Asaf Dolev from Tel Aviv started his journey in the world of music a decade ago, inspired by House as well as Techno, and ever since puts his focus on Tech and Tribal Music with a strong beat. Quickly, he was known for his smashing Mash-Ups, while his remixes were frequently played throughout clubs in Israel. His DJ sets were featured at radio stations such as Radio Tel Aviv 102FM, Miami Global Radio, Globaldjnetwork station, as well as a special set of original mash ups on Israel National Radio. Asaf played alongside with big international names, such as Offer Nissim, Jack Chang, Abel, Manuel Carranco, Phil Romano, DJ Rado, Dani Toro, Chris Bekker, and many more.
When did you start DJing and what or who were your early passions and influences? My first DJ gig was in 2012, but actually I have been working with music since 2001, as part of my old job as an aerobic instructor. We had to use DJs to prepare special music for our classes and at some point I decided I want to make it by myself. I started learning alone and also took professional classes at BPM Music College in Tel-Aviv. My first gigs were as a Resident DJ at the famous brands: FFF Shirazi and BEEF TLV that were part of my influences related to my music today. I think because of my Hometown in Tel-Aviv, my music ranges through a lot of music styles, from Umek, Mark Knight, Pryda, Filterheadz to Kryder, Paul Thomas and Peter Rauhofer. My music style changed a couple of times since I started to play, as well as the past year since I have moved to Berlin, I feel that it had an impact on the music I’m playing now. Today I hold residency at Revolver Party, B:EAST Party, Chantals’ House of shame in Berlin, and also International residency at Black & Blue Antwerp Belgium and Hustlaball. I think it’s important to be open to different styles, in the past and of course in present, and know what as a DJ makes you feel that Feeling, because when the DJ is having fun, people get that vibe and the Party is much more fun.
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music that makes it interesting for you? In my opinion a DJ should come with a certain Agenda and know how to present it to the dance floor. Sometimes the dance floors are different from one club to another and you need to know how to adapt while staying true to yourself. And that is the point of the DJ’s work, to know your crowd, read it, understand it and have the ability to be dynamic and interact with the crowd throughout the party. Today a lot of young people decide they want to be a DJ and it can be done more easily, but in my point of view is that you have to understand music, know the history, investigate it, be on the dance floor and understand how a party goes and only then you can deliver what it is necessary. While producing my own music the story is different, I have no time limit, I can go crazy and change things a 1000 times but it’s not live in front of the audience. I can take my time – every track and production is a process with a number of stages, DJing is about here and now and involves crowds where as track production can change so many times before the final product is out there.
How do you prepare for a set? I go through my music library on a daily basis, so I keep up to date with latest releases as well on selecting some old time classics. I try to know in advance as much as I can about the place where I’m going to play at and making my homework done properly, and I always arrive one hour or more before I start playing to get the vibe. In the past that process of preparing for a set used to take me longer than it does today. Now I usually know in advance what will be only my first and second tracks and then I read the crowd and reactions so I’ll be able to know which play to go, where in the past I used to work on the first hour of my set from advance. I think that changed once my music knowledge and data grew bigger as well as the ability of understanding the party.
Asafs Top Ten
1. 2pole – Reload
2. UMEK – Culminate
3. Nick Muir – Airtight (D-Nox & Beckers Remix)
4. CamelPhat – Trip
5. Shinode – Phunk (Luke Nash ReTouch)
6. Kryder X Zonderling X Tommy Trash –
7. DC Breaks – Never Stop (Mark Knight &
D. Ramirez Remix)
8. Spartaque – Vortex
9. Topher – Jungle Skies
10. Daniel Portman, Stanley Ross – Sampdoria
Interview: Sebastian Lifka