Wednesday 23 January 2013

Dasha Rush: All You Need Is Ears

We've made no secret of our love for Fullpanda Records and Hunger To Create boss, Dasha Rush. Whether she's working as part of LADA with Lars Hemmerling, or releasing solo material on her own labels or Adam X's Sonic Groove imprint, her music is nothing short of breath taking and it's easy for us to see the extent at with she lives her art.

Resident Advisor's Sanjay Fernandes spent sometime with the Russian to get to know more about her early days and her first inspirations in music right through to her current projects....

"People tell me to pay money for promo of Fullpanda but I'm definitely never paying any money for promo of my label," says Dasha Rush. "If people want to buy a record they will buy a record." It's this sentiment that has made the Russian-born producer familiar to only a small fraternity of artists and audiences. And if you haven't heard of her, well, it's probably for the very same reason.

Since 2005 she's experimented with techno and ambient on her labels, Fullpanda and Hunger to Create, releasing two full-lengths and a handful of EPs. Her work has also appeared on Sonic Groove, the imprint run by her friend Adam X. It's impossible to pigeonhole her: she brings a unique sensibility to the darker strains of techno and industrial, and also excels when DJing experimental and ambient records. Her most recent live project, LADA, with her partner Lars Hammerling, is another attempt to find what she calls "the missing element" in electronic dance music today. Hers is a strong, independent voice that electronic music often lacks. But she's not going to try too hard to make people listen. As she says, "All you need is ears." 

Can you tell us a little bit about your early working life and how music became a greater part of it?

I lived in Russia till 1995. I left Russia in January 1996 when I was 16 and went to Paris to model. It was just a way to get out of Russia. After moving to Paris I started to travel with work—I lived in London and Japan, and by that time I was investing a lot of the money I was making into my music. I'd started to DJ before I left Russia but I was using other people's records.

What kind of records were you playing at 14 in Russia?

It was quite difficult to get records at that time. Someone would have a friend going to Amsterdam and he would bring us a couple of records. I like dark acid techno and then actually, later on, I was playing hardcore and gabber [laughs]. That was a spread of my anger and adolescent thing—to be hard, you know? So I guess that was influencing the music and the records. But when I moved to Paris I could start digging and collecting my own stuff.

You moved to France and stopped playing gabber?

It kind of morphed into what I really liked, as I'd calmed down with my rage and then also developed my taste in music. It's not that I stopped, it just morphed to techno, but I still have my rough moments.

When did you start producing?

Around 1998/99. I had a friend in Russia who was a computer freak. He basically showed me things that I didn't know and I started learning. He was living in Moscow and we were staying in touch all the time, and when I was visiting we were doing music with him and then I just started doing it myself.

So there was a long period before you began Fullpanda?

Yeah Fullpanda is much further on, around 2005. I guess that was a natural moment when I felt like I wanted to share something and put something out. All the guys that I had rang liked hard music, so the first Fullpanda was not hard enough for them. They were saying, "Can you do some hard tracks for us?" I said, "No, this is actually what I want to do." So I thought the best way was actually for me to do it on my own. So I just figured out how to do it and did it on my own. It was not easy, but it was the easiest way for me to put music out. I was earning some money at that time with the modelling so that gave me a certain freedom to do it the way I want. I always want to do it my way.

Yeah, that's interesting, because I think your first album on Fullpanda wasn't hard at all.

I have one track, where a vocal or element is not in the place you'd expect it. That's the sort of music I want to make. With music itself, it's not always related to dance music, which is why I have a problem writing an album because I spent too much time playing techno at gigs. And I love techno, and I love dance floors, but sometimes I really need to do something else. I think it's important to explore those fields of music where you cannot have a definition of style, which you can't put into this frame, or that frame. And I guess for the listener they do it, but personally I follow my intuition.

I say I never follow a tendency but then I realise that when I talk to my friends and colleagues like Adam [X] and Donato [Dozzy], we're all saying, "There is something missing" and then we realise that we're all experimenting trying to find this missing element. Isn't that following a tendency? But then, we're connected to a similar perception of musical flavours so it is probably something that makes us all feel that way. Even if no one else would be doing something like that, I'd continue to experiment. It's hard to put this "missing element" into words. In one way you know what it is, but for everyone it's different. Perhaps it's a man/woman thing. There is a gender sensibility that is very different. Adam is very clinical and productive, whereas I am very flustered and over excited.

So how does gender play a role in these "missing elements"?

I don't know how it works for all women. I know how it works for me in my own creative process. If I have to put a word on it it's a "spontaneous" thing. I'm not so calculated or productive.

I'd like to talk a little more in-depth about your perspective on gender because I don't think serious conversations take place, especially in techno.

