When an email flashes up from Lakuti that she’s just heard one of the best DJ/live hybrid sets of her life from a little-known duo in Greece and she’d like to personally interview them alongside a mix they’ve prepared…well you’re hardly going to pass up the opportunity. It’s the kind of endorsement that’s hard to come by and so expectations were understandably high. In a first for our Stamp Mix series, we’ll leave the rest up to our guest curator and her invited guests.
“I first made my way to Greece in April of this year to play some records at a party put together by Berlin art collective Pane Per Poveri, with the help of locals The Amateurboyz & Odyssia Festival. I was taken in by the charm and warmth of Athenians. This was the first time I met Petros Papaeleftheriou aka Sunshine Pedro, Odyssia Festival founder and part of Lovesick.
Athens sparked something in me and I definitely wanted to return as soon as possible and explore more of Greece. So when the request came in from Odyssia Festival for me to come and play in July at Cariocas Beach Bar in Schinos – a family owned venture on the beach built by Pedro’s father in 1998, 75 Kms from Athens – I was elated. The legendary New York DJ and founder Of Shelter Timmy Regisford was scheduled to perform on the same day plus a host of other DJs from Europe. A great Sunday it was.
Monday was a low key affair, a wrap for a week, full of music and festivities with Odyssia Festval’s Anna K kicking things off with a blissful sunset set. Lovesick (Sunshine Pedro’s & Vassilis ) took over from then with their DJ/live hybrid set. Normally a duo, this time they added a young and upcoming bass player, Sarados, to the mix. Pedro was on the turntables pulling records out of a milk crate whilst Vassalis was taking care of the instruments: a drum machine, guitar, some effects and occasionally taking to the mic to sing. This whole show was really my highlight of the Odyssia weekend experience. It gives me great joy to introduce Love Sick to the Stamp The Wax readers with an interview with Sunshine Pedro and a Podcast by Lovesick.”
Hi Pedro, I wanted to kick off the interview by asking you to fill us in on briefly what motivated you to start Odyssia Festival and when did the festival start ?
Destiny has made me coexist in the music industry as it was a family business, so as you can probably understand it was very difficult to escape from the sweet nightlife world. This is how I found myself in 2013 at Africa Burn of South Africa with my Lovesick project. An unforgettable seven day voyage in the desert, living and joining peacefully with the colourful Burners race, where we all shared the den of give and take, dancing like there was no tomorrow and of course what happens in the desert, stays in the desert. Those were really the days that worked in my subconscious and, after some time, created the need to build something appropriate in Greece, to continue the journey in time. And so Odyssia Festival was born.
I read in your bio that David Mancuso was a huge influence to what you do. Can you tell us more about that ?
I was fortunate to meet David in London at the Lucky Cloud Sound System Loft parties organised in 2000. My very first time there and it truly rocked my world. Whatever I had experience and I had listened to before seemed to pale in comparison, and believe you me I had listened to a lot before then. The music, the atmosphere that he created together with his iconic figure behind the decks, was the past, the present and the future of music all in front of my eyes. I owe a lot to this man as far as the concept of DJing, flow and mixing are concerned and I owe him even more in regards to my knowledge of sound – the importance of having a good sound system in our lives and the need to create my own sound system. I feel very lucky. I still look back at our correspondence and this magical journey I had with him seems like a dream.
Tell us about Cariocas Beach bar, home to Oddysia festival. when was it first opened ?
This is the 20th year in which the club is operating. In the summer of 1998 we started this long journey with a lot of music and love. We are filled with memories, couples met & married, we kissed and met a world of people, and we humbly continue to serve music through our events and everyday life. Cariocas is a state of mind.
Who have you booked to play in the past ?
Our booth has been blessed by legends like the late Franke Knuckles, David Morales, Louie Vega, Kerri Chandler, Timmy Regisford, Ron Trent, dj Harvey, Body & Soul, Mateo & Matos, Joe Claussell, dj Spinna, Danny Krivit, Glenn Underground, Delano Smith, Francois Kevorkian, Gilles Peterson, Todd Terje, Lovefingers, Mike Huckaby, Marcellus Pittman and the list goes on and on and on…..
Can you tell us a bit about how the house scene developed in Greece ?
There has been a very large house music wave in the country since the beginning of the 90s. Greece has always been a steady destination for the world’s DJ jet set. I think that all of the great ones have performed here many times, creating a house scene that still exists nowadays. Τhe situation though in the last five years does not look prosperous, wherever you go you hear tech or techno. Unfortunately we stand alone against everyone else and it is hard. The new generation is lost in the mishmash of tech, techno and EDM and, as a result, there are no young house followers and the scene is disappearing. Greek radio, Greek television and the Greek internet blogs are needed to create the interest of the younger crowd, to educate them in order to re-fill the dancefloors.
When and how did you end up putting together Lovesick ?
The Lovesick project started in 2010 . I have known Vassilis for a lifetime, from the age of seven, with a common musical direction as far as the general term of the music is concerned: one behind the decks, spinning vinyl from a very young age and the other by joining and forming bands of many different music kinds. We decided to do something together as we proceeded together. All of those elements came together and Lovesick was born, with a marathon set in the African Burn that brought us here today to tell you all of the above.
What can we expect from Lovesick and Odyssia Festival in the future?
The time has come for us to release some music that mainly because of Odyssia has been delayed. We are interested in activating a festival label, although we do have proposals from some respected labels . By the end of summer we will know what we will do. We are also preparing a mobile global party which, if it finds the suitable investor, will be something that hasn’t been done before and will travel the old school theme in all corners of the world, educating the new generation, spreading the vibe all over the world!
Odyssia itself is a small child growing day by day. A really difficult child, but with many many dreams For sure the following summer we will expect something different and great from Odyssia. Building a community on solid ground, we are making a proposal beyond the musical part of the project, and that is the goal, to grow the family of the Odysseans by bringing them to a Greek island, a desert, a blessed mountain and back to its base at Cariocas village .