101 with Marko Nastic

Welcome to the world of Marko Nastić, the leading Southeast European DJ. In a troubled Serbia of the 90s, Marko and his buddies built one of the most vibrant club scenes in the Balkans, the one that inspired writers of Mixmag, The Face, DJ and NME to write accolades many moons ago. They resisted dark forces of political madness through electronic music and a celebration of life. DJ-ing and music were always part of Marko’s background: even in his adolescent years, he was fascinated with synthesizers, drum machines and other sound-making gadgets. In the early 90s, when techno started filtering through to Serbia, Marko eagerly entered the scene.  

Soon word of a teenage techno prodigy started spreading around town and all of this energy started funnelling into the young & aspiring DJ team called Teenage Techno Punks – all of whom were under 18 and consisted of Marko Nastić, Dejan Milićević and Miloš Pavlović. Nastić was the leader of the pack, soon to become the hottest talent of Southeastern Europe’s electronic scene.

The queues leading to the clubs on the nights they played were longer than ever. The word soon started to spread beyond the boundaries of Serbia and just as techno music was becoming popular, the Balkan conflict escalated. Marko was too young to fully realize the gravity of the situation, but it did have an impact on his life. ‘Things were tense, but a lot of it luckily went over my head,’ he admits. ‘It also meant that buying records then was very difficult and the choice was poor.’

These circumstances shaped and strengthened Marko and the other kids there. The free parties they threw during those times are still an urban legend in Belgrade. After the war, the club scenes in neighbouring countries became aware of Nastić’s unparalleled DJ-ing skills and his distinctive three-deck style. Since then, Marko has matured into a DJ, who cannot be labelled as purely techno, house or minimal; he’s all of that ... and more.

Marko was a member of the original Recycled Loops crew and after the label stopped, Marko joined Valentino Kanzyani’s ‘Jesus Loved You’ and started three labels himself – Recon Warriors, which put Marko on the charts, followed by Recon Light and Traffica.

What’s your favourite piece of gear – something you couldn’t live without?

In this moment definitely my Circlon sequencer.

Which do you prefer – playing at enormous festivals or intimate clubs?

A bit of both.

Which is the most mesmerising club that you’ve ever played at?

Well, I always love to play at 20/44 in Belgrade, this place has a unique vibe and people.

What is your best and worst experience at a gig and why?

I was always in search of the best places connected with cool crews, who’re totally into what they’re doing, from cool setups to amazing music and, of course, a one-of-a-kind party crowd. Lately, I found a lot of new organisations, especially in the Balkans, who aren’t pushing the boundaries in the right direction, they aren’t investing in anything to better the scene or make improvements.

Do you have any interests besides music?

Yes, I started my brand called NSTC and this is what takes up a lot of my spare time.

Do you enjoy sunset or sunrise sets?

For a long time, I was closing the Dance Arena (at the Exit festival) and this was a kind of spectacular event, which gave you a special feeling in the morning. Love it!

What do you like and what do you hate about the music industry?

I like that everything’s happening very fast and there’s a lot of new stuff going on, considering the equipment and technology. It’s much easier for an artist to grow and develop.

One thing I don’t like lately is that the scene lost the original flavour of real artists, lots of stuff is easily being pushed out by money and power.

If you could pick any artist to do a b2b set, who would it be?

I like to play with various people, lately, I enjoy sets with Aneuria, DJunior, Mene, …

What’s your biggest fear?

That moment, when you become a parent and your world changes and everything starts connecting with your kid. You can’t put yourself in the first place any more, you try to become better in every aspect of life so that your child can enjoy as much as he can. In a way, you try to leave a better world for him.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a gig? / Could you pick one timeless track?

There’s so much stuff I love ... let say today I was listening to LFO – LFO

By Alen, edited on 14 June 2018