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Russian Electronic Pioneers Gost Zvuk Turn Five

Russian Electronic Pioneers Gost Zvuk Turn Five

Spend a bit of time digging across the Russian electronic and experimental music scene, and Gost Zvuk (ГОСТ ЗВУК) is a label you gained’t have the ability to keep away from. As well as releasing a number of the membership and electronic scene’s most necessary artists, the label also acts as a hub for their skills, a artistic fulcrum round which every part revolves, facilitating collaborations and exhibits with producers and DJs, in addition to spearheading the music’s reach outdoors Russia (by way of for instance a month-to-month present on NTS Radio). Additionally they deliver to mild a few of the most pioneering and necessary music from the Soviet Union and Russia’s past with their GOST ARCHIVE sub-label (together with music from the legendary Mikhail Chekalin). Founded in 2014, the label turns 5 this yr (with an anniversary present in Moscow at new venue Mutabor in June), and is increasing, launching a brand new sub-division, GOST BOOKING to help promote and guide their artists overseas. That anniversary was a great excuse to get the backstory on Gost, so we caught up with founder and figurehead Ildar Zaynetdinov, as well as a few of the label’s artists, to seek out out extra about its historical past, its plans for the longer term and the fashionable Russian scene.

Ildar Zaynetdinov

Ildar Zaynetdinov is the obligatory interview in terms of Gost Zvuk. The label’s founder and day-to-day supervisor, Zaynetdinov also DJs underneath the alias LOW808 and runs the art area NII in Moscow, as nicely producing many Gost Zvuk releases.

So Gost Zvuk turns 5 in 2019. However to go back to the start, how did the label get started? Can you give us a fast historical past of the label thus far? You talked about the label’s origins in a gaggle referred to as RAD group?

It began with hip-hop. In 2010 we launched RAD, a group revolving round road tradition. Most key members of Gost – OL, Flaty and Vtgnike – have been also concerned. It additionally functioned as a label – we merely recorded music and put it on-line. Then got here the thought of releasing on vinyl, and that is how Gost Zvuk came to be. I coined the identify Gost as an homage to the Soviet system of quality commonplace, after which Vtgnike came up with including Zvuk, which suggests ‘sound’ and we merely began releasing the music of our closest pals.

It appears that evidently Gost emerged from the underground music scene in Russia and the parties and events you guys have been putting on. Was a part of the motivation for beginning the label that you might take the artists who played in those scenes, and package deal and current their music to the world outdoors those scenes?

Certainly, our motivation was all the time about making a platform for advanced local producers.

Outdoors of the individuals you knew from inside the musical scenes you operated in, how has Gost usually found its new artists through the years? Have you ever observed the type and high quality of the submissions you get having modified over the label’s lifetime? How has Russian digital music changed because you began?

Our household is growing and we’re all the time in search of new names, however in the meanwhile we are primarily targeted on the creating and representing our key members. There’s plenty of superb materials ready to be released. Relating to the selection, we now have a easy commonplace – you need to hear and instantly recognise the artist together with your eyes closed. If the producer has discovered their language – they’re on board. Relating to the Russian digital music, I consider we’ve been among these forces which have established the term, the scene itself. Gost Zvuk gave the impulse to re-discover native musical id.

If one among Gost’s missions has been to offer a showcase for Russian modern digital music, then the success and recognition of your releases abroad have to be satisfying for you? And with the success of artists like Kedr Livanskiy and Buttechno abroad, does it feel like an thrilling time for Russian digital music proper now, when it comes to breaking extra globally?

We’re very happy that our work, and most significantly the work of our producers is recognised globally. If our artists carry out worldwide or release music on different international labels we contemplate our work a hit.

The artists on Gost Zvuk cover a variety of various sounds and genres, but what attributes would you say they share? What sort of qualities should one discover in a Gost Zvuk launch, and what sort of qualities appeal to you to an artist and make you need to release their music?

We’re on the lookout for those who discovered their distinctive musical language. Every album is a bit of artwork, a considerate statement that’s challenging musical concepts, and opening new dimensions.

How essential is it that Gost has a robust id and image as a label? That it doesn’t simply release data, but in addition puts its personal mark on them visually and creatively, and has a transparent and recognisable visual and aesthetic signature that affects every release?

The brand of the label corresponds with its identify and in addition refers back to the stamps from Soviet occasions, that have been placed on gadgets which means their high quality was ‘accepted’. The visible a part of our releases is essential to us, the artworks are created in collaboration with our fellow artists, and Buttechno is answerable for the typography. I consider that the visuals translate our values not lower than the music itself.

