As always, an introductive question: how long have you been playing? What’s your “how I became a DJ” story?
I played my first sets back in 2006, but didn’t consider it a serious matter until I bought my first record. It was June 7, 2008, four days after my birthday. I ordered the Babylon: Volume 1 LP from one of the most popular dubstep producers Rusko. Since then, everything has got a fresh coat of paint. It is fair to say that I became a DJ that day.
Did you accumulate many records over seven years?
Now I have around seven hundred, but buying turnover has always been different, it mostly depends on your enthusiasm and how often you play. When dubstep was still popular, not in its current form, records were purchased constantly in large batches.
Which record is your favorite one?
I will always be fond of Digital Mystikz, Haunted/Anti War Dub. To me, this record is a paragon of quality and at the same time simple music.
You said that your starting point as a DJ was to purchase records. Do you evaluate DJ’s professionalism by the media they play from?
Not at all. When I started to collect records, the tracks I needed weren’t available in digital. Internet was slow, and there was no Boiler Room. I’ve witnessed times when standard DJ kit consisted of two decks, a mixer, a pack of records, a pair of headphones, and needles. It is difficult to abandon old habits and good traditions, you know. However, it doesn’t matter what instrument you use, the only thing which matters is the result. It makes no difference if it’s Ableton or Traktor. My favorite DJs and musicians no longer carry DJ bags and I still respect them, of course.
You’ve mentioned Boiler Room. When will it come to Kyiv?
I don’t really care for it, you’d better go to Boiler Room in Germany or in Poland.
You see, it does take place in Kraków or Wrocław, but not in Kyiv. Does it mean that we don’t have our own quality scene and good musicians?
There is a scene or, perhaps, seeds of emerging scenes for any music genre. However, our young (and not so young) musicians and DJs get little constructive criticism of their performances, which really hinders their development. Similarly, there are no community for experimental musicians who would constantly push the envelope. All we’ve got is just a couple of bright personalities. For example, I believe Stanislav Tolkachev has always been and will remain the coolest one.
It turns out that the root of evil is the lack of music criticism, isn’t it?
Indeed! There’s just not enough of Andrei Gorokhov’s (Kyiv-based music educator and critic) criticism to go around. I would open a public page for discussions and invite a lot of different guys with critical views, like Igor Glushko. We could maybe realize something when shit hits the fan.
What about the audience? Do they really need a strong local scene when almost every weekend they have artists from abroad playing?
Mark my words, they will close the border and we’ll have nowhere to go except for students’ nights at Forsage club.
Such a bleak outlook. Do you write music, by the way?
I play some synthesizers, often along with somebody else. It hasn’t yet worked out as something worthwhile, though. I can give a link to my old project where we’ve been recording a bunch of various instruments, bussing everything to a single channel, and ended up with some trash music. However, it was funny, sounding like this: Uğursuz Rok Ulduz — Poshta. I wouldn’t call it proper music, but the process itself was incredibly cool.
Among all the DJs I interviewed there wasn’t a single producer. Do you believe in some kind of “DJ mission” in development of music scene?
A simple example: I have a friend, Dima, who is a great producer, very productive and generally popular. However, I often manage to catch him by surprise making him discover new styles and artists. Maybe this is the DJ mission? Speaking of Dima, we have recently played a test live in Odessa and it was so much fun.
So, we should pin all our hopes on the audience that would wonder, get enlightened and applaud, shouldn’t we?
Truer words will never be spoken.
Your podcast turned out quite eclectic, on the verge of techno and ambient. Did I get it right?
Not really, it’s on the brink of experimental music, with some world music along the way and a techno ending. I tried to pick something that sends the signal about me. Though it may sound selfish, every DJ does that. That’s why this mix changes from storm to calm.
What is experimental music?
That’s frameworks upside down, a sample of a kitten with lots of delay in the beginning of the track, sounds of a huge modular in the end. The best example of experimental music for me is Kaboom Karavan.
Do you like techno because it adjusts this vision for dance music?
No. I just love bass, deep, strong, complex one. I have this passion left from my dubstep period. Some techno artists, such as Material Object, Rrose, and Atom, do it properly as well, that's why I started a relationship with techno. It gives me goosebumps again and again as it was with dubstep six years ago.
What happened with your love to dubstep? Do you think it took a wrong turn when it lost its British accent?
Right people stopped writing it, it’s that easy. They are now quite busy with other stuff.
Yes and no. For example, Mala plays live with Cuban drummers and Loefah plays tech house tracks. Almost everyone has something to do.
What are you going to play at Схема this Friday?
Deep, non-mainstream techno with fucking amazing bass lines and long musical ornaments.