I thought you preferred Chicago, but your mix and recent sets show kind of love for Detroit, don’t they?
I try not to get stuck within the same direction, whether it's Chicago, Detroit, or Berlin. I like to constantly expand my musical horizons. I’ve begun to divide music just into “music I like” and “music I dislike” categories.
Can a “dislike” become a “like”?
Yes, that’s a cool feeling when you hear something second or third time and think “how could I miss it?”. You really get some things only when it’s the right time, but this is quite normal, in my opinion. It is impossible to know everything in music at once.
Is there any music that you’re ashamed of having liked once, on the contrary?
I’d rather speak of music that no longer inspires, but there is no need to be ashamed of it. Otherwise, we would simply not come to what we have now.
What is it actually that we have come to?
Well, we are just at the beginning. Culture develops, there is a bunch of talented artists and local scene is growing. We are moving in the right direction. Development and movement are the keys to success.
In this case, tell us whom you can highlight from the local scene.
I'm afraid to offend someone or simply forget to mention. I try to respect the work of each artist. I have many friends and colleagues from whom I take my cue. It’s hard to make a list.
Do you also write music?
I’m working on it... There is still very little that I know and able to do in production. However, I am very interested to find out more.
When did you start playing?
It was at school, in the 5th grade I played at my first disco. I started playing with professional equipment in 2005. Prior to that, there were tapes, computers, and mp3 players. It’s gonna be ten years in summer, time flies... I should organize something on this occasion.
Many people know you as a vinyl collector. Which record was your first one?
It was a gift from the artist we played together: The Timewriter, Soulstickers. It was back in 2007 at Opium Beach club, I guess. I started buying records in 2008.
How many do you have in your collection right now?
Around fifteen hundred, or a little more.
Which ones are your favorite?
My collection mostly consists of house music. Nevertheless, I collect nearly everything: from jazz, funk, and soul music to disco, hip hop, electro, and techno. Got really hooked on electro lately, hence the mix was born. Incidentally, it is the reproduction of my set at the last Схема under the bridge. Probably, that’s my first set in this tempo.
Electro is at its full strength right now. How can you explain this public interest?
Music history moves in circles. It's that simple — techno fades out. New styles evolve, or long-forgotten ones make a comeback. Not so long ago, it was all about electro-house or electro-clash. Now it sounds closer to Detroit. It will be the trend for the nearest future, I think.
Should we expect to hear hardcore as well?
Hardcore is on TV every single day. (Laughs)
By the way, did you manage to put up such a collection with the help of musical dividends?
Of course not. Even despite the fact that all the money I earn with music I invest into music. In Ukraine, one needs to work hard to buy records. Among my friends, almost all the collectors make money as businessmen or at office.
Is it difficult to combine work and creativity?
Yes. Sometimes it is very difficult to play, for example, two nights in a row after a hard week at office and then go back to work on Monday. If you know, you know. However, that’s the price we pay. I'm trying to play less now, so that to allocate more time and effort to music, because for me this is a chance to break out of office in the future.
You’re saying you’ll be able to make a living with music, be it production or DJing?
This is only possible while touring abroad.
However, who needs a DJ from Ukraine playing Detroit music, if there are Detroit DJs?
It is 100% true. For this reason, I want to learn how to write my own music.
But how does our life and everything that surrounds us sound like, then?
I get your point. I try to be an optimist. Lying down and dying because of all the bad things that happen, that’s not for me. Sometimes, of course, all you want is to give up and run away; I just put on the headphones in such moments, and music heals.
No, I don’t exactly mean that everything around us is bad. On the contrary, we have a huge potential to come up with something new, building on where and how we live.
Well, of course. For example, I grew up by the sea. To me, it is the best place for inspiration. However, I’ve spent half of my life in Kyiv and the city influenced me in its own way.
Tell us about your “sea life”. They call you “Crimean” because of this, don’t they?
Yes, I was born in Yalta. My whole family still lives there... I come from Katsiveli, a small village between Simeiz and Ponizovka.
You're talking about the revitalization of Kyiv scene, but it seems that everything stays at the same level. We’ve had good parties before, there were interesting artists, communities (e.g. Addicted).
Addicted parties gathered about 200–300 people. We would often play for half-empty dance floor. At that time, Kyiv was hooked on Romanian needle; techno and house which we tried to play were not particularly popular. Today you’d have a really hard time bringing at least one artist from our list, however. Well, and those quasi-private parties evolved into raves, where everything is really getting started at 5 am.
We’d “have a hard time” bringing those artists because of the economic crisis?
Not only. Fees and tour schedules of artists like Levon Vincent or Prosumer, for example, have soared since then... Convextion hardly plays these days. We were damn lucky to bring him at the time. All thanks to Igor Glushko.
It turns out that bringing someone is possible only before they catch the hype?
This is a fine line and a lot depends on the organizers. To which extent they feel confident on the market. Sometimes invited artists are even unnecessary, in my opinion. With proper local lineup and right promotion of the event, the result can be so much better.
I have also heard a lot that local artists shouldn’t play too often. What do you think about it?
You need to know when to stop. After all, the story is the same, you have to decide for yourself what purpose are you following, why do you do what you do, and how many performances do you need. Sometimes I have an urgent need to play records and sometimes I simply can’t force myself to leave home. If such moments occur, you need to pause. Otherwise, why bother? And if your eyes are shining, then why rob yourself? Play and have fun, it's that simple.
Do you care which place you’re playing at?
Yes. I personally prefer small dance floors and venues, so that you’re closer to the public. But sometimes you want to play something that you just can’t play in a bar. Схема, in this case, has perfect size for me. While a couple of years ago it was just a party for 150 people, now it is a rave for 1000 people.
By the way, how do you feel about raving?
Well, to be honest, I've never played at a bigger party... And the last time I really liked it. This is a very different experience and impressions. Again, for me it's an opportunity to get to know myself from another side and give the audience something new and unexpected, something that they won’t hear from me anywhere else.
I saw you once with two halves of a single vinyl. Is it really safe to order records? What risks do you face?
Yes, it happens sometimes, especially with untested sellers on Discogs. You should always secure your shipment with insurance. While saving a couple of dollars, you can lose much more. One of the last stories is about the long-awaited record of Marvin Dash, which I was looking for a couple of years already. The seller simply forgot to purchase insurance and then two records arrived instead of one; two halves of one record, to be precise. I'll find another one, but it was a shame, for sure.
Are there any options for buying vinyl in Ukraine?
Yes, a vinyl records store has been recently opened in Closer. The guys are trying hard to regularly add to the selection, which mostly consists of electronic music (Hi, Andrew). There is also Vinyla shop with mainly contemporary hits and classics (Yura, high five). Well, and there is also Discultura, with a lot of different stuff.
Have you ever thought about opening a shop?
I’ve opened one — it’s in my bedroom.
Which record are you never going to part with?
This is always the trickiest question. From the latest acquisitions, the one that doesn’t leave my bag is Kai Alce – Take A Chance, remixed by Larry Heard. I think this is a future classic. Kick-ass record, both for home listening and for the dance floor. I strongly recommend it.