May 4, 2019 | Guest Mixes

#63 Steffan Todorović for Deeprhythms


I bumped into Gestalt Records roughly 8 months ago and was immediately impressed with the sound they were pushing. A steady flow of consistent high-quality releases followed by more well-known artist and some by relatively unknown ones but always offering something exciting. There's a wide range of styles present in their catalog but with a sense of continuity in the sound. Like a deep emotive undertow that's always there but hard to put into words.

It was no surprise that the guy behind the label turned out to be super approachable and easy-going and the mix Steffan made for DR is a perfect soundtrack for the early summer days and nights. Let's check out the label in more detail.

Hello Steffan! Can you introduce yourself real quick to our listeners and tell us what you have been up to lately?

- Hi all, my name's Steffan - I'm 29, half Montenegrin, and half Danish. I've lived most of my adult life in Aalborg, Denmark, where I studied, freelanced as an event organizer and managed a radio station. Last year in February I relocated to Tallinn, Estonia, where I work in online banking while running my Gestalt Records.

Let's get right to it; how, with whom and when did you start the label?

- I've had the idea of running a label for 2-3 years now. Some friends and I talked about it but for all sorts of reasons it didn't happen, so about a year ago, I decided to start up something of my own. I did the first two releases by myself after which I asked my best mate Zeljko to join me. Luckily he said yes and we now co-run everything 50/50.

What was your inspiration to start the label, could you point to one specific moment that made you passionate to start your own label?

- There isn't a specific situation which led me on. Željko, myself and some other friends ran a monthly club night, as well as an annual festival where we had the privilege of bringing in names such as Funk D'Void, the Regelbau crew, and Peggy Gou.

- After some years I started feeling like the scene was quite saturated with "generic" music, and it seemed it was often the same people playing out and releasing. I wanted to do my small bid in breaking the monotonous output, and give some "lesser known" artists the chance to shine. That idea, or dissatisfaction, became Gestalt Records.

How would you describe the Gestalt sound? What sort of musical aesthetic are you pushing with it? To my ears, there's a recognizable sound developing with every release.

- This is actually a very interesting question - most label owners will tell you they don't focus on a specific sound, and the same goes for me. But I really couldn't care less if we release nu-jazz or techno.

- If I like the sound and it caters to my current interests then I'll seek to put it out. Obviously, there are certain "musical emotions" I prefer over others, and I think those are what the listeners may define as an aesthetic or specific sound. If I go through most of our catalog I'd simply say it's deep - evoking, poignant.

How do the principles of Gestalt manifest themselves in your releases?

- When I started out I was reading a lot about the Gestalt principles, hence the name. What made me adopt it was actually those of Gestalt therapy, rather than the theory, which aims for individuals to grow and find their own best self.

- The vision was always to help the artists to flourish, and hopefully use us as a stepping-stone to reach a higher level. Something for instance DJ LIFE and Foreign Sequence, in my opinion, have achieved.

- I actually edited extracts of a lecture by Fritz Perls, one of the founders of Gestalt therapy, into our Rinse France guest mix to try and explain my motivations behind the label.

For a young label, you have a pretty impressive roster! In terms of the artists you are releasing on there, are these friends? Where are you sourcing your releases from?

- Out of our entire "family", I've only ever met Emil (Mixthoven), who's also from Aalborg. The rest of the roster, except for Harrison BDP, I simply sniffed out on SoundCloud by random - check feed tracks, reposts, likes, comments, and so on. Then once in a while, something I like pops up and I fire off a message asking for demos. Some work out, some don't, but at the end of the day, it's all down to chance.

You guys have a very consistent release rate, when can we expect news from Gestalt? Anything forthcoming you can tell us about (like the Harrison BDP 12")?

- We've been very fortunate with finding artists, willing to trust us with their work. So most of it is their doing, especially since we give a lot of feedback on demos, to meet both parties needs.

- The Harrison BDP record is currently being pressed onto heavyweight wax and is expected around the 1st of July, and really wouldn't have happened without the help and guidance of our distributer, Shite Music, whom we owe a big thanks!

