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With every Watch The Hype mix, a limited number of mix CDs will be given away on Facebook. The first people to comment on the post win a copy. To be in with a chance, follow the instuctions below.
There’s something beautiful about experiencing new, forward-facing productions and performances from seminal figures. For new fans educating themselves in urban legacies such as Chicago house and Detroit techno, all it takes is the right ticket to catch legends like Larry Heard and Robert Hood who defined these sounds. One heritage status-act that you may not have heard of is Livio & Roby, whose twelve-year run of back to back sets is nearly unparalleled. Though their hometown of Bucharest has a reputation for rabbit-hole clubs with insane soundsystems, all-night parties and open-minded crowds to rival Berlin, the Romanian city’s scene is more inwardly focussed; many records have very limited pressings and DJs are often happy to prioritise building hometown credit.
‘It’s not about moments or big drops, it’s all about continuing the journey.’ Since its turn-of-the-century origins, Romania’s dance music scene is typified by escapism, to the point that many clubs involve multiple projectors simultaneously programmed by a live ‘VJ’ sat beside performers, or even more ambitious visual setups like the overhead laserblock landing-strip of Studio Martin, whose most-listed act is Livio & Roby. This makes perfect sense when listening to the duo’s hypnotic productions, which refract Sasha’s progressive house and Steve Lawler’s tribal techno through a unique supernatural lens. Their recent album Phantom Circle on Loco Dice’s Desolat imprint, includes a series of high profile collaborations, though perhaps its most impressive track is the entrancing opener Capsule, whose spectral, swirling elements defy analysis. Honed in a dark studio whose hardware collection slowly grew to the point that software became unnecessary and they started developing their own modular synthesiser, their minimal style is refreshing in its classy weirdness. It’s also devilishly flexible, as demonstrated by their recent performances in London, alongside Hot Since ’82 at Printworks and George Fitzgerald at fabric.
Having DJed for years before they met (and in fact before Romania had a distinct clubbing scene), Livio & Roby were introduced by a mutual friend and found that they simply fit. Their approach to DJing is inspirational in its calm lack of egotism, happy to take turns in aesthetic leadership and maintain silent focus on ‘keeping the ship straight’. Listening to their selections for Watch The Hype in the warmup to their performance on the MDRNTY Cruise, it’s easy to imagine losing oneself under their guidance.