Sometimes we just want to let everything go, realizing the elegance of simplicity. Entropy is a universal tendency toward disorder and chaos, thus simplicity is a mark of a new beginning. Uncooked elements will cooperate with each other to synthesize new velocity and value. Module RAW: raw sound, raw everything.
20th April, Kiev -> Module RAW
Tell us about the new concept behind Module Raw, how does it differ from the already familiar Module Live?
Mykyta: For me, the concept remained quite similar – live only. I see the changes in sound and speed: the dishes are served to the hall quicker, at a higher speed. Of course, this is due to the current shift of our time.
Mikki: The difference is the aimed aftertaste of the event. Raw is all about freedom, heated dancing, and industrial music. The dance floor consists of dimness and hard sound. The atmosphere evokes relaxation and complete surrender to the moment.
No photos and videos are allowed. Everything that happens to you will stay at the party and in your memories.
The former format in the face of Module* will be held once a year as a festival: two halls, an educational part, a visual show, creative and intellectual music.
Everything happened naturally. Our music is changing and so is the technique of our performances. Improvisation helps to rethink the sound and to take stronger actions. This is how we came to the Module Raw format.
Tymur: When I dive into my thoughts, I often stop noticing what is happening around me. My feelings about the “content that I understand” are very mixed: today I like everything, tomorrow I may not. One day we are together, the next – we hate each other. Module Raw is more about ‘what’s not there’. Here you can go beyond the “permitted” and you don’t have to follow any internal compromises. Yet the musical language can be both quite complex and quite trivial.
Serge: This idea emerged a long time ago when we were discussing the origins of the rave culture and electronic music. We came to the conclusion that. in fact, the first underground jazz parties during the war and the first warehouse raves were happening during difficult times for society. Music and dance were among the most important things there. The gatherings were held mostly in raw spaces, warehouses, and other uncomfortable places, but people needed it. We decided to act on the same principles. The Module RAW is all about minimum light, high-quality sound, live, fast, dance music.
How was the first Module Raw event in otel’? Are you planning to change anything?
Mykyta: There were issues with the placement of artists because the amount of equipment is over the board. However, these problems are classic for such events and we are constantly in search of solutions.
Mikki: The first party was great. To my surprise, it was impossible to walk through the dance floor, and the chill zones were practically empty.
This time the dance floor will be larger, and the chill zone is going to be more comfortable. Our scenography was built with a lot of light as usual, but now the visual part will be very neat and sharp. And we are obsessed with the quality of sound so it will be even better on the second Module Raw party haha.
Tymur: Our focus points occurred long before the start of the performance. We have downloaded the update package. “100% Done”. After a certain amount of time, it will be possible to give a correct assessment of the events. Currently, I see the following: discussions, trust, and respect are our secret weapon.
Serge: Everything went great. It turned out that there was not enough space on the dance floor for everyone so it was impossible to enter without a bracelet by the middle of the night. The only thing – in the middle of my performance the power supply was knocked out from the subwoofers otel’ so I played the remaining time with no lows. What would I change? I would replace these fucking power supplies before our event!
Why did you choose MetaCulture for your upcoming event?
Mykyta: I find it difficult to point out who chose whom. Such decisions occur organically throughout several stages and the discussion goes on continuously.
Mikki: By mere chance haha. We thought about MetaCulture and they thought about us. In fact, we were in search of a new location for the event. We were looking for something that would resonate to our format, size, and location. Soon we’ve learned about the opening of a new art space on Nizhneyurkovskaya, where the library from our beloved Plivka and the curator from the friendly gallery Act have moved. We looked at the space and realized that this was it.
We were thinking about how to arrange a meeting with the people behind MetaCulture, but the guys themselves came to us first and offered to cooperate. So we talked, found out about each others vision and the points of contact expanded the amount that was expected. And voila! On April 20th there will be Module Raw party in MetaCulture.
Serge: Everything happened very organically, the universe works. I think we have a lot in common with MetaCulture and we have a similar vision.
What is your own most memorable performance?
Mykyta: Each performance is a unique experience, as it’s improvisational. But I’m a tech geek, so I would note the performance in the now non-existent place Efir, where my oscillator burned down and I had to invent a patch on the go. It looked as if I had forgotten what I was dealing with.
