Oleka is the alter ego of young DJ and producer Dragan Lakic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is one of the leading figures in his country when it comes to techno, and in the last couple of years he has continued to pummel dance-floors and release music on respected labels like Planet Rhythm, Flash Recordings, Driving Forces, Tic Tac Toe, Credo and many more.
“Producing music is my passion and playing my tunes to the people is my most beautiful expression” – Dragan Lakic.
Playing all over Europe, Dragan is garnering more and more support for his work from respected names like Speedy J, Green Velvet, Laurent Garnier, Dave Clarke, Richie Hawtin, and Alex Bau, to name a few. Forest People represents Dragan’s own vision of techno – deep, dark and dirty, ‘just the way it should be’. As Forest People, Dragan has graced many of the world’s most prestigious clubs with his personal productions – some of them being Tresor (Berlin), Kantine Am Berghain (Berlin), Mamma Club (Lisbon), Respublica (Bordeaux), Panama (Amsterdam), Le Pigallion (Paris), And Club (Johannesburg).
Why the different personas? Do these reflect different aspects of your personality or upbringing?
I started with the Forest People alias 9 years ago and the style of music evolved from there pretty much. Through the years I made a variety of genres with this alter ego; lots of different production.
“Now Forest People represents techno that is darker and deeper, but Oleka had to be made for my uncompromising, distorted and dirty techno projects. With Oleka I am making tracks with no restrictions. It is my other, weird side” – Dragan.
Do you feel as if you have to stay true to each Artist’s vision? And is there ever any overlap, where you’d play a song that Oleka might play in a Forest People set, or vice versa, for instance?
In the field of production I tend to keep a visible difference between these two, but when I am playing my sets it is always a combination of the tracks from both aliases.
With the difference in name and the style of techno you play, does your mixing style also change? That is to say, is your style more unusual to reflect the weirder techno you play as Oleka, or is it the same style with different music?
Maybe I tend to get crazier with Oleka sets sometimes, because of the faster bpm’s and more row texture of the tracks, but most of the time it’s the same style of mixing.
When, where and on what did you record the mix?
I recorded it last month, in my room on cdjs.
What was your thinking behind structuring the mix, or do you just freestyle and see where you end up?
As I am playing only my own production, it is easy to either freestyle or to plan some structure for the mix. In any case, I try to feel which tracks are working best together.
Any records in there you want to give a special mention to?
I opened with track called Absolute, recently released on Florian Meindl’s label Flash Recordings. I am really happy with the EP I made for them and the label is just amazing.
Where can we see you playing in the near future?
I will be playing as a live act in Berlin on 23rd July in place called Birgit&Bier. Before that I will be DJing here in Bosnia in an event called UR5 with the great Hector Oaks from the Sonntag Morgen label. I must also mention the amazing Moondance Festival in Trogir, Croatia. I am playing as a live act there in August, alongside Jeff Mills, Josh Wink, Deetron, John Heckle and many more…