Interview: Elena Savlokhova
What’s the biggest appeal of the nightlife for you?
Music and People.
Out of all the artists you’ve met who struck you the most in terms of personality?
Many artists that I’ve met in my life were very influential, not only regarding their artism. Tomohiko Sagae struck me as as calm, modest Japanese guy, but who produces evil music and his live act performances are quite something. The person is producing the music, but what the music is saying is something much bigger. It’s something spiritual, for me.
What interests you outside of music?
Such simple things really. From the artistic side – paintings. I really enjoy walking around museums and galleries, trying to understand what artists were trying to say through the contours, the colours, or how the artists felt during the work process. I spend a lot of time doing different types of sports: I play paintball, ride a bicycle, jog or hike in the countryside, further from civilisation. It’s among the most relaxing things.
Any favourite painters?
Van Gogh, because of the feelings his work evokes. It’s really impressive, as well as his personality and his life story. Sometimes I feel that some of the aspects of my life are similar, I feel like I know what he was feeling.
In your experience, did you ever attend the ultimate best party?
I would say each party has its unique atmosphere. With every year, country or audience – it’s always different.
Do you remember the very first time you performed? What was it like?
For sure! It was 2004 in Bytom (Upper Silesia, Poland), the area where I grew up. I played live and it was quite stressful and I had some issues with the equipment. From 2004 until 2010 I only played live.
Is there a reason why you only played live for so long?
First of all, I wanted to make something different, I wanted to create my own unique sound. There were so many DJs in the South of Poland during that time, and very few people who were actually producing music. Production of music has always been more interesting for me anyways.
Do you still get nervous?
As a DJ no, it’s more a positive stress, kind of. But all of my live acts are always stressful because there are so many factors you have to consider and prepare.
Does the equipment fail you often?
In the past, sometimes yes, mainly there were some issues between the software and the hardware. The equipment I used in the beginning was not as good as it is nowadays.
What recent trend annoys you the most?
There are a lot of annoying things haha. But I don’t want to talk about it as it’s my personal point of view and my own feelings. I am quite tolerant but there are a lot of issues in the techno scene even I don’t agree with. Anyways I would like to keep it to myself. I’m just trying to do my own thing and go my own way, and save my nerves from whatever else is going on.
What do you realise as you get older?
My points of views changed and I need more coffee to do pull-ups haha.
Is there something you don’t like about yourself?
Sometimes I’m overly perfectionist and I spend too much time on minor things. I could be faster with my work for sure.
What’s the best place in nature you’ve been to?
Thailand, Madeira, Indonesia.
What world are you trying to create during your performance?
I would say that it’s not a world I’m trying to create, but rather a communication between me and the audience through my sound or visual effects. It’s more about a story and the feelings that I’d like to share with the listeners, a story which spikes one’s unique imagination, a visualization of what it is all about.
Would you consider your music ‘dark’?
Yes, for many people my music is dark, but I wouldn’t name it like that. It’s true that the sound of my music is metallic, noisy, creepy. For me, it’s something normal and obvious. It’s a sound I was sort of born into. I was surrounded by iron works, coal mines, chemical industries etc. almost my entire life till I moved to Berlin. Those were the sounds that I was hearing every day, on my way to school, and especially when I was falling asleep. These industrial sounds were always with me. A lot of people ask me, what have I hidden in my head to produce this kind of sound. Maybe it had an effect on me to some extent, but it’s not 100% of my personality.
What were you crazy about as a child?
There were a lot of things I was interested in, but one of them was obviously music and the synth sound itself. My uncle had a lot of synths, mainly digital, which he used to produce some Silesian folk music haha. I was always interested in listening to different unusual sounds in those times, which could be created on that sort of equipment. For example, when I was watching movies, the sounds were more exiting and more interesting to me than the narratives.
What recent film you’ve seen impressed you the most?
Blade Runner 2049 with the superb soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. Then there was this film ‘A Serbian Film’ – totally fucked up. It was shocking for me that someone even did it. It’s barely known what’s sometimes going on in the world behind the curtains and there are so many bad things that are hidden. However, this movie was quite disgusting. A year ago I was going through David Lynch’s work – the Twin Peaks tv series in particular. It impressed me the most. Masterpiece.
Did you like the latest season?
Yes, I was even planning to go around the shooting locations next year.
Unfortunately I don’t read that much. I don’t have that much time for books. If I have some extra time I just go directly to the studio and try to focus on my music or on my health. For sure, I would like to manage my time better in order to read books in the future.
What excites you the most in what you do?
Sound engineering and creation. The creation through sampling and adjusting with the software, experimenting with the acoustic instruments. The result that you get is sometimes unimaginable. Also, working with modules and analogue synths is a very nice thing to explore. It’s like a toy that keeps developing your creativity. Trying to find your own way of music production brings me a lot of fun. Another most exciting thing is when I finish a track and I know that I’ve put in all the effort I could, so the result is always rewarding. For example, I work on on a track for two months with occasional breaks, but the end result is always the most exciting and satisfying. And, obviously, sharing my work with people is just something wonderful — receiving the feedback, acknowledging that people understood what I was trying to show them through my music.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve sampled?
Once I sampled a pressing plant in the car industry of one very known brand. I used to be a technical support engineer – supplying spare parts (like in this case) for the production lines or new projects. When I heard the sound of this production line at work, I just asked the maintenance guy if I could just come on my free time and record it. He was quite happy that he could help me out and let me in to record that car body pressing line. I ended up using it on my EP The Embodiment of brute propulsion on Furanum Records Fu010. This track is only available as a bonus track on the vinyl release. I think it’s the most interesting sample I used in my music. The second thing I sampled was a wheel saw. It was my grandfather’s and quite old, it didn’t have any safety on. So before a gig in Lithuania I’ve decided that I have to record it, specifically for that gig, to play it as an intro. I almost cut my fingers off but it was worth it haha.
Does your family like your music?
At first, they simply had to accept it haha. But they knew that I was very into it ever since I was a kid. It’s my way of life. Over time, they got more curious about it, they wondered why it sounds the way it sounds. After a while they understood, accepted, and liked it.
What is coming for you?
I’ve got a lot plans I wish to accomplish, for example, apart from Uncto (my project with Rafal Fürst) I am going to finally focus on my solo project, but under a new name. In a sense it’s a continuation of the past 6 years for me.