Polish turntable technician DJ Marek and Ukrainian DJ and producer Artur aka Beat Mob are Eastern Bloc. Separately they've made some serious moves from their base in Wellington, New Zealand, and together they form a globe-conquering alliance built on a solid foundation of mutual respect, a love of jersey club, hip hop, house, and an appreciation for vodka on the rocks. They've remixed Jeremih, Vic Mensa, supported Baauer, Flume, Rustie, ASAP Ferg amongst many others, produced a bunch of original tracks, and held down some high level parties. The next one is this Friday, and to get us ready Eastern Bloc put together an exclusive THUMP mix.
Jeremih - Nobody But U (Eastern Bloc Remix)
Seiho - Taboo
Cashmere Cat - Wedding Bells
Found Her - Young Tapz - (Eastern Bloc Remix)
Baauer - Boog
Mighty Dub Katz - Just Another Groove (Stanton Warriors Edit)
Pusha T & Future - Move That Dope (R3ll & Lambo Remix)
Dark Hadou - Da-P (Mr. Carmack Remix)
ILOVEMAKONNEN - Tuesday (DJ Snake Remix)
Drank - Dolphin Tears
P.Reign ft Drake - DnF (eSenTRIK Remix)
Ta ku - Closet Drake Fans
RL Grime - Scylla
Nadus - Nxwxrk (RL Grime edit)
Danny Brown - Smokin & Drinkin (Boys Noize Remix)
Eastern Bloc - Cece Bounce
Lido - Money (Poolboy Edit)
Dehousey - Under the Lights
Saint feat Dai Burger - Tamagotchi (Jessie Slayter Remix)
Redlight x Sliink - Basscone Vibrate (Grandtheft Edit)
Toni Romiti - Miss Me (DJ Sliink/DJ Blake Remix)
Bando Jonez & Twista - Sex You (Eastern Bloc Remix)
O.T Genasis - Coco (Baking Soda)
THUMP: So how did Eastern Bloc start off?
Both of us ended up playing together around Wellington quite a bit together randomly. After a solid bender we discovered the similar European heritage (our villages were a stones throw away) as well as a joint appreciation for rap, raw club and bass music, Jersey club in particular. This led to the idea of a monthly party, which after a lot of time spent indoors and computer fuckery, ultimately mutated into a DJ/production duo.
Eastern Bloc is made up of two members, Marek from Poland and Artur from Ukraine. But Jersey club is from…well, Jersey. What inspired you to put together a club night drawing all those elements together?
I guess it was the catalyst to kick things off. Historically the last 100 years haven't treated the region so kindly so most Eastern Europeans of an era have a certain bond and general love of drinking & parties. Its in our genes. Maybe thats why the music from rougher parts of the USA, Detroit, Baltimore, Jersey, Chicago etc we subconsciously gravitate towards?
What does your combined Eastern European background bring to the table, musically, with Jersey Club?
Not much! We don't think there is even a Jersey scene in Eastern Europe. Musically what we play & produce has very little to do with the motherland. However our backgrounds are fairly contrasted, with one of us coming from a hip hop/percussive/DJ background, and the other being a classically trained background which then evolved into primary focus on house production. This makes our music, although rooted in Jersey Club very broad sound and genre wise. Neither of us fuck with the accordion.
Has the Wellington club scene warmed up to it?
Obviously when introducing anything new, especially an entire genre it cant be force fed. The music we do isn't strictly Jersey club so our live shows are very diverse but mostly centred around urban stuff. A lot of current Jersey songs are remixes and bootlegs of current popular music that creates an instant connection. Sometimes all you need is that one Beyonce vocal stab to get the floor excited. Its really cool seeing bigger producers like Diplo and Sweater Beats pushing Jersey in their mixes and at their shows, it's just a matter of time until bed squeaks make their way into the mainstream
You've remixed a few different tunes, among them some stuff of a more urban persuasion. The Eastern Bloc sound doesn't stop at Jersey Club. What draws you to a remix/re edit tune?
Tune selection is important, but its also timing and sometimes luck. Often its just hearing a vocal, hook or writing a chord progression that we can build from. Sometimes you have to listen to dozens of track before you find something that clicks. Our most popular tune so far (which isn't even a Jersey club joint) the Jeremih remix for 'Nobody but U' we churned the day after it was released on radio, the second he heard that track, Artur knew he could do some cool shit to it. On the other side of the coin, the Vic Mensa remix of 'Down on my Luck' which was an exclusive release for CLUBJERSEY Label, was done months after the originals release just because we played the tune so much in the club. That ended up getting an 8/10 review in Mixmag and Mensa took notice and even hit us up on twitter bigging it up. Regardless of what genre we make or how many plays, likes or follows we get we are all about making people dance. We are all about making music thats dope.
Eastern Bloc will be playing GOOD SHIT 2014 along with Brenmar (Fools Gold Records/USA) on Friday 28th November.