What's the hardest and on the other hand the most rewarding part of running a label?

- Turning down artists can be quite tough. We get a lot of great demos we'd like to work on, but obviously can't release everything.

- On the other hand it's very rewarding to give feedback on the tracks and hopefully highlights some specifics they can improve on. But seeing our tracks getting shared all over the globe, by all sorts of people, has to be at the top of the list.

Have your vision and goals for the label changed over time since you started one year ago?

- Since it all started many things have changed; day-to-day management, finance handling, relations etc. But the goal is still the same - to help as many artists, as possible, out into the world. And the goals cohere by running the entire label in an organic way, alongside the artists we sign.

How does DJ'ing and running a label fit together?

- As a DJ it's been surprisingly easy to seperate myself from the label's "aesthetics". Both Željko and I have a hugely broad interest in music, some which don't really follow troop with Gestalt.

- But it's been interesting to see how much easier it is to get gigs, wirh the all-fancy title of label owner. That's one aspect I'm not really big on though as I'd rather be asked to play based on my skills in the booth.

Do you have any fond musical memories from the time around when you were 16? Tell us a story!

- I wasn't really involved with electronic music until circa 2015/16, so back then I listened to a lot of blues and jazz. In 2006 I got to see Joe Bonamassa, Roger Waters and The Rolling Stones - those were distinct moments where I learned music is more than just harmonies and melodies, but a universal language.

Continuing on the same theme, can you list a few tracks, eps, albums, concerts or whatnot that really had a big impact on you?

- The best concert I've ever been to was The Chemical Brothers at Roskilde 2008, which was my first real touch point with electronic music - an experience that's etched deep into my mind.

- The best DJ-set was a 4 hour midday-session by Jane Fitz, at a small and remote beach bar in Montenegro. 30 degrees, sand under your feet, cold G&T, splashing waves. My favourite album would have to be "No Roots" by Faithless, and favourite song is Šaban Bajramović and Josipa Lisac' rendition of "Ðelem, Ðelem".

Please tell us a bit about the mix you have prepared for us, no Gestalt tracks in there? Was this a conscious decision?

- Well I wanted to do something that shows the diversity in our locker, as well as reflect on the Deeprhythms brand. I don't like to force tracks in and it just so happened that no Gestalt tunes went with this particular flow.

- As I said earlier I think both Željko and I are pretty good at seperating the DJ-aspect from the label one, as they're not always reflecting on the same thing.

Anything else you want to add?

- Thanks to everyone who's supporting Gestalt Records! In line with our vision, we give half of all profits to the respective artists, so you're directly supporting their art and betterment, even more so than us! Also a special thanks to you Timo for having me on, and your seemingly neverending support! (Timo's note: glad to be of help, thanks for the music!)


01 Genius Of Time - Peace Bird [Running Back, 2019]
02 North Lake - Hearing Voices [Phonica Records, 2018]
03 Citizen Maze - Glade Hollow [Analogue Attic Recordings, 2018]
04 外神田Deepspace - B2. ネオシンジュククロウラ [Natural Sciences, 2017]
05 Hoavi - Phobia Airlines [Fauxpas Musik, 2018]
06 Liem & Eddie Ness - Where is the Shredmaster? [Lehult, 2019]
07 Afriqua - Aleph [R & S Records, 2017]
08 Parish - Pattern 58 [Dansu Discs, 2019]
09 Realitycheck - Modern Talk [Renascence, 2019]
10 Guy Contact - SmokeMachineFluid [Bitterfeld Musik, 2019]
11 Speed Boat - Stretch [Dansu Discs, 2019]
12 Axel Boman - Nokturn (Grand Finale) [Pampa Records, 2015]
Rhode Brown - Sparkle (C.K Remix) [Slam City Jams, 2019]

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DJ profile
Steffan Todorović

Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Gestalt Records | Soundcloud

Label owner, record fanatic and deejay

Full profile

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