That's because it's not easy to talk about, because there are a lot of clichés. I'm not really a feminist or gender theorist. If I like the artist it doesn't really matter what sex they are, but there is a certain difference in the sensibility of men and women by default. It's a natural thing. There is something. Even the way to express or approach things. Music, literature, any kind of expressive activity or art, and it is different. For women, they have this cycle every month, this hormonal cycle that influences perception, reaction, expression, impression. It's different for men. I feel my sensibility is more psychotic during that part of the month [laughs] and then two weeks later it could be something different... I feel my feminine sensibility is related to my hormonal cycles. That's biology. So I can't deny it. This is part of the whole aspect of intellectual, creative process. You have to accept it, and work with it.

OK, so that's how your biology influences your creativity, but what about how the scene receives you as a woman?

There is the other side of it, that "techno music is masculine music." [It] is not really masculine on purpose. It's just a society that's developed a certain way. There are certain situations, ridiculous situations, where people are very sexist. I know women who bring their sexuality to DJing and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have a colleague of mine, she was playing Panorama Bar, and she very "girlish," which is cool.

This critic, a friend of a friend, said, "She's just moving her bottom and moving her tits, it was not about the music," which was totally not true! It's just not the way the music would affect him. The music is sexual. Personally, I think techno is liberating—like any music, actually, if it's good. But for me, it's the physicality of techno. There is a proved theory I think, where they found a certain range of frequencies of very, very low bass—I can't remember the exact hertz—that provokes excitement on a women's organs. The woman likes bass.

You mentioned above that you like to do things your own way. I'd like to know how this translates to your live duo, LADA?

For Lars [Hemmerling] and I it's difficult because when you're a duo I think there's a first exchange between the two and then it goes to the crowd. So it's hard in that first exchange because sometimes we argue, music-wise. Or where the kick trigger is located when we're playing because it's not too accessible for me, it's too far. And I like to have to control that. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. When we're playing live we do have elements and things prepared, but at the same time there's a space to improvise and there is a space to feel each other. Sometimes we do feel each other and it works, and sometimes we don't feel each other and it becomes a mess. But sometimes our disagreement or friction can create something that is out of our control that is really cool, you know?

So LADA offers a lack of control?

Not exactly. When the music is too calculated to make you dance and to make you do something, when it's too functional, it's boring. Dance music is diverse. I would say 70% of the music is a product made to make you move your butt because you have to bring a lot of people because the club has to work. So it's an industry. So I don't mind music as entertainment, and I can cope with the business to a certain extent, but it has to have a heart. Music is an art as well as entertainment. If I lose this artistic element I will stop making music. If I hear music that is only functional, everything is so perfect and arranged in a box, it's boring. With LADA we try to perform music that's there [points to head], there [points to heart], not only there [points to bottom]."

All You Need Is Ears has now become a regular fixture at the legendary Tresor basement, so much so that when the German superclub bring their showcase to London for the first time next month, Dasha will be coming along for the ride...

She'll be performing a live set alongside other Tresor favourites, Juan Atkins, DJ Deep and Psyk. Tickets are still available on the Resident Advisor Event Page, where you'll find all the info you could possibly need.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

fabric introduce Staffan Linzatti with an interview and exclusive live set

Ahead of Staffan Linzatti's debut performance at fabric this weekend, the London club's blog got to know a bit more about the Swede with an interview to accompany an exclusive set that he's recorded as a precursor to mark the occasion.

You can stream the mix from the player below...

and you can read the interview on the fabric website

As we stated earlier, Staffan will be making his first appearance at fabric with a live set in Room 2, alongside Sandwell District and Locked Groove, this Saturday.

Tickets are available through the fabric website. To find out more about Staffan Linzatti, his tracks and where he'll be performing in the next few months, head over to his Resident Advisor page

Friday 18 January 2013

fabric catching up with Sigha

When it comes to approaching your first full artist album, no matter who you are, it’s a daunting task – never mind when you lose your first rounds of drafts and ideas through technological mishaps. There’s a lot of pressure poured on you, especially if you’ve moved on in terms of sound from what first got you attention in the first place. This was the case for Sigha, one of a wave of artists who happened to start out at a time when the dubstep end of beatmaking was open to experimentalist using sub bass in a multitude of different ways even if they were finding their niche more at the four four techno side of things. A seemingly fitting analogy comes from his formative days working in the basement at BM Soho. The subterranean floor is more of a d&b and dubstep spot but Sigha transcended upstairs to the techno records…

Things move on and as his interest in techno grew it really became the sound to take him forward with his creativity and he started developing his debut album for Hotflush entitled Living with Ghosts - which he’s toasting with us in Room Two this weekend. It proves to be a fertile time then to catch up with the ever growing talent to find out how, rather than taking a breather after the LP release trail, Sigha currently has a multitude of projects under the go. All ready to come into fruition later this year they include his collaborations with another of last year’s strongest new artists, Shifted, and the fresh energy he’s pouring in to his Our Circula Sound imprint.

