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DJ Mirko – Son of Tha Pitch Records

Today we went to Argentina with a lot of Rap and electronic music, I invite you to know a little about DJ Mirko, his work is really admirable, enjoy it!

Who is DJ Mirko?

My main character. He is the one who is in charge of animating the dance floor, the auditorium, or any place where he is put in charge of the sound. He is the one who gives me the possibility to communicate with people without uttering a single word, unless he or someone else requires it, since I also use a microphone as a “Toaster” (see the history of the Sound System).
DJ Mirko is also the improvisation of Jazz, is the wild energy of Hip Hop, the rage of the rawest hardcore rap and techno, someone who breaks with the limits and schemes, bringing
with the limits and schemes, taking us to the edges of them, to experience a way out of the comfort zone.

He also was, is and will be his own orchestra, his own band, where his favorite artists participate, from those who are here, to those who are beyond, often giving them a new flavor and a new dynamic.

He often accompanies other main characters, moving to the background, decorating his compositions with “cherries on the edge”.
DJ Mirko is to give without expecting to receive and suddenly, bang! (both for me and for the audience) it is a way of communication with transparency
and clarity in the signal. He is someone who makes those who do not understand all this, want to understand or understand at least a little.
The only requirement is to know how to feel.

What was your first encounter with music?

That was at a very early age, I was 16 years old when I got in touch with rhythms, I was at the beginning of high school, and I got my first drum set through an exchange with a friend, I installed it in my room and from then on I didn’t stop.

I would put on my headphones, and choose 3 or 4 cassettes or CD’s, which at that time was the only way to listen to music, and I dedicated myself to try to interpret what I heard, of whom I remember most; Erika Badu, Sumo, Los Redondos, Las Manos de Fillippi, R.A.T.M., Ministry, Korn, among others. M, Ministry, Korn, among many other records that also included genres such as Bossanova, Bobby Marley’s reggae, contemporary French Dub like High Tone or Zenzile; I mean, without lying, from very early on I was immersed in a diverse (rhyming) range of musical styles and genres, which would later influence me in some way to take more control over the music in a booth, acquiring the necessary qualities to determine what, how, when and where to express.

What is the equipment you use?

Currently my studio is composed of a digital midi controller VESTAX vci 380, (in capital letters) which is one of the last links in a production chain of high-end equipment which you may want to imitate but never equal (R.i.p Vestax inc); a technics tray, which I use mostly for Scratch and Sampling, and also an Akai MPD24 midi and a Nektar LX-49 keyboard for the development of my compositions connected to Ableton today. At the time I had 2 trays and a mixer, but given the practicality of movement that gives a controller and how expensive it is in Argentina to buy a pua or a vinyl, I put together this Set up. The goodness of this Vestax controller that I use and why I pursued it, is that it has the option to connect in each channel, a phono line to be able to connect the trays, which none of the controllers in the market offers, at least with the quality of audio of sensitive response that this one gives us. Anyway, bring me CD’s, bring me Vinyl, Time Codes, Phase, Discmans! Around these parts of the planet there is a saying… “It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian”.

What is what drove you to the world of turntables, beats and production?

Back in 2008 I was experiencing the world of Rave as a DJ and organizer, I woke up, spent the day, afternoon and night, listening, DJing and digging techno, jungle and breaks. It was a very intense time in my life, I could have dedicated myself to something totally different like soccer which I was also passionate about, but the music took over, and I was so absorbed in it, that I didn’t give interest to anything else, I even abandoned my studies (guys don’t do this at home). There came a time in 2010-11 that (I’m not going to lie to you) a lot of night, a lot of excesses took my life to a crisis situation that I needed to get out of, at that time I could use the cliché of saying that Rap and Hip Hop saved my life.

I started to feel overwhelmed by the intense sounds of electronic music, I needed a grounding cable, so I started to change my habits, and the main one was as always the most important thing for me, that which develops me, music. I started to listen to rap every day, to look for artists, I got good with English from watching so many movies, (I think it has more to do with my auditory perception and its rational logic than with what I learned in school), so I started where you start at the beginning of everything. A lot of Krs One, Grand Master flash, Run DMC, House of pain, Cypress hill, etc etc, to then start digging on what was in our language and in French as well. Many hours of research and reflection, led me to first download for the first time a DAW (the Fruty loops) and try to make something similar to those rhythms I listened to, second to write some bars about them, try to rhyme, and express what I felt, not with music but with words, something that was totally liberating, thirdly my career as a DJ didn’t start until after experimenting as a selector in many events, I was so crazy about rap, that I was still organizing rave parties and I was looking to set up a time at the beginning of the event to put some mc and make rap selections for the audience, as if to say; “listen to this too! “Crazy… people wanted to hear Techno.
But I wasn’t wrong many of the people who participated back then, today even though they are still in their “Tekno Vibe” they love rap, they listen to it and go to the events.

