Dorian Paic is a veteran selector with more than 25 years of experience who has spent the last three decades building himself a reputation as an artist who values steady grooves over ice cannons and limelight. The Raum Musik founder is one of those DJs who favours long mixes, to Paic patience is key.
As he tells Trommel in our interview, “Patience is very important. Be patient and never stress yourself even if that one guy in the first row already made signs two times that you are a bit too low for his ‘taste”. Just stay patient and trust in yourself and keep on doing what you do.”
Patience when DJing isn’t something we are all born with. It’s a style of DJing that takes years to develop. Not every DJ knows how to play for 6-7 hours. Reading the crowd for that period of time is a skill, it’s a test of your own endurance to make sure you’re picking the right record at the right time. It’s something that comes with the experience of playing in clubs, on different sound systems at different times throughout the night.
Paic has been a cornerstone of Robert Johnson in his hometown of Frankfurt for years now. He is equally at home at a smaller, more intimate gig at Robert Johnson, Hoppetosse in Berlin or somewhere massive like Timewarp Mannheim where he is often trusted to hold down the fort ahead of minimal titans Ricardo Villalobos and Sonja Moonear. Throughout this summer you can find him at Pacha in Ibiza for Cocoon and later on in the year, you can find him at Sonus Festival in Croatia where he will be alongside house and techno’s finest on the Island of Pag.
In 2018, it’s not just Paic’s DJing that we’re celebrating – it’s his label too. Raum Musik celebrates 20 years of releasing music this year. Incredibly, Raum has now released over 100 records; including its most recent 8-track VA back in April.
Trommel’s Andrew Leese caught up with Dorian ahead of the summer season to talk how the label plans on celebrating and to learn more about Paic’s take on DJing.
Let’s begin with how you prepare for DJ sets. How do you make sure you have the right records with you for the right occasion?
Well most of the times if I know the place where I am playing, then I try to think of what I would like to play that night and then I start collecting the records. If I am not familiar with the place when I try to take a bit of everything to be prepared for different situations that might occur during the night. That’s pretty much it.
How often do you update your record bag when you’re on tour?
I am packing my record bag new for every weekend. Also, I am buying or receiving new records almost every week, so there is always a little change. If you are playing with the same records for too long you are running out of ideas after a while I think.
You’re a DJ who likes to let your records do the talking on the dance floor. How important is patience when you’re building your DJ sets?
Patience is very important. Be patient and never stress yourself even if that one guy in the first row already made signs two times that you are a bit too low for his “taste“. Just stay patient and trust in yourself and keep on doing what you do.
What are you looking for when it comes to finding new music?
Something has to attract me in the track. Either the mood of the track or just one sequence that catches my attention. I know it immediately if I am going to buy the record or not when I am listening to new music. It is more like my stomach tells me ok buy this one…
How well do you know your records? After 25 years, are you still working on feeling or counting bars?
I am mixing on feeling and sometimes I am also counting bars, depends a bit of the track. Most of the times I just try to go in with the first kick after the break if there is a break. If not I just mix on what my feeling tells me, sometimes that might be a bit out of place though if you listen to a recording after your set, so I would suggest a bit of both.
What has been the biggest change in the last few years that has made the biggest difference in what you do as a DJ?
The whole industry and DJ business have changed a lot over the last years I think but I am not going on an old man’s rant here trying to tell the new generation what is cool or how it should be done. Times are changing and you have to adapt to it. If you don’t do this you might even have bigger problems very soon then to care about telling the younger ones “how it should be done”.
Who are the artists who stand out for you right now?
Well there are always a lot of new and good artists around but people that I more or less always like are: Federico Molinari, John Dimas, Giuliano Lomonte, Lee Burton, Franco Cinelli, Jorge Savoretti, Phil Evans, Andy Kolwes, Enrico Mantini, Thomas Melchior and Ricardo Villalobos just to name a few.
Raum..Musik is 20 years old this year. You released a VA in April, how did you select the records that made the cut?
Well, I asked all the artists around me or some of my friends that I had in mind as for the compilation to send me new music. After I received all the tracks I started to think about the musical concept of the compilation and that the tracks would all make sense if you just listen to them one after the other and then from there I decided the track listing.
How are you celebrating the 20th anniversary?
We are hosting parties and label showcases in different countries and cities and so far we had shows in Lima, Bogota, Robert Johnson in Offenbach, Tokyo, Mexico City and Paris just to name a few and there are more parties coming soon in Berlin, Ibiza, Barcelona, Rome and a few other cities as well.
What are your personal favourite Raum…Musik releases over the years?
I have to say pretty much all of our last releases from the last three years (starting with 2015) I like a lot and they are the musical peak of our back catalogue I think but also among the older ones there is still stuff that I like or even play sometimes. I think it is hard to pick a favourite with a back catalogue of 105 releases…
Finally, Cocoon has moved to Pacha in Ibiza. How have you found the move and what else excites you about this summer?
I think as far as Cocoon is concerned it was the right time for a move. To keep a big party running and attractive for the people over such a long period is really not that easy, especially not in Ibiza. I just came back from the opening party and I have to say that I liked a lot and the feedback was also good especially in the second room where I was playing together with Dana Ruh. It is more intimate and the sound system in both rooms is very good as it is brand new. Definitely worth a visit I would say. Besides that, I am just looking forward to summer as it is my favourite time during the year, especially here in Europe.
Dorian Paic plays at Cocoon at Pacha Ibiza throughout the summer and at Sonus Festival in Croatia between 19 – 23 August.
20 Years of Raum Musik: VA is out now on Decks.