We talk to Polish producer Klaves, who’s carving his name into the dance scene. Here, he creates a Wondermix exclusively for Wonderland.
Having released his debut EP last year through PMR’s Beat Club imprint, picking up praise from Annie Mac, Skream and Tensnake in the process, Polish producer Klaves’ sun-drenched floor fillers are fast establishing him as a household name in dance music. Born and raised in the city of Poznan, we sat down with the man himself to talk anniversary mixtapes, dodgy hawaiian dancers and his pick of Polish festivals. But first, take a listen to Klaves Wondermix, exclusively for Wonderland:
How did you settle on the name, Klaves?
The story is pretty simple. I used a lot of Claves – a wooden percusive instrument – when I first started producing. The name came from wanting something that was unique but still easy enough to find on the internet, so I swapped the C to a K and that was that.
Talk to us about your classical training. How did you get started? And how did that lead you to start producing house music?
I used to play piano when I was a kid for over 5 years. To be honest though, that knowledge doesn’t really have a huge impact on my music these days. The classes feel so long ago now that I’ve pretty much already forgotten everything I learned back then! Electronic music production is a completely new chapter for me. It’s totally different from classical piano training.
You’ve said before that ‘the internet is your world’. What do you mean by that? Do you think the internet is a natural home for dance music more than other genres?
Nowadays where you come from doesn’t really matter. The internet lets you share your music with people all over the world. It might sound a bit obvious but you just couldn’t do that a few years ago. I wouldn’t say the internet favors dance music more than the other genres necessarily. It makes things more direct for everyone irrespective of the type of music. You simply upload it to Soundcloud and let the people hear it.
Ever received any peculiar requests through your Soundcloud or Facebook?
I had a request from a guy from Poland once, he and his girlfriend had their anniversary and they were both fans of my music. He asked me if I could burn him a CD with few of my tracks and sign it so he can he could give it to her as part of an anniversary gift. It was the first time that someone asked to do something like that so the very next day I went to the post office and sent him the CD. I just hope they liked it!
When did you get your first big break?
A big moment for me personally was early last year when I had the opportunity to support Nicolas Jaar whilst he was performing in Poland. It was the first time I played for an audience of that size, there must have been over 1000 people there. I’ve always been a huge fan of his so to be given that chance was an amazing experience. He was also a great guy, very supportive of what I was doing and he took the time to talk with me after each show. It was inspiring and really helped me focus.
What’s the dance scene like in Poland? Any places we should definitely visit? Any ones to avoid?
I wouldn’t say it’s doing super well, but it definitely gets better every year! If you get the chance you should definitely head to a Polish music festival, especially Tauron Nowa Muzyka or Unsound. You get some really good line-ups, low ticket prices and a great experience all round.
Best gig you’ve ever played?
I think it was the first gig I’d ever done in Poznan, my hometown. The vibe in the club was absolutely amazing. After I finished I was sure that music production and DJing was what I wanted to do.
And the most bizarre?
It was a club in Warsaw. The manager spent half of my set telling me the stuff I was playing was “too deep” and I had to share the stage with dancers dressed in hawaii costumes. Needless to say they now proudly own the first and only place on my blacklist.
Last track you listened to?
I’ve spent last few days listening to Caribou’s The Longest Mixtape. There are so many gems inside! Definitely check it out!