The superstars might well hog the limelight, but as anyone with even a passing interest in discerning sounds will tell you, it’s often the guys in the background who make the far more interesting music. Such is the case with Miro Pajic, a Berlin-based, Frankfurt raised DJ/producer and audio engineer whose latest work (a killer remix of Surreal & Erhardt’s Multicano) arrives via the as.usual imprint, a label that keen Berlin clubbers will no doubt recognise as a result of the party of the same name. We put some questions to Miro recently, touching on everything from his longevity, his history in the scene and his thoughts on the contemporary Berlin scene…
Tell us a bit about your history with electronic music. How long have you been active as a producer? Is it your full-time vocation now?
Until I was 16 I was listening to rap and metal for the most part. In the early 90’s I discovered techno and it didn’t take much time until I was completely infected. At that age and everything being so new and revolutionary, the impact on my life was drastic. I was immediately drawn to the hypnotic and space-y Techno. In late 1993 I began releasing my own records with the guys from PCP, which was the beginning of a full-time job for me. It wasn’t up until the mid 2000’s that I fell in love with minimal sounds on a special occasion.
You’re based in Berlin right now. Even before the pandemic, a lot of clubs in the city were worried about their future. With the news that they are now being protected by the government as cultural institutions, are you more optimistic than ever before? Or do you feel there is some way to go?
It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. I’ve stopped trying to predict or guess things in this crazy world!
There seemed to be a mass exodus of producers leaving Frankfurt for Berlin a few years ago. At what stage did you decide to make the move?
I moved to Berlin in 2006, which was more by “accident” actually. At that time it wasn’t the usual “I’m moving to the Techno & House capital of the world”. It took me a weekend to realize what was really going on in this city and I stayed ever since.
You’ve released on some great labels over the years, not least Items & Things, Multi Vitamins and Tic Tac Toe. As a producer, do you set yourself goals? Or do you generally just produce and see what will happen for the finished product?
I’ve gone through every version of setting goals. In some phases I just produced and other times I had goals to fit into something I approached (as with Items & Things) but for the most part I just follow my feeling/instinct. I am not a very conceptual producer and let the inner child do its thing. Over the years I had my own sound and methods on how to get there. In the early 2010’s when I was in contact with the guys from I&T, I tried to move towards their alley and be a part of the I&T sound. Since a few years I am back at doing how I feel.
On that note, can you talk us through your label, Laserslut a bit? As Berlin is mostly dominated by house and techno, can you tell us a bit about some of the more minimal techno inclined parties in the city?
When I started the label (in 2008) Minimal was the thing. Even though I came from a Techno, I was totally dedicated to the sound of that time. Today I am in between worlds. I enjoy going to Berghain but also need the other side (minimal/tech house etc.) which I mostly enjoy at Hoppetosse, Renate or Panorama Bar. Places like CDV were always more of a “have a few drinks on a sunny afternoon” type of place for me. When I party, I want it to be more intense and wild! These clubs are special because they carry the vibe of the scene in its most authentic way.
Also, what minimal techno djs, producers and crews have left a lasting impression on you over the years? Are you just as enthusiastic about modern producers as you are the producers of 10 years ago, for example?
Of course the whole Minus crew were massive back in the mid 2000’s and had an impact on me but this is long ago. There are many amazing modern producers but I suck at remembering names and rely on my collection of music. I’d need to go to my studio computer to be exact. My sets usually tell the story! Some artists rarely disappoint. One I can think of is Chris Carrier/Monsieur Georget, unless he goes very housey!
On a record buying tip, where do you most frequent in the city and why? If we had 24 hours to spend in Berlin, what would you recommend we do?
I have to admit, I haven’t bought a record in many years, so I have to disappoint you on that. Regarding other activities in 24hours Berlin: Everybody knows what to do, right?
Onto your latest work, which is an awesome remix of Surreal & Erhardt Schuster’s Multicano. Can you tell us a bit about how you approach remix work? And what was the vibe you were going for with this one?
Most of the time I don’t know what will happen when I start a remix. It happens while I figure out which elements work for me and what I will use to shape it into my own little universe. Once I have it, it automatically shifts to the stuff I do. As so often, I tried to make it weird, sexy and kind of intense!
You have a longstanding relationship with the label – how did this first come about? And what’s the greatest thing about working alongside the As Usual crew?
10 years ago they booked me to their events and we became buddies over time. The greatest thing is that they’re cool and we know each other well now.
Finally, can you tell us three pieces of art, music or literature that have really inspired you over the past twelve months that you continue to return to?
The past twelve months haven’t brought anything new to the table, to be honest. Lets hope for better moving forward!
Surreal & Erhardt Schuster’s Multicano (featuring a remix by Miro Pajic) is out now via as usual.music. Buy/listen to the release here.