Interview And Guest DJ Mix: John Acquaviva (Cofounder Plus 8 Records)

Acquaviva was there in the beginning and is still crushing the game
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Acquaviva was there in the beginning and is still crushing the game

Legendary Canadian DJ / Producer John Acquaviva has dropped in for a smooth and jacking guest mix + interview.

If you are not familiar with him by name alone you will definitely know some of his exploits, from founding Plus 8 records with Richie Hawtin to cofounding Beatport, this guy has moved the needle in electronic music for years. Crank it up and prepare to get lost. 

MM: You’ve been a DJ / Producer for a while now and seen several iterations of electronic music culture. What are some of the evolutions that excite you and what are some that are disappointing to you?

JA: Each new development excites me, but then you know after a period of time it gets hijacked or eats itself. That's why I always have new tunes, Later on in sets I will revisit the past to tie clubbing culture together on a personal level as a DJ and I think that many DJs do as well.

MM: On top of your DJ career you have also been very active in the investment / VC world. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the companies that you have helped fund?

JA: When I met Richie Hawtin and started Plus 8, we hoped that sticking to our roots and culture but taking care of business would allow for a proper balance. Eventually, since we always were pushing and promoting all things technological, we were presented many opportunities to participate in the paradigm shift from analogue to digital. Two notable projects and investments were in finding and founding Final Scratch Technology and Beatport. Since selling Beatport, we have launched Plus 8 Equity partners and have a pretty compelling portfolio that includes Subpac, Pacemaker, Dubs, Splice, Landr, Vadio and Vntana.

MM: On the DJ / Production front what can we expect from you in 2016?

JA: In the studio with my longtime label partner and top tech house artist last year Olivier Giacomotto as well as Manuel De La Mare and Luigi Rocca, who are also some of my favorites and dear friends. Previews and info will be out soon.

John Acquaviva

MM: You were one of the original Beatport investors. How do you feelabout what’s happened to the company and do you think there is a future in this business model?

JA: There may well be a future left in Beatport. It is unfortunate that the new owners were not able to keep that balance of culture commerce and credibility. However with new discussions of auctions etc. I hope that some fresh capital in tandem with our community can come together in concert once again.

MM: What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? What is the worst part?

JA: Doing your own thing with your small group of friends and partners. The worst parts can be being your own boss or one of them when you know stuff needs to be done, and you have to look in the mirror and give that order to yourself, that is the challenge to entrepreneurs. Careful what you wish for because sometimes you have to clean the proverbial toilet yourself.

MM: What advice would you give to a fresh-faced kid coming out of university that wanted to get into the music business?

JA: Learn and acquire skills and experience in as many facets possible,first hand. Be prepared to work late and rise early cause opportunities need to be created as well as not missed.

MM: Can you tell us a little bit about Plus 8 Records and how that came about?

JA: In 1989 I met a young DJ named Richie Hawtin, one weekend while checking out the shelter at Andrews in Detroit with my friend Karl Kowalski. On my second visit to Detroit, we hung out, really connected and decided to make music together. Seems like yesterday as it has been a blast and as fun and crazy as ever.

MM: Who are some of the artists that are exciting you right now?

JA: These guys are not new, but I like the production of NOVAK, the recent Kiko productions, Yoni Yarcher and really getting into the Romanian sound more and more led by Vid, Nema Gori, Mihai Popoviciu, Rhadoo and crew.

MM: You obviously have a close relationship with the Detroit scene. Doyou think there is a real renaissance happening there or just more hype?

JA: There is a lot of talent that is keeping it together on a number of fronts. From Delano Smith and Derrick May, who were with me at Okeechobee Music Festival this past weekend to Grasshopper Lounge led by Hugh from Golf Clap, the Works, tv bar and all their residents all the way up to Jason and crew at Movement and so much more. So there is a real renaissance with the clubs as well as a nice mix of new and old these days.

Guest DJ Mix Track list:

1/ YONI YARCHI, TAI TAGER-SCIRROCCO-tenampa

2/ SAMU.L-BELLA MATTINA [PAVEL PETROV REMIX]-nite grooves

3/ NTFO -CALABRENA-20/20 EDITIONS

4/ HANNE & LORE-TUNA IN-MONABERRY

5/ CARL CRAIG GREEN VELVET-SO WHAT[DOORLY RMX] -RELIEF

6/ DARIO D’ATTIS, RETO ARDOUR-VIRTUAL MOOD-POKERFLAT

7/ ACID BITCHEZ-THINKING ABOUT ACID[JOESKI RMX]-TURBO

8/ ANNA-AMBIENCES-TURBO

9/ HABISCHMAN-THE WAY-SELADOR

10/SOFIA SLATKO -VIJAY-HYPNOTIC [PAVEL PETROV RMX]-KING ST