Classic cuts from a legendary Estonian Disco Mutant.
Next up we have a pioneer of all things below ground in Estonia, Raul Saaremets aka Ajukaja. We stumbled across his work last year thanks to his brilliant debut EP Rare Birds alongside new studio partner Andrevski on the London based Levels imprint, however further investigation revealed a seriously legitimate body of work dating back to the late 80s as a DJ, producer, label owner, band member, radio host and long time Mutant Disco party thrower – a (still running) monthly he began with local Tallinn DJ Rhythm Doctor back in 1997! As a producer his early 90s productions with Aivar Tõnso as Hüpnosaurus are as relevant now as ever, with a bunch of ‘lost tapes’ from early recording sessions being re-released on Wicked Bass and Ajukaja’s own Porridge Bullet label, with quite a few more on the way by the sounds. The mix we’ve been delivered is a summery affair offering a glimpse at what goes down at Mutant Disco, with classics from Larry Levan, Paul Johnson, Roy Davis Jr. and Abacus featuring alongside some local Estonian heat.
What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been walking in the woods, swimming and drinking lots of good beer. Andrevski’s been watching the sky a lot. We both spend our summers on an island called Hiiumaa. That’s the place to be!
A man of many projects, your most recent production duo with Andrevski is what actually first introduced us to your music.. There’s a certain quirkiness to the records you guys have released so far that’s particularly unique, with unexpected sounds or samples making their way into a lot of your tracks. From an outsiders perspective it sounds like you guys have a fair bit of fun working on music together…?
That is correct. We do have fun at the studio. Some of the sounds our machines produce are very silly. Not taking ourselves seriously and not getting it right is where we’re at.
I’ve been in many projects or bands before but this is the first time I don’t have to fight with the person I’m working with. Andrevski is totally unambitious. He don’t care about success. Neither do I. It’s perfect.
For those who don’t know, you are somewhat of an underground music pioneer in Estonia with the Mutant Disco party you started with Rhythm Doctor in Tallinn clocking over 500 hours and 200 guests since 1997! What keeps you guys motivated and still yearning for the ‘party of all parties’ after all this time?
Mutant has become part of our identity so I can’t really imagine life with out it. Having 500 people dancing regularly to rugged underground music is what motivates us.
What have been the biggest changes you have witnessed in your time throwing parties in Tallinn, and do you think the scene there is healthier now than it has been in previous times?
The biggest change is that there’s lots more going on now days. Plenty of great club nights around. Good thing is that local promoters work together to avoid bringing similar artists at once. The scene ain’t that big.
Your early 90s Hüpnosaurus project with Aivar Tõnso has been revisited in recent times with a few ‘lost tapes’ from those sessions finding their way onto the 12” format. What can you tell us about the project and your memories of working with Aivar, and how much has your production process changed since those early days?
Aivar is a man who takes no prisoners. Proper stubborn Aivar. It was great while it lasted. I think we made some great music together. We at Porridge Bullet will release some more of it next year. My best memories of working with Aivar was when we rented a studio, took loads of speed and made music for three days in a row. All the tracks on the Wicked Bass release are from that session actually.
Production wise I’m back to the same set up as back in the early 90s. Except I have more gear now but still mostly soviet origin. We didn’t have computers back then, everything went to reel to reel.
What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us? Who are some artists that feature in the mix?
This is what I normally play at Mutant Disco. Some old some new. Couple of local tracks thrown in as well.
What do you have coming up next? Can we expect to see more music from you and Andrevski before the year is out?
I made few remixes solo and one with Andrevski so they should be out before the year is out. Next we’re gonna work on an EP for my own label Porridge Bullet.
Larry Levan – Real Love
Andras & Oscar – (I Know) What You Want
Yannek – Serena X
Profile – It Is A Good World
Dollkraut – Valium
Rick Wilhite – In The Rain
Neuronphase – Life In The Party
Gipsy – Funk De Fino
Rezzett – Hey Hugo
Paul Johnson – Let Me Know
Janis – Sloan Great Wall
Max Duley – Numb
Abacus – Now
Imyrmind – Igor
Jump Cutz Volume Five – The Affair
Apostle 1 – Souls On Fire
Sure IS Pure – One Drop Of Rain (Victor Simonelly)
Roy Davis Jr. – All I Do
Paul Hill – Need Me Some U