It’s Friday night, in Manchester, and in the DJ booth at Sankeys, Darius Syrossian has just dropped the 'Underground Goodies Mix' of Cajmere feat Dajae’s ‘Brighter Days’.
“I love that tune because the bassline grabs you and drags you in,” says Darius, who’s been resident DJ at Tribal Sessions, the Friday night house and techno party that re-started at the venue in 2013. “And the drums on that track are perfect.”
Darius was resident at Tribal Sessions in its 2006 incarnation. When the venue re-opened, after a break, Darius took his place at the helm of Tribal Sessions, drafting in DJ pals such as Berlin-based house DJ Sante, Spanish DJ Hector Couto and Sydney Charles, also from Germany. “I think it’s cool to have a house DJ and a techno DJ on the same billing,” says Darius. “That’s how it used to be in the 1990s and I think that’s a formula that works.”
In Ibiza, last summer, Darius headed up the Tribal Sessions parties that ran for 20 weeks on the island and, for these, he drafted in DJs such as Luciano and Jeff Mills to play alongside house heads like himself. “After that summer I had offers to go to Japan, Asia and South America on tour but I wanted to stay home and do Tribal Sessions,” he says. “I’ve always wanted a residency. I love the fact you get the same people each week and it becomes like a family.”
Darius’ first taste of dance music came in the late 1980s. “It was an illegal rave at York racecourse,” remembers Darius. “N-Joi were playing live but what got me was the music in a smaller area at the rave. Later on I found out it was the kind of stuff getting released on Strictly Rhythm but, that night, one record in particular stuck out.”
That record was Murk’s ‘Some Lovin’', and as soon as he got the chance, Darius bought it, got hold of some decks, started DJing and got a job in Crash Records in Leeds. “Working in a record shop for 15 years really helped me as a DJ,” says Darius.
“Selling house and techno to customers helped me know what makes people tick when it comes to music.”
Darius’s first releases came out on Steve Lawler’s Viva Music label. His first major solo release — after doing a string of remixes and collaborations — was house tune ‘Stay Up Dancing, Get Home Monday’, for Area Remote.
“I had a habit of going to gigs then missing my flight home,” says Darius. “When that tune came out Heidi wanted it for her mix album, Get Physical wanted to sign it. After that things really started to change for me.”
These days, Darius is producing as much as he is DJing, crafting tunes for a string of labels, including DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster. But, he says, it’s being a resident DJ that underpins it all.
HARRI & DOMENIC (SUBCULTURE, GLASGOW)
CRAIG RICHARDS (FABRIC, LONDON)
ADAM SHELTON (BELOW, BIRMINGHAM)
DOLAN BERGIN (ELECTRIC MINDS, LONDON)
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.