Friday, 6 August 2010
INTERVIEW: Demokracy [Robox Neotech]
Twisting up genres with spectacular ease - both in their productions and in their mixes for sites like Monday Jazz - we’ve been intrigued by the Russian duo Demokracy since we were sent a couple of clips of Starkey dropping some of their tunes on his Sub FM show back in June. With an EP release forthcoming on Doshy’s Robox Neotech imprint - a package that fuses bastard hip hop with anything and everything from digitized squiggles to plump sawtooth bass lines - we got super excited after learning they shared our penchant for the classic Anticon era and Doseone’s manic wordplay, so we asked them to put together a mix.
The happy making thing is: these two near anonymous dudes from Siberia absolutely smacked it...
Sonic Router: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
Demokracy: We are Stas (aka Hmot) and Albert (aka Damscray). We write tunes together and live in the middle of nowhere.
Outside of music who are you? What do you do on the daily?
Well we work at the spheres you may call ‘creative’ but it’s too dull to talk about it. So we’re just two guys who like to play board games, drink beer, read sci-fi novels or something like that. To be honest we don’t like to talk much about ourselves.
How did you first get into making music? What was it that infected you to do so?
We’ve been involved into music production since a very long time ago but as for our Dmkrcy project, well… it was just curious to play with various sounds - you know, to share some ideas, thoughts and all that shit with each other. And though we have a very similar musical tastes our points of view are often diverse and it’s very infectious - brings a new challenge every single day.
What’s your production set up like? What’s your favourite bit of kit in the studio?
Oh it’s just a bunch of old crap including a couple of laptops, two b-stock turntables and some toys like midi-controllers, samplers, even a cute vintage Casio synthesizer. Also we have a mixer that looks like a Soviet nuclear bunker and it’s a bit creepy. We call it Stalin.
Where do you take inspiration from when making music?
Most of the inspiration comes from classic sci-fi novels and movies – each tune has its own background but it’s not very engrossing story to tell you about. And as we listen to an enormous amount of really divergent music – from retro movies’ soundtracks and psychedelic/kraut rock to jazz, death metal, hip hop, modern bass music and beyond – it helps too.
What’s the thinking behind the Demokracy moniker?
All we can say is that at the very beginning it was a bit longer but then our good friend advised us to shorten it so it’s hard to say that it has a deep philosophical meaning or something like that. Quite a poor story, yeah?
Demokracy – Wintermute
How would you describe your sound? I mean your mix for us jumps from Eleven Tigers to Doshy to Burial and Roll Deep. Would you say that your tastes are eclectic? Do you put that into your own music?
The main concept of our production is plain – the tune shouldn’t be too boring. We always try to use alot of various synths, beat patterns, all that sampled crap and just LOVE to switch between different genres or change the whole mood for at least 2-3 times per track. That’s why we don’t really like these shitloads of the dance music tunes having exactly the same loops repeat again and again and again and again. It might work at the dancefloor but it’s too lifeless. And we’re trying to adhere to the same rules when we mix.
Personally I love that you included Bleubird. Under rated imo. Plus the Anticon connect. That’s a big part of my music history right there. How did you discover dubstep?
Actually we met through Siberian underground hip-hop scene where every single person adores such MCs like Doseone, Bleubird, Buck65 or Sole – they’re really great and the lyrics are ridiculous (though we’ve had some problems with understanding a huge part of their bizzare word constructions because of our poor English, lol). And when the local scene successfully died we just switched to a totally different direction.
You come from Russia right? What’s the scene like for this kind of music out there? How do you keep up? Got any tips?
Russia’s got a number of genuinely good producers but most of them just have no reason to carry on production or the opportunity to breakthrough. The situation is pretty ugly because almost all of the peeps just don’t care or have an extremely poor musical taste and that’s why we have lots of miserable DJs playing pirate mp3s or shitty rappers on huge stadiums with 50.000 people attending while guys like Untold playing in empty venues. Our country is a joke.
Your got releases forthcoming on the Robox Neotech imprint. Can you shed a bit of light on the label? What’s the style, who runs it? How did you hook it up? Tell us what people can expect from your release too…
Well, Robox is a fresh label based in Berlin, Germany. It’s focused mainly on up-and-coming bass producers like Powell, NastyNasty or Zet and all the promos we heard for 2010-2011 are really sick. We were asked by Dominic (Doshy, who runs it) if we could do a release for Robox so here’s an EP coming later this year and it will consist of four tracks with remixes from our fam plus a very special guest. We’re happy with the result and very excited of how it will be acclaimed by the public.
What other projects have you got in the pipeline? What’s happening with you in the rest of 2010?
There also will be a digital single and heaps of remixes for our friends and fam. And we feel very good about having a track on sick compilation by Serbian label Svetlana Industries coming very soon – such guys like Teebs, 1000names and lots more are involved too. Actually we have a lot of plans but it’s too early to talk about it right now.
Any words of wisdom for our readers?
When the music’s over, turn off the lights.
DOWNLOAD: Demokracy – Sonic Router Mix #51
Demokracy - Double Star/Intro
Slugabed – It’s When The Future Falls Plop On Your Head (forthcoming Ramp)
Zet. - Capsule Corporation (Dub)
Doshy ft. Raspel - Crtz [Robot Koch Remix] (Robox Neotech)
Dingy Disu - Poltergeist (Dub)
Demokracy - Shapeshifter (Dub)
Lakritze - Killswitch (forthcoming Robox Neotech)
Jammer - Better Than [Lorn Remix] (Big Dada)
Powell - Smack My Glitch Hop [Demokracy Remix] (forthcoming Robox Neotech)
Tobacco - Truck Sweat (Anticon)
Demokracy - Deadhead (forthcoming Robox Neotech)
Daedelus - Thanatopsis ft. Hrishikesh Hirway (Ninja Tune)
Emika - Drop The Other (Ninja Tune)
Dza - Eskimo [Demokracy Remix] (Dub)
Burial - Fostercare (Hyperdub)
Eleven Tigers - Memory Palace ft. Alice-Marie Archer (Dub)
Deadboy - Way That I Luv U (Well Rounded)
Bleubird - Hell Country (Endemik Music)
Demokracy - Zeroth Law (forthcoming Robox Neotech)
Roll Deep - When I’m ‘ere (Relentless)
Monky - Drunkerdz (forthcoming Robox Neotech)
Doshy - Sunset (CDR) + Lonely Ppl Outro