Mikki: On the 7th Module I had a bad mood. A lot of things went no as planned and some of the pre-prepared music bits flanked during the performance. I was very angry, which is not typical for me. But then it all made a 180-degree turn. I had to improvise and direct all the aggression in the music. The result exceeded my expectations. Now improvisation and anger are the best companions in the performance of Ghallas.
Tymur: Yes, Dnipro / Module – hello! It was the most unusual gig ever. There are no details and everything that happened there will remain a mystery to all.
Serge: I would note not just one performance but a whole weekend of Module 4: it was the first time when everything was very hard, including the internal sense of time. After a series of technical overlays, and problems I went out for a smoke, saw the full moon glancing back at me and realized that that night something special is going to happen – a special experience.
When we started our set with Myron it was completely dark, we played by touch, and when I tried to look into the hall to evaluate the energy, I only saw silhouettes of dancing people through the smoke. We probably played the darkest improvisation in the history of our performances and right after the party, we had to catch a plane at 9 AM to Poland for the L’tronica festival, which was the brightest and most positive performance. It was such a powerful contrast that it is difficult to describe in words.
Do you differ in tastes and opinions?
Mykyta: Disagreements are useful, it’s an exchange of experiences. Musical tastes are conventional so I would not take this factor into account.
Mikki: Yes, we differ in tastes and opinions. But that’s the strength of each project. The main thing is to communicate with each other, then it’s easy to construct a collective vector.
Serge: I would rather call it an interchange of experience and ideas, yet sometimes we have heated discussions that result in a positive outcome and give birth to something new. I think if we were all the same then it would hinder any form of development.
What do you learn from each other?
Mykyta: Being in such an interest focused circle where everyone plays live is foremost an exchange of experiences. I always try to find useful things for myself. Sometimes when traveling, our conversations bring out new things: it’s like a technical podcast in which you participate in real time.
Mikki: I agree. Our conversations are priceless.
Tymur: It’s what connects us.
Serge: Sometimes I regret that I don’t have my portable microphone, otherwise I’d have recorded a lot of podcasts.
Tell us a funny or awkward story that unites you.
Mikki: There are too many, but I think it’s best if they remain behind the scenes.
Which of your events is a favorite and why so?
Mikki: The last event is always my favorite because I am getting one step closer to the result I’m aiming for.
Serge: Well, it’s like asking parents which one of their kids they love more…
What is the best gig and party you’ve attended as a spectator?
Mykyta: I have a prepared answer to this question – a Kraftwerk concert that took place in 2008. An absolute unification of an idea with sound.
Mikki: I don’t know. I’m too professionally deformed by my organization and performance work. But among the recent ones I recall the concert of Shortparis, although I am not exactly their target audience. They have great artistry and are very interactive with the public.
Serge: As a child, I remember I was impressed by David Copperfield. It was very cool to listen to his voice and watch how this dude flies through the concert hall haha. If seriously, the A / V live of Kraftwerk on Sonar was powerful.
What would you like to change in the industry?
Mykyta: I thought about it for a long while and came to the conclusion that nothing should be changed. Some things may be criticized or better options should be taken into consideration, but everything happens as it does and therefore it is interesting.
Mikki: Hm. Show business has admirers of its own obviously. But we ourselves are the ones who create the industry and influence the rules of the game.
Mostly, I don’t like that the hype around an artist is valued more than his work. To perform at a party you have to personally hang out with the promoter or get a recommendation from the “right” people. And it’s understandable because this way it’s easier to earn money. But those promoters who are valuable seek out artists for the sake of talent, in spite of the social capital who truly wish to surprise the audience. This is what really forwards the culture.
Module supports the local scene and always welcomes young musicians. Every line-up has a new name. Plus, we started organizing a Module Plugin – casting new artists. We also do lectures and courses. We form a community of live musicians. So industrial producers – send us your live!
Tymur: We have what we deserve. Often we make zero, and in return, we want to get one.
Serge: I wouldn’t want the thing that we are doing to become just another industry. This is art.
How to survive in the nightlife?
Mykyta: I don’t party that much as I don’t really have the time.
Mikki: I live in a night mode, or as they call such people “owls”. In general, the advice is to leave the party like a real dandy: at the emotional peak. That way you grant yourself a pleasant aftertaste.
Tymur: Predatory animals are usually nocturnal. They go hunting at sunset and feed until dawn. Then they go to the lining, for the day. Conclusion: less overconfidence.
