The online magazine 'Mixmag' - specializing in articles on electronic music culture - has dedicated an in-depth look at the nightlife in Tirana, which talks about well-known DJs in the Albanian capital and how they are working to promote electronic music.
Electronic music in Albania
Kristi Gega is one of these: owner and manager of the Prodjscholl Metronom, a musical academy specialized in electronic music, belongs to a collective of artists, musicians and DJs who are struggling to bring the culture of dance music to Albania.
In fact, techno-electronic music has not yet fully entered the Albanian capital. Excluding occasional festivals, in Tirana they mostly play mainstream DJs of commercial music.
In recent years, the country has made great strides; the economy is growing and many ex-emigrants have decided to go home. This is seen by DJs and producers as an opportunity, as Rubin Beqo, one of the co-owners of the company, explains Tulla Cultural Center (a record store and an event space in Tirana).
Since currently only a few rooms dedicated to electronic music exist in Tirana, those who wish to listen to it must improvise something. Just like Beqo's latest project: playing electronic music in an underground car park, for this reason called 'Minus One'.
"Everyone here claims to be a DJ because they have a PC to put music on. Our goal is to make everything more professional."- says DJ Teelco, part of the Prodjschool Metronom team.
Much of this education is developing a new awareness of vinyl:
"The only idea we had of turntables dated back to before the Second World War, so it was in a certain way exclusively linked to the aristocracy."- explains Rubin Beqo.
Its Tulla Cultural Center is trying to fight this thought by importing vinyl and working with local electronics stores to sell turntables at cheap prices. And slowly, the culture of electronic music in Albania is spreading not only in the country, but also beyond the borders.
Last year, the new 'Kala' festival was hosted in Dhermi, a real success with artists like Moodymann and Todd Terje. There is even more waiting, however, for the upcoming festival 'Unum' which will take place in Shëngjin (San Giovanni di Medua) and which will host DJs of the caliber of Ricardo Vilalobos, Luciano, Joseph Capriati and many more to announce.