtekk

17 October 2016
Some figures within the electronic music community pursue everything they do with such integrity and passion that they simply can not go unnoticed. Such is the case with our next guest, Dtekk, otherwise known as Jędrzej Dondzilo. Whether it be through his perfectly curated and renowned Up To Date festival, his superb Technosoul label and event series or his immersive all vinyl DJ sets, Jędrzej has proven time and time again that he is truly one of the most powerful musical forces coming out of Poland. With his keen ear for curation he has crafted us a special hour of deep listening material that is something to behold. Be sure to also check out the interview below for more information regarding Jędrzej’s intentions as an artist and curator.

U: If you were to draw a picture of your life at the moment. What would it look like?

It’s a very interesting question, as I rarely have time to look at my life from perspective. I think the picture would be chaotic, presenting no particular shape or leading topic, but with plethora of intensive colours! The bottom would be mainly black-ish because of my frustration about certain aspects of my existence, but the top would be definitely bright, as I’m always optimistic and looking forward to better times. 

U: You are born and based in Białystok (Poland) which is on the border to Belarus. What was the music scene like when you started Djing? And how is it today?

Back in the early 00’s I knew relatively little about music. I was very eager to explore all the genres of electronics, but it was extremely difficult to reach any music, especially in a town like Białystok. Back then, due to my limited awareness, I thought there wouldn’t be a limit to the scene’s growth. Funny thing, as my biggest dream at this time was to buy more vinyl and to become resident DJ at the local club – Metro. Białystok was blessed with this place. It’s the longest running electronic music club in Poland with the same owner from the very start. It used to be the leading venue for electronic music in Poland, but poor demographics and economical situation in Białystok effectively put an end to the vivid scene. I still hope for a positive change and I do not resign from trying, but the measures have changed and I focus on Up To Date Festival mainly.

U: You are the founder of Polands Up To Date Festival as well as Ambient Park amongst many other events. What was the initial idea behind starting these events?

The idea behind Up To Date Festival and Ambient Park was primarily to create something important and long-lasting for the scene, to popularise the culture and the music, to reach people and to fight stereotypes. There used to be (and sometimes still is) a strong belief about techno music to be satanistic, spiritually damaging, stupid, soulless etc. Ambient was an unknown genre back then in Białystok. These days Ambient Park gathers a couple of thousand of people in a public park, where whole families spend time in a creative atmosphere. However, me and my crew, still feel a bit homeless in our hometown, as there is not enough open-minded and forward-thinking people making decisions in local government and institutions. I hope we can make enough change to get past these problems.

U: What do you find to be the most mentally (or physically) exhausting aspect of organizing events?

After so many years of this work I have no problems with physical exhaustion, it’s the mind that sets the borders. As I’m deeply involved in all of my activities, emotions often take over and the stress becomes unbearable. Even if everything seems to be in order and organized well, sometimes emotions prevail and I feel at the edge. In everyday’s work, the instability of festival’s situation is the biggest issue. And the fact that I´ve been trying to find time for my own music production for ten years doesn’t feel optimistic hah

U: What do you think is the most rewarding aspect of organizing events?

The moment when you feel the surge of energy, happiness and inspiration that is so hard to describe and explain. The sense of unity, overwhelming joy and understanding in the air, which makes you confident about the things you do. This is what kept me doing what I do for so many years, in spite of all the obstacles.

U: You describe yourself a s a real one-man-institution and I can imagine this takes a lot of energy with all your doings. When you have some time to relax, what helps you to re-charge your batteries?

I haven’t been on a real vacation for seven years already and, frankly saying, I don’t know how it’s even possible to last so long without a proper re-set. I love experiencing nature and because of Białystok’s surroundings I can do it without much traveling, as a wild forest is just around the corner. However, watching an episode of TV series or a favourite sci-fi movie before going to sleep helps. Also, sometimes I think every good event’s peak time re-sets me and readies me for the next one haha. Am I addicted?

U: Is there something coming up, that you are really looking forward to and want to share with us?

There is always something going on I think the nearest plans with my label and collective Technosoul are particularly interesting. We’ve got two EPs in the pipeline, one is a debut due called Private Press and the second from Kuba Sojka and two internationally-known techno-heroes! Apart from that we’re making plans for events throughout Poland, including ambient ones! In the meantime I work on saving and developing Up To Date Festival and some abroad gigs maybe!

U: And finally, what was the idea behind your unrush journey?

It was a real pleasure to compile and record this podcast. Thank you! I tried to let myself be guided by the sound that makes me meditate and reach for the most powerful and inspiring feelings. No matter the sound: drony, hypnotic, organic, synthy - the key was to feel, not only to hear. I hope it sounds coherently, as in my own impression: it definitely feels coherent… 

More info about Dtekk:

Facebook | Soundcloud | Technosoul | UptodateFestival

Cover Picture taken by Lilika Stresovska

Cover Artwork by Joop Schroen