Hey James, happy new year to you – how was yours?
I spent the Christmas period and the New Year back in the UK with my family. I was a busy towards the end of last year and it’s set to be an even busier start of 2013 so it was really nice to have some downtime.

Last year you played the birthday – how was your experience of our 31 hour long party?
fabric is an amazing club to play, the system is obviously incredible and the crowd there always react well to my sound and are definitely there get down, so the atmosphere at an extended party like that is pretty intense. I played fairly early on Saturday night but I came back on Sunday evening and it was still electric in there, so many people I spoke to had been there for the duration. Extended parties of that length are a weekly occurance in Berlin, but they rarely seem to happen in London. Even though I’ve left I still see it as my home turf so it’s very special to be part of something like that there. 

You’re down to mark the release of your album, although it was in the stores last year can you tell us a bit about the ideas behind it and the process with which it was created?
It was a long process, broken up by computer crashes and moving countries. I'd written well over half the LP when my studio computer died and I had to start over, bar a few tracks i managed to salvage. I think this ended up being a positive though, it gave me a bit more time to think about how i wanted to approach the album. By the time the second draft started to take shape i was settled into life here in Berlin and had come around to the idea of a more balanced project. I really wanted it represent me across the board as an artist.

Has it been making the body of your sets up for the last year – have you been pleased in the effecting results it has had on the dancefloor?
I’ve been playing certain tracks a lot, Scene Couple, Dressing For Pleasure (Ideal), Puritian. These were actually written with specific points in my sets in mind, so I've been really happy to see the results on the floor when they've been played.

What direction are you currently working in – you’ve talked recently about how you've been finding yourself immersed in the world of drone?
I’m working on several projects at the moment that won’t be released as Sigha , I don't want to go into too much detail at the moment simply because my attention span means they might take a while to actually finish. 

One is an LP of ambient and slower electronic music, although its non-techno I suppose it’s very informed by it, which I don't see as a problem really. I’m trying to focus a bit more on melody, it’s definitely 'sunnier' than anything else I've done previously but maybe that’s not saying much.
The other project I'm really excited about is much darker, made up of processed field recordings. At the moment it’s still in its early stages and I'm just collecting sounds for it but the concept behind it's really strong and something that I'm hugely interested in. 

Techno wise I’m getting tracks together for a few new EPs for Blueprint, Avian and my OCS imprint as well as finally finishing a collaboration with Shifted and starting a new project with Truss. 

I know sometimes new material is tested months and sometimes years ahead by most producers and by the time the album’s out for some people they’ve predominately moved onto newer material when they play out…would people expect to hear dubs of unreleased work being tested more than your older material in the club?
A mixture really I suppose, when I finished 'LWG' I found focusing on techno a bit of a struggle, the old post-lp blues cliche I guess, but it feels like I’ve finally found my groove again and I'm enjoying writing and playing out newer tracks. It’s always good to test something out on a crowd and a good system if that’s the environment you want it to be heard in.

What external experiences have been most inspirational for you at this point? I know you’re an individual that takes in a lot from other cultural realms outside of technoland
I think we've got to the point where we're so bombarded on a daily basis with external stimuli that it’s more a question of what you choose to shut out and ignore when it comes to things influencing you creatively. I live a pretty reclusive life style compared to a lot of people really, perhaps to an unhealthy extent, but I find this helps me retain a semblance of focus when I sit down to work. 
I enjoy visiting galleries, it’s not even just about drawing something from the works themselves, but I find it encourages me to think about the artistic and creative process. 

Would you see yourself working outside of the traditional music process in future – say club / records /album in future in way of collaborations with artists or fashion designers? Has that crossed your mind before?
Definitely, these are things that I’d like to do at some point, but I think I've got more than enough on the go currently, unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day.

Onto a collaboration I know to be in action currently, I’ve seen you’re planning events with Shifted’s imprint Avian vs Our Circula Sound – what lead you to work together in this way?
Shifted’s been a very close friend of mine for a long time now, we share a lot of common ground and mutual interests both in and outside of music. We've been talking about the idea of putting on a collaborative party to showcase both imprints for a while, but we weren’t anticipating the level of interest that the project would generate. It exciting to have seen the concept grow in a short space of time from an idea into something concrete. 

Do you have a plan for 2013? What releases do you have locked down?
Personally, the projects I already mentioned are going to be my focus this year. My label Our Circula Sound will be picking up the pace, we've signed some great new material from some new artists I’m really excited about and it’s about time I released a solo 12 on there as well.

The AVN/OCS parties and collaborative release series from both labels will also be taking up a chunk of my attention.

