This weekend, Canal Mills will be hosting a lengthy line up of talent for Doorly & Friends on Saturday night, with Route 94, Oliver Dollar, Doorly and Jay Newman set to play. Headlining the bill however is Darius Syrossian, a DJ synonymous with Leeds since he lived in the city for a number of years before moving to Manchester last year. Ahead of the gig, we chatted to Darius about the weekend ahead, his Do Not Sleep parties and what’s going on throughout the summer.
Hi Darius, how’s it going?
Yes very good, about to interview Nick Curly on the phone for first episode of my do not sleep radio show, which launches at the end of February.
Last year you launched the Do Not Sleep party at Vista Club in Ibiza. Could you name some highlights from the first season?
There are too many to mention, but one highlight was Richy Ahmed coming down on his night off and not only jumping on to play for free but also got in the crowd on the dance floor and was dancing for a good while, absolute legend. Also when we did a show at space for the last do not sleep of the summer, the atmosphere was something else!
Will Do Not Sleep be returning to Ibiza this year?
Yes! and we are about to drop some VERY big news, but I can't say yet, but it will drop any day now so stay tuned!
So this summer we here you are mixing it up a bit? can you tell us a bit more?
Yes, it's not just gonna be about some residents and guests, we are going to mix it up a bit, the thing is, after I left Sankeys, Neil Evans who has been a friend of mine for around 15 years invited me to do DO NOT SLEEP with him, and I agreed to the challenge. It felt right to say, if I come, I'm bringing Sidney & Sante with me as they also left Sankeys just after me. It felt right doing the 3 way thing for that summer, but we don't want to be seen as a gimmick, it's great the 3 way thing but we are all individual artists in our own right and want to tell our own stories too. Expect individual sets this summer, just like it used to be when we all played but at Sankeys or Tribal Sessions. It also makes space for more guests to come in and give the punters more variety. As I said, huge announcement coming soon so stay tuned.
As well as a club night, Do Not Sleep is now a record label that will epitomise the sound of the parties. Can you tell us a bit about some of the releases, past, present and future?
Well we couldn't have launched the label any better really, the first release Hanns Trippy not only sold well on the vinyl release but also the digital went straight in at number 4 on Beatport. Infact all three versions of the original hit top 20. Now we have another release out called Charles Manson by Perel which has a remix by myself. Next up is a Miami WMC various artists sampler with artists such as Pawsa, Josh Butler, Mikro Di Florio, Italobros and a few more. Then there is another original from myself, Sidney and Sante.
Aside from your Do Not Sleep projects, do you have any other music you’re excited about at the moment? I noticed you were in the studio with Josh Butler last week.
Yes loads, I have an original track out on Swiss label definition: music that also features a Nick Curly remix, also there is the vinyl only thing called funk flex coming out soon too. Also there's the much awaited release, Mischief Brew that comes out on material records is also out in April, and has a wAFF remix. Yes! myself and josh have something coming out in the summer too. Winter time sees me go hardcore in the studio! The best thing about winter hahaha!
Here is exact run down of forthcoming releases:
Darius Syrossian - 'Back to truth' (includes Nick Curly remix)
Darius Syrossian - 'Acid fiteen'
Definition : Music (Vinyl & Digital)
Darius Syrossian - 'FunkFlex'
Rimming Records ( Vinyl only)
Darius Syrossian - 'Mischief Brew' (includes wAFF remix)
Material Records (Vinyl & Digital)
Darius Syrossian - 'My fav Riot'
Darius Syrossian, Santé, Sidney Charles - 'Soul Brothers'
Darius Syrossian, Santé, Sidney Charles - 'Nomads'
Do Not Sleep Records (Vinyl & Digital)
You’re an avid vinyl collector and will be very happy I’m sure about the height of sales at the moment. Do you think this will continue to grow or is it at risk of beginning to decline again as it did after the new millennium arrived?
Well I think the vinyl growth is a bit misleading. Underground house and techno hasn't really grown, it's just that hipsters think vinyl is cool to own and are buying re-issues of 80s indie bands and stuff like that as collector's items, rather than underground house and techno selling loads again. When I had my record shop we would see maybe 4 to 5 thousand sales of each release which was an AVERAGE release. Now vinyl labels are lucky to see 500 sales! Everyone is using digital but what is sad, people don't wanna buy the music, they download from illegal download sites which is a bit sad, but i guess its just the way it is.
What else are you looking forward to in 2016?
So much! Apart from the huge announcement of summer 2016 in ibiza that I can't reveal yet. I am going to be playing so many festivals such as Wearefstvl. I'm headlining the Do Not Sleep & Abode stage, i'm also playing the main stage at Eastern Electrics. I've also got Secret Solstice festival in Iceland, Strawberry Fields festival in the midlands, DGTL festival in Amsterdam, Hideout festival in Croatia, and i'm about to announce Some others too. Also there's the launch of our DO NOT SLEEP parties in London at Studio338 which will see a series of DNS parties in 2016. The first one is March 5th with me, Nick Curly, Pawsa and Bones!
You’re returning to your old hometown of Leeds next week to play at Canal Mills for Doorly and Friends. Have you played here before and what can we expect from you here?
I LOVE Leeds, it's always great when I play there. Funnily enough I have never played Canal Mills and heard only good things so I can't wait! Bring it on! All I can say is I'm armed with some amazing new music at the moment and cant wait to unleash it in Leeds!
Thanks Darius! Good luck with the label and have a great year.
Thanks for the interview guys, all the best to you too :)
Interview by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Justin Gardner