fiat congo: colectivo futurecast 068

We caught ear of fellow Venezuelan, Victor Hugo Henriques Otero, through our collaboration with Caracas based platform UVNRadio. On there he shared a mix of middle eastern grooves spanning from traditional belly dance music to Salah Ragab’s Egyptian jazz, which we asked him to recreate for our futurecast series for your listening enjoyment. Born in Maracaibo, he DJs under the Fiat Congo name in his adopted hometown of Leipzig as part of the Diskosativa collective. Have a read and a listen below.

Artwork borrowed from a piece by Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi.

CF: How and where was the mix recorded?

I recorded the mix at home in Leipzig on a pair of turntables and directly into a recorded plugged to the mixer.

CF: How did you first get involved with DJing and collecting records? Where does your interest for middle eastern music stem from?

I started collecting records in 2014, mainly focusing on classic Dancehall and Rocksteady, but also buying a lot of Latin music on labels such as Fania and Discos Fuentes. Soon after I got together with a few friends who had founded the Diskosativa collective and we started playing records in a bar in Leipzig quite regularly. It was a great experience as there were 4 of us playing back to back and without focusing on a single genre, so we managed to blend styles such as Funk, Disco, Bossa, Afro, Latin, House and Hip Hop. Those nights really helped me in understanding that playing records could be quite a dynamic experience and that listeners are often open to sudden changes across genres.

My interest for middle eastern music has grown in the last couple of years as I’ve been finding more and more of its connection to Latin and Caribbean music both in terms of quality and complexity, but I also find it represents a major part of German culture even if it doesn’t always received the credit it deserves here. There’s many many generations of Arabs in Germany that are now deeply ingrained in the local culture and who contribute an important enrichment to society through their music.

CF: Tell us a bit about the Diskosativa collective

As I mentioned previously, Diskosativa is a collective made up of four friends with similar musical interests and who organize events in Leipzig that aim to confront the public with different and at times unexpected musical selections.

CF: What do you normally listen to at home? What are 3 of your favourite albums past or present?

At home, everything goes! I could be listening to French band Antena or Haitian Drums recordings or Bernard Herrmann. But I tend to let my flat mates surprise me with whatever they want to listen to. Three records I’ve been listen to a lot lately are:

Congo by Rodrigo Tavares
On by Altin Gun
The Reality by Bruce and Vlady

CF: What’s you favourite thing about living in Leipzig? What would you recommend to someone visiting for 24h?

The people and that it’s a city with an ideal size for me, it’s not huge nor tiny, and has a very interesting cultural scene.

I’d say start by visiting all of the lakes and parks of the city. My favourite place for food is a pizzeria called Pekar and a for drinks Liqwe, both in the West of the city. My favourite clubs to go out are Mjut and IFZ. If you’re up for doing some music or literature research, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek is a great place. Last but not least I always recommend a visit to my favourite record and coffee shop, VARY, which is a magical spot.

CF: What project are you currently working on and where can one hear you play music in the near future?

I’m currently planning to step away from music for a bit to concentrate on a photographic project that I’ve been trying to work on for a while now and that will need a lot of dedication. I hope to still be able to play records sporadically around Leipzig and other cities, so keep an eye on the Diskosativa page for the time being.