Interview: Polina Belehhova
Photo: Vitali Gelwich

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How did moving to Berlin influence and change you personally?
I moved to Berlin in January 2009. I was 22 years old and I had just graduating from university. I think the experience of trying to set up a new life in another country brought a new level of independence and life experience I wouldn’t have gotten continuing to live in the UK. Being in a city like Berlin surrounded by so many like minded people fuelled my hunger to develop creatively. Looking back, the past 10 years have been quite an adventure though it only feels like I am getting started.

What do you like and dislike the most about the city?
I like the fact Berlin is generally a very laid back city with a lot of parks and green spaces which balances the nightlife scene (another like). Though I tend not to indulge so much these days. Of course, I like the large amount of creative energy in the city, the independent businesses and the fact that if you have an idea it is still feasible to make it happen here.
I’m not the biggest fan of the airports, Tegel and Schönefeld, which feel a bit outdated in comparison to other cities. I think when the new airport finally opens it might make the experience of routinely being there a bit more pleasant.

In one of your interviews you said that restraining yourself in music helped you artistically. Do you use the same concept of restrain in your life? Can you give examples and reasons behind it?
When producing my debut LP I created a set of rules which helped me to focus though I think it helped rather than restrained. In my every day life, in addition to the obvious rules we all follow, I additionally draw a line with certain ethical choices. I won’t eat animals or anything that comes out of them because it’s completely unnecessary in the modern world we live in. If something causes harm and is unnecessary, by definition it is unethical. Despite the cultural default of permanent acrasia on this topic, I prefer to live in line with my personal values, you could say it’s a rule.

What can you not compromise on in music production? In life?
There is no compromise when being creative because I have no pressure to write music I don’t like. A position I am fortunate to be in but also work hard to maintain. In my every day life, as you probably expect to hear, I won’t compromise my ethics.

Who stands out for you in the techno scene right now?
Some of the artists I feel are most stand out in the scene, I signed to my label. I guess that was the idea. So everyone who is involved with 47 is an inspiration. For example Oake, Killawatt, Headless Horseman and VSK are all mutating techno with outstanding results.

What did the 47 events bring into your life? Is there any expansion planned in the future?
A lot of fun and a lot less sleep because I get to play with friends and most of the time we all stay until the end. I’m of course very grateful to the promoters and clubs outside of Berlin who are willing to support the 47 events.
Last year I launched a new event concept called Numerology. The idea is to showcase a wider range of musical styles with multiple rooms and to invite guests outside of the 47 label. For example some of the past guests included Surgeon, Demdike Stare, Broken English Club, Pessimist, Paula Temple and Adam X. So far 3 events have taken place in Berlin and I plan to host more nights outside of the city.

What are the key factors that in your opinion make your events a success, apart from the obvious financial one?
I think people resonate with the 47 artistic direction and the crowd that show up are there 100% for the music. This energy feeds into the DJ/Live act and allows them to play a little more without any compromises, which again feeds back into the crowd. Combine this with the fact we all stay at the club after our sets and are all friends supporting each other just creates environment you want to stay in.

What makes Concrete a unique place and what makes you come back here?
The crew behind Concrete are all passionate and do what they do for the love of music. There’s an awesome backstage crew (big up Pete) and Brice the booker is very open minded. The DJ booth is surrounded by people and when you play it feels like you’re in the dance-floor which helps for the added connection. Of course the sound system and monitors are top notch and you can’t complain about the view looking out onto the river Seine.

What’s one thing that people tend to over-complicate ?

What is the most memorable gig that you’ve attended as part of the audience?
A few years back I had some downtime in Berns, Switzerland. I was alone and jumped in spontaneously to see SWANS perform live at a small punk venue called Dachstock. I stood in the middle of the crowd and was immersed. It was incredible and so to was Anna von Hausswolff who played support.

What are you certain about in life?
I’m certain that unnecessary eternal suffering on a mass scale and the associated environmental devastation is wrong. The time we live in right now is a critical point in history which people will look back on in years to come, most noticeably in light of our current factory farming practises and the decisions we are making concerning the environment. We vote with our wallets. If you have money to spend, you certainly have the freedom to choose to be complicit in, or fight against these atrocities on a daily basis.

What is your favourite way of escapism?

Upcoming 47 events: 

Oct 18 • Intercell x 47 – ADE:  Killawatt, Phase Fatale, Headless Horseman, Tommy Four Seven, AnD (live), VSK
Nov 23 • Concrete [47]: Tommy Four Seven, AnD (live), Stephanie Sykes, VSK

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[Photos taken in Concrete on 47‘s event with Tommy Four Seven, Headless Horseman, Killawatt and Phase Fatale 29.06.18 by Polina Belehhova]