Serge: This is a difficult and rather relevant issue. We could do a separate interview on the entire topic. I work in the studio from 10 till 19 every weekday, it is difficult to shift to night mode for weekend events. I’m still in search of a working recipe.
If you an opportunity, then in what time, place and country would you like to work on Module Raw?
Mykyta: Is this a question about the perfect location or the future?
Mikki: Module is aimed at a worldwide result. It shall be that way. Personally, I am mostly interested in Tbilisi, Berlin, and New York.
Tymur: 51°23’21.07″N 30° 6’1.03″E
Serge: In 1954 Philips Pavillion when it was presented for a multimedia performance that marked the post-war technological advancement. The pioneers of electronic music and music concrete Iannis Xenakis and Edgar Varèse participated in its design.
What’s the perfect lineup of Module Raw?
Mykyta: It seems to me that the names themselves are not as important as the concept – live.
Mikki: There is no perfect line-up. Each combination has its own unique characteristics. But this is definitely not an RA top list.
Tymur: I agree with the guys, even the perfect lineup may not turn out to be the most ideal in the concept of “here and now”. A couple of events that do not represent global significance can emotionally deliver way more than something massive and monumental.
Serge: The cult of personality is not what we are looking for, I think its value is exaggerated. The ideal line-up would probably be when we can manage to gather 10,000 people for 10 no name artists in masks.
Describe your dream club.
Mikki: A maximum of 600 people, several dance floors, strict face control, dope sound, strong visuals, with a chill zone maze and communication jammers. Emancipation and freedom in the air.
Tymur: Want to visit Mikki’s dream place. 🙂
Serge: Me too.
What’s the most exciting thing about your work?
Mykyta: Improvisation. It’s always a leap into the unknown: it can turn well or vice versa within your own eyes.
Mikki: The emotions and feedback from the performances and the organization: creating and directing the environment are exciting.
Tymur: The first hour after the live performance – the adrenaline is over the roof, thoughts are flowing freely. Energetically you are feeling like a corpse. Such a state brings a maximum rush of inspiration.
Serge: Improvisation and interacting with the audience, GAS (gear addiction syndrome).
How did your course “The Art of Sound and Live Electronic Music” go?
Serge: It was a very inspiring experience. In fact, I did not expect such an interest from the public and such a result. I studied electronic music online at the Point Blank music school, studied in Denmark for a year at the Engelsholm folk high school, and it took me a while to self-study before I played my first decent live.
After just a month of our intensive training course (4 days a week for 3 hours), beginners or even clueless guys showcase their final performances at Module Plugin’s final concert – I was literally shocked and incredibly proud of them. Two students were given the opportunity to perform at Module RAW and they sounded on a high level. I think that we did an excellent course or we had genius students, so in order to evaluate this, we plan to do more. There are only 10 people on the course and there are still a lot of those who are willing to study. We plan to do more Module Plugin courses. It’s a playground of sorts for young artists and those who send us their demo records. One of the participants of the latter will perform at the next Module RAW.
Mykyta: I received a dose of pleasant surprises and motivation from the course. The people who came there knew what they wanted and most, technically speaking, are savvy enough now to continue their journey of an electronic musician. Yes, the course was very intensive, but in the end, everyone got their dose of knowledge. Although at the beginning there were certain doubts. Of course, we want to repeat this experience. How and when – I don’t know yet. Oh yeah, the whole course was in the context of a live performance, which corresponds to the idea of Module. Marvelous!
What’s next for you?
Mykyta: Module RAW, a lecture on modular synthesizers at Music Haker Day, a trip for new Eurorack modules at Superbooth in Berlin. Then we shall see what’s next. I try to speak modestly of my plans as they are just plans – not reality nor something that has been done.
Mikki: More events, collaborations, live showcases and educating the culture on the matter.
Tymur: That’s always the case, If I plan out loud – it doesn’t happen. That’s always the case
Serge: There’s a new compilation of recordings coming soon by artists from the first Module RAW. A lot of other interesting things as well are coming up but let’s not reveal all the cards.
What question would you like to hear at the interview and what would be your answer?
Mykyta: It would be great to receive technical questions in an interview. For example: “What is important to you in a Eurorack sequencer for a live performance?” I would say that speed is important to control it. I tried a lot of options and, for now, as it is not surprising – simplicity wins. The easier and faster to manage – the more comfortable it is.
Tymur: A question for Mykyra: “When We’ll Ask a Spaceman?”.