Cxemcast 019 – Noizar
The first question comes up directly. How are things going with Wicked Bass now?
Not bad, I guess: two new records have been published recently. Definitely better than it was last year, when there was a long pause due to the change of distributor and problems with currency exchange. Now we again have the opportunity to release records more often, new releases until the end of this year are almost ready and I can’t be more amazed.
Do many records remain in Ukraine or does everything go to foreign record shops?
I’ve had an ungrateful experience of direct record sales twice, when around two dozen people texted me in advance, but, in fact, I had to either deliver these records by myself or ask “so you're taking it or not?” question for many times. The whole process was stretched for one or two months. So, in the end, I decided that everything should be sold in stores. That is, there are people, but the game is not worth the candles. At least for now.
It turns out that being honcho in Ukraine is not that easy, doesn’t it? Even despite strong releases, positive reviews and label’s status, in a good sense of the word?
Why do you think so? I don’t really suffer from the lack of sales in Ukraine. Or rather, I don’t suffer financially, it’s just a shame that we have this culture not on a proper level. I'm not even talking about the lack of space for new sales of records at all. Moreover, ordering ten records for sale, you know, is just not interesting, at least because of delivery costs. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic!
Have you ever thought about what would come after vinyl and where is the culture of releases moving in general?
Of course, I want to believe that vinyl will still be in use, at least within a small group of people (and DJs), even as an object of fetish. However, it is simply impossible to ignore the current pace of development of digital technologies and their impact on musical culture. Thus, the format of listening (and releasing) is just a personal choice. I enjoy it all.
Don’t you plan to issue tape releases?
I was expecting this question. Perhaps tape is the only format that I don’t really understand. It is kind of fun and hype. However, if there is demand, there is proposition. I don’t plan anything, even though I have a couple of gift tapes – they look nice. However, I don’t have a cassette player and I doubt that will get one in the nearest future. Moreover, tapes are not cheaper than vinyl.
Music is still the main component of the release. How do you find artists and music for publishing? Maybe there are some funny stories or legends, are there?
I agree. I mostly look for music at soundcloud or among demos sent via e-mail. Nothing new, it is a standard process almost for all labels. There are no special legends or fables, except for the latest release of Hüpnosaurus. The archive with their old tracks, once presented to me by my friend from Moscow, was gathering dust on my computer for quite a long time.
Do many people send hype trashy stuff?
Yes, I get a lot of it, but in most cases it happens to be an uninteresting copy of what was already done before. Such music Boris famously calls ‘computer lo-fi’. Or maybe it should be called ‘cheap lo-fi’.
Let's talk about the mix: it can be heard that you still cherish bass tradition, do you?
I would rather call it love to broken beats, electro and similar stuff. Nothing interesting has been happening in bass for long time, except for what the guys from Livity Sound and Hessle Audio do.
Maybe everyone just went into underground, where they actually came from?
Everyone has simply begun to write techno.
By the way, what do you think about this wave? In the world and, particularly, in Ukraine.
I remember how similar things happened with house, when everyone abruptly started writing and playing this kind of music and in the most hideous ways. However, I don’t think the same sad story will happen with techno - it will be more difficult for most people and techno-disclosure hasn’t been even born on the horizon.
Did you try to write music somehow?
Borys gave me a couple of practical advices and constantly hinted me, a bummer, to come to his studio. However, it hasn’t gone further than quite home made and childish editing of tracks.
You have a strong b2b organized with Borys. I asked him once as well about your ‘duo’. What did unite you?
Borys is a nice guy and favorite Ukrainian DJ with an unusual taste in music, from whom I learned a lot of important things during the years I know him. I really like to play together with him and to play music, which mostly is not common for me. I can’t help but admit that we needed a long time to get used to each other, but each following joint set turns out better than the previous one. You never know what song he’s gonna put next, with what else he will surprise… it’s like going to music school.
Who was the last half year’s opening for you?
It is difficult to choose someone within such short period, but among the new ones it is surely Rebeval, who turned out to be not such a novice in practice. There are Karen Gwyer, who I was able to listen to properly only recently, and Glyn.
London, Berlin and the US...
Yes, I also remembered Lockertmatik!
A little about the geography... Do you often play abroad?
I often play in Russia, in Europe I played only once last summer. Though I often speak to guys or other cities, who tell me to give them a notice when I’m ‘in those lands’, but going somewhere to play on purpose – didn’t happen to me so far.
You communicate with many foreign guys. What do they know about Ukraine? What impressions did those, who you invited, have – Ron or Lee Gamble?
Someone knows more about Ukraine, someone - less. Some people are interested in politics, others - absolutely not. Of course, they all read the press, which never show accurate information, look at everything through the prism of European or other mentality, but all those, who came here, had a lot of fun - it's a fact.
Did many refuse to come because of an unclear situation in the country?
Previously, there were more failures, but in recent years the situation has changed dramatically. A striking example is Helena Hauff, who cancelled two weeks before the party in the spring of 2014, but has recently abruptly performed at Strichka. What I mean is that now it is not an issue at all.
This makes me happy!
It would be even better if there were more money for artists.
On the other hand, changes occur right here. We have parties with local DJs; promoters, who don’t base their work on foreign artists, hence there is a bigger number of producers, since their music is interesting for the scene. Isn’t it?
Granted, only that I can’t see a large growth of quantity (and quality) of producers. Hopefully, this situation will change soon.
There are rumors that you are planning to publish some of the local artists on your label?
Yes, I do plan it and communicate with a few guys, but nothing is ready for 100%. But this is my idea-fix, so everything will turn out well!
As label boss and DJ, what can you advise to young people, who have also embarked on this thorny path?
Listen to different music as much as possible!
Finally I want to ask you, Nazar: which track will you put for sure at the next Схема?
It will be Ludovic Navarre aka St Germain - Modus Vivend (youtube.com/watch?v=UGv_WrDPQlM).
Interviewed by Bohdan Konakov.