Today we caught up with Greek musician Stathis Karipidis aka Bengoa, to chat about his latest release, music, and more.
Since his debut in 2006, his diverse taste and complex creative abilities have produced a number of well-received tracks, EPs, and remixes. Bengoa gives us two tracks of exquisite deep tech house on this release via Sublease label, which is run by Steve Bug. Dean Hewins‘ vocal prowess is featured in the EP’s lead single, Memories, Feelings, which has an addictive, hypnotic beat. Although it’s difficult to match the original, label head Steve Bug steps up with a remix that features his signature tightly wrapped rhythms and expert drum programming. I Need To Move, another original tune on the EP, contains Jenny’s excellent vocals and implores us to give in to its powerful tech house mood.
Hello Bengoa, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. What were your most memorable experiences this summer?
Definitely the August full moon party – I spent most of the summer on Lemnos, a beautiful Greek island that I’ve been going to every summer now for 5 years, and we threw a hell of a party in August – played 9 hours straight unforgettable stuff.
When was the first time you heard electronic dance music, and what made you get into producing music?
In the early 90s I guess, a friend passed me a tape at school – The Orb I think was the first thing I heard. Producing came through DJing – I had many ideas as I was playing tunes, I was always thinking that “he/she should have done this or that in a track” production-wise. I couldn’t help it at some point so it was law school or music – well, you know what happened.
Let’s talk about your two-track release, ‘Memories, Feelings.’ The opener ‘Memories, Feelings’ has deep, funky house vibes with soulful vocals by Dean Hewins. What was the process behind this track?
It’s quite funny actually, the vocals were written for another track that never came out – we recorded the vocals 6-7 years ago and they were kinda forgotten on my computer. Earlier this year I made the base of “memories” and I thought “well this track needs Dean’s vocals” – so I dug them out and they fitted quite well I must say.
What did you enjoy the most while producing it?
This one has a raw house dance floor feeling, I was dancing my ass off while making it real. And I am also enjoying playing it the same!
What is your relationship with Steve?
Aww, Steve is a great guy. He has done so much for dance music in general that one interview is not enough to speak about it. At the same time, he has never gone into the “star system” of the scene, and that’s by choice. He is respected by everyone, he is humble and has given through his labels and productions tons of good music to our community. We first met in 2007 and I have been sending him music since! well, after 15 years we made it.
Earlier this year in April, you released a nine-track downtempo album ‘Music For Your Red Parts.’ It is extraordinary, atmospheric, and chill. Was there a specific message you wanted to translate or send?
“Red parts” of course reflect something sexy – ears, heart, lips – I have mixed the bass high enough so the heart bounced when heard on a nice system – that’s the obvious explanation – though, there is a deeper meaning. This record is about taking a break and looking inwards – understanding that the world is a reflection of ourselves, that every thought we make, every action we take derives from the way we see ourselves, and that based on this, we create our happiness. Sometimes we look for balance far away – this album says that inner balance lies within ourselves. It was made during quarantine that in a way life stopped. So there was much time to look inside and see what was going wrong all those years, what could i do to change and live a calmer, more peaceful life, and it was translated into an album – that’s what music for your red parts is all about.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
A drive in the forest, 100%
What’s next for Bengoa for the rest of this year?
In November I am releasing “Music for your Red Parts – the Sides” which is actually another 9-track album, same direction but a bit deeper and more Balearic. Oh, there’s a raw house EP of mine also that I am releasing on my label “B2 Recordings” sometime in December. In the meantime, I am shooting two music videos to promote the sides and I am organizing a full live band to present “Music for your Red Parts” with a band and live instruments. That’s too much already isn’t it? *laughs*
Purchase Bengoa – Memories, Feelings via Beatport