Melancholic techno from Moscow.
Announcing himself on the scene last year, Art Crime’s debut release on Willie Burns’ WT Records was one of the finest slices of club gear we’ve come across in some time. Cleverly combining emotional 90s house pianos, an instantly addictive bassline and ball tearing drums, it was a memorable entrance and one that pricked the ears of all the right heads. Since then the Moscow based producer has been busy working on his latest EP, Obsession, for London’s Phonica label, with a forthcoming record for Crème Organization to follow soon after. Right now we pleased to be able to provide some more background on the mysterious Russian producer with his first ever interview and an accompanying 50 minute mix of wistful deep techno and house.
There’s not a whole lot known about the producer behind the Art Crime records besides from you being based in Moscow. Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into making electronic music? Have you released music through other aliases in the past?
Well, I started messing around in Fruity Loops when I was 13 or something, I guess it’s a pretty regular story. I didn’t have any idea what to do, but I was definitely interested. Since then there were a couple of periods when I tried to understand what and why am I actually doing it, changing the approach, techniques, views and so on for a long time, asking questions and learning. Everything i do is still very intuitive. Art Crime is my only alias at the moment.
What can you tell us about the techno scene in Moscow at the moment, do you think it’s in a good place?
I’m not really listening to Moscow or Russian music to be honest. I mean I hear some things from time to time, but unfortunately i can’t say yet this is something I’m really into. I don’t know why, but I can’t just like the music or be constantly searching for it only because it was made in the city or country I live in. Some of my friends are also making music and call themselves Johns’ Kingdom (it is a label and party series), so you can check them out if you’d like to. But I guess all these location issues are not something important now, I’m always more interested in a person’s music wherever he or she is from.
Your first Art Crime release, Never Look Back, on Willie Burns’ WT Records received international acclaim and was supported by a host of great DJs around the world. How did you get in touch with the label and were you surprised at all by the response?
Well, I just sent (spammed) William a message about two years ago, he asked for any more tracks and offered to make a record right away. Then we were chatting about the record and everything (including his breakfasts and Moscow weather) a lot really, so it was fun, he is a great man and I’m still thankful for him for making it happen, nothing special, but the first record, you know.
Yeah, i was a bit shocked with all the feedback I had after to be honest, I guess it is a regular thing, but it was something completely new for me, especially to get it from the artists you are actually listening to, or to receive some messages about it a year after. Yeah, i didn’t expect it.
Your next record, the forthcoming Obsession EP, is due to be released via the Phonica label later this month, what can you tell us about the idea behind that record?
Simon from the Phonica asked me if I was interested in making a record for their label with an old track called ‘Obsession’, I was quite busy with my job and some other material at the time, so after a half-year or so I finally decided to make it. It consists of two really old and two new tracks that I was pretty satisfied with. Answering your question I just remembered why I decided to put these tracks together. All of them are about love and passion one way or another… haha. I’m still quite happy with the artwork by the way.
What can you tell us about this mix? Who are some of the artists featured in the mix?
I wanted to record something a bit different than the things I used to play in the clubs, but the tracks I can regularly listen to on my own walking on the streets for example. I guess it turned out a bit eclectic, but that’s the way I like it; music that contains the whole spectrum. Most of them are pretty well-known, hope it’s not a problem.
Well, Joey Anderson of course. He just has a lot of really great tracks, one of the coolest new discoveries of last year (or so). An absolutely mind blowing piece by Shackleton. Madteo.. Chris Gray. A track I listened to a lot really. Once it was played for about 4-5 hours on repeat while I was sleeping with some girl, so I still have a good memories about this one. Just listen to this fucking melodies! Keith Worthy & Malik Alston ‘Ecoutez’, the one my german friend Florian showed me in the morning while we were pretty fucked up after two nights of partying during his second visit to Moscow. Helena Hauff, and the one by my biggest friend Ivan (Rrrthia/Erethia or whatever name he will choose next). I’m really waiting for him to finally make a record/release/EP/album or whatever, he’s a great guy.
What else have you been working on? Do you have any other releases in the works, or any plans to tour soon?
Yes, my next EP should be out soon (hopefully) on Crème Organization, these tracks was last year’s troubled child for some reason, they were made in one period and connected to some life stories I had at that time. I mean I understand that the things I do are weak or lame comparing to the music humanity already has, but some of them could be important for you for some reasons, you hear them like no one does and can’t see it objectively, so i’d like to let them go finally.
At the moment I have some finished material I am surprisingly kinda OK with and dozens of unfinished demos, so i’m deciding what to do with it. It always takes forever to make a physical release, so I’d like to make the fourth one asap. I don’t know yet. DJing at the local Moscow clubs from time to time at the moment, don’t have any plans about the tour, but of course i would like to do that.
Madteo – Hoodshedding
Bandulu – Parasight
Doubt – Beauty
Joey Anderson – Hydrine
Shackleton – Beat His Command
Chris Gray – Ran Away (Alternate Outtake)
Rrrthia – LLMD
Keith Worthy & Malik Alston – Ecoutez
Photonz – Sad Mania
Helena Hauff – The First Time He Thought, He Died
Batu – Cardinal
Psychic TV – Alien Be In (Silent Servant Remix)
Art Crime – Renessense