Interview: FERMA label (Athens)

Interview by Helena Markos

FERMA is a DIY Record Label based in Athens. They have repeatedly called our attention since they launched their first release. FERMA delivers pure, mind triggering dark sounds within the spectrum of electro, techno and EBM. The label already counts five releases and curates a VA series featuring both Greek and international artists. In light of their upcoming VA compilation ‘Roll the Bones’, they answered a few questions, so we get to know them a bit better. They talk about the electronic music scene and street culture in Athens and the Greek sociopolitical reality, the COVID related challenges the vision of the label and the new VA coming out on the 30th of September.

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How did FERMA emerge? Tell us a few things about you guys.

FERMA: The central concept was to create our DIY way of sharing our productions, expressions, and ideas from parties and nightlife experiences. FERMA was always on the edge of our minds, shaping an idea after ongoing discussions in bars and house gatherings. We took the decision to kick-start the label in a bar on Koukaki, near Acropolis.

Our inspirations mainly come from the local street culture, music styles that somehow played an important role in our lives, and the social turmoil raised after the 2010 crisis. One could say that the label’s defining element is the delineation of the street life subculture of Athens, expressed through our music perspective.


How are things in Athens at this moment? Musically and generally…

For several years now, Greece and especially Athens have been well known worldwide for their intense underground electronic music scene. There is so much local talent and hidden gems, either talking about artists, venues, radios etc. We have been fortunate enough to get in touch with really cool people, establish long-term relationships, and release music we feel proud of.

On the other hand, the city is getting bigger and bigger every day raising serious sustainability concerns, especially after the austerity measures that the present and previous governments have forced on the people and the environmental crisis with the huge fire breakouts every Summer.


You count already several releases, well thought and with a coherent sound waving between body music, electro and techno. What is your vision as a label?

Our vision is to share quality electronic music, remaining consistent with a specific style, even if the genres may be ranging within a wide spectrum release by release. Starting off the label, our goal remains the same, making releases we love to play, supporting the scene and artists that share the same passion we have for dance music.

How did the V/A Roll the Bones occur? Tell us a few things about this new release coming out on the 30th of September.

The upcoming V/A – Roll the Bones is our sixth release, and It is tapping into different styles like electro, wave, and techno. We brought it together after getting in touch with some great artists we love to hear and play. From the very start, we have been focusing on personal, more cohesive and complete outcomes that showcase different perspectives of the same artist. Also, we looked more into personal releases to establish our defining music style, which is not that easy to achieve by releasing many compilations. Nevertheless, we are also very eager to create various artists’ compilations as we like to get in touch with many people with different backgrounds and origins.

How do you see and experience the new Covid state of things? What are the significant challenges for you? 

For sure, the whole Covid-19 situation has played a negative role in the scene. On the other hand, it has fuelled new ways of expression and pushed people to explore alternatives to cope with this. Unfortunately, we got used to this situation together with the new measures affecting our daily and nightlife routine for the last 2 years, but it’s still not that easy. We miss so much the times with no masks or Covid Tests for the bars/clubs. Hopefully, we can return to normal soon. One of the significant challenges we are currently facing is to organise physical FERMA events under the appropriate circumstances. We started the label amidst the Covid outbreak measures, so we did not
have the opportunity to set up a proper event for the label.

Finally, any side projects you might want to share with us?

Yeah, our next release is planned for the end of this year and the following year, we are also looking into ways to release our music in vinyl format. In the meantime, you can catch FERMA affiliates through our monthly radio show called «ΔΙΑΔΙΚΤΥΑΚΗ ΑΠΑΤΗ» on FADE Radio.
Thanks for the interview and support!