LP Review: Livio & Roby – Phantom Circle LP (Desolat) & Interview

Livio Roby

Celebrating ten years of Livio & Roby – Phantom Circle LP (Desolat)

Ten years ago in the depths of Romania, a duo was born. Unknown to the world, the two of them probably did not realise that they would spend the majority of that time at the forefront of the Romanian & worldwide house and techno scene. Always creating a contagious vibe and sound, with their dreamy percussions and groovy basslines, they maintain the high quality associated with their country, but push it to boundaries beyond the imagination. The last decade has seen them work with some incredible labels, Julian Perez’s Father & Sons Productions, Dutch Label Memoria Recordings and some amazing records on Cecille Numbers back in 2009 (highly recommend checking out) just to name a few.

Working closely with the renowned Desolat throughout their time, it seems fitting that they have chosen this label to celebrate this huge milestone. ‘Phantom Circle’ is a 3 x 12”, eleven track LP, curated by the duo and ten top artists in the electronic scene. As always with Livio & Roby, there is more to this than meets the eye, a deeper concept with much more meaning. Over time the music market has become so intense, with new material coming from all angles, meaning the focus of what you are actually hearing is lost as you think about the artists and labels related to the track. So with this, expect the unexpected, an anonymous track listing highlights the true purpose of what they are trying to achieve forcing you to appreciate the production and feel the magic of their creations.



Luckily for you we can reveal the legion of incredible talent that has been called in to celebrate their ten years. However, it will remain unknown who the ‘Phantom’ collaborator is on each track . Meaning the listener will find a more natural love for the music, rather than simply following the artist involved, Prepare yourself. The heavyweight line up consists of tINI, Enzo Siragusa, Guti, Martin Buttrich, Hector, Julian Perez, Ryan Crosson, Cesar Merveille, Andrea Oliva & Premiesku. There are no doubts that each of these artists were carefully selected, as they all bring their own traits and influences to the table, perfectly blending with the infectious Livio & Roby sound. Due to this well thought out approach each track is as unique as the next, and special in their own right, inspired by the experiences and knowledge of each producer.

There seems to be something so special about this release, and fills us with excitement for what they have in store for the future. There are no signs of them slowing down as they make this mark in their career, keeping it as natural as ever. Here’s to another ten years.

First of all, we love the ideas and concept behind the LP. It must of taken such a long time and a lot of hard work to bring this together. What made you come up with the ‘Phantom’ approach? And How long has this been in the making?

First, we just thought about making an album couple of years ago and we never found the right moment to start. The Phantom Circle concept came back in 2014 when the whole idea of making a collaboration album came and we got really excited about it.  Still, even though we hook up lots of talented friends to participate in this project, in the end, we came up with the concept of hiding the names, to leave space for a little bit of mystery and let the music speak for itself. We want to give the auditor the space to intercept the music as it is, and not be influenced by names.

You have teamed up with such an incredible bunch of artists to celebrate your ten years, what made you choose the artists involved? Is there anyone you enjoyed working with the most?

We chose our close friends, the people from our “circle” of course. We have known them since we started and had a bond from the beginning. There is something about the comfort of creating with someone that you feel serene with. Its an intimate moment and needs a special vibe, that’s why, in order to create something special, you need a halo in that particular juncture and this you get really easily with your close friends.



You clearly enjoy collaborating with other artists. What is it you like about it so much? What is different in the studio?

The whole idea was somehow inspired by the Premiesku work flow and jams. But of course, in all our traveling we had the chance to meet people and make music together, we like the team work, it’s interesting and at the end of the day it’s a game of trust and this makes it more intricate and beautiful.

What made you choose Desolat for your milestone release?

Desolat has always supported our releases. They trusted us from the early stages and stood there when we came with conceptual ideas. They are our long-term partner, we put our first record out there in 2009. But also, a good amount of the artists that we collaborated with are Desolat artists, so it makes sense.

We always like to ask at least one question about equipment and technology, what’s your favourite/most used items in the studio?

All machines are special but in this case we would easily say Buchla or ARP2600. Now, if we think more in depth there are some soldiers that stand there and they participate on all the tracks, these are the Studer mixers that are so beautiful and silky sounding. 

Ten years is an incredible amount of time to be at the top of your game. Is there any particular highlights or favourite moments for either of you?

We guess being first-timer in different situations, playing or signing records. 

Any plans for the future you can enlighten us on?

We have loads of plans, some of the plans we can reveal, some not.  There is North American tour that follows later this month, really excited about that. We started producing new music with a slightly different approach, so we have to finish that. There could also be some label plans involved. 

Thank you for doing what you do.
Thank you for your time.

Release Dates:
12 inch – September 26th
Digital – October 14th



Words by Zac

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