"The center of bass music is in your chest" - an interview with Alien Pimp, the mastermind behind DubKraft Records 6th anniversary

Silviu Costinescu aka Alien Pimp has been succesfully running DubKraft Records since 2006, he is one of the few guys who achieved something in electronic music and seems to have made the right choice when he left Romania to establish in Spain and to promote his vision, dreams and love of bass music and people.

I've always been impressed by the quality of his production and the energy levels flowing out of his music; recently I've had the opportunity to know him from a different perspective, which revealed a very patient and demanding guy when it comes to the quality of material he puts his hands on as a professional. (Him being the master engineer of my debut album, and I can tell he did magic with the tracks.) 

For the last weeks he has been very busy preparing  the launch of "DubKraft Records: 3 more years", but he found the time to discuss with me about his evolution, bass music, accomplishments and visions. 

You can listen the album from the player bellow and support the artists by buying it (good news: you can buy a physical CD from here on Amazon!)

 "If they can do it, I can do it."

First of all, happy anniversary for the first six years of DubKraft Records! Or should I say SoundKraft Records? Which one was the first? Please describe a little bit the family of labels you currently run?
Thank you! The anniversary was actually last autumn, but back then I was trying to make an honest buck producing a massive concert for the EU in Bucharest. That work sponsored the anniversary CD and all the buzz you hear now. Better later. Heh, SoundKraft was once upon the time, but it seems it left a mark. DubKraft is its heir and there's also the False Flag Operation sublabel, currently in cue, but when I'll press "Play" again it's gonna rock your world!

How did you start them and establish the network of artists represented today?
I always think: if they can do it, I can do it. Do I need to do it? Is it worth to do it? 
Apparently it's all I really care doing, apart from actually creating stuff. 
The network built itself naturally, in time, based on mutual need for collaboration and support.

When you left Romania (how long ago, by the way?) how you envisioned your future as an electronic music artist in Spain and how it turned out to be? You go to Barcelona knowing what you wanted to do with your life or it was a universal conspiration?
I left Romania about 5 years ago, looking forward to a more sunny and less tensed place, with a more progressive environment for my work. I ended up in the major city with the least music venues and bass music promoters in EU. It's like back in time, compared to the fervent scene in Bucharest now, constantly evolving. 
But I took it like a chance for a new start in the shadows of the palms, with the salty sea breeze in my face. Probably in Berlin I would've prospered more, but here I am happy and I think I have earned a little place of my own in the scene here. 
I am not looking at my artistic future in terms of career and achievements. I look at it in terms of being happy with my contribution to this world and with the support i'm getting. Now I don't think I'm in full balance, very few people in my position are, but I know I did my best and the results were more consistent than the average.

By the way, you're a professional musician, meaning you earn your life out of music only, isn't it? Do you run the label by yourself, meaning networking, PR, booking, recording, mixing and all the stuff?
Most of what I do is music/art related, but I survive exactly because I don't rely on just one skill or trade. In music industry I have played almost all positions you can think of, I've tried anything I could, sometimes simply for the sake of experience and learning. Also had jobs and endeavours in a few other fields. In one year I can have a dozens of different jobs/positions/projects/responsibilities. This label can't support "physical life" yet. So I can't afford much collaborators, I outsource as little as possible in order to survive. I've seen these times coming long ago and I've trained myself way ahead, so, with a significant deal of sweat and time, with much support and understanding from the amazing artists we work with, we're still here, stronger than ever.

Is there any DubKraft night anywhere in Barcelona? Or do you have a residency somewhere? Please tell us your most important venues you played.
There isn't a regular night, just occasional one night stands. We're also part of the crew that carries the Terra events, not sure if any other promoters represent simply for bass right now in Barcelona, anyway, we're among the few still holding. We have many plans, but not sure if the world is ready for them. I've played a little bit of everything around here, from Razzmatazz to art galeries and smelly pubs.

You activate in the electronica music field under various monikers: Alien Pimp, Sonic Tonic, Marginal. It's a case of multiple personalities, multifaceted ego or you feel you're living at the intersection of different universes and you choose to play a different role under a different name for each one of them?
I released music under much more monikers. The alias doesn't reflect the physical identity of the author, but the conceptual identity of the project. E.g. Alien Pimp is the one who brings a superior way of pimping, at energetic and emotional level. As opposed to the general perception, which is our reality projected into space under the form of a green little man covered in bling. First you get amused by your own projection of it, then maybe you get in touch with my alien perspective on it.
 Marginal is the under-dog that makes the difference. In reality not an uderdog, but within its own artistic paradigm it is whatever it wants to be.
 And so on...