Inside Russia, what sort of platforms does Gost have to promote and push your music, and to broaden the label’s actions past just releasing data. Is there a daily collection of Gost reside events? What kind of position do locations like NII play? And I know you release artists from everywhere in the nation, do you attempt to have stay events around the nation too, the place potential?

NII is the elemental venue for Moscow digital scene and it’s the headquarters for Gost. We do virtually all release parties there and different label-related events. But typically we do showcases – we did some exhibits in Berghain, in Batofar and some other venues within the EU. We are all the time in search of some special events – quickly we’re going to perform at Urvakan pageant in Armenia with fairly a bunch of artists from the label. We love Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and consider we should always strengthen the cultural change between these nations.

Of the varied Gost imprints, I feel the Gost Archive label is basically fascinating, and it was although the Mikhail Chekalin launch that I first turned all in favour of Gost. What motivated you to start out that label, and what was your purpose with it? Was the concept there was an opportunity this superb previous electronic music is perhaps forgotten, and you needed to convey it again to individuals’s attentions once more?

We consider there’s no future without the previous, you need to know and respect your roots and that’s the primary cause we’ve started the Gost Archive collection. For Russian digital music, Mikhail Chekalin shouldn’t be solely a serious character who has affected the scene’s institution and improvement, but in addition a type of symbolic determine. His music has been praised by many in the West — from journalists and critics of all types to Frank Zappa and Karlheinz Stockhausen, while in Moscow Chekalin’s identify was excluded from the official cultural agenda for a long time: he was accused of propaganda of overseas ‘pro-Western’ aesthetics and up till the top of the ‘80s wasn’t allowed to release his works or journey abroad. This, nevertheless, didn’t forestall him recording dozens of progressive electronic compositions and contributing significantly to the event of unofficial Soviet art typically — for example, providing sound design for the well-known exhibitions of ‘Twenty Moscow Artists’ on Malaya Gruzinskaya or arranging the first audiovisual performances on a specifically constructed mild organ. Next Gost Archive is scheduled this summer time, it’s going to be an album Well being Resorts of the Caucasus written by Notchnoi Prospekt in 1987, however never officially released.

You’ve also simply launched Gost Reserving, with the goal of reserving extra of your artists abroad. So are you hoping to actually push Gost artists internationally now?

I’m not only hoping, I’m positive that this mission goes to be successful. Our artists are getting booked around the globe already, however what we’re making an attempt to do with Gost Booking is we’re making an attempt to construct a system where the whole process can be simpler for us and for promoters on the other aspect.

Finally, with the 5-year anniversary this yr, how do you look back on the label’s story thus far? And how would you like Gost to develop and develop, going into the longer term?

One in every of our objectives is to create a sustainable system which might assist producers to focus solely on the music. One of the pillars of this technique is consistent reserving platform based mostly on well-established international connections. This is one thing we are targeted on now and about to work on the upcoming years.


Oleg Buyanov is OL, a DJ and producer from Moscow. Presently on his horizon is the Saigon Particular Room EP, which came out earlier this yr on Kiev label Muscat Data, in addition to an EP as Serwed, his dual undertaking with Flaty.

What kind of music influenced you whenever you have been growing up? 

Once I was a child my mother and father obtained tons of VHS cassettes with late 90s music movies we used to observe together: Dire Straits, Michael Jackson. Within the late 90s- early 2000s, hip-hop turned large in the US and of course we reached the echoes of it rising up in Moscow, and purchased some pretend CDs from bootleggers. Also there have been some radio exhibits like on ‘Stanciya 106,8’. I keep in mind the primary time I noticed the Windowlicker director’s minimize video being premiered on Russian MTV, it was mind-blowing!  Later in the skateboarding group we shared loads of music with one another, principally punk and rap (Wu Tang, Gang Starr, DJ Shadow, Misfits, Nofx, Black Flag). We have been watching skateboarding videos and tried to determine the soundtracks. As soon as once I was 14 on my option to faculty I met an individual who was making an attempt to talk to me, he was very depressed as a result of one thing dangerous occurred together with his child. He wasn’t scary in any respect, so in the long run he gave me a bunch of CDs with a couple of albums of Muslimgauze plus something just like the Melvins or Sonic Youth, and in addition a small pack of dried-up hallucinogenic mushrooms with the advice to attempt these each issues together (and I did after some time). So I used to be digging by means of a whole lot of genres and through the years of expertise my urge for food grew and I used to be continuously in search for sources of latest music.

What impressed you to get into producing? 

