When most people hear the DJ Name Rouchos, they think of a hard-working and skillful DJ behind the decks, staying true to the core of pulsating and resonant Techno cuts. His latest DJ mix is a delightful surprise of party oriented, tongue-in-cheek disco and house tracks that will make you want to grab your friends and get them on the dance-floor. He was also kind enough to sit down and chop it up with us about everything from his love for vinyl to his lack of love for fads.
Long before Ableton remixers began hybridizing newer forms of electronica, Andreas Marouchos, widely known as Rouchos, made a name for himself as an inventive DJ, collecting records and mashing up b-sides with eclectic electronic music releases on 3 turntables and a ‘dusty old DJ mixer’, finding new ways to bring the most unassuming tracks to life. “When I began teaching myself how to mix my own vinyl, I was trying to emulate the “cut’n’paste” mix, in real-time using vinyl and turntables”, he says, referring to his mixing style. “I still keep up with my old ways of pushing the momentum with a mixing style as an aggressive method in performing, versus what has become the unfortunate norm with many producers turned DJ continuously using long breakdowns and build ups as the only way of transitioning to the next track, which is very boring to me.”
In a career that now spans two decades, he’s well known for his near religious obsession with ‘vinyl only’ sets. “When playing with vinyl, you must be fully active at all times and that’s something… you’re engaged with, you’re constantly engaged,” he says. “It’s a far more enjoyable experience from a technical standpoint.” Rouchos began his Djing career on the sandy shores of Ayia Napa Cyprus in the late 90s, playing House and Techno at various venues on the islands largest tourist destination. After building a reputation as one of the resorts leading Djs, he transitioned in to a radio DJ, hosting a 4 hour weekly show for nearly 2 years on Radio Deejay, a European radio network. Once in Canada, Rouchos found solace in radio, hosting 4 hour shows in Windsor Ontario, as well as in Toronto on 105.1 CHOQ FM for many years. But its before an audience Rouchos feels the most comfortable. “When you are doing Radio or a podcast, you can’t be certain you have your listeners attention” he says. “You are playing a guessing game with records people might like. There is no feedback, no pressure to perform your best. I am at my best when there is demand to perform.”
When asked about whether his recent mix, a savory mix of disco and party house, represents any coming changes to his style, he replies by saying he is merely revisiting old ideas and experimenting with some new music. “Techno is a very big part of my passion, but it is only a part of my love of music,” he says. So where exactly does a set like this come from one of Toronto’s most revered DJs? “Many people won’t remember this, but I used to play this kind of stuff at a Tiki Bar in Little Italy for a couple of years,” he says. “I would start the evening early, playing tracks off a handful of albums before progressing into more structured mixing.”
I’m not a soulful house DJ. I’m not a tech-house DJ… I’m not from any specific genre. I just play underground music.” he concludes. The mix overall carries a celebratory feeling to it, before closing out with Wuf Ticket’s ‘The Key’.