Artist Profile: Vladimir Ivkovic

by | Mar 13, 2023 | Artist Profile, Blog

If you’re a fan of underground electronic music or a crate digger in Europe, you’ve probably heard of Vladimir Ivkovic.This bearded, Belgrade-born artist has been a driving force in the scene for decades, consistently breaking down barriers with his unique blend of sounds and unparalleled crate-digging and curation abilities. From his eclectic DJ sets to his experimental label, he has consistently pushed the boundaries of electronic music. So don’t miss the chance to experience Vladimir Ivkovic at JETLAGGED @ Control Club on Friday, March 17.

Ivkovic first dabbled with DJing in the late 1980s, immersing himself in the scene both in his native Serbia and during his university experience in Germany. He effectively began by taking up space behind the decks at self-thrown parties like Selected and Substance, where he also invited names like I-F, Serge, Carlos Souffront, and Marco Passarani.

However, at Düsseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs, Ivkovic truly honed his craft. Alongside frequent b2b partners Lena Willikens, Toulouse Low Tax, and Jan Schulte, Ivkovic helped create a unique space within the electronic music world. Through his work with Salon des Amateurs, he molded an intimate haven for underground music fans to explore and experiment with new sounds and ideas, integral in the otherworldly homegrown talent consistently presented. Before it was as rampant as it is now, Salon des Amateurs was a rare spot where DJs could experiment and explore sounds and genres far beyond the usual dance music tropes.

This same spirit of experimental exploration informs another of Ivkovic’s most impressive contributions to the music world – the Offen Music project. Since its inception in 2015, Offen Music has served off-kilter rarities of all shapes, sizes, and descriptions. Categorizing the label is virtually impossible, and that’s precisely the point. The music Ivkovic curates for Offen Music perfectly encapsulates his sensibilities as a DJ, always exploring its most uncharted terrain.

Offen Music has become a ground-zero case study for effective label curation, with virtually everything receiving universal accolades. Work from the likes of Black Merlin and TAPAN dot its authentically subjective discography, with many releases becoming instant cult classics. For instance, the recent debut album from duo Kinzua, None of the Above, was highly acclaimed by The Attic Magazine, describing it as “songs of glory, decay, rebuilding and hope that found Offen at the right moment.”

Offen Music has since expanded into a monthly selection for Kiosk Radio’s “outsider” mix series. Across its selections,premium selectors like Ex Porto, Marcel Koch, Cucina Povera, Valentina Magaletti, and more have appeared. But Kiosk Radio is only one of the radio destinations where Ivkovic appears or has appeared. Noods Radio, Oddity Radio, Mutant Radio, and Red Bull Radio can also be added to the list.

But, of course, Ivkovic’s talents extend far beyond his work as a curator in the sense that he will always be a DJ, first and foremost. He consistently explores the dark and psychedelic sounds of music’s most undiscovered corners, a sonic storyteller whose signature has been marked on every dance destination worldwide. He has played at elite-level clubs like Berghain, Circoloco, Phonox, Sub Club, Smart Bar, and Robert Johnson, making him a bonafide lynchpin of European clubbing. Additionally, he has brought the festival heat with appearances at Primavera Sound, Flow Festival, Nuits Sonores, Strange Sounds From Beyond, The Crave, and many more. Across these appearances, legendary Ivkovic sets frequently arise, like his extensive 2017 Dekmantel Festival excursion from ambient to new wave and beyond. But, beyond that, virtually every relevant online mix series platform has hosted an appearance by Vladimir Ivkovic – Ransom Note, Dummy Hand, 44,100Hz Social Club, and Resident Advisor, to name a few. 

All these contributions have made Ivkovic one of the most exciting and influential figures in contemporary underground electronic music. He is a passionate archivist, curator, and peerless connoisseur whose continued commitment to experimentation and willingness to push boundaries have helped shape modern clubland, inspired countless artists and drawn fans worldwide. Whether behind the decks or thumbing through the crates somewhere in the world, Ivkovic has helped create many of the spaces where artists and fans can celebrate music in all its forms. If you want to experience all sounds Ivkovic, check out his 4-hour Crack Magazine playlist or his co-compilation with Ivan Smagghe, IDMEMO: A Future of Nostalgia.

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