A conversation with Polish electro producer and DJ Elektromonter, the man behind Elektropunkz

With this next edition of my series of conversations with electro producers, DJs and label owners, I travel virtually to my home country of Poland to chat with Wroclaw's DJ Elektromonter, the man behind Elektropunkz.net. The talented DVS NME pointed out Elektropunkz as a label and scene to look out for, and I immediately tracked down Elektromonter and Robodrum (ed. note: the Robodrum interview will be up very soon) to set up a 'Conversations With' feature. With that, let's get into it.

First things first, can you introduce yourself

My name is Bartek Wójcik aka EleKtromonter. I’m originally from Chełm, a small city in eastern Poland. This place to me was really a musical desert – no professional concerts (only garage bands), no clubs. Given that, I don’t know how it's possible that music is such an important part of my life ;) Maybe thanks to my family, my older brothers especially. Thanks to them music started to play in my soul very early. As a teenager I had a so-called band and we did some “concerts” in my father’s garage. But mostly we were smoking cigarettes and drinking beers.

Ha! This sound's similiar to my story, especially the drinking beers and smoking cigarettes part ;) How did you get into DJing?

My dj story starts in Lublin. At the time, there was a place called Centrala. I was lucky to be a part of the best time for this place and started my parties there about 2003. I spent a lot of time in clubs. Mostly it was drum and bass and techno. During this time, when i was doing my studies, I set up a dj duo with my brother Wojtek - the Elektropunkz Soundsystem. We were doing electro-techno-hardcore parties.


From that time our interests mutated through techno, clash, italo, ebm to electro bass and breaks mostly. And from that beginning, it's morphed into a platform with the blog, label, party promotions, production, live performance and of course DJ sets. Our connections are no longer only Polish. We did some gigs abroad, met some foreign producers which we’ve invited to our label... so we’re still evolving.

You know it's funny, it usually starts off small and if someone is passionate, it tends to really build and grow into something. I started off the same way, a simple techno mix show on saturday nights in my university with a homie. That was back in 1996/1997, and here I am still going strong. So how did you get from there to your current city of Wroclaw and Elektropunkz? What motivates you?

It's a very friendly city - you have to see this place. I was booked for one party here four years ago in Droga Do Mekki and I’m here till today, hehe. What motivates me? I don’t know. It's a passion for music and a love for electro! And also I feel we’re doing huge work in translating the word ELECTRO correctly. It seem's like we’re in Wroclaw fighting for the electro scene. Right now this tag is attached to everything and it’s getting meaningless. We’re on the mission to change that, hehe.

I think every basshead worldwide feels that particular pain. I don't have a problem with house music with giant basslines other than they stole our name, heh. Tell me, how did you get into the electro scene in particular?

By accident. At my friend’s apartment. He was listening to some compilation which hit me like a cannonball. I borrowed this CD from him and never gave it back.. I don’t remember the year but it was before I moved to Lublin.

I came across you and Elektropunkz after my interview with DVS NME from Dark Science Radio.  From my perspective, there's a lot of electro music activity going on in Eastern Europe and former Soviet bloc countries. Alavux from Serbia had some interesting things to say about this, and I'm curious as to what your take is on electro in Eastern Europe and especially in Poland. I asked this same question of Robodrum, and in particular I would like to get your perspective as one of the leading lights of the electro scene in Poland.

Very glad to hear so nice words from you. It's really hard to tell why the situation looks like you say, and I don't know if I necessarily agree. When I’m looking on Spain, Germany, UK, Holland - there is much more music coming from there. But yes, there is a lot of newcomers from Eastern Europe; and right now they are not trying to be like the west but want to have their own style and are proud of that. I honestly think it's coincidence that some eastern newcomers and promoters met in one time and are doing good job. We’re not special, we're just out to have a good time :) But that said, be prepared! Bass doom may come from the east! Alavux also had an interesting opinion about that and maybe part of that is true: Eastern Europeans were always better in “sad” music than “happy”, hehe.

When I originally reached out to Robodrum to find out more information about the Polish electro scene, he had some kind words about you and your influence and hard work with the Elektropunkz label. Is your focus on pushing the scene in Poland more, and how are you doing that aside from the label? Are you running music nights? Shows? Working with outside-the-country artists as well?