If you happen to be in London tomorrow you'll be able to catch Sigha performing alongside DVS1 in Room 2 at fabric. Tickets are available through the fabric Website. For more info on Sigha, head over to his Facebook Fan Page.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Mix Of The Day: CLR Podcast 203 - Rødhåd

For this weeks podcast CLR add a new face to their ever expanding list on contributors. He may be a debutant on the series, but to readers fo the SDD blog, Rødhåd will be no stranger. Firstly, as a DJ, his residency at (and a founder member of) Berlin's Dystopian night, and more recently his appearances at Berghain, have seen him become a firm favourite in the eyes of the people of the German capital. But as was inevitably going to happen, he's now getting the recognition he thoroughly deserves in territories outside of his homeland. And with two releases (and a third on the way) on Dystopian's record label, his productions talents are there for all the world to see.

It was only a matter of time before he found his way on the CLR Podcast and he's announced himself to a wider audience with a mix full of hypnotic textures and deep dub techno vibes blended with driving techno to leave you wanting more. As a DJ who's made his name with sets than keep you dancing for many an hour, none of that set building quality is lost by condensing it down to under 65 mins.

You can subscribe to the CLR Podcast in iTunes or you can download and listen to the mix on the CLR Website.


1) Dadavistic Ocestra - De kunst: Star Dot Star [Dust Science Recordings]
2) Rødhåd - [Unreleased]
3) Levon Vincent - Stereo Systems [Novel Sound]
4) Analog Solutions - The Concept Sampler [Analog Solutions]
5) Reeko - Dystopic Furture [Pole Group]
6) Shifted - Bloodless [Mote Evolver]
7) Pär Grindvik - Rudy [Stockholm LTD]
8) Vice - Noise Reduction [Tresor]
9) Truncate - 10th [Truncate]
10) Nina Kraviz - Best friend (DVS1 forever mix featuring Naughty Wood)
11) Arnaud le Texier - Ingredients [Children of Tomorrow]
12) Rejected - For the People (Ben Klock Remix) [Rejected]
13) Phase - Transantarctic [Token]
14) The Plant Worker [Limited 02]
15) Dimi Angélis & Jeroen Search - One on One [A&S]
16) Recondite - EC10 [forthcoming on Dystopian]
17) Reeko - Segmento 3 [Mental Disorder]

More info on Rødhåd can be found on his Facebook Fan Page. If you want to see him performing live and happen to be in Zurich on Saturday he'll be playing at the Hive Club with Nick Höppner, Tamo Sumo and more. Full event info here. Back in Berlin he'll be playing at the next Dystopian party on the 29th Jan and then at Berghain on the 9th Feb (click on the links for the RA event pages).

Thursday 3 January 2013

Mix Of The Day: OurLand.005 - XI

We kick off the New Year with a mix that was recorded by our boss, XI, at his East London home just before Christmas. The podcast was commissioned by the ever expanding new series called OurLand. Already on to it's 5th episode, focusing predominately on UK talent, they've featured mixes from Perc Trax artist Ben Gibson, past SDD guest Billy Allen, Void resident Jay Clarke and upcoming up Producer / DJ, Fundamental Interaction.

The mix takes a look at the darker side of the industry and the mental health implications that can go hand in hand with being a traveling DJ / Producer within the world of electronic music. Right from the start, the broken beat drones of Milton Bradley and Ike set the pace for this dark inward journey. The intensity rises as the Prince Of Denmark, Subjected and Rødhåd install a more four / four pattern before the Detroit stylings of Raw Series and Floorplan bring the mix to a close.

You can get the mix from the following links. Either via the direct download or you can subscribe to the mix in iTunes

Direct Download


  1. Brian Eno Feat Anastasia Afonina – Panic Of Looking [Warp Records]
  2. Milton BradleyReality Is Wrong [Prologue Records]
  3. Vid – Understand [Pleasure Zone]
  4. Ike – Loss (Regis Version) [Blackest Ever Black]
  5. Milton Bradley – Voices Of The Unknown [Do Not Resist The Beat!]
  6. Prince Of Denmark – Prypjat [Giegling Staub]
  7. Silent Servant – Utopian Disaster (End) [Hospital Productions]
  8. Subjected – MS.20 [Vault Series]
  9. Rødhåd – Thoughtcrime [Dystopian]
  10. Raw Series – Raw Series #2 (A Side) [Raw Series]
  11. Regal – Trick [Enemy Records]
  12. Floorplan – Altered Ego [M-Plant Music]
  13. Regis – Reclaimed 4 [D/N Records]
  14. Mokira – Manipulation Musik [Kontra-Musik]

As well as the podcast, OurLand caught up with XI for a chat about the inspiration behind the mix, his favourite UK producers, the future and a bit more on top. Check out the interview on the OurLand Website. There you'll also be able to find all the link for the previous 4 mixes in the series.

More info on XI can be found through his Facebook Fan Page or you can follow him on Twitter