You are the organizer of Discipline parties. What is the focus of it and what is the idea behind it?
The focus is on hard dance music. By ‘hard music’ I mean genres such as industrial, EBM, TBM, dark electro and new beat. We usually start our parties from the last one. Line-up isn’t drawn up randomly — it's well thought out how artists act and what music they play. Black dress code works as well — everybody makes an effort and comes to Discipline in black. We also have the unified style of posters and party merch: video art is also in one simple style. We do everything ourselves — me and Mark Ziselson, with whom we founded Discipline.
Where did it all start? What has pushed you into doing your own party?
Initially, the idea was to make a party for ourselves, because we had nowhere to go in Moscow . So, we started Discipline for ourselves and a narrow circle of friends. Then everything began to grow rapidly — we had to change locations from party to party: at the first one there were 250-300 people, on the last one — more than a thousand. Therefore, we constantly have problems with venues — there are only few places where we can make a party, but they are not ideal.
Has the esthetics of German and British industrial influenced Discipline?
Of course! And Belgian industrial as well. So we play classic industrial along with new stuff of the same style.
This is noticeable in your mix. But don’t you think that such elements as black clothes are irrelevant now?
Yes, definitely. But when we started it in 2012, it played its role. Now it is already a habit, so everyone still goes to Discipline in black and you aren’t allowed to enter otherwise. And at the entrance we sell our t-shirts — black, of course.
By the way, in the mix there is no music we would play at Discipline. This is rather what I have been playing at other parties the last couple of years. On my SoundCloud there are two mixes specially for Discipline — there you can find some industrial. At other parties it's quite brutal to play industrial, so I usually play electro, techno, acid.
When have you started playing?
Hmm. The first attempts were in the late 90's, but regularly somewhere in 2010-2011, probably.
And have you immediately conceived your own party?
Somewhere in 2010 I began to arrange my first parties. More Than Ever was in London, and then I started to make the same party in the Solyanka Club in Moscow.
Yeah, in London. I have lived there for 11 years: I have studied and worked in London and Bristol. Actually, everything started in Israel, where I lived for 9 years since 1991. First raves, production of music, DJing — all of it I have met in Israel.
How could you organize a party in London? It must be difficult for a foreigner there.
I had already lived there for a long time and knew everything about it, so the first party was very cool — everything was stuffed and it was necessary to close the entrance at midnight already. In a month, I made another event, and parties started to grow since then. We even moved our event from a club to a hangar under a railway bridge in East London, but after the second party the hangar was closed due to complaints from local residents.
If I were told that Rozet had lived in London for several years, I would not have thought of industrial music at all.
In fact, London was crucial for me in my interest in industrial music. My friend there was making an industrial party which quickly became popular. I went to every party, I did not miss anything. I had listened to this music before, but wasn’t so fanatical. And on those parties I had diven very deeply. By the way, the party was called Endurance and was held at club The Alibi.
Did you explore other places? Fabric, Plastic People etc.?
I’ve been to Fabric twice — it's a very "touristic" club. There's public like that, you know... Plastic People was near to my house, I've been there sometimes —it’s a pretty cozy club with cool sound. But the favorite places were Elektrowerks, The Alibi, Macbeth and The Drop.
There is this stereotype that in London it's hard to show something new and interesting, it's hard to make it with your music; is it true?
It's true. There is a lot of musicians and DJs — many of them are very talented. They grew up there and they have this music since childhood: dub, jungle, techno. They are soaked in it, so they get it very naturally.
Perhaps, we just don’t notice what we’ve got ourselves?
No, there is obviously something else. Here in the 80's there was no club culture, something began to appear only in the 90's — and it wasn’t enough.
But suprematism was developed here, for example.
