Parties that go on for days, press-shy artists and DJs who guard track IDs as though they were gold—you’ll find more of these in the world of minimal house than anywhere else in dance music. And there aren’t many crews that stir up more discussion, and sometimes frustration, than the Romanians. Their limited vinyl runs and refusal to engage in standard artist practices—interviews, maintaining an online presence, interacting with the public—defines them almost as much as the music they play and make. Raresh is a cornerstone of this small Romanian fraternity, both solo and as part of the revered [a:rpia:r] trio with Rhadoo and Petre Inspirescu. He’s the youngest and best known of the group, with an enchanting flair behind the decks that was famously discovered by Ricardo Villalobos in Bucharest in 2006. In the years since, Raresh has established himself as one of the world’s best DJs, equally adept at playing festival stages as he is clubs and gritty after-hours (though it’s likely he prefers the latter two).
Compared to most house music, Raresh’s sound is dubby, subtle and linear, but his penchant for filters, fader tricks and the occasional big breakdown has garnered him a fanbase far beyond most of his contemporaries. The 31-year-old amassed this following the old-school way: by playing great DJ sets. After almost 15 years in music, his entire discography includes just a handful of tracks and podcasts, and three mix CDs (the most recent being fabric 78 last October). If you’re a Raresh fan it’s very likely that seeing him in a club is your main reference point.
There’s also a charming simplicity to the way he goes about his business. Living in Bucharest with his family, he makes music during the week, DJs on the weekends, and that, as he explains is more than enough.