Closer (a club in Kyiv) gently calls those, who are closely related to it, its “family”. How does it feel to be one of its members?
It's true — we are a family. Now this family has twenty people, but the number is constantly growing. I'm proud to be a resident of the Closer club. Here I can both satisfy my passion for DJing and work in a vinyl record store.
Is the record store your personal project or has it appeared as one of the many branches of the Closer's activity?
The idea has been around a long time ago, but we began to implement it after visiting The Record Loft in Berlin — that’s where the project finally stuck in my head. I would like to thank all the DJs and music enthusiasts for their help in completing our collection. Without them I probably couldn’t have done anything.
Did you have any difficulties opening it?
Difficulties? I don’t think so — I only get joy from this work. Being engaged in my favorite business, I feel in the right place.
Could you tell a little bit more about how this shop works?
We mostly sell used vinyl records, but sometimes you can find new ones. We began to collaborate with Rotterdam distributor Clone, as well as with Japanese vinyl dealer Energy Flash Distribution. By using our club’s "official authority" we often ask the artists who come to Closer to bring their new releases to our store. The store is based in Kyiv, but we also sell records on the Internet.
I remember an interesting case when about 150 vinyls were brought to us for sale. Their owner was very impressed when we found in his collection some “jewels” for which he asked less than five euros and on Discogs it would cost more than one hundred euros per record.
How many vinyls do you sell in Ukraine and how many abroad?
Fifty-fifty. Our small store has a very wide geography: we have already shipped orders to Australia, Japan, the United States and to almost every EU country.
Recently, Closer has developed a few new branches of activity. With its own record store it will grow into something more than a club, right?
From the very beginning we did not position Closer simply as a night club. In addition to parties, we have something happening here every day: theater acts, lectures, movie screenings, jazz concerts, exhibitions.
There is also a recording studio — is it another vector of development?
Yeah, and there are results of its work already: in Closer you can often hear the music written by some of its residents.
Do you consider creating your own label?
Yes, and I am sure we will implement this plan in the future.
The musical format of Closer has changed significantly. What is the reason for these changes?
We aren’t standing still.
Brave! Factory parties have opened a new scene, is it for alternative music?
Brave! Factory is a great party, it is already reminiscent of a small festival. Therefore, the second scene opened. On the first dance floor we usually have techno, the second scene is mostly for house music. We arrange this party once a month. On the next episode of Brave! Factory, for example, Sleeparchive, Tobias, Dj Masda and So Inagawa will perform.
Closer has guests from abroad every weekend. Is it difficult to bring artists to Ukraine?
Our community is constantly evolving. More and more people are interested in electronic music and parties — it opens up new opportunities for us. There are no problems with the musical program, the only trouble is our local currency exchange rate.
Is Closer well known abroad?
Closer is well known among people who are interested in electronic music. One of our guest artists once described Closer: “just imagine that Panorama Bar met Robert Johnson and they have a baby”.
There is a big discussion about the development of club tourism in Kyiv. What do you think about it?
There are many people speaking foreign languages in Closer. I think we have good prospects because every day the amount of interesting events in Kyiv is growing. However, it’s too early to expect a tangible change.
How come you’ve become a Closer resident?
I just love music so much, and it has led me here. I was feeling restrained in my native city, Dnipro, where I used to do freelance, so I thought about moving to Kyiv. I began renting an apartment with my friends Tamerlane and Timur Basha. I had a small collection of vinyl records and digital files. Over time, I was entrusted with the place at the DJ table.
Do you play somewhere else or only at Closer?
In Kyiv I actually do not want to play anywhere except for Closer. Last week we returned from Odesa, where we had a party held almost only by Closer residents. We are going to fly to Berlin this January — half a year ago we already had a “CDV meets Closer” party.
What does Closer plan for the future?
To conduct Strichka Festival in May for the third time. We’ve already got plans for the summer, but I’d rather not dive into the details.
Does the mix you’ve recorded consist of music you’ve played recently?
Yes, I wanted it to tell how do I live right now. I’ve recorded it in our store, by the way.