Interview for Solaris International

By December 2, 2009 No Comments

In addition to making a guest mix for Solaris International some days ago, I answered a couple of questions regarding my past, present & future.

The full interview is pasted below, but feel free to check the original one at Solarstone forums

(If you’re more into reading an interview in Finnish, I recommend checking out Kehto interview.)

This week, we interview Juska Wendland, better known as DJ Orion. Hailing from Finland, he offers us some insight on blogging and ginger. Read on!

Solaris International: Go ahead and give us a little background info…How you got started, in music, then in DJing, and so on.

Orion: I went to my first raves in 1994 in the industrial city of Tampere, Finland. Big raves attracted thousands of youngsters every month there, but the warehouse culture was also very active. That was something totally new for a young kid like me and I got hooked in the music & techno culture relative early. I went out actively, got to know new people, helped my friends organizing and cleaning up the venues and later ended up organizing my own parties.

Now, 15 years later, I’m hosting a radio show on Finnish National Radio (YleX), working at Misc. Management which is the oldest DJ Booking Agency in Finland (www.misc.fi), producing events, DJing and writing chill-out tracks with my brother, J.Shore. It’s lots of work but I’m happy it still gives me the same kicks as when I was a youngster.

SI: I’ve noticed you have a pretty busy blog (www.djorion.fi) with all sorts of neat stuff! Care to give us a guided tour?

Orion: I’m happy I’ve lately seen several DJs and artists starting blogging. Sharing inspiring or fun stuff is often much more interesting than a monthly newsletter or an announcement of the upcoming gigs. After all, artists and DJs are the professionals of the scene – they find often the coolest music, videos and trends first. But why do so few share that stuff to everyone?
The blog @ www.djorion.fi has been running since 2002 and has given me a chance to express my ideas and opinions about the electronic music world, but also to share some entertaining videos & articles which I’ve run into. Some of my favourite topics are copyright, future of music business and flyer art (there’s my digital flyer collection of over 2000 items @ http://bit.ly/orionflyers). I’ve heard that also several people who aren’t that interested in my music still follow my blog, which is just great.

SI: Tell us about a particularly memorable gig.

Orion: Finland is the land of opposites – I’ve been playing at -20C outdoor events and +30C indoor events, but I think I choose the warmer memory here :)
There’s an annual event called Pacifique organized in Espoo, right next to Helsinki. Pacifique is organized in the biggest indoor waterpark in Scandinavia, with 4 different stages, dozens of artists, tropical climate and over 2000 clubbers going crazy in the huge pools. Here’s a nice photo gallery:


I’ve been playing there for 3 years in a row and I think it’s easily the most fantastic clubbing experience one can get.

SI: Why did you choose to start producing chill-out tunes?

Orion: For two reasons: I wanted to try something new as a music producer than what I’ve been going as a DJ and I wanted the results to be something which could stand the test of time.
Today the lifespan of an electronic music track is really really short. It’s kind of sad that many good tracks are being hyped only until they are released and after two weeks they are forgotten. I still remember running after some hard-to-find vinyls for months and once I got a copy, the tune stayed in my record bag for the next 6 months – that’s hard to imagine happening anymore. I want to make music which still sounds fresh after years and which doesn’t follow any trends.

I very rarely play chill-out when I DJ – both my radio shows as well as DJ gigs are more prog house / trance influenced. I don’t like being categorized by the music I play or produce. When I started in 1994, there were no “house DJs” or “trance DJs,” it was all about techno or electronic music. And still today, I think people who see themselves as electronic music artists have free hands, they don’t need to think “I’m a deep house producer, I can’t play or produce music like that.”

SI: Alright, now for some non-business questions:
Name one piece of technology you dislike.

Orion: Windows PCs.

SI: Name a vegetable you love or hate.

Orion: Does ginger count as a vegetable? I love it.

SI: You see a coin on the ground. Do you pick it up or shrug it off?

Orion: Pick it up.

SI: What was (or is) your favorite subject in school?

Orion: Psychology.

SI: Finally, what is the biggest influence in your life?

Orion: My son Nils.

SI: Alrighty, thanks for taking the time, and here’s to a great future!

Orion: Thanks a lot!

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