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Mixmag Asia Radio: 90 mins of soulful heat from Dynamite Disco Club's Stalvart John

DDC celebrates 6 years as a record label & disco-fuelled party platform

  • Charles Budd
  • 4 May 2023
Mixmag Asia Radio: 90 mins of soulful heat from Dynamite Disco Club's Stalvart John

Since turning Dynamite Disco Club from a party series into a record label in 2021, Stalvart John has been pushing the subcontinent's appreciation for modern to classic-sounding disco across the subcontinent.

Now based in Bengaluru, Stalvart John's early years saw him play an influential role in growing the electronic scene in his hometown of Kochi, Kerala, where club culture still remains under the radar. In addition to DJing and producing, John's early groundings were formed through his time spent curating internet radio shows; he launched his first podcast Trancemitor in 2011, which he then followed up with In a Mind Place along with hosting several other shows from around the world.

A dedicated curator and collector, Stalvart John has become synonymous with the funkier sound of dance music across India, with an impressive history of releases on labels like Get Physical Music, Wind Horse Records, Hot Elephant Music, Springbok Records, Club Star Records, Believe in Disco and Mind Fields Records.

In celebrating six years of Dynamite Disco Club, we're thrilled to have Stalvart John drop 90 minutes of soul-stirring grooves for Mixmag Asia Radio. Hit play below.

Where are you based and how did you get there?

I’ve been based out of Bangalore, India since 2015. After prohibition/liquor restrictions kicked in in Kerala and my hometown of Kochi, all nightlife came to a standstill and after 6 months, I got an opportunity to work with a friend at a startup in Bangalore and moved here.

What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?

The audiences have very mature tastes in music across the board and are appreciative and critical of artists and new ideas. This is something that I love about the scene in Bangalore

In five words, what do your DJ sets sound like?

Groovy, Disco-ey, Happy, straightforward, dancefloor friendly.

And in three words, how would you describe yourself?

Innovative, Dynamite and workaholic.

What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to?

A.I Powered music production. It’s quite amazing how the tools are getting better every day. A.I is taking over every step of music production from composing to mastering of tracks. It’s important for artists to use this a tool to further explore their talent than to sit back and let an algorithm make the music for you.

Have you caught onto them?

Not really. But I have tried a couple of VSTs while producing. But to be honest, keeping up with them is a difficult task because of the volume of these things coming to market every day.

Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention?

Farhan Rehman (India), Daisuke Miyamoto (Japan) and Ojha G (India) are some really cool producers you need to look out for. I regularly work with all of them and the music they produce is no-nonsense dance floor material.

Describe one prediction you have about dance music in a post-pandemic world that’s being driven by new technologies.

More independent and A.I-driven music will be released. The market will be unstable for some time because of the volume of music out there. The idea of musician and artist will change but after some time it will get stabilised as always.

Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix - what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?

This mix is inspired by the Dynamite Disco Club parties that we throw regularly. It’s also the sound that we are trying to promote as a label. Like my club sets, this mix follows my style of mixing harmonically and according to the flow and vibe I feel on the dancefloor. One thumb rule I follow is to download only the music that I really enjoy and that consequently helps me curate any mix with comparable ease.

What equipment did you record this mix on?

I use Ableton and software called Mixmeister Fusion to record my radio mixes, guest mixes and podcasts. Makes my life easier.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happening from the DJ booth?

There was this guy who used to come to the club that I used to be a resident of 10 years back. He used to come wearing headphones to the club and he always has the headphones on. Later I realised he is playing his own music also. A couple of weeks later I spoke to him and realised he just wanted the ambience and atmosphere of the club. :D :D

Where can we hear you playing next?

We are in the middle of Dynamite Disco Club’s 6-year anniversary tour hosting parties and showcases across 8 shows in 7 cities over April and May. At the time of writing this, we’ve already finished 2 shows in Bangalore and one in Mumbai with the remaining ones happening across Pune, Indore, Goa, Kolkata, Hyderabad as well as a few solo gigs in between them.

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