Some months ago, I wrote an article about Tirana in which I expressed the opinion that it “has the potential to be Istanbul’s poor cousin” . This of course offended a handful of people who, in their indignation, felt compelled to tell No-Yolo how shit we were. I think that what was lost in that article was my devout love of Albania and in particular, its people. As a matter of fact, I completely fell in love with a local girl and had one of my happiest moments of the summer there. When I sat down to write, I felt that tourists and visitors to the Albanian capital had nothing more than a vague image of what Tirana was. The article was, in my mind, harmless shit.
In an attempt to perhaps atone for some of the offense I may have caused, I want to provide a slightly more objective account of the wonder that is Tirana. I spoke to a good Tirana-born mate, Rasimsky, about doing a mix for us to give people a better picture of the essence of the city. Rasimsky is one of those brilliant characters that every city needs: a fella that can be found hanging around the university in the center of town, introducing tourists to authentic local public drinking (and public pissing), and most importantly, making music.
His music is fucking brilliant and purely made to do a lot of drugs to. Influenced by the German techno scene, his sound is dark, singular, and hypnotic. He initially started producing while renting a space for people to get drunk and play music in. Since then, he’s become one of the most interesting producers in Albania.
When he’s not producing, he studies architecture in Tirana. That fact is evident when he talks about what really inspires him. Speaking about the influence of his home town, he stated:
“In terms of sound, Tirana is cacophonous. The industrial factor pushes me to find beauty in the urban life of it. Throughout the history of development of civilization, architecture has always represented the governmental psychology. This mix is a personal product affected by social and urban conditions of Tirana while at the same time being universal, since it is the expression of my dark, unknown and mysterious inner self.”
Obviously from this quote you can tell Tirana is far more complex than it appears; oscillating between different identities, imaginations, and time periods.