1. So, who are you and where are you from?
Federico Agreda, aka Zardonic from Venezuela
2. Tell us about the d&b scene in Venezuela, how are the events, who are the big artists coming out of Venezuela?
There's a lot of variety in Venezuelan drum & bass parties since certain places have been run by certain crews with different styles, tons of DJs pioneering the sound since the nineties when it was still something very unorthodox and experimental. Events also vary, sometimes a party with only locals could pull 600 people, and certain crews pull up to 1200, rarely but it happens.
A common drum & bass party always has around 200 peeps. Eventually, some DJs keep the sound more updated than others, while some prefer to just keep playing and playing the same shit, which personally bores me, but each to their own. As far as drum & bass artists go, myself aside I could name two great producers from the scene which are Carl Matthes and Turtled. Although they're on a vibe that's a bit different from my style since I'm on a heavier tip, but those two are probably the only drum & bass producers in the country worth mentioning. Proper business!
3. Sounds good man, So tell us more about your role in the scene there? What do you do?
You take for example Dieselboy, Pendulum or The Panacea, all these guys have always had a certain image built around their art. Specially The Panacea who is fucking insane haha, big fan here, that's the kinda show I'm going after.
I've been behind a couple events as well as promoter but never as the main guy because I unfortunately never had the money to bring it up, but something should be happening in the future since I'm trying to keep the scene alive and change certain things by taking a leading role behind events like some friends have done. And well, nothing more satisfactory than representing my country in the world map of dark drum & bass. I always hold high the banner of my nation as I'm very proud of being venezuelan. That is part of what I've built around my image.
4.) Tell us about these compilations you do, are they on your label? How do you choose your artists? Where can people find these compilations?
Well, Zardonic Recordings is a free net label so basically you just go on http://www.zardonicrecs.ve.tc/ and download them. Maybe you ask yourself 'why a free net label?'. To be totally honest, it all started back then when I was dying for some attention and my tunes sounded like shit haha.
I guess everyone has been there at some point, but then I also realized that there was a TON of unsigned artists with really good tunes that just wouldn't fit labels, or just grew old because they were good but people slept on them, same old story. So I decided that I had to do something for these people and push them by building a new fan base with a new label, so the best way I found to make a label considering I had no money for this, nor I would find it reliable, was a to make a free net label. And with time, I realized I got thousands of downloads, some releases even got more than 30.000 downloads.
And at this point I can proudly say that some of those artists I released are now getting attention from bigger names, such as CJ Weaver, Switch Technique, Kid Kryptic, Lucio De Rimanez, Soul Delay, 2R, Gasmask 71, dude some of the releases got played massively by tons of DJs. As of now I've eventually tightened up the quality control, but still keeping it a free product. One of the things I've always thought, a thesis that Blu Mar Ten helped me confirm, is that music is an infinite product. You can't really sell music. You don't sell music. You sell CDs, Vinyls, Merchandising, Gig tickets.
That's what you sell, but the music is not what you sell, is the media that contains it. Hence why I believe that giving out some tracks for free is something helpful before harmful for any artist. Helps for promotion, and people who like a certain artist will eventually come closer and buy merchandising, such as Vinyl releases. I know there's ton of people leaking stuff on the Internet that is already released on a commercial label, but I also get messages from people saying "Hey man, love you Zardonic Recordings releases, I just also bought your 12" with Policia". So it does help from my point of view.
Stylewise there's a lot to find. Most people believe Zardonic Recordings is only about Skullstep or Dark beats, because I know my image is related to that, but honestly I believe music is universal, reason why I put out these compilations called Rare Grooves with atmospheric and experimental stuff, not for dancefloors, but more for the listener.
4. So moving on from music, tell us about life in Venezuela? What are some favorite local dishes? Where are the coolest places in the country to visit?
If you come to Venezuela you NEED to go to La Gran Sabana, that's where the Roraima is (and, in case someone doesn't know what it is, google it, or watch the movie UP hahaha). Also Mérida would be a good place to go, it's a mountain town with a very cool climate, and most definitively the island of Margarita. Best beaches ever. The favorite food to me would be arepas, empanadas and pabellón. Make sure to ask for that. Venezuela's life has its pros and cons. As bad as the economy goes, life is still super cheap here, people just eventually find the way to eat everyday and have a beer at night haha, we're hard working people but we just can't live without partying. Oh, and almost forget to mention we have the hottest girls in the planet haha.
5. Any last words or shout outs?
Sure man, to yourself for this opportunity, glad to be in the Westbay blogs. You guys are doing it proper. Also shouts to all the people who have supported me and helped me build a good reputation in the scene: Dieselboy, AK1200, John B for playing that NIN remix for the first time which just basically threw me out there, and also shouts to all the haters for fueling my will to keep going and fighting for what I love the most, music! Much love from Venezuela.
So there you have it.. and we're not finished.. below is an exclusive mp3 taken from "Those Who Know The Truth" EP, ZRD019EP