"Bass music it's not a genre, same way not collecting stamps is not a hobby."

Though you mentioned countless time that you don't stick to a single electronic music genre, it seems you're mostly on the bass music side. How do you explain this constant relation you have with bass culture?

Bass music, as I've been pushing it for the last 3-4 years, it's not a genre, same way not collecting stamps is not a hobby. Bass music is all electronic music built on a fat layer of bass. It encompasses all genres and unites all music on a different criteria: ground-shaking, chest rattling bass is what we prefer. Not what we're limited by. That's exactly why the name is not more specific than this.

There's a funny transition from the B movies vocal excerpts used in early drum&bass music to the current almost omnipresent random pitched post-burial kind of treating vocals. It seems this effect introduced the voice as a way to humanize bass music and to add it a, let's say, more feminin, if not androgin side. What do you think of those small transitions that made bass music what it is today as opposed to what used to be in the jungle/ragga era?

I don't have time for this, I don't participate in these cycles anymore, I just absorb and use anything that helps a track achive what i want it to achive (originality included). Anyway, whatever rocks your boat, means are irrelevant, i only care of the final product. Make sure it's worth people's time.

What you mean by cycles?
It's a loop: one dude comes up with the new trick, then it gets milked to death, then everyone gives up on it, then a new generation re-discovers it, then... 
I can't afford to have these fads dictating my artistic decisions, that's a job for my inspiration, my mood and my instincts.

What did you take into account when you made the selection for "DubKraft Records: 3 More Years"?
What I always do, what the label's motto says: "Bass, Spirit, Character". But also tried to remind of the past and give hints about the future.

I saw a Chilian (Dimito), a Bulgarian (Balkansky), a Romanian (Vlad Onu).. who are the others? It's like a reunion of most talented outernational bass music artists, most excentric in terms of country of origin?

Hehe, Dimito is a friend from Barcelona who's just exploring life in Chile now. One of the most promising new names in our camp. We are more global than the NWO, baby!

Speaking of origins, where's now the centre of bass music?

The center of bass music is in your chest.

Now, I know it's a silly question to ask an electronic music artist what this or that tunes means, 'cause one can't translate logically and rationally all the feelings, thought and small decisions that make a track comes to life. But, for the exceptionally track Constantin Brancusi, what was the context?
It's a combination of many things that contributed to this outcome, many difficult to explain indeed. I kinda modeled that track the way I imagine him modelling clay or rock. I resonate a lot to his aesthetics. I am very visual, 3d visual. And, as a discrete wink from the universe, the day I made it public was just before his b-day, it just happened, I was unaware of it at the time.

Boingbumchak's readers know how obsessed I am with the idea of electronic music as a form of resistance against consumerism, ibizification of music and all the plastic trends surrounding us today. Is it bass music a form of resistance? If yes, against what? 

The only form of resistance against consumerism is not consuming more than you really need. The rest is marketing.
 Bass music tries to resist boring shit and party poopers. Maybe.

Any trip advices for electronic music fans, to Spain, to inner self or whatever important destination?

Yes, go to Spain, to inner self or whatever important destination. The more you move, the more you interact, the more you learn, the more you understand, the better you can harmonize with the Universe. Experience is the only aquisition that constantly keeps growing in value.

"The only thing I have ever wanted to accomplish: to create thousands of interactions that generate deep emotions and thoughts."

What's your biggest achievement? And the biggest disappointment?
Biggest achievement: waking up from the mass halucination called human culture and finding some inner peace.
 Biggest disappointment: how humans fulfill their potential.

What do you think you've accomplished these years (in terms of sound, personal development, gigs, line-ups, connections etc.)?

The only thing I have ever wanted to accomplish: to create thousands of interactions that generate deep emotions and thoughts, improvement, and the sensation of quality time.

How do you see the evolution of clubbing relating to bass music and to EDM in general?

Highly connected to the social and personal evolutions. Which are generally involutions right now.

Any suggestion for the newcomer artist wanting to make a career out of music?

Define career and see if it's what you really need. 
Then build it like a track, so you can make music out of your career.
 Alien pimping.

What are you're plans for the future?

To live more in the present.

If you're kind to say something to our/your readers? 
Fight what you don't like by supporting more what you like.

Thank you for the interview!

You could've spent this interview time watching TV.  You have voluntarily contributed value by chosing otherwise. Big up and much thanks for that!

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