In the wake of the pandemic, the Gravity podcast series invites each artist of its roster to showcase their music through a conceptual journey, reflecting on how their listening, playing habits, and possibly other important aspects of their existence have been affected by the general context. These mixes, accompanied by short interviews and a photographic glimpse into the artist’s personal space, constitute an archive of these unprecedented challenges, how they were apprehended and conquered.
As we dive into unpredictable times in the aftermath of the pandemic, our experience of everyday life and our perception of music comes out altered. Some of these changes will stay with us, some will vanish as they appeared - without warning.
By the time Ankali opened its doors in May 2017, fleika was already a renowned figure of the Prague music scene. From the meticulously curated Dietl Archive series to the unhinged Cukr raves taking place in extravagant venues, his involvement in the electronic music events that rhythm the city is still outstanding. In this exclusive short interview, fleika lets us in on his creative process, how it was affected by the pandemic, the magic of DIY venues, and his experience of being as passionate a raver as he is a DJ.
Tell us about your selection for the Gravity podcast and the narrative behind your mix.
I tried to stay true to my essence, but also to reflect my current state of mind and the surrounding situation in Prague. Recently I started building my sets around older tracks hidden deep in my library. They are already tied to some emotion or memory of the time when I first found them, or even played them. I mix them up with the fresh digs and complement the frame previously put in place. In this mix, I started on a darker note, continued groovy and almost positive in between, before ending in a deeper and more melancholic atmosphere. This for me represents the emotional roller coaster of this last year.
Photo by Madeleine Apolen
How was your interest in music impacted by the ongoing crisis? Did a noticeable shift occur in your taste and approach to music?
I am a DJ with the same passion I have as an attendee in the crowd. My perception of music is strongly intertwined with my experience of being on the other side of the mixer. Music I like and play is always strongly taking into consideration the listeners, the crowd at the venue if it's a live gig – the best case scenario. During the pandemic, this was not possible so it was sometimes harder to lock into the idea of building a set and imagining the full experience of it. On the other hand, I had more time and less distractions from production. In a way and in spite of the obvious negative aspects, these were some positive side effects of the pandemic. This time also enabled me to discover other creative outlets that may be translated in music when venues reopen.
Can you remember your last set in front of a real audience? Can you tell us about it?
Yeah, of course. The last party at Ankali, before the second wave. The vivid memory of that night kept me positive during this crazy situation. It was supposed to happen on 12/9, but when the government announced new restrictions, we decided to bring it forward to the 5/9 (big up to Michal and Cyril for this one). Fred [Alfred Czital] was opening, Yan and Lotus Wash came on after him and I had the pleasure of closing the whole thing down. I started to play for a full club, slowly watched the crowd shrinking as more and more friendly faces started to appear in the audience. In the end I played for 8 hours, surrounded by friends, in a family-like vibe. This was yet another example of the special atmosphere that only not perfectly planned and last minute parties can summon.
One of the first ever tracks that gave you goosebumps?