Cxemcast 013 – Brother G
What is it like to be a DJ? How long have you been following this path?
It was, probably, 1998 when I made my way to the DJ booth for the first time. I feel more like a producer, but I enjoy DJing as well.
Finally, a producer among the DJ crowd! Let's talk about that, then. How do you make tracks, and what is important for you in production?
I use both hardware and software. Probably, the most important thing is the release itself. I want my discography to be vast and diverse, with no digital releases. That’s what I’m working on right now. One of my main instruments is Akai MPC1000, which I use with hardware and software, as well as with my DAWs, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live 9.
Which labels did you release on? Is it difficult for Ukrainian producer to get noticed?
I won’t speak of my digital releases. The first vinyl came out, as I recall, in 2010, on Rawax label, it was a compilation. The next one was an album under the name G-Transition consisting of two releases, a 12" and a 10", on London label Boe. Then two VAs on Udacha and Rough House Rosie, two solo albums on Rawax, and two releases on my old label MRS. Of course, it’s way harder for a Ukrainian producer to get noticed than for a guy from London or Chicago. However, if you love what you do, it doesn’t really matter where you’re from.
Do you get to play abroad often?
The geography isn’t very diverse, but yeah, it happens.
I heard you’ve played at Tresor club.
I did recently, in December. It was very cool! I played at Globus, its house dancefloor. It was Monday, and still completely packed! Void Acoustics sound system was definitely the best setup I've ever performed on. Berlin crowd usually reacts nicely to music, and Tresor was no exception. It happened thanks to Rawax label, I am one of its frontmen. In general, all of my trips to Germany happened thanks to Robert (the boss of Rawax), also because of him I managed to get the right acquaintances and continue to accumulate them.
Wow. How can a club have a full house on Monday?
Berlin is a unique place. That’s not possible anywhere else, only Berlin has this atmosphere of endless party, every single day. Also, the magic of this place attracts right people. These people form the backbone of those willing to dance non-stop. In addition, there is a lot of artists, and there is a huge club industry.
How do they react in Western Europe to the fact that you are from Ukraine?
Not many people understand where Ukraine even is. A lot of people thought I was from Russia, or that Ukraine is located in Russia. Many people also think that I'm from Berlin.
How is your music perceived here, in Ukraine, and also abroad?
In Ukraine? Frankly speaking, I don’t have a clue. Abroad it is perceived well, I had words of support from well-known producers.
Do you think nobody is interested in it here?
I think the good stuff is, in fact, just beginning to emerge in Ukraine. We don’t have the cultural background for development as they have in Europe, for example. We will follow our way, though, and I don’t see any problems.
It’s clear we fall behind Europe. But what's missing? What's the problem with our local scene?
Few artists, no diversity, no small collectives developing their signature styles, something like that. We don’t have any strong labels, no distribution, etc.
And how to solve these problems?
You’d better ask promoters.
No one knows their faces, but they call the shots, don’t they?
If you actively work as a producer, you barely have time to search for bookings. Who else, if not for promoters? The usual problem of our promoters, though, is mercantilism. Our guys have a lot to learn. They don’t understand that it has to be an industry, but there’s indeed no industry yet. However, the situation has already improved. Once again, everything goes in the right direction, and there is hope.
How do they react in Ukraine to the fact that you had contracts with foreign labels and play, for example, in Berlin?
They usually say something like “okay, cool”, somewhat half-heartedly. In fact, partygoers who buy records and just are into music are in the minority. Anyways, snobs would say something like “well, anybody can play in Berlin these days”. I don’t feel any overreaction, more of an apathy. I'm a simple man. Maybe If I acted out, the reaction would be more like “oh, that’s a super-artist”.
By the way, do you tend to play DJ sets more often?
I mostly play DJ sets, I prefer vinyl. I played live in the past, and I think I should come back to it in the future.
What makes a good DJ?
A good DJ has taste and distinctive style in the first place, and the skill to rock the dance floor. One can’t buy taste for money or develop it in a couple of months, and technique is secondary, because it’s not that difficult. However, everyone probably has their own definitions and different approaches to this issue.
Good taste doesn’t mean that a DJ should stick to one style or genre, does it?
Of course not. Taste is a gut feeling of high quality material, which comes with years or even decades of practice.
Interviewed by Bohdan Konakov.