Xceed-Podcast-Simina Grigoriu

Xceed Podcast 015: Simina Grigoriu

One hour of smooth and elegant big-room techno, with music by Paul Kalkbrenner, Bart Skils and the two most recent productions by the Romanian artist herself 62

“Contagious viruses”, “national hysteria”, “negative emotions jumping from person to person”, “excessive information bombardment”. Surely, these concepts are familiar to you in times of pandemic. With them, Simina Grigoriu takes us into a musical 1-hour journey through techno landscapes of acid air and big-room, high-introspective personality.

Simina Grigoriu is a proven DJ and producer in the European techno movement. She was born in Bucharest on 8 May 1981, but, unlike most DJs in Romania, she did not opt for the warmth of microhouse, so characteristic in her country, but for a more aggressive and aggressive techno proposal. As many have said, Grigoriu produces “boys’ techno for girls”, a classification that causes us as many doubts as it causes her.

Xceed-Artist-Simina Grigoriu
Image: © Simina Grigoriu’s Press Kit

I am not sure what that really means, but I think it boils down to incorporating melodies and vocals on very hard techno tracks to create a melange of beats and feelings. You cannot sing a track -you can only sing a song. I often use samples that add depth to the most mechanical of sounds in order to soften the vibe and appeal to everyone, not just hardcore techno heads. I make my tracks ‘songy’ quite often, which adds a special ‘something’ while also making them more memorable. Sometimes. Other times, it is just straight driving beats.

Simina Grigoriu has been playing music around the planet for 13 years now. Since 2008, she has been living in Berlin, from where she runs her own label Kuukou Records, a task she undertook in July 2016. In her one-hour mix for Xceed Night Mag, she uses two of her most recent tracks – “Brutally Honest”, released on Tronic, and “Battleaxe”, released on Complexed -, as well as the also recently released “Check Yourself”, by her husband Paul Kalkbrenner, and other techno pearls that she herself highlights, such as “Induction” by Gallya or “Settle In The Sun” by Bart Skils. Of the latter, she assures that “the melody will pull on your heart strings and remind you of the 90s”.

I recorded this mix at home in Berlin. I used a DJM 900 Nexus and two CDJs 2000 Nexus, externally recorded on a ZOOM recorder. I imported the mix into Ableton, I checked transitions and I cut to 60 minutes. Then, I rendered down with a bit of compression. Easy.

Besides those already mentioned, Simina Grigoriu also includes music by Soolver, Raxon, Alberto Ruiz, Christian Smith, Bastian Bux and Natalino Nunes. In total, 12 tracks in which the big-stage techno sound is impregnated with hypnotic vocals, soft and gentle acid frequencies, and clean and unobtrusive drops. Many people call it “boys’ techno for girls”. We prefer to say that it is low-key, high-fashion, elegant, always appealing techno music.


(Cover Image: © Simina Grigoriu’s Press Kit)

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