Detente 2020:"Every time we achieve this crazy mood, it feels like being 20 years back in time"

Detente 2020 was founded by one of Prague warehouse rave promotor and one of the city’s busiest DJs Fatty M (aka Uncalled 4) and his close friend and long-time Prague music producer Roman Rai.

Their debut EP titled "Enough" features legendary NY rapper Afu-Ra, Norwegian producer Fett Burger (Dekmantel), Israeli producer Olsvangèr, Czech philharmonic drummer Jakub Tengler, and Charlie One (Ohm Square). The release will come out via Uncalled 4’s newly launched label FM, which he and Prague DJ and promoter DJ Schwa launched last year with a sold-out debut EP, featuring a remix from Egyptian Lover.

Known for their Komiks warehouse raves that have been one of Prague’s best-kept secrets for years, the guys have been a vital part of the city’s underground dance music community and have played the city’s first Boiler Room live stream. We invited them to casual talk about the LP, the current situation, and much more. 

Hey guys, what have you been up to lately?

Fatty M: Hello. Hope you are well. Lately, we have experienced some difficulties related to personal things. But things are looking up, and we are hoping to get back in the studio soon.

We saw through the media that there is a very strict lockdown in the Czech Republic right now. How have you been dealing with it and has music helped you find a creative way to blow off some steam?

Both: Indeed. Our populistic government run by billionaire Babiš is a group of stupid people who care more about their profits rather than other peoples' happiness. With such an attitude, they have made so many mistakes in keeping the situation under control, that people do not trust them anymore, hence not following the rules and that's how pandemics spread even more.

Anyway, we are trying to stay positive. It seems like it's getting down and the situation will get better soon.

You both have been producing and DJing as solo acts for years now. How did you decide to team up and start the Detente 2020 project and how is it different from your solo projects?

Roman Rai: Actually we have teamed up after many years again. Minimally, for the second time. We even shared the same residency in one of Prague's nightclubs a long time ago. But Detente 2020 was quite a challenging project at the start - especially doing musical things together after such a long time.

We also wanted to team up with other musicians and did some crazy things. And of course, we also continue our own solo projects.

Your debut release is named ‘Enough’ and it features a few collaborations and several remixes. What was your production process for this release and how did you get hooked up with the other artists on the release?

Roman Rai: Originally we had this idea because Fatty is really into old-school hip hop music, and one of the ‘90s legends, Afu-Ra actually moved to the Czech Republic a few years ago. We saw this as an opportunity to reach out to him and make such a special collaboration happen. We were aiming at something along the lines of rap/electronica sound, and we are very happy that he has joined this EP.

Charlie One is an extremely talented UK singer, who has been living in Prague for over a decade. She was our obvious choice immediately after we talked with Afu-Ra. We imagined that they would fit very well together.

The EP came out this March via Prague-based label FM, which is also co-run by one half of Detente 2020 (Uncalled 4 aka Fatty M). Please walk us through the concept of the label and the sound it champions.

Fatty M: FM has thoughtfully crafted trilogies of releases united by a running theme and a shared design, reflecting certain genres and past decades and connecting them with a broad selection of artists that are essential to the contemporary dance music scene.

‘Enough’ is the second release of a trilogy exploring the sounds of hip hop and rap through the years. Has the genre had a big influence on you growing up in the Czech Republic? If so, please tell us about the local scene!

Fatty M: The second part of the trilogy will come with a delicate cover made of painting canvas, which will be sewn on all sides with a thick thread, that will make an imaginary frame. There will be unique paintings of Czech artists on the canvas. The phase will symbolize and connect the era of House, Techno and Trance, EBM, New Beat. We want to highlight these genres due to the times of the ‘90s when this music was almost a united genre. The third trilogy was my huge passion.

Currently, we’re working on a fashion collection, which connects several stages in music. Starting with disco and his different species, from which Hip Hop later started to earn in musical and also in a fashionable way. The third part is affected by the current modular wave. The collection responds to a modular approach with a spectrum of removable clothing parts. It will also be used in a third vinyl sleeve made of cloth. A removable cassette case will be attached. On a third release, we’ll want to connect all the music genres from Disco to Modular Electronica and Techno.

We noticed that ‘Enough’ has a really cool cardboard record sleeve. Who does your artwork design and why is artwork important for you?

The vision of the label is to combine music, art design, and fashion because of that I'd like to create something really specific and unique. This cardboard sleeve was created and caused by my passion for modular stuff. I found one old paper factory here in Prague and made a special deal with them to be able to develop this sleeve as it is. 

In addition, you’re also about to launch your own fashion label. Can you reveal more info about it and the idea behind the brand?

Fatty M: Modular clothing fashion is inspired by the first trilogy (cardboard sleeve). There is a removable pocket pouch as a part of the jacket, which you can convert by two steps on the designer bag. The bag is from corduroy fabric and is a copy of the vinyl sleeve. All the clothes you can change, adjust and remove different parts - this is the modular approach.

Before launching the label, you have also been running your own warehouse events series, Komiks. What sets Komiks apart from other parties? And do you have any plans for events when the lockdown is finally over? 

Fatty M: Komiks is created by me, Schwa and Lumiere. Actually, here in Prague, we have a lot of creative collectives who organize cool warehouse and art events. But we are the group of older generation ravers mixed with young artists.  That is the reason why our parties are more colorful, visuals are more fun-oriented and it's not just dark party stuff. And every time we achieve this crazy mood as if it was 20 years back in time. After the lockdown? Let's see. :) 

Aside from this EP, what else do you have in the works? 

Both: Be fresh, happy, and healthy.

By Saša, edited on 12 May 2021