Ever because the first time I listened to digital music, I really needed to seek out out what the character of these sounds is and the way I might create this type of music on my own. Then later my pal showed me software for making music on his pc: a simple sequencer (like dance E-Jay, Cause and Fruity Loops) on his early Pentium – that was really exciting! As soon as I obtained my first PC a yr later, I began producing by myself, as an alternative of enjoying video games. In 2005-2006 one in every of my older pals (RIP Michael) gave me a bunch of mini discs with some re-recorded underground electronic music so I needed a minidisc player to take heed to it – that was very intriguing but took me a very long time to check it out trigger at that time it was quite arduous to get one. Later me and my associates started going out to catch some membership and pageant vibes, we have been on the lookout for new music performed by DJs. Via being influenced by a variety of digital music, I all the time questioned about how this music is created and what is the nature of these uncommon and new sounds is for my ear.

How was the scene for this type of music once you began making it, and the way does it look immediately in your opinion?

At the time I began producing music I didn’t know lots about what was occurring within the unbiased music scene of Russian important cities. Later I came upon the membership scene in Russia was actually big – large open air festivals with trance, drum and bass, techno have been happening everywhere in the largest cities of Russia virtually each weekend. In the mid-2000s the digital music scene and membership business was growing fast. On one aspect there were a variety of illegal underground rave events and on the other some business clubs for a richer public with extra glamorous vibes have been launching in Moscow. Me and my buddies used to go to both and my interest was rising extra when it comes to discovering newer sounds.

Saigon Special Room by OL

How did your connection to Gost Zvuk develop?

Me and Ildar have recognized one another for more than 10 years. I feel we had some pals in widespread that made us start working together on music, manufacturing, making music releases, and small occasions for brand spanking new artists and acting on our own. Before we lastly made it to beginning Gost Zvuk, it was referred to as RAD, a cd report label / collection of occasions more like house events. Later when it lastly became Gost Zvuk data, me and Vtgnike made it into a collection of vinyl releases with me and the rest of the staff on board.

A signature of your fashion is pulling these very unusual, summary sounds (loads of the sound on, for instance, Peak Distinction, could be very unconventional and otherworldly), and finding a approach to produce them into something coming near club music. Would you agree with that description, and would you say you’re inspired by that course of?

We now reside in an era where we’ve got entry to a very great amount of data, from over your complete period [information has been] collected by mankind. Typically rethinking and structuring this info provides me a greater understanding and by some means units the path for my musical exercise.

Another signature of your work is your distinctive samples, whether or not taken from films and elsewhere. How do you often go about sourcing them, do you come throughout them randomly they usually determine you’d like to use them, or do you go on the lookout for pattern materials whenever you’re engaged on a track? What would you say they will add to your work? 

Back in the day I used to observe plenty of Soviet TV collection and films, cartoons and ads. I’m still actually in love with them, and since I was first influenced by hip-hop music, sampling turned an important part of making music. Vladimir Kobrin, Vladimir Pekar – certainly one of my favourites. I feel I like the sense of nostalgia I received after listening, additionally I really like the method of digging and looking the source for my new ideas throughout.

The Saigon Particular Room launch options music that’s just a little darker and more abstract than some of your other work. What have been you making an attempt to precise with that challenge musically? 

I am not positive it is darkish, perhaps more deep and abstract with a way of immersing dub textures. You possibly can hear the sounds of Vietnamese lady enjoying flute with both nose and mouth in the background of the A1 monitor! This release is my imaginative and prescient of dub music from totally different perspectives, blended with some authentic Asian vibes at factors, and summary dubby electronics at other points.

How did you want it to sound?

I really needed to make it sound of its time – re-assigned abstract dub typically combined with hip hop sound. The image that I had in mind I once described like this:

“On a scorching summer time day, you enter the primary corridor of a well known native Vietnamese restaurant. The noise of the guests’ voices merges with the nationwide music enjoying within the background. All seats are occupied within the hall and the well mannered employees take you to a separate room where the environment of calm and luxury prevails. Lovely inside, cool air and tender mild conducive to rest. Unique dishes and drinks help you absolutely benefit from the authenticity. Distant within the distance voices from the primary hall at the moment are barely audible, you’re in anticipation of a terrific evening”.

Outdoors of music, what sorts of cultural objects and artforms encourage your work?

I studied psychology on the university and typically I contemplate sound when it comes to notion by the human psyche. I was impressed by late Soviet avant-garde animation and artwork, and science films lots once I was engaged on the True White and Peak Difference LP for Gost Zvuk. Additionally typically I develop into inspired by architecture lots – principally brutalism and constructivism – parts of which might be found in several elements of Russia and sometimes quite abandoned. I try to be open to the notion of my surroundings and very often I can find inspiration in easy everyday things.