I am not sure it has direct connection with club music. Maybe some relation to abstract music — ambient or IDM (intelligent dance music). In the beginning of 2000`s Russian IDM was respected in the West — our guys had releases in Europe and the US. The local artists were highly valued: Fizzarum, EU, Ambidextrous. Fizzarum, for example, had released his album on Domino. We somehow arranged a performance by Fizzarum with Oval at Solyanka Club. Ambidextrous regularly releases something in Russia or even abroad.
Do people ask why do you live in Moscow, why don’t you return to London?
They ask, quite often.
And how do you answer?
I found myself in Moscow rather accidentally and just decided to see what can be done here; I thought there was potential. I have some knowledge from ‘there’, which turned out to be useful ‘here’.
You worked at Solyanka Club, did you need this knowledge there?
Yes, I was the art director there for two years. It was handy to have connections with artists and skills in organizing events.
It was a great place. Why did it close?
It was a very special club. Even more than just a club. It was closed a year ago because of problems with the rental — some quarrel with the city authorities.
Is it an ordinary story here?
In this country yes, unfortunately.
How much has the club culture of Moscow changed all over the last few years?
It seems it has become a bit boring. Everything somehow became like frozen and everybody seems to be tired. All the events are similar, everything is repeating; public interest in the events has disappeared. Recently on Saturday we crawled through all major points of interest and every place was empty in spite of good line-ups.
Perhaps, it's out of season, but there is that feeling that everyone is bored with what is happening. Everything became just creating Facebook events and inviting friends to attend them. There is a lack of new ideas.
Lack of concepts like the Bunker?
There’s just no concepts at all. The problem is not even in the style of music — everything has dried up. New places are opening, there seems to be a choice, but there is nowhere to go.
Maybe, this is because people do not have enough money anymore.
There is free entrance at many parties! Of course, the crisis has changed the situation somehow, but this is not the main reason. A lot of people still gather at Arma, for example. But Arma has always been a unique party with its own audience.
People are afraid of the new music, isn’t that the problem?
Someone is afraid, and someone is on the contrary waiting for it.
Well, then a personal question: what do you love to listen to but you can’t play yet?
Happy Hardcore! I play it sometimes in the morning — in Solyanca Club there even was a ritual when people were waiting for this moment and started to shout loudly.
In an interview you have said that you like EBM, is it true?
Electronic Body Music for me is the dance descendant of industrial music: all this Belgian theme, Front 242. Hard dance music, hard disco.
It looks very organic with black clothes.
Well, black is a bit of a joke already. But at Discipline it works.
Do you make your own music?
I started from it and have been doing it for quite a long time. I had to stop it, but now I'm back. I made several releases, then I started studying at university — there wasn’t enough time for music.
I have written electronic music, IDM. For example: discogs.com/Rockin-Pony-Hello/release/24562 — this album was released on a Berlin label which works with Arovane, Society Suckers, Karl Marx Stadt. Also there were different compilations in the States, Portugal, Germany. At the end of 2001 or so I have even toured in Europe with my first release.
Whom do you find interesting among local artists? Ukrainian and Russian artists have been releasing a lot.
Interchain/Obgon, Celebrine, OL, Flourish Fill, Prisheletz, Philipp Gorbachev (if he can be considered a local). I like what Nazar releases at Wicked Bass. Something on GOST Sound, Moralez from St. Petersburg.
Do you think about creating your own label?
It is too early to say something, but I’ve had this idea for a long time. I hope I’ll make it happen later. It's only about music like we play at Discipline — there is a lot of another music even here.
What would you like to release then?
We had an idea to release our local stuff and reprint some rare industrial vinyls which you can’t find here (licensed, of course). Me and Mark, with whom we do Discipline, often discuss these things with performers that play at our parties: Futurist, Rob Dirton, Deutschmark, Voloshin.
So, you already have some kind of community.
Yeah, very valuable and special people gathered here.
Are there any other local Industrial artists?
Let’s not do this right now. You know, industrial music can be very different. There are also other parties where skinheads are hanging out, or goth ladies or anybody else. Industrial music playing there is a bit different from our industrial music.
