What was you last trip to St. Petersburg’s club Mosaique like? It is different from Kyiv there?
It was pretty cool! We played there with Nazar, both happy with it. Mosaique is a great club where everything is done right: sound, light, lineups. Moreover, the space itself is stunning, you can’t keep your eyes of it. Sure, there are differences from Kyiv. St. Petersburg’s crowd hangs out more actively, but it was always like that. A lot of people go out, there are many interesting bars and clubs, and, in general, a hell of a lot cool stuff is happening there. Particularly in music: I was surprised to see a decent stack of records from local guys at Baza vinyl store. Music is quite different there, but the fact is that St. Petersburg has a growing music scene.
Do you think a stack of records from Ukrainian artists could appear somewhere? What is the problem today: lack of money, talent, or lack of scene?
Money has nothing to do with scene, that’s for sure, and our guys certainly have talent, as well as potential. I know many young musicians who work not even “for the desk drawer”, but just for their own pleasure. However, when they fail to get signed by major (if this word is appropriate for electronic music) labels, a year passes and the tracks are simply deleted. People get fed up with it. I have never observed a trivial situation of passing a flash drive with music to a label owner/DJ who came to Kyiv to play. Nevertheless, in general, there are guys such as Vakula, SE62, Etapp Kyle, Woo York, artists, who we can be proud of. There could be more of these guys, and I’m sure there will be.
What can you say about the “cassette wave”? Will it work out in Ukraine?
Hmm... As a DJ, I'm not sure what to do with cassettes. Releasing dance music on cassettes is a deadlock, but for noise, ambient, and so on it's a cool thing. In Ukraine, such a label is unlikely to be noticed. But worldwide — why not? Depends on the music in the first place.
Wouldn’t you like to open your own record label? You are experienced, and it could turn out well.
I’ve heard a lot from some friends that they were going to open their record labels. The idea is nice, but you need to understand what to publish. Let's say, you need material for the first three to five releases, the plan for the following five. You need to have an idea what kind of music and sound you go for, and how to sell it. I believe releases on foreign label are very good for Ukrainian artists. This is, incidentally, an excellent filter for quality production. Figuratively speaking, if your tracks have been approved by labels of, let’s say, Firecracker level, it means you’re doing well. If you weren’t signed, continue working.
I can’t help but ask about the Zhiguli duo with Slava. Who was responsible for what, how it evolved and, well, why doesn’t it exist anymore?
We were equally responsible for the frenzy at the parties. Speaking of development, I have to mention Xlib club. If it wasn’t for Xlib, there wouldn’t be any of these parties and our collective wouldn’t exist. It’s clear why we don’t play together now, just consider the fact that we played together for about 10 years, and gradually our tastes in music became more and more different. DJing only back to back is a bit boring: standing and waiting until the partner will pick up and mix the next track. But in general, it was a great time. Yesterday I revised a video from Xlib, so much fun!
Now you play a lot b2b with Nazar.
I don’t know anyone else with whom I’d have so much music in common. It is very easy to play with Nazar, he is the kindred spirit.
Sometimes you are referred to as “the patron of dirty sound”. So, the hype did get to Kyiv?
Speaking of the dirty sound, I still like to play something from L.I.E.S, The Trilogy Tapes, or Lobster Theremin. But in general, this is an exaggeration, of course. Compared to modern techno, any Chicago record from the ’80s is dirty sound, and I always take those with me. In Kyiv, incidentally, there in no such hype. However, there is worldwide. It was a bit frustrating to see this lo-fi sound craze in house and techno last year. This sound is everywhere, yes, but the amount of quality tracks hasn’t grown.
Do you mean the imitations of 4 Club Use Only?
Kind of. Florian Kupfer and Co.
That is something similar to punk culture, even Ron Morelli (L.I.E.S. founder) speaks of his background all the time.
I was interested in electronic music since childhood, I had no punk rock phase. At first it was something like eurodance and other trash from pop-up cassette shops, then recordings of night shows with electronic music at Europa Plus, Radio Active, Super Nova. In short, a usual story. When I started listening to house music, it was difficult to find something except for disco house. I met Sergei Lapko aka Dj Lapot’, probably in 1999, and later Oleg Sokolov, and it helped me a lot. I could listen to various music, borrow DJ Magazine. Now it’s impossible to imagine and even more difficult to convey how important it was for me. DJs from London came to Sergei from time to time and brought bags with new records. They would play a set and sometimes sell him and his fellow DJs everything, including the bag. The worst-selling goods, deep house and other “not-for-Kyiv” records, were just laying around and ended up in my possession somehow. I still keep some cool records from that time: Nuphonic, Force Tracks, Derrick Carter.
In recent years, DJs has lost their “educator” status. Everyone can play now, but there are still few good DJs.
I think this is okay. All this excess will be filtered out over time.
Which record will you play at Схема for sure?
This one: Steve Poindexter – State Of Shock.