What’s your traditional working process whenever you’re writing new music? 

Now it’s a more random factor. Typically it may possibly begin with an concept however typically concepts can come through the means of reside recording. I am continually making a variety of sketches plus I already have pre-made sample packs. Just lately I had a number of collaborations with fellow producers, I discovered this course of really inspiring and it helps to take a look at the method of creating music with new perspectives.

How does your studio look?

I exploit a laptop computer lots, plus some quite good studio screens. I began amassing Eurorack modules final yr – it’s good to diversify your strategy typically. Can’t say I am nicely outfitted, or perhaps I simply don’t need a number of hardware for now. My setup is sort of cellular and I really like to have the ability to produce throughout trips.

You’re starting your personal imprint Asyncro, what kind of music are you trying to release on that?

The Asyncro collection was launched principally for my very own music, current collaborative works and for positive music from my associates. The result’s imagined to be principally electronic, I’m not focusing on any single style/type however hope it’s going to be extra experimental and free type.

Finally, you’re additionally putting out a joint album with Flaty as Serwed soon. What are you able to tell us about that, and the way does your collaboration often work?

Me and Flaty have collaborated on few releases prior to now: Flourite from my Jungle TV and a monitor Dismissed Relations from Flaty’s New Ideas. For me Flaty is a really snug individual to work with, [we have a] prime degree of understanding and inspire each other with some new concepts. We often meet at each other’s place for an entire day to make reside recording periods. Then later we reduce out one of the best pieces – tracks normally with a minimum of postproduction. Throughout 2018 we had a couple of recording periods and it eventually became a Serwed challenge. Working on the Serwed LP we tried to keep the dynamics of the stay recording process, with a touch of the electronic music from early 2000s. The current work is a sort of our representation of latest club sound sooner or later based mostly on the explorations of free-form generative sound.


Photograph: Boris Vitazek

Flaty (Evgenii Fadeev) is a producer from St. Petersburg, just lately seen on production duties on Kedr Livanskiy’s new album Your Want. His most recent solo release on Gost Zvuk is the Instrument No.6 EP on the label’s INSTRUMENT sub-label.

What sort of music influenced you once you have been growing up? What impressed you to get into producing?

I’m a lucky child, I’ve been surrounded by the tradition since I was very younger. In 90s there was a type of subcultural growth in the suburbs of St. Petersburg where I lived, and a lot of the older brothers of my pals have been concerned. Mechanically we obtained all of the tapes they collected to copy, then started messing with all that music in our circle. All types and types there have been, and we found all that and liked it. For me personally, my major interest was in hip-hop and digital music. I began producing later as I used to be learning at college, so all my childhood interests naturally reworked into my present activities and life.

How was the scene for this type of music in St. Petersburg whenever you started making it, and how does it look at the moment in your opinion?

There was all the time a place for every type of music. But in the 90s, it was simply first steps for the brand new culture so a lot of the things that happened have been emotionally optimistic, DIY-moves. St Petersburg was an unique place where all these issues obtained began, within the 90s it was a boom-place. Once I began — it was round 2004 — there was already a gentle underground tradition in the metropolis, so we simply joined it. Now, 15 years later, I might say that culture stands much stronger.

How did your connection to Gost Zvuk develop?

It goes far, before GZ started, LOW808 (Ildar) and Artem (Miracle Libido) invited our crew WAXP to carry out at their closed celebration with the native producers (around 2008) in Moscow. So all of us simply instantly turned pals with the Moscow crew. All fundamental GZ heads have been at that concert, they usually’re still there with GZ. It was additionally the start of RAD as a label shortly after this meeting, so all of us have been already related musically before label started. Then once Ildar went to St. Pete and referred to as me and Nocow (Aleksei Nikitin), we met and mentioned this new thing Ild was planning, and he requested us to supply first two data for the label. In order that’s the way it began for my involvement. Still there doing things together and I’m comfortable about that.

ИНСТРУМЕНТ06: “Инструмент №6” by Flaty

You even have your personal platform, ANWO Data. What can you tell us about that, and the philosophy of that platform? You’ve stated you might have “a want to create objects with a high cultural degree”. There’s also an art studio right?

It is a analysis lab for my artist exploration, mainly sonical things but in addition some visual artwork and know-how. On the base of ANWO with Kuzma Palkin we created a reflective video system which was utilized in a couple of A/V performances. Now we work on a collaborative album which I hope might be finished this yr and released on ANWO.

What’s your typical working course of whenever you’re writing new music? How does your studio look?

