Ever hear the phrase, "Hot Like Wasabi?", well, finally there is a face to the phrase. Wasabi, a.k.a., Dimo Stamatelos, flies under the radar creating fun and upbeat house tracks that beckon you to the dancefloor. Producing since the early 2000s and DJ'ing as far back as the early 90s, his style, and track selection really makes him a great experience for the dancefloor. In 2003, he started his own label, Erase Records, that has since released over 900 tracks listed on Erase Record's Beatport page.
The label has worked with artists from across the globe, such as Suger Hill, Marc & Spencer, Terry Lex, Facewell, and Enzo Siffredi to name a few. He himself was is listed as #44 on the House Artists Charts and #49 on the Tech House Artists Charts. The collaborative remix efforts of Wasabi and Suger Hill for the track "Feeling For You" by Sugar Hill, sits at #7 on Beatport's Top Tech House chart. A true master of nu disco and house with the ability to get your butt grooving in while you are still at your desk.
Magnetic Magazine had a chance to sit down with Wasabi and talk about his origins and his production work alongside a premiere of his exclusive guest mix for Magnetic Magazine's Soundcloud which you can hear right here:
Why the name, 'Wasabi'?
Wasabi: My wife came up with the idea of my artist name because it meant something spicy and hot . The focus was for my name to be associated with spicy, hot music. On top of that, I love Japanese culture.
What is your background in electronic music? When did you first start DJing/Producing?
I started collecting records back in the 90s when I came across the amazing ‘Go’ record from Moby and other unique records from that time. At the same time, I started playing at small parties for friends, as I was the only guy who had these special records. Production came a few years later, as I began creating my own musical identity. I bought an old PC and started to experiment with samples and ideas. Of course, my first release was many years later, when I finally managed to develop a proper sound to my music.
Do you find yourself more of DJ or a producer?
The two things are completely different. Production is something that requires inspiration and a lot of concentration during the studio sessions. On the other hand, DJ'ing is more of a social activity and it involves a lot of contact with the crowd who is listening to you play music. I think I’m more of a DJ person. When I get on stage and I start playing for the crowd, it feels like I am performing at my own theater and my goal is to make people join me on my musical journey.
What was the first track you produced and release? How did it do?
One of the first tracks I produced was an electro track. It was a remix of a Russian artist, in collaboration with a friend of mine. During that time it was more difficult to get your music out there, so I released it under my own label. It went well, better than we had expected, but as I said, it was much more difficult to have your music heard.
When did you start Erase Records? What motivated you to start your own label?
I visited London many times in 2003 and that was when I decided to move there for few months in order to start the label. It was a really difficult experience then because you had to press vinyl and the process was expensive. My main motivation was to have a big label releasing unique sounds of music that can’t be easily categorized to specific genres. I wanted them to be played around the world.
What are the challenges of running your own label?
There are many challenges to running your own label. From picking the appropriate tracks to the administrative work that must be done in order to release them. Then to back them up, it requires a lot of hard work to get things ready on time. And with so much competition in the music industry, it can get even harder. Therefore, creating a big record and getting people to buy it is a big bet, nowadays, since there is plenty of free music out there.
Since you started your career, how has the industry of electronic music changed?
There have been significant changes. Nothing really reminds you of the past anymore. We used to carry around big, heavy cases with many records inside so that we could play a 2-hour set. Now you can just put 2 USB sticks in your pocket and all is fine. However, to release a single is much easier, you can find many labels out there. On the other hand, it is difficult to be noticed by people because there are thousands of tracks released every week.
In your opinion, has it changed for the better?
Not everybody agrees, but I think today there are more ways to express your musical talent in both production and DJ'ing. In addition, technology attributes a lot to that and does help make things easier.
What are important characteristics do being a successful producer in today's industry?
Flexibility, instinct, and optimism for the future.
What hopes do you have for your music's future?
I have hopes to continue doing what I love and touring around the globe as a DJ more. I find it absolutely thrilling to entertain people and to spend time creating music!