With beautiful surroundings that host huge festivals and intimate events alike, driven by dedicated DJs and surrounded with passionate fans, Croatia has everything an underground electronic music fan could want. The music scene runs strong in this country of a thousand islands, where the festivals continue to sell out and more are added every year. While these big events bring in DJs and fans from around the world, FRISKY knows that the core of any successful music scene is the locals who keep it going year round, and bring the essence of the underground to forefront every day. FRISKY Loves Croatia is bringing those people to the airwaves for an all day event, featuring the sounds that drive the scene from the underground and beyond.

We caught up with a few of the DJs that will be featured on FRISKY Loves Croatia, to give us their perspective on what makes their country such a special place for electronic music. Marino Gulić aka Rubb Surr, Marc Grabber, and Silvio Hrabar have spent many years DJing in Croatia, from deep underground to giant festivals, these DJs know the Croatian scene inside and out.

What do you think the rest of the world should know about Croatia?

Marino Gulić: Croatia is a country with more than a thousand islands, coast is absolutely astounding, with a very mild Mediterranean climate and a lot of sunny days. It is not unusual that now in mid-late November you can see us sipping on coffee on terraces, wearing short sleeves and sunglasses, in a lazy mode.

Beautiful and unspoiled nature, cultural wealth, gourmet delicacies, well-meaning and friendly locals are perhaps the biggest arguments why to visit Croatia.

Because of that Croatia has over the years become a magnet for promoters and clubbers from all over the world. We can see that by the number of festivals in Croatia (Ultra Europe, Sonus, Outlook, The Garden, Dimensions, Barrakud, Hideout, Light House, Hartera, Fresh Island….), every year the number is bigger and bigger.

Marc Grabber: I think that the world already knows about Croatia ’cause of our beautiful and clean sea and thousand of islands. This days Croatia is also known for a big electronic music scene with hundreds of festivals and parties every summer. A lot of foreign people say that Croatia is a new Ibiza but I personally wouldn’t like that Croatia become the new Ibiza, Croatia is Croatia and is unique.

Silvio Hrabar: Croatia is small European country with more than 1000 islands, 11 nature parks, over 6000km of coastline and seven World Heritage sites. One of those UNESCO protected sites is my home town Trogir. Croatia is also country of great wines, olive oil, delicious & authentic food… On top of these amazing facts, Croatia is constantly gaining popularity as a party destination. During the summer season, a variety of festivals along the coastline attract music lovers from around the world.

Dimensions Festival - Photo by Ryland Pearson McManus

Dimensions Festival – Photo by Ryland Pearson McManus

What is the best part of your underground electronic music scene & community?

Marino: Ufff…. the best part…. probably that dancing crowd. They always want more, more and more. Thanks to them, we are all still here. What is a great DJ in front of empty floor? Without these nonstop superb dancing maniacs this would have no sense.

Marc: The scene is mostly owned by UK promotors right now. Regarding festivals I think that Dimensions is one of the best and regarding club nights I really like the concept of Felver & Dixon called Stereotip (if you didn’t know Dixon is also part time living in Zagreb – capital of Croatia).

Silvio: The best part is diversity. Croatian electronic music scene is full of talented artists in many different genres. That is great for the community because the audience, specially the younger generations, can experience different styles of music, expand their horizons and learn how to enjoy in diversity.

Are there any challenges to being a DJ in Croatia?

Marino: In my case, every new gig is a new challenge, basic one….. will I make them move?
Still carried by this naive childish enthusiasm «this is all about the music» and if public recognize that together we create a perfect moment and goosebumps are here :D

Lately, I’m more focused on music production and digging for gigs outside of Croatia, this winter the biggest challenge will be the finishing of my first album so we will see.

Marc: As in the rest of the world there are thousands of dj’s and is very hard to get known and book gigs for yourself. I think that the only way to do it is to make your own production and wait that you get recognized outside the borders of Croatia, or if you are young and talented to go on some competition like Burn, Red Bull etc. Unfortunately, in house and techno music there is not so much room for different music styles and more “intelligent” music .. the main sound is tech-house and I don’t like it very much.

Silvio: Yes. As I have mentioned earlier, there are many quality DJs in Croatia, and the audience knows how to recognize one. Croatian electronic music scene is not young and weak, there are many people with hundreds of parties in their feet, and they know their music :)

Outlook Festival

Outlook Festival

Where are the best places to go to enjoy music?

Marino: Depending on the season, in the winter time scene is more based in the cities like Rijeka and clubs in continental part together with Zagreb, capital city of Croatia, while the most attractive events are in summer time along the Adriatic coast, especially in Istria, in Zrce (island of Pag) and Dalmatia.

Marc: Pula has always been the capital of the electronic music scene in Croatia and it happens to be my hometown. In Pula I also organized one of the first and biggest festival in Croatia called Valkana Beach Festival and as in that era the best places to party are old fortresses and abandoned beaches outside towns. Is always a good experience in Croatia to see some quality talent playing in an old fortress or by the sea.

Silvio: During the summer time, the best place to enjoy music is definitely Croatian coast and islands. There are numerous events, beach parties, small and huge festivals… take your pick. In the winter time, weekend nights are mostly reserved for clubbing. The most interesting events are usually in three largest cities; Zagreb, Split and Rijeka.

What is one of your favorite memories from DJing or seeing a DJ in Croatia?

Marino: After these 20 years of playing music, it’s really hard to single out one favorite moment. At the beginning in the mid-nineties I starter as a resident in clubs on my island (Island of Rab). There were always clubs for a crowd of 200-300, and for sure one of my favorite moments was my first climbing on top of a big festival stage and kicking in front of a thousand dancers. Goosebumps:) yep that’s it.

Marc: I always liked parties in smaller cities and smaller clubs… so all the good memories are from smaller clubs and abandoned places. Lot of this places doesn’t exist anymore cause of the “global crisis” and selling properties to foreign corporations.

Silvio: There are many nice memories, but I will never forget the very first time Laurent Garnier played in Split. I was supposed to play in the same time on another floor, but I left my slot to someone else, because I did not want to leave the main floor. That was back in 1999, but it still gives me the chills.

Premiering Saturday December 5th at 7AM EST / 1PM CET [convert timezone], FRISKY Loves Croatia will be a full day filled with the best underground sounds from Croatia’s vibrant electronic music scene.

Ivan Romac
Alen & Adam
Rubb Surr
System Divine
Chani Brawo
Jaksa Pavicevic
The Wheel Man
Silvio Hrabar
Marc Grabber
Cristian Deklic
Tome R