One Man Party with Ivan Shopov @ Gramophone, Plovdiv (28.02.2015)
Unless you’re still a misunderstood adolescent, whose deep sensibilities are so obscure that you can only relate to a single musical sub-genre (my own early teen years of alt-rock snobbery come to mind), you’ll probably agree with me when I say that the ability to appreciate music’s variety is absolutely vital.
This holds twice as true when we talk about people’s approach to producing their own material, where to be stuck in a rut of the same stylistic influences would be downright fatal to creativity (Yeah, Gesaffelstein claims he tries not to listen to music at all in order to keep his mind clear from influences, but there’s a whole 1980s EBM movement that would beg to disagree. Also, Gesaffelstein might very well be a genius).
And then there is the ‘Ivan Shopov’ level of excellence, where an intellectual valuation of music genres is not only utilized but is also accompanied by a mastery at several of them.
In his One Man Party @ Club Gramophone in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Shopov emerged as the musical equivalent of a split personality – with an eight-hour set under his three (four?) stage names, each corresponding to a different project and oriented towards a distinct electronic genre.
This dark and slightly menacing alter-ego gradually built up to a massive techno sound, which then gave way to Balkansky – dubstep and IDM with traditional folk elements.
Next was Cooh with an explosive hard drum and bass set that escalated to hardcore, powerful electronics.
And each of these DJs slayed.
It takes a special kind of artist to compel metal heads to jump to drum and bass or to infect a very diverse crowd with hardcore and techstep frenzy. But that unique scene only went to show that delivery, interaction and, most of all, genuine devotion to music can, actually, transcend prepossessed genre apprehensions.
If you have the chance to hear Ivan Shopov a.k.a. Balkansky a.k.a. Cooh a.k.a Drum Kid live, do take the amazing opportunity to step out of your comfort zone – the experience is definitely worth it!
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