My grand plan is to spread the proper electro virus! When we started, Poland was a black hole on the “european electro map”. Right now you say that Eastern Europe including Poland is one of the most active regions. That means we’re doing our job correctly. But it’s not done yet. I still feel it can be much much better. For example people in Poland should know more about what we have to show, there is a very few people here who would call us the leading lights of the electro scene, and mostly it’s ourselves. Maybe we’re more valued abroad than here. Nevertheless, we still have some work to do. We’re doing parties in Poland with our artists but also we can push them for live gigs abroad. We can search more artists to release. We can help them to cooperate with foreign artists. It can always be better.

No doubt, and that kind of enthusiasm and believing in your movement is the way to go mate. Moving on, I'm going to date myself terribly here, but the last time I was in Poland there really weren't too many electronic music projects and labels going - I know because I spent a lot of time looking as I always try to connect with scene folks when I travel. Everything was very pop music focused - I can't tell you enough how happy I was to find fellow countrymen doing the real business, especially with electro - tell me about your audience and crowd in Poland - and the scene in particular - is a tight knit group of people? and why do you think they're gravitating to electro bass music in particular?

Electro bass/breaks scene is pretty tight and small. We’re sharing music, talking, helping each other. It’s really cool to be a part of that. There are no quarrels between us yet. But it’s always like that when a scene is small. Problems are appearing when it’s getting bigger and jealousy comes out. As far as the audience? It’s not so cool. People loving this type of music are scattered all over the country. It’s really hard to throw a party and have them come to one place at the same time. We put a lot of work into it.

I don’t know why they gravitate to electro, but I can tell you why I’m gravitating to it. I do because when I’m listening to electro i still feel it fresh. It’s always futuristic and always underground. It has it’s own atmosphere which suits me best. I feel no worries that it will become mainstream and as we know mainstream spoils everything.

What do you think about the state of the electro scene overall and where it's going?

I feel like there's a lot of fresh blood in the electro scene all over the world. I hope it’s something like renaissance for this kind of music. The scene is getting better, but unfortunately not the audience. It’s good that the British scene is more active again. The UK always pushes trends forward; that will help us all.There is a lot of work to do, to make loyal audience and busy clubs with E-L-E-C-T-R-O (not “wannabe electro”;) every weekend. To be honest, in my city I hear electro in a club only when Elektropunkz are doing party.

Any thoughts on the top newcomers to the electro scene to look out for? Artists or labels or cities doing their thing?

Paul Blackford, Synapse, Badaszewski - I’m checking for their music the most. They aren’t newcomers but that’s the best nu skool for me. Also from the foreign artists we cooperate with.... Crobot Crew and Darxid. Big respect for them.

In Poland - Cody Commando has bunch of ideas which are great, he’s still evolving and I’m proud of that he started in our label. Also Robodrum, he has his own unique freaky style. I love it! He hit high places in Street Sounds Electro Chart with 'The Message' released in our label and I think it’s only the beginning.

Can you share any night spots, cafe's, coffee shops or record stores/clubs in your city that visitors should know about?

Browar Mieszczański
Melin Cafe
Krakowska 180

Where can bassheads find you on the web?


Elektropunkz label facebook | Youtube | Myspace | Last.fm | Juno | Twitter |

Bartek, many thanks for taking the time to let heads know a little more about you and for doing this feature for City of Bass. To wrap up, what's next for Elektropunkz?

Right now we’re focused on our next project 'The Robots Riot'. It’s a multi-media project with parties, releases and mixtapes. Stay tuned on elektropunkz.net/tag/the-robots-riot-2/. The tags for this project are: machine, city, nu school, bass, beatz and breakz!

Check out Elektromonter's most recent mixtape below,  The Robots Riot Episode One, and the releases to date from Elektropunkz label. Massive! For the next edition of 'Conversations With' I move north in Poland to chat with Elektropunkz artist Robodrum.  Stay tuned....

Related: Conversations With... Serbia's Alavux, Toronto's Drumatix Six, United States DVS NME

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