Cxemcast 012 – Igor Glushko
How long have you been playing and how did you come to DJing?
I took serious interest in electronic music in the early 2000s, there was no such an abundance of sources, where we could get it from, and I had to get creative somehow. I remember that I used to buy CDs at Petrovka, book market and "Dva Melomana" (Rus. – ‘Два Меломана’ – Two Audiophiles) shop. Moreover, I was lucky to be friends with people who had a real treasure at the time – high-speed internet access. By hook or by crook, I was getting new music and was discovering new names, that’s why the next logical step was that we, still administrating radarr.kiev.ua, began to make our parties in 2006. This was before I started buying records - I played my first public set only in 2009, when I was music journalist. I see this as a positive thing, because I didn’t just become a DJ on a ‘fashionable’ rush, and managed to form taste at first, acquire useful contacts and my own vision of how it ‘is supposed to be’. I started to play techno and house, because felt the need and necessity in it. Fortunately, today it is not uncommon, but to be honest, only recently I started to really enjoy DJing and be able to ignore nervousness and stress, associated with set. I really enjoy the process: I consider it as a hobby and as an opportunity to have fun.
How do parties of those years differ from the ones we have today?
Parties of those times were sincere and naïve in a way, comparing to what we have now, but it was their advantage. Our first party was held at "Status Party Bar" in "Ukraina" shopping mall - there was Kyiv line-up exclusively, but the room was bursting at the seams and the bar ran out of alcohol by the middle of the night. We began to book artists only a year later - at first we invited Moscow DJs, then switched to foreign "stars". Before I got involved in other projects (parties of "Djam" magazine and Addicted series of events), we were able to organize performances of such artists as Joris Voorna, Prosumer, Scuba, Move D, etc. in Kyiv. Performance of Dub FX is a special memory for me. I'm not sure whether I would do something of this format now, but back then it was a great event for us.
Why wouldn’t you undertake things like that?
I wouldn’t because I had a shift of preferences and changed my attitude. I even changed my expectations from parties, as well as musical desires.
Many people talk about the future of Kyiv scene: where it goes and what hinders its development. In previous interviews, the snobbery theme was always topical. What do you think about it?
Snobbery is bad and I know that many criticize me for it too, but it seems to me that the best approach is to find a balance between different groups of the audience, which can potentially come to your party. A good party means that people like the atmosphere, no matter who is playing and in which position does your main guest has on Resident Advisor ranking. For me, by the way, Схема is one of the best examples of such events. On the other hand, I wouldn’t undertake doing a party simply because it can ‘burn out’ in financial terms. Each person must have a healthy ego, and I have it reflected in the fact that at my parties I want to hear music, which I like in the first place. Currently, it is techno, especially in its ‘psychedelic’ variations. Something like Rrose, Tobias, Vril and similar artists.
By the way, I fancy the latest release of Vril too. And what’s up with Addicted? Tell us what was its mission?
Addicted no longer exists. It was a small community of friends, who have tried to make parties of a certain format. However, in the end, we realized that there are too much (5 DJs and a visual-artist) of us – it was difficult to find musical compromises and people change priorities in their life. After the last party with Svreca in December 2013 I decided to take a break, since we didn’t make any events and stopped running podcast. Personally, I just was going to different parties, tried to absorb their environment and even visited musical events in other countries. I had to get rid of snobbery, which you were talking about before, and just learn to enjoy the process itself. Now I feel the strength to start organizing something again. No one has talked about it in public, but with Sasha Sunchase and Vera Sue, we are starting a new project called Rhythm Büro soon. We are preparing a couple of interesting events with foreign guests, but I would like to see these parties valued not according to the name of the guest, but for the fact that It’s just fun there. We're going to do our best for it.
Do you think that it is real for the listener not to pay attention to the name of the artist?
At ‘before the party’ stage – not really, but at ‘after the party’ stage it is quite realistic. A good party needs everyone: first of all, party animals, after them come their friends and acquaintances, people who just accidentally crashed at the party, and even snobs are also needed. Only the absolute ‘castaways’, who haven’t encountered with anything similar before, are not needed. It seems to me that it is impossible to generalize a portrait of the visitor – for some, the most important thing is to discuss who played which track; and some won’t give a shit about it, and it’s impossible to blame them for it. I see our audience in this way – those are the people, who somehow had interacted with techno before. It doesn’t matter how different people see ‘proper’ techno-party, we have to find a path to all of them.
That is, to be a conformist?
Not really. Conformity is the lack of own position and opinion. We have our own position, it is just very liberal and open. If you like what we like and you're ready to make a contribution to the atmosphere of the party - we will always be happy to you. And your friends too.
Sometimes it lacks such open mind, but music is often damaged by compromise, isn’t it?
There is no single right way. You can try to make compromises or you can act in your own way, ahead. However, it doesn’t always influence if you get pleasure from the process or not. At this point, I'm just expecting some fun from the party and it is affected by my attitude to what I do. If you are configured on the fact that you have something to prove or show off cool guest's name - it is a wrong approach, as for me. However, if you concentrate on pleasure and you create the most suitable conditions for it, this might do the trick for you.
Tell us, do you write music or are you just a DJ?
For now, I’m only DJing. I started to take the first tentative steps in Sasha Sunchase’s studio, under his supervision. I don’t want to guess if I succeed or not. Perhaps, once I will get results, but as I have always been the biggest critic of myself, it must be something really cool.
In any case, wish you luck in this field. Tell us your opinion: what is it to be a DJ?
Thank you. Being a DJs is hard, especially if you still have a corporate job, as in my case. However, I like it and I really relax at the weekend when I play.
Is it possible to be only a DJ or those money would not be enough?
I think that it is real, but maybe for one out of a hundred, if not more. I rather lose money from DJing, than get it. For some this situation is different, but many have to adapt and do what they don’t quite like it. There just a couple of guys, who are ‘in chocolate’, if we talk about Ukraine, but they deserve it. For me, the question of money is secondary. Money doesn’t bring happiness, it shouldn’t be perceived differently than just a tool to achieve your goals. Well, the way you use it - now depends only on you.
Money issue is understandable. The reverse side of the coin is that everyone, who is not lazy, start DJing (and often badly): designers, advertisers, insurers, students… what is happening to these people? They really discredit the status of DJ… What should be done about it?
Each product has its consumer. If there were no demand, there would be no place for them, so we can’t say for sure what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. In such a situation, it is completely natural for peculiar ‘filters to appear. Схема is a filter, Closer is the same filter, but of a slightly different format. They were not formed from the scratch, there must have been something, what they could oppose to. That is why Closer exists not since 2005, but since recently – there was no need to cut SMMers away from controllers 10 years ago, as there was no need in a number of other features, which this place handles successfully.
It sounds funny, but what advice would you give to young DJs?
Not to listen to advices and do what you think is right.
Interviwed by Bohdan Konakov