What was the event you participated in that you liked the most?

The best event approximately in the year 2008/09 arrived in Argentina a contingent of 5 European Sound Systems, Kernel panik from Italy, No border from Wales, Dropin’ Caravan It/Fr and Oxide+Trakkas from France which arrived with their respective motor homes, where inside apart from their studios and their houses they brought many kilos of sound and lights, apart from more than 10 years of experience doing Rave free party in the old continent, they contacted us at that time “Fuera del Sistema” since we were the only local crew that was in charge of doing this type of events in Buenos Aires, with them we did many parties in several places and not only in Buenos Aires, but there was one that was truly epic. We took Pereira Iraola Park, one of the biggest urban parks in the world, to do one of our events.

For the first time in my life I saw 20kws of handmade sound set up and pumping, with a spectacular set of lights, backdrops, and a unique energy never experienced before, artists much older than me were freaking out with that event, and I was like the mascot of the crews, they saw in me the spirit of what they had been living for decades in a place where it was uncommon. I don’t forget it anymore, I played at the opening of the event, pure raw and hard French Hard tek, when I finished playing, the French crew called me and took me to their truck, they took out a box full of vinyls of the style and started to separate and put together another box and told me, “monsieur mirko, tien, cest pour toi” I was playing with burned CD’s in my friend’s beat up compactera that we took everywhere, I still didn’t even have my own trays. But I accepted that gift as if it was the most precious gift they gave in a lifetime. While in the deep underground and freeparty culture they used to bastardize and steal from each other just for fun, I was being entrusted with their most precious treasures, or so I thought.

After them, the Italians left me a tray and more vinyls added to the affection forming a bond until today, and the Gales taught me to assemble a Sound System from sanding the boxes to buy their components and install and test them.

An amazing what I was living! And you will say, but Mirko, and the Hip Hop? and the Rap?
These people had and have more collective musical and activist culture than any of the artists that exist in my country boasting of being culture.
That was my school.

While I am writing this I am crying, as these vinyls were stolen from me after a few years.
The only good thing to tell this is that I can say that nothing material is as good as what remains in your memory.

Do you belong to a crew?

Around 2010, when I was starting to migrate my essential sound from tekno to rap and Hip Hop, I left a crew called “Fuera Del Sistema or Out Of System” to form and found a new crew called “Tribu Awka or Awka Tribe” with this crew I started to create, organize and coordinate events in which not only 1 or 2 musical genres were played, but more. Nowadays around here they call them “Multigeneros” events, it was the time when trance parties were trance parties, tekno parties were tekno parties and jungle parties were jungle parties, sounds silly, doesn’t it? well it was a bit like that for me, since music from my point of view is made to unite people and not to separate them in different boxes. So you would come to one of our parties and at the beginning there would be a rap band or one or more mcs, plus my Hip Hop rap selections, and then we would bring someone else’s DJ to play Jungle, and the same with a tekno or breaks DJ, and we would even include trance dJ’s!
In the beginning there was also CBass a great friend, DJ and composer who livened up the events with super immersive Dub sets which I loved, and I mention him also because if I have to talk about crew he is one of the people who accompanied me from minute zero in my career as a DJ and Organizer.

That’s how time and events continued to pass and our Tribe began to forge ties with the youth of that time, we carried the banner of the Free Parties in Buenos Aires, what was happening in Europe since the 90’s on a large scale, was beginning to happen on a smaller scale now in Buenos Aires and after that it started to happen throughout Latin America, everything became bigger and bigger, more people, more sound, which ended up bringing new problems, things started to get out of control again, so I decided to leave my homeland outside the imaginary boundary lines for the first time in my life to again take stock reflections and breathe new airs, new cultures and new people. At that moment, Tribu Awka ceased to be.

Have you had collaborations with artists outside your project?

Since my career was completely transformed the day I decided to leave Argentina to cross the border, the point of “no return” was to have arrived in Peru, it was there where I met the Hip Hop and rap in first person, although before I had already had some experiences, in Peru by the hand of my friend, brother and mentor as Mc, Magdog Chalaco I traveled much of that country and I could experience for the first time working and living day to day with an artist of high caliber as is Pedro Mo, the first great value that opened me the door of his studio to collaborate, I was able to record a very special song of mine in his studio in Urcos, RESISTENCIA Rec, with them I also had my first big show this time as Mc, in duo with Magdog we opened for a rap band that is historic there, the “Comité Pocoflo”, along with an artist from Switzerland that now I can not remember his name, but it was in a large amphitheater of a school on the hill of Cerro Agustino. My stay in Peru was about forging my career as a Mc and as a Rapper, my format as a DJ I had left it postponed, until my return to Argentina 1 year and a half later. Once I was back I resumed the production and performance as a DJ, I started to practice intensely my Scratch and soon I was already recording arrangements for songs by Pedro Mo and MSeco mainly added some local artist friends, with whom I had already shared events previously in my beginning with rap, such as; Keke Skeny and L Gonzz. I returned to organize events this time purely and exclusively of Hip Hop culture and to get involved as a musician in others that I did not organize and so until I stopped organizing to devote myself 100% to music production and performance as a DJ both in accompaniment on other artists and musicalizing and giving some Scratch showcase.

