DJ To DJ – Ivan Smagghe & Vladimir Ivkovic

You may not to have heard of Vladimir Ivkovic before now, we hadn’t either until recently, but having since been introduced to his rather fine mixes – some of which can be heard below – we got rather excited. A resident at the wonderful Salon Des Amateurs in Dusseldorf, where playing Shazam-confounding gems and curiosities, spanning as many genres as years, is welcomed with hearty enthusiasm. Ahead of him gracing these shores we got Ivan Smagghe ‘your favourite DJ’s, favourite DJ’ and Vladimiir to ask each other a few questions.  

Ivan Smagghe: Tell us about Offen (and the Rex Illusivi project)?

Vladimir Ivkovic: Offen was a thought of a platform to release music that became necessity, when I recently got Rex Ilusivii Opus 1980-1991. It’s unbelievable treasure  of recordings from an iconic figure, archived with love by mother Ruza Subitic and Sloba Misailovic and his team. Friends and like minded people, are currently working on releasing it in appropriate way. There is also so much amazing new music around me that will hopefully find good home on Offen.  

IS: What is so special about LE SALON DES AMATEURS apart from ‘black box disco’ being a classic there?

VI: Salon des Amateurs is a bar of Kunsthale in Dsseldorf, that turns into a shelter at night with a program carefully curated by Lena Willikens and Detlef Weinrich. It’s a special, unique small space that hosted insane amount of dj’s, bands, and artists in general. At the same time, probably because it doesn’t match classic expectation when it comes to a club or a bar, Salon is what you make out of it. It could be the most inspiring place on earth, but also a weird mixture of characters and music. Most of the exciting new music that’s been coming from Dsseldorf in recent years wouldn’t be possible without Salon as a place where you can meet people or just be blown away by the music. It’s probably the best possible radio fro kids. And there is no cheating at the Salon.

IS: Good record/bad record. Is that the only real distinction necessary?

VI: No, not at all! There are plenty of “good” records by different criteria – how they sound, how they are composed or produced -, but are total waste of time. Then you have “bad” records that are heartbreaking…

What would you ask yourself comes ‘the end’? would you have any regrets?

VI: I don’t think that I’ll have questions, and I hope that I won’t have any regrets.

What are you reading at the moment?

VI: David Foster Wallace – Der bleiche Knig (german translation of The Pale King) and Neil Mac Gregor – A history of the world in 100 objects

Vladimir Ivkovic: Where are you from and where are you now?

Ivan Smagghe: I am from Paris. Well from the Suburbs Not a rough childhood but not a great place either. The Suburbs is like another world from the chic inner-city. The world of dull emptiness, void of culture (at best), ghetto violence (at worse-the year after I left, my home town burnt haha). I have lived in EAst London for 8 years. I am now on my settee with my cat Petit a. I do not think I would wanna live anywhere else. But in Les Cevennes (a remote tough, ex- religious wars/hippie hang out mountainous area of Southern France). In a few years.

VI: Has the loss of a major part of your record collection changed you way of handling music?

IS: Yes. and it was a total loss. about 25000 records. I was just left with my DJ box. and also all my books, furmiture etc (in a fire) Let’s put it this way: collecting is now out of the equation. Music matters but its essence, objects less. I can not be a vinyl hunter-gatherer anymore, not like I used to, it would hurt too much. Now it is: I want this, I get it. But sometimes, a good audio file is good for me. Some would call that blasphemy. F***k them really, they have no clue. Oh, and I would not buy a record on vinyl just for playing it for 2 weeks. Sorry for the honesty. 
But I have just spent 200 euros on Discogs today though.

VI: Tell us more about your little book collection.

IS: This is an emanation of Discipline in Disorder, a book blog, I have run with friends for a few years. It took a long time to find the right people to do it with (if you think there is no money in music, wait until you try to publish books). Especially when you want good books with good translators. We have been lucky and worked hard. So Air Guitar by Dave Hickey and Alma Coganby Gordon Burn will be translated in English. Now I wish I could do the same here, in reverse, putting out french lost classics in English. May be one day I live by and for books these days (more than music? no of course not-I leave you to decide if I’m lying).

VI: What are your upcoming musical projects?

IS: Finishing the It’s a Fine Line lp, the project I have with Tim Paris. We have kept a tight lid on it but we are getting there. I am also launching a new label here in London called Les Disques De La Mort. It will be organized chaos, cross-pollenized, maximum random. M****t remixed by E..l An for 001, a new whizz kid from some baltic state, cold wave reeditions from Tel Aviv The rule is no rule, the style is not style. I am also keeping an eye on the completion of C.A.R’s first post-Battant lp on KTDJ and well, a few remixes here and there. I need more time and some youth serum (PM me if you know where I can score some-no cheap gear though)

VI: What was the last movie that struck you?

IS: Hmm I really liked The Leather Boys, a 64 kitchen sink come gay melodrama that is ‘not about bikers’. I’d never seen it. But that ‘struck me’? Well the long version of The Act Of Killing on a big screen was quite something. And I saw La Chienne by Renoir again a few weeks ago, nearly wept.

If Smagghe is your favourite DJ’s favourite DJ’s then Vladimir is your favourite DJ’s favourite DJ’s favourite DJ. Something like that. Be enlightened and entertained in equal measure tomorrow night at Plastic People.  Full details here.

We have 2 x Pairs of Tickets to give away for tomorrow night’s party. Simply email  with ‘Vladimir’ in the title before 5pm Thurs.

Listen below: