We speak to Valentino Kanzyani… DJ, Producer, head honcho of ‘Jesus Loved You’ and “founding father of Slovenian techno”…

Valentino Kanzyani has been on the scene for over 20 years… DJ, owner of label ‘Jesus Loved You’ and a respected producer.  Many interviewers popped the question”Does he prefer producing or playing?” and Valentino shows no hesitation with answering this one. He enjoys both, of course- but he is first of all a DJ!

We speak to him about what its like to be spoken of as a “founding father of Slovenian techno”, his life in Ibiza, his recent South American tour, what it was like to play alongside the likes of Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills at ‘Ambasada Gavioli’ back in the 1990’s and get the skinny on his set with fellow Eastern European Praslea at Down Under this Friday…


Hello and thanks for taking the time to speak to us today!

I hear your father was a musician and used to play in bands in Slovenia… Do you think music was always in your blood?

I guess music was always something that surrounded me since my childhood, even as a baby I was attending concert in my mums belly as she used to do back vocals for my fathers band. I got intrigued with my father rehearsals when I was 4 or 5 years old, but he never liked me to become a musician, as he had some bad experience as a youngster, but thats a whole long story to tell now… and therefore had a more protective approach for me towards music. He never allowed me to attend his rehearsals and so I tried to bang on whatever I can find in the kitchen to make some noise.. Which got even more on his nerves. So my first approaches to get into music didn’t really get me anywhere.

Finally I tried to get admitted to musical school for studying drumming, but unfortunately at that time becoming a drummer seamed to be the goal of many kids in my town and was barley impossible to get a place in school for that, they offer me to study Clarinet which to me in comparison seamed some strange bird or animal that didn’t had any connection to my vision of making noise on drums.. So I gave up on musical school and somehow for destiny bumped for coincidence in a school friend that had an older brother playing in a club near by the terrace where my father was playing with his band in summer of 1988 I was 11 or just turned 12 and had a chance to go to see this club and got blown always at first side of the dance floor.. I just got entranced and I just remembered my wish I wanted to know who is playing and how is he controlling peoples moves it look liked to me like an ocean of energy floating in synchrony with the music that the DJ was playing, I wanted to see that to learn that to do that from the first moment..

Eastern Europe has been a hotbed for underground DJ and Production talent now for many years – do you head back there to play very often?

I started to regularly play in clubs when I was 15 year old, organizing my first nights when I was 17 and when I was 21 I was already running a club, making international bookings and started to do my first gigs abroad..

Has the scene changed since you were growing up?

A lot. Actually in some ways its better a there is more chances for young DJ’s to play but at the same time there is not so much enthusiasm from kids to go to the club and dancing on music that you cannot hear anywhere else, as it used to be before the mp3 and the piratisation of music.. The so cold digital era..

You have been hailed as one of the fathers of Slovenian techno, how does this feel?

Without kids to take care of and support them true hard times, having a father status is definitely much lighter.. 🙂 Anyways its nice to inspire younger generation and I am happy if this father nick name means that I inspired younger generations.

As I got inspired from older generations and I am happy I gave back something to others.. The thing that gets me even happier is that I get now inspired from younger generations as well this is the maximum of energy flow… It means so much to me to get new ideas and new point of views, before when I was a kid a I was obviously insured by older artists and people and now 20 years after I am much more inspired from new kids coming with fresh approaches and ideas and genuinely new love for music and a new vision of making it..

You are playing at Down Under in London with [a:rpia:r]’s Praslea this Friday.  What can those attending expect from you set wise? Will there be any of your famous 3 deck mixing?

When I heard that I play with my very good friend Praslea in the same night I immediately asked him if he would be interested in playing a longer set back to back with me rather than two shorter sets from each of us, and so be it…

We will play a 5 h set together fusing new and old school stuff and trying to create a pleasant journey for all of us in the club…

SET : Valentino Kanzyani – Klubska Scena podcast – June 2011 by JesusLovedYou

You were a resident and programmer in the mid 90’s at the legendary ‘Ambasada Gavioli’ in Izola, which saw the likes of Sven Väth, Marshall Jefferson, Laurent Garnier , Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills amongst many others.  Are there any particular moments that stand out for you in this era?

