Doing the rounds with 3.14 :: Pi Electronics (Interview and Mix)

Aegean Electronics is growing, soaking up the talent and enthusiasm centred around Athens. Labels such as Echovolt, Vanila and Lower Parts, artists like June, Morah and Damcase, as well as platforms like Phormix, are carving out their own territory in the competitive arena that is the hearts and minds of the faithful. Pi Electronics is part of this movement; an imprint that is developing month on month as it casts its net ever wider (they’ve even got scouts as far away as the Spanish capital!)

There’s not much between a cliché and the truth. “It’s a small world” is an age old axiom, but in the world of electronic music it couldn’t be more true.

On a recent excursion into Madrid night life, a decent monthly night called Discoteca where Juanpablo and Sneaker were delivering the audio goods, I ran into a Greek machine music enthusiast. Boozed up we shot the breeze about electro, house, techno and all in between. We exchanged numbers and the Facebook knowing that there was ever chance our paths would cross again.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Athens based Pi Electronics, sister label of Modal Analysis, got in touch about Damcase’s upcoming 12”. Chatting with label boss Alex (aka 3.14) it became clear we had a mutual acquaintance. “My good friend and resident DJ at our parties is also based in Madrid…”

Lines of separation and coincidences aside, Pi Electronics had caught my attention with its first 12”s; the grizzly brutalism of Vofa followed by the equally butch and bullying Ontal. Pi is 3.14’s project alongside “Zorz (the Discoteca guy I met), DΛS, Nemmett, Maria and more” whereas parent imprint Modal Analysis, with its forays into electro as well as techno, was established with “Kondaktor and ANFS.”

Damcase, his PI03 having just landed in record stores, breaks from the industrial weight of his Pi forbearers. True, you’re not getting walk in the park material but there are lighter moments. The Bunker alumnus serves up some aggression with the bulging bass and rasping rhythms of “5” and offers a new threat in the form of “2.” Despite this, the type of assault is different. “2” has a strange sort of playfulness to it. Amidst the serrating squawk stalks an off-kilter funk, a fierce and fiery one nevertheless. “4” arrives from what appears to be a side entrance. A cold and murky piece clad in reduced finery, stark beats countered by pulses of deep strings for a cracking work of electro. “1” is the angry brother in arms of “4”. Piercing percussion and a driving bass roam the streets, edges splintering under mounting pressure. “3” is the island. A three-minute work of intense ambient to venture into a new neurosis.

Being from Ireland, living in Spain, I’ve always been interested in countries on the peripheries of electronics, those nations outside the epicentres. Greece is one of them. 3.14 notes that Greek music is “rapidly growing” and “Athens, as a music city, is right now developing.” He adds, that Athens could never be a Berlin, but it could be a Glasgow. “Athens could definitely host the free spirit and the affordable life of a music artist at the moment” and its East West location means a different type of character.

3.14’s mix for us here at Igloo gives a broad idea of the Pi Electronics sound, a sound that seeks out homegrown talent whilst looking further afield. “The mix includes tracks from different influences of mine, all under the greater spectrum of dance floor oriented electronic music.” Greek talent is well represented with artists such as “Sawf, ANFS, Morah (from upcoming Modal Analysis 12”), Unhuman and Nemmet (from an upcoming compilation on Pi)” alongside “some favourites by Jeff Mills, Thomas P. Heckmann, Black Merlin and more.”

Aegean Electronics is growing, soaking up the talent and enthusiasm centred around Athens. Labels such as Echovolt, Vanila and Lower Parts, artists like June, Morah and Damcase, as well as platforms like Phormix, are carving out their own territory in the competitive arena that is the hearts and minds of the faithful. Pi Electronics is part of this movement; an imprint that is developing month on month as it casts its net ever wider (they’ve even got scouts as far away as the Spanish capital!)

Looks as though I’ll have a conversation starter for a Greek lad in Madrid, that’s when I bump into him. Shouldn’t take too long in all fairness, it’s a small world after all.

For more information about Pi Electronics visit pielectronics.net. [Facebook | Bandcamp]

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