From that moment on I worked with a lot of artists, new talents and some already outstanding ones, such as: Snipa, Skan & Brn, Flaco Vazquez, La Triple, T&k, just to name a few of the local ones, without repeating the ones I already mentioned, that had an impact on me and my career.

What would be the main objective of your work?

Today I am carrying out the foundation of a project in which I have been working for some years, the name of this project is S.O.T.P Records (Son of tha Pitch Records) is my main objective to finish founding this independent record label, which currently has a recording studio, mixing, own music production, an official website where we nucleate all networks, both mine and others of the artists involved in this project.

So far we have only 2 productions released, I mean 2 volumes of compilations of Hip Hop and Latin American Rap music, which were called CUARENTEMAS, more than 20 artists per volume with 2 songs of them for each one, being all artists from different countries of Latam, or Abya Yala as ancient civilizations used to call it.
This compilation was produced during the isolation lived after the world pandemic event, each one of the songs in the compilations were curated by me, some few produced entirely, and a few in which I collaborate with my scratchings and many others that just deserved the place or for their quality, or for their message, or why it is worth promoting that artist and that more people know him.

This year 2023 I’m seriously thinking about organizing a crowdfunding project to inject a new investment to the label, which will lead it to finish its foundation and start building the next levels of production, organization and general coordination.

Artists or genres that influenced you?

Speaking of genres, what currently influences me the most is Rap, which rap? 90’s, boombap, what else? there is no other, I am also like many, somewhat obsessed with what comes out of Griselda Records, always a fan of the approach of labels like Stone Throw, Duck down, Fat Beats, Def Jam and Fat flava de chile among others.
But yes, the truth is that I never abandoned electronic music, I also keep listening and playing it, and I keep up with what comes out of labels like; Hidráulix, Stay up For ever, Apex, Freestylelisten, Audiotrixx and many others.

Some artists that strongly influence me talking about Hip Hop – Rap: Dj Premier & Guru, Dj Muggs, Dj Qbert, Black Moon, Smiff n Wessum, Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Onyx, Dialeted people, Alchemist, Roc Marci, WildChild, etc.
I could name at least 20 more.
Speaking of underground electronic music: Spiral Tribe, Fky, Maskk, Ixindamix, Guigoo, Vandal, Floxytek, Billix, Yowii, Pitch More Attack,
Dave the drummer, Chris liberator, Ant, among many others.

Any upcoming project you want to share with us?

This year I am already preparing and rehearsing for the shows that we will be performing live with different artists separately as for example with Skan, Mc female with whom we have been working for more than a year and a half in their shows and with whom last year we had very important presentations in front of thousands of people in 2 different Hip Hop festivals plus an epic show at Groove in Buenos Aires opening for “Funky Fresco” on the one hand and on the other hand
with Flaco Vazquez with whom I’ve been also since last year playing music as a resident of his event “El Villerio” and in a special occasion as his Dj, but this year is going to be stronger than last year, and we are already planning new presentations.

I am also working on 2 EP’s of 2 different new solo artists, which will be released on the S.O.T.P. label,
one is Mga, with whom we already have 3 tracks and a clip ready, and SouthSair with whom we are working on the first 2 tracks.
Beyond all this, recently a possibility arose, to make a short trip to Europe, where I can get to be participating as a DJ in a massive Teknival of the hand of the Kernel Panik Sound. Which would be the glory.

So I thank you for this interview and the opportunity to tell you a little of my past and present history, I’m sure that in one way or another we can continue to collaborate to reach the eyes and ears of the people, the world of music that undoubtedly is something we share.
is something we share.
With love and respect.
Big Up Undertone.
Dj Mirko.
This story will continue…

Thank you very much Mirko for telling us your anecdotes, we are very pleased to be able to link with you and let us know more of your wonderful work.

Inviting readers to visit your social networks and digital platforms.

Instagram: @Dj.mirko

YouTube: SOTP Records

Facebook: Nahuel el Awka A.K.A Dj Mirko

Bandcamp: Nahuel El Awka a.k.a Dj Mirko

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