Playing on a 12 h marathon with Umek, Surgeon and Rcchie Hawtin with a fool club from beginning to the end in august of 1998.

I hear there is a special Ambasada Gavioli’ 16th Anniversary party coming up too – are you looking forward to this? Who is on the lineup?

Yeah sure, I think its always a pleasure for me to play there and I always try to invite some people alongside me if possible, this time I invited Cassy and we will play a back to back set at the end of the night for the first time ever.. The warm up will be done by my little brother Ian F who is one of best talented DJs and producers coming from the cradle of Ambasada Gavioli so he deserves to be on this night with us. On the second floor Joe Montana alongside some local guest will play a more funky sound..

You ran the Recycled Loops imprint with your friend and fellow Slovenian Umek, until 2008. Would you ever consider any other joint projects with him in the future?

You never know, maybe a restaurant.. hehehe

Speaking of Umek – what’s this about a night called Rave Land that you were involved in back in ’93?

It was a night by an ex Brghesia member Aldo Ivančić –  he started the first regular rave happening in Ljubljana on a wednesday playing Plastikman staff and Warp music combined with some more progressive techno and early tech trance.

It was going on every Wednesday and had randomly guest appearances from Slovenian and Croatian DJs. Umek was there more often as he was a local and he pushed his ass a little bit more into the DJ both as others.. Hehehehe..

Which producers and labels are you listening to currently?

So many new things, I am especially connected with new producers from Romania, like Praslesh, Afumati, Parfuamti, Cezar Lazar, Sit (vlad caia & cristi cons), Priku, Piticu, Herodot, Ivel Tex, TC Studio and others.. Its amazing the music this guys are doing and most of it its never released and keeps orbiting just between close friends. Makes it special like before the mp3 era.. Hehehe

So your year started with a South American tour? Very nice! Can you tell us a bit more about where you visited?

I was for the first time in Chile, where I played in various places and had a chance to stay a bit and visit the country, its very special and vast and I am going back next year to see more and meet more.. I went also again back to places like Uruguay, Colombia, Peru and had a lot of nice experiences.. Looking forward on to next year to make a nice tour again, love it there is so different but somehow so similar to my origins..

You also spent the season in Ibiza? What did this involve for you?

I live in ibiza a full 2 years now, I spend 6 seasons there and I really like to live there, its not just about the parties and the summer Ibiza for me is very special and I really like the vibe in the winter… We started our night last summer named Next Wave and got a lot of support from the locals and we are already doing a small tour around Europe this and next year to promote it.. And are preparing the line up and working on a new location for it for summer 2012.. I am honestly very excited about it because we manage to bring some diversity to the monotonic situation that happened in the last 3 years in bigger clubs after the government prohibited the afters all the clubs went on a more secure approach which resulted in a much more repetitive approach for guests and music policy.. It is the right time for something new and small to emerge to give place to new generations to play their vision in Ibiza.. It was really missing…

Some of your releases this year were on the Parisienne Masomenos label – do you have any plans to work with them in the future?

Masomenos are like family to me, we never plane things they come spontaneously, thats why I cannot be sure on that we are going to put out something or not, but it doesn’t meter really we love and support each other on other levels out of the usual music connection…. Love you guys….

Your label Jesus Loved you has been very successful.  Can you tell you me for questions sake.. If you had a chance to sign anyone to the imprint (dead or alive) who would this be?

Petre Inspirescu

Tell us more about the future plans for the label? Anything coming up we should look out for?

The new one from the sculpture series number 4 is coming with a long delay from the other 3 but none the less its a very incredible one and the people behind it are one of a kind.. Will be out in mid february..

Where do you see your career going next?

Shamanism… 😉



Down Under with Valentino Kanzyani (Jesus Loved You) – Praslea [a:rpia:r] – Ken & Davy (Down Under)

16 Dec 2011 @ TBA East London


Valentino Kanzyani(Jesus Loved You) – Praslea [a:rpia:r] – Ken & Davy (Down Under)