– How has the political situation in Russia affected the dance music scene there? Or has it?
The political situation in Russia is surrounded by many mysterious myths. Here we have our problems but there are problems in every country. I have a special filter in my Facebook and where you can avoid the following tags: Putin, Ukraine, Maidan, Right sector, Crimea etc. I am not really interested much in that sort of information. And I never understood my grandfather in 1989 – how much time he could spend watching TV with this strange guy with a spot on his forehead.
I love St. Petersburg and Moscow and I like Ufa and Petrozavodsk. Cities are first of all people who live in them and often those people are very nice. They are much more important than any political situations and Mr. Putin’s ambitions. But I can say one thing, we live in a free country and I feel free. For me personally, there is no policy, only people. Politicians all the time manipulate people and think only about money and own benefit.
This was all said John Lennon in1969 Interview – “I Met the Walrus”. Much more than I can say. You can easily find this interview in youtube. And I personally do not see it affecting the dance music scene or something like this.
– Is the scene still in its infancy or has it been vibrant for a few years now?
Playing in Russia can be compared to the piloting of 747 Boeing. Unfortunately we don’t not have a professional scene yet. There are separate parties but no connection between them. To make the scene appear we need to encourage people to get better in their taste to music. I’m talking only about the underground here.
On the one hand we have big raves here and a lot of clubs but there playing crap.
It is necessary to support local artists, in order to help the scene to develop. More communication and relationships between producers should be present.
Also we need clubs that are made by professionals. People who understand music and club business. There are many clubs in Moscow but Moscow is techno city.
I think Russia needs another 10-15 years and everything will be ok.
– Do the locals really like to relax when they go out due to the political situation? Does it effect the music scene at all?
Russian people still find it hard to relax. No matter what the political situation is. Most of the people are almost always clamped and stressed. Younger generation is different. So many young people are talented and moderately relaxed. The fact is that I do not see any particularly difficult political situation. My English teacher is from California and he lives in Russia since 2000. He hates the US government and could not tell anything good about his country. I think it depends on personal experience.
There is a good parable about a traveler who stood at the gates of the big city. He asked local old man – Hey! What kind of people live here? Good or bad?
The old man replied – Tell me, what kind of people live in the country where you came from, Good or bad?
Traveller said – shitty people, they are the most disgusting people in the world!
And then the old man told him – in this city you will find such people that you described.
This story shows us clearly how we form any situations in our live and political situation too.
– What have been the highlights of the past while for you as a musician then?
Definately it is Open Home music project.
It was amazing time! We worked on a large musical, really big show. A lot of professional musicians from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. We lived in a big house and we had everything we needed for creativity. Naturally, after two months we began to write our own music and as the result we have Home Music or Open home music studio.
– What does releasing on WITB mean to you?
The WITB team are true professionals. I respect these people for what they do. And since I owned a label myself I know how difficult it is. Especially in Russian circumstances. I wish the guys would continue progressing and representing Russian artists for the whole world. This is one of the most serious and professional labels in Russia and I am very happy to be part of this team.
And what’s the most important production lesson you’ve learned over the years?
Make your music the way you feel you should. Do not think about the trends and charts. Only pure creativity can affect people’s hearts. And of course push yourself and still work every day!
– And what Russian producers would you recommend we check out?
Latecomer or Dusty Baron, Tripmastaz, Shyam, Koyla, Dj Primat and their project Pravo na dance. Bar B Q, Spieltape, Monoplay, Acos Coolcas, Ksky and many many others. There is simply not enough space to talk about everybody, sorry!
– A not so simple question…why do you make music?
If I do not eat the food I die physically. If I do not write music I die spiritually, very simple.
– Do you have to be in a positive state of mind to enter the studio then? Does your personality shine through in your music?
Not always! Sometimes I am tired and confused but music turns me into a happy man full of energy and confidence in what I’m doing.
In Home Music project we told “We don’t just play: we also try and give structure to chaos”
This is main idea – you try to be empty from thoughts and ideas and then something goes through yourself. This is an incredible process.
– So do you generally have an idea what sort of sounds you’re going to come up with when you enter the studio?
I use a dictaphone. I am humming beats and different parts, recording them all the time. An idea can come anytime and i have a dictaphone for this. Sometimes I just start process from one sound that inspires me.
Sometimes i work with soundtracks and constantly have to deal with different music. Most of all I like to start with a clean project without any ideas.
– When did you first start producing? What motivated you to do so?
It was an internal call. I do not know how to answer this question coz i wanted to do it since childhood. When I was10 years old I have tried to record piano on reel tape recorder. I did scratching on Grandpa soviet vinyl player and things like that. Then I did not know anything about the house or techno. So I just believe that I was going the right way.
– What’s the best thing about music in 2014 in your opinion? And the best thing about dance music?
I think now is the time of crisis of new ideas. I do not mean some intellectual idea i mean energy.
What makes you feel empathy when you listen to a record? Good thing about that is when we pass this spiritual crisis there probably will be an explosion of absolutely new music.
I listen to old music mostly and perhaps i am just an old prune
This process is also affecting the dance music, because lots of new artists come online. They put their energy into music and on this soil real talents will blossom. So the best thing about music in 2014 is evolution. I’m glad to be part of this.
– What’s been your most memorable moment since you first became involved in the scene?
I think this is a first gig of Joey Youngman in Sait Petersburg. it was the first artist we brought from US in Red Club. it was magical and I could not believe that this was happening. Those days I was a super romantic guy
– And do you still buy albums for instance? What other kinds of music inspire you to do what you do?
As i said i like Rahmaninov and Peter Chaikovsky. Oscar Peterson inspired me.
Old records like Grover Washington, Jr or Eumir Deodato this is truly live music.
Ruxpin made a masterpiece album in 2013 called “This Time We Go Together”.
I listen to a lot of instrumental Hip-hop and Soul. Very different music.
– What are your long-term aspirations as a DJ/producer? Any other labels you’d like to work with?
My main goal is to build relationships with worldwide professionals of electronic music buseness coz russia has a very weak scene.
I’ll be happy to work with – Freerange, Off Recordings, Lazy Days, 8bit and many others.
I play music of these labels very often and will be glad to work with them.
– What more can we look forward to from you Ivan Latyshev?
I write a lot of music and compose it in interesting EP formats. Nearest release is Love Experience and Save me music EP. I’ll also write an album where I experiment with electronics, classic and jazz.
– And what 5 tracks are you currently digging at the minute?
1 – Black Loops – SIMPLON EP / Gruuv
2 – RayDilla – ACCELERATION EP / Pulp
3 – Mood II Swing – MOVE ME EP / Music for your Ears
4 – Nachtbraker – GUTE LAUNE EP / Heist
5 – Ivan Latyshev – SIMPLE MINDS / What’s in the box
Ivan Latyshev’s next release, – Love Expirience – on What in the box records – is out soon!