TOTD // 29/08 // Livio & Roby

Published: August 29, 2017, words by Will Soer

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.

via youtube

Faster

Got To Take

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Our old friend here always enchants. The latest from him is really alluring, we picked ‘Got To Take’ from this release. Irresistible dark sounds, really well designed layered on a straight up minimalistic groove. It’s definitely for special moments.”
via youtube

DeWalta

Grativation

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Some really cool stuff from De Walta. Hypnotic melody lines and dark groove matters on this pick up, really on point. The whole “Dark Matter” EP is great and it’s difficult to pick one up but let’s say the shadowy “Gravitation” puts us in the mood.”
via soundcloud

Ada Kaleh

Dene Descris (Priku reinterpretation)

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Priku is definitely somebody to put your eyes on, we really love his stuff. In this track we like how he contributes with his groovy techno approach. The hypnotic synths are building up the state. Definitely in the bag.”
via soundcloud

Thomas Melchior & Daniel Bell

Lost in time

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Really big fans of both artists and we always dig for their stuff. As a duo in this release there are some rotating phrases just how we like. There is a special vibe here, really well crafted harmonies with subtle vocals. Modern touches in this daring release.”

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