At this time isn’t the identical because it was yesterday. The method is all the time changing and gets upgraded. I all the time attempt to rethink my system, optimise it and make it maximally useful for creating. Often I start looking for concepts from zero, simply enjoying with sounds until I find something.

You additionally work beneath totally different names for different tasks, for example Dada Ques. Does that assist you to have more artistic freedom?

It’s the approach how I categorical myself, it does not have any affordable rationalization I assume.

The three tracks in your new INSTRUMENT №6 EP all cover various totally different types, with Graf Damage and Hornets exploring very totally different types of club music, while the closer Rn is a extra abstract, experimental art piece, a soundscape. What have been you making an attempt to create with this EP? Do you wish to explore totally different types on one release?

There I tried to seek out few proper rhythmical joints which might be used by the DJs in a membership area. Entire collection of INSTRUMENT data is dedicated to that which means. More to say, these three uptempo tracks we select for the report could possibly be played at each vinyl player speeds 33rpm and 45rpm

Lastly, you’re also placing out a joint album with OL as Serwed soon. What are you able to tell us about that, and how does your collaboration often work?

Comes naturally from our long time reference to Oleg. He started the label Asyncro with SERWED report, we did 100% of the work by ourselves — writing, mixing, mastering, paintings and execution, all of the things. It’s strong work, I be ok with it and the method of creating it.


Moscow producer Danila Avramov is Vtgnike (pronounced Classic Nike) was one of the individuals involved in the very beginnings of Gost Zvuk. His most up-to-date launch is the album Steals, which landed this February on Nicolas Jaar’s label Other Individuals. 

What sort of music influenced you whenever you have been rising up? What inspired you to get into producing?

My older pals received me a bunch of CDRs with Warp Data MP3s, and I had this French music channel Viva that showed me Windowlicker and Come To Daddy – weirdest movies.

How was the scene for this type of music if you started making it, and the way does it look at the moment in your opinion?

The brand new era is certainly more open-minded, as a result of they have been raised in a world filled with tags/genres, so it’s not a shock for anybody in case you are enjoying horrible terror noise or an MP3 rip of a YouTube video – all of it is sensible. Once I began doing it – I’ve been a bed room producer for years, so I actually didn’t want any scene or something. Just internet and pc.

How did your connection to Gost Zvuk develop? You helped provide you with the identify, right?

It developed as I moved to Moscow in 2010 and we began chatting with Ildar. Back then he was doing RAD netlabel. I have dangerous reminiscence, I’m not likely positive if I helped with the identify.

What’s your typical working course of once you’re writing new music? How does your studio look?

It’s a room with no lights and it’s a laptop computer. LoL.

If we take a look at your earlier work, although lots of it has disappeared from on-line, it was a lot more up-tempo and clubby. Now, and especially on the Steals album, the fashion is far more summary, and there’s much more area within the sound. How would you say your fashion has developed through the years? What sort of music are you fascinating in making at this second?

I assume my information is creating, not fashion. I feel my life provides me a feeling of [my] fashion. So I’m not making an attempt to vary my rules of life. I principally like all the things with a groove. And every little thing is predicated on numbers. Even earlier than you already know them – you’ll be able to really feel them. I might be all the time into 140-150-160bpm music.  I feel what I set out to make is just not what I get after I finish it, so it’s a recreation. I simply attempt to study more about every little thing and feed my homegrown neural network.

One other thing that struck me concerning the music on Steals is how delicate the composition is. The whole lot seems like hours of labor has gone into these extremely detailed songs. How lengthy did it take for you to put together that album? And what was your inventive aim with it?

The album was remodeled one and a half years. I’ve been making music and the tracks that appeared to suit – I’ve been putting them away for this report. Every monitor is at some point of work… perhaps pre-mastering process might take one other day, however I have this rule, that’s something like – don’t make tracks take longer than in the future.

Your monitor The Healer comes with this excellent video filmed in Chertanovka that matches the music completely. How does it feel to see your music interact with other artwork like that, and what sort of things outdoors of music encourage you?

Life evokes me and also you create your life. I feel life ought to be about every little thing, with feeling of proportion. I find artwork in Russian filth. However art is a course of, and as a course of it is the most inspiring. A course of of creating dust from the supply is actual life, I try to stay it. Typically I see something fascinating in a jpg on the web. And I thank god for internet.

With Steals now out, what are you working on now? What’s subsequent?

I truthfully don’t know what’s next. Comply with Vtgnike on Facebook.

Sustain with Gost Zvuk and buy their data at gostzvuk.bandcamp.com. Gost Zvuk anniversary celebration at Mutabor, Moscow on June 1. 

All pictures courtesy of Gost Zvuk