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Archeologies and dancefloors: An interview with the founders of Prague label Endless Illusion

Published May, 2017
by Easterndaze

Endless Illusion is a Prague-based collective which has been exploring various forms of analogue sound
through genres like minimal wave, electro, acid and techno. Aside from organising events and a radio show on the respected Dutch radio Intergalactic FM, they also release music – the current under an eponymous name and historical under the moniker Jupiter08. We talked to Endless Illusion’s Ladislav Zensor.

Did you have a feeling in the beginning that you’re filling some kind of void on the Prague music scene?

You must realise that around the year 2010-11, Prague was different. The last two, three years have seen an enormous boom. The situation back then forced us to organise events because there was nowhere to go.

Endless Illusion has been releasing electro, acid, techno.

Endless Illusion is a label on which we release dance music. It began naturally – I wanted to release my own records and after a while, a regular label was born out of that. Our first release was from the French project Ideomatic. The limited edition of 100 copies was sold out within 5 days. We approach people from all over the world. Our last record is by D’Marc Cantu from Detroit.

Zarkoff – Pioneers [ENDILL009] by Endless Illusion

Around two years ago, you started a project called Jupiter08 with the subtitle Archeology of Slavic Electronic Sound.

I’d been trawling through Discogs for a long time. I was interested in the development and processes in music. We’d been thinking about publishing a book which would document the Czechoslovak electronic music scene of the past. I had the feeling that a book would be too much of a responsibility, so we decided to do it in the form of a record with an accompanying magazine. Jupiter08 has eight parts – 8 records, 8 magazines. We didn’t want to only concentrate on the Czech Republic and Slovakia though, we also wanted it to be open for other Central European countries.

Similarly to the US label Minimal Wave, Jupiter also searches for rare records primarily created in the 1980s. Could you talk about the concept of the project?

In the beginning, I got in touch with the Czech synth band ORM. Coincidentally, somebody from the Czech Republic and Slovakia rereleased ORM last year. I was quite happy about it because it created a separation and I realised that I don’t want to release pop and I will be much happier to release forgotten music such as our current release from Omnibus. I found this project thanks to Czech musician Moimir Papalescu. The concept of our label is to search for unusual, opinionated experimental projects that weren’t comfortable for the regime. In pop music, it was often done upon a certain order.

Omnibus – Israels / Rhythmus (1980 – 85) [JUP001] by Endless Illusion

Could you talk about your current release from the Czech band Omnibus?

Omnibus is a band which went through a crazy development. They had several phases and in each of them, made different music. I managed to get my hands on the original recordings, which we then released on vinyl, from the leader of the band Jaroslav Zajpt. “Israels” is a very experimental album tinged with noise, while “Rhythmus” verges on synth pop with a slight influence of Einstürzende Neubauten. You can hear automatic drumming and an overall musical mastery. Omnibus often played as a support band to famous pop stars, which must have been funny.

You release current music, as well as the music of the past, often with the use of the same instruments and methods. Do you see any parallels between the present and the past?

I see a great connection. It’s about a certain sound that will never age. It’s just necessary to nurture and develop it further. When someone says that it’s over, it’s nonsense. Recently, I’ve seen an interview with Ata Kak who made Afrobeat in the 70s. He didn’t understand how is it possible that people still know and use the same synths that he was using in the 70s and the 80s. The analogue sound is back, and these instruments are highly valuable. It’s a sound that is very familiar to all of us. It can be retro music, but a current one.

The next release on Jupiter08 will be the cult Czech band Máma Bubo.