Maybe I haven’t heard something worthwhile yet, but it's usually sad to hear. There is a band Крепкий Продукт, you can also listen to Вяча на Жидком небе.
Industrial is connected with noise a lot. There is also experiment, original aesthetics etc.
It's not about an experiment. Industrial which is associated with noise is no longer for dance.
Are you interested in dance only?
At Discipline — yes. We usually start with slow industrial, then the tempo gradually takes off and in the morning it is already quite tangled.
How are the body dance and the rave culture related?
Everything is somehow connected. In Belgian music these are particularly close, if we are speaking about the late 80's and early 90's.
You talk about the 80's and 90's quite often. Maybe it’s high time we abandon our past and try looking for something new?
Definitely not. Without the 80's and 90's there would be nothing to happen now. The impact of this music is obvious — we grew up on it and that’s what made us. Of course, this does not mean that I'm not interested in modern music, but that music doesn’t always make me happy. I regularly track new releases and occasionally spend an entire day looking for new music.
Of course, there isn’t anything without a background; but it feels like everyone goes wobbly. You have just been talking about parties claiming that everything is the same nowadays.
Music of the last years is house and techno.The point isn’t in music and styles themselves, but rather in the concept of parties and some cool tricks. If there is a new style (like dubstep) — everyone will go straight to it.
What are do you do besides Discipline?
I make other parties, smaller ones; I help Interchain to make the Rawgress party (it will happen soon with America’s Container). I play here and there and make bookings — but it's harder now because of the crisis. This summer I have helped a team from St. Petersburg to organize Present Perfect festival, which took place in the Street Art Museum.
Who is the most interesting artist you have ever invited?
Personally I was interested in ERP/Convextion and Zebra Katz. My favourite performances were of Zebra Katz, Genius of Time and DMX Krew. Virgo Four had a great live, very soulful. But I can’t remember everyone just right away.
Let's talk about the mix: what’s the idea behind it?
I just love Electro, and there is almost nobody playing this music. I wanted to record this mix for a long time. Last year and a half I play something similar or techno. Sometimes at parties I notice that people are somehow afraid of electro: breakbeat, something is wrong. But there must be some diversity in music! I like electro very much but even I couldn’t listen to it all night long — there should be balance in everything.
It would be great if local clubs and promoters weren’t afraid of new music. I believe we should think outside the box. Of course, each club has its own rules and policies, but, for example, if the venue makes parties with techno, hip-hop, indie, but jungle suddenly becomes impossible — I can’t understand it. It’s an artificial barrier, close-mindedness.
A lot depends on the public.
This is also the case, but we need to cultivate novelty: you can’t always guess what would attract the audience and what would not.
What crazy thing would you like to do?
An illegal rave at Gorky Park! Actually, I would like to organize a Merzbow live at some unusual location, but for different reasons he won’t go to Russia. Or a Front242 concert in a small packed club where everyone is shouting. Or Autechre in an unusual space, but they also do not want to come.
Okay, completely intimate question then: what is music for you personally, is it important in your life?
Music has always occupied an important place in my life. The job at Solyanca Club has never been an obstacle for my personal life. But not only music is important, I value the fun it creates around. It was difficult for me to set up a private zone sometimes, but I do not blame music in this, it’s my fault.
So, life as a party is about you, but not yours?
It’s about me, but not for now. It was true, but I’ve had enough. I want to concentrate again on my work, as it was 10–15 years ago: I want to return to music, to play lives, that's all. The fun often knocks me out of the track. Well, it's cool, but not for every day for sure. Again — I need balance.
Then let me finally ask you a stupid question: how do you look after your beard?
With a half-broken beard trimmer. I try to look after it because my girlfriend will remind me of it otherwise. [The day after the interview the trimmer broke down completely.]
Are you afraid to shave it?
I'm not afraid, but I do not want to. I got used to it. The last time I had to shave my beard off was 4-5 years ago when I was filming for a new Philips ad.