- Published on Friday, 23 October 2015 12:56
It was the sixth graders that initally sparked Derek’s curiosity for dance music. The deep sounds of Villalobos and Hawtin they sent over to him was enough to prompt further investigation by the young Romanian, who swiftly fell for the seductive shades of minimal techno, naturally taking a fancy to the [a:rpia:r] gentlemen along the way.
Derek quickly started mixing and within eighteen months had released his first EP at sixteen years old. At that age I was worrying about getting served in Bargain Booze and reaching Brigadier in Halo 3 - I hadn’t even begun to dream about getting tracks signed to label. Expecting a fitting explanation, I patted Derek down and searched in his pockets for an answer; Perhaps a grandmother with some classical training, his mum and dad with a little record collection? Nada.
And yet the successes kept coming, at seventeen, young Derek stepped off the plane onto the hot White Isle and warmed up for Tania Vulcano and Dyed Soundorom for Pandamonium, DC10. “When I landed I had no words, everything around me looked so familiar you know… It was like okay, I’m here right now…but I felt like I’d been here before too.” At this point we both couldn’t help but wonder that maybe this was meant to be.
The most impressive aspect about Derek though, aside from the now long list of European gigs under his belt, is his nature; Mature, calm, unphased. Now at 21, he is six years in the game, three vinyl releases strong and yet is continuing about his life as normal, enjoying the gigs when they come, working hard on his music and studies in-between. I can’t help but feel like somebody from the UK in the same position would of ended up horribly west of this place, prepped for the superstar system, pumped with fatty promise and sugary hype. The [a:rpia:r] boys have to take at least some of the credit for this. Their approach is trickling down to the aspiring producers and DJs in Romania: The music should come first, do it with love and let nature run its course. With such a wise philosophy, it makes sense that this young man is relaxed about the journey that lies ahead. “Its just fun making and playing music.” - exactly how it should be.
That’s not to say he is resting on his laurels, Derek is moving in the right circles, collaborating with the likes of Nima Gorji, Dubsons and Hozok, whilst rippin' down gigs in the Sahara, Tolouse (Cocoon Heroes) and again in Ibiza (Ibiza Underground, Circoloco). With a love of the arts too, a new vinyl label is deep in the works, all forged with an analogue, VHS theme. “I like this kind of art, its very nice to mix music and these kind of images.’ all pointing to a tasty concept, rich with emotion and tangibility.
Loaded with clean productions and a fluid style behind the decks, Derek is at the crest of the next wave of Romanian talent with a bright future in reach. I think we’re all glad he didn’t waste his teenage years like some of us.
Check Derek's MEOKO mix here: