You're one of the founders of Lekker club in Tallinn. Why did you decide to open it? Did you face any difficulties?
Yes, we’ve opened it six months ago, together with my friends. Tallinn really lacked a decent club. In fact, there was no nightlife in the city and not a single place with an interesting, high-quality program. Of course, it is difficult to open a club in a city where the majority is used to visiting bars with free entrance — in order to communicate, but not to dance. Everything seemed to be stuck in a strange state between ignorance and boredom; we should be more open to new things, though.
The small scale of the local scene also makes opening a club even more difficult. That is why we’ve recently decided to create a record label which will issue our own records and releases by other Estonian artists.
So there are no other clubs in Tallinn except for Lekker?
There used to be Protest bar, the main place for everybody to go, a legendary bar... I used to work there when I was 16, and started DJing there. However, Protest has been shut down recently and the construction of yet another skyscraper is planned in its place. There are several parties in Tallinn that move from place to place. For example, Mutant Disco, which is organized by Raul Saaremets and has existed for the past eighteen years.
What kind of relations do you have with local authorities?
We have pretty good relations. We are not limited in time, so the parties continue till all the people are gone. It is funny, though, that Lekker is situated near the central square of the city, and the city council is located just above the club. Actually, that’s not the best place for a club because it is in the spotlight.
I’ve heard about the segregation between Estonian and Russian people. Is it true that there are parties only for Russians or, vice versa, only for Estonians?
Unfortunately, it is true. Russians and Estonians hardly intersect. Of course, I have a few friends among the former, but it’s an exception that proves the rule. It was the main reason why I’ve started a series of parties called Dima: I wanted to attract Russian-speaking youth that likes the same music we like, but stays at home. So far, there is not much to boast about, but I don’t lose hope to see Estonians and Russians together on the dance floor.
Tell us about the history of Estonian electronic music scene.
Raul Saaremets, better known as Ajukaja, as well as Hüpnosaurus, is our kind of mentor. He has been writing music for over thirty years, and is not going to stop. There used to be several bands that produced house, but they are long ago out of business. Although, some hip-hop and house producers from the ’90s still play DJ sets from time to time.
Who should we pay attention to among the young Estonian musicians?
I would highlight Kadajane, Bakey USTL, Endamisi Salamisi, Kask, and Neuronphase.
How many Estonian record labels are there?
Just a few. For example, there is Frotee Records that produces good music, mostly re-releasing unknown local music. The rest are old school labels run by producers who release their own material.
Your record Nikolajev EP was released a few weeks ago. Is it your first release?
Yes, this is my debut record that came out on Collect-Call label. I plan my next one to be released on Porridge Bullet label under the name Dima Disk.
How did you get into electronic music?
It happened when I came to Mutant Disco party for the first time; I was 15 years old. Then I started to collect money to buy a synthesizer, and that’s how it took off.
Are you a fan of analog?
After my old computer died, I started making music using analog instruments, recording tracks on tape etc.
What is your current setup?
I really like what Korg makes now, especially MS-20 Mini and EX-800. I’m waiting for a Minilogue package at the moment. Also use Octatrack, Waldorf Streichfett, Microkorg, TB-3, Electribe ESX. These instruments are what I recorded my first EP with.
How do you see Lekker club and the Estonian scene in the future?
We Gonna Change The Game!