And now ?
Interview by 4mal!
Read this and Enjoy
Hi Anton and Evgeny! Please tell us a little bit about yourself - where do you study, what are your hobbies etc!
A&E: Hi everybody and thanks for inviting us to do a guest mix for you! Well well well, we are almost done with our university studies, the last year just started! Our main hobby and mission is music, mostly electronic dance music, but we are very open minded to other genres, styles and directions! We are a small group of friends and accomplices here in Yekaterinburg and we enjoy spending time together.
When did you start listening to electronic music?
A&E: Hmm, it was somewhere in the late nineties, around 1997-1998 when we got first mixtapes and tracks on audio cassettes and local radio stations broadcasted 'the new sound of the Western world'; we were listening to all kinds of dance music: The Prodigy, 'Progressive Attack' and 'Dream Dance' compilations and so on, another problem was that we were quite far away from Moscow and Saint Petersburg and didn't get as much new records as our fellows in those cities did.
Which music style do you prefer?
A&E: Wow what a strange question! Speaking about electronic music, we prefer 'deep emotional progressive sounds' which remind us of 2000-2003; Evgeny was more into trance music until 2001 because of his frequent trips to Germany, Anton started his musical carreer with trip hop and later drum'n'bass; nowadays we still enjoy moving in different directions, don't forget about 'Infected Voice' - out trip hop project together with Ilya Peutin and 'Fragile White' together with Oleg Mikhailenko and there is another collaboration to be announced soon! Evgeny: My ipod is loaded with livesets and new promos but I also have plenty of pop tunes which are played on the radio, just to know what's the today's trend.
A&E: Because we love it! Actually, right now we prefer progressive because we feel the space and possibility to do something new, to combine deep, progressive and tech house in one track. Evgeny: Trance, especially uplifting trance sounds fresh if you just get into it, after a year or two you already know all the melodies and have the strong feeling 'Hmm, I heard this somewhere!', the tunes start to sound the same. Anton: this problem is actual for drum'n'bass too, that's why I stopped with it.
When and how did it all begin?
A&E: It all started in November 2001, when we met at a party in a nightclub here in Yekaterinburg. Anton: I was playing my set and Evgeny appeared in the DJ booth, after I passed the decks to another club resident, we were just talking about music and so on. Evgeny: Anton played deep, dark, sinister progressive, that was very unusual for that club, I was impressed and managed to talk to him during and after the set, that's how it all began.
I know you are first of all producers and not DJs at the moment. Why?
A&E: We are focused on our own productions because it's the only way forward! You know, the majority of DJs in Russia just play records and do not compose something themselves, and who needs two DJs with the same records in their crates these days? That's why we gave up DJing for some time, don't worry, we have weekly bedroom sets which help us to stay fit as DJs. Until we release an artist album we doubt there will be many gigs outside our native region.
How long does it take to compose a track?
A&E: It depends, but we never work very quick ('Guys, you should do a track or a remix in 2 days or we miss the boat!'). In the beginning of a new track there should be an impression - maybe when we are on the walk together through the city, or sitting outside on the terrace and watching the rain or browsing through our friends's vacations photo albums. Evgeny: Oh yes, I have hundreds of pictures backed up on DVDs, my friends and colleagues always share the pics from their vacations of business trips, I also like watching photos from the past. Anton: There's a short story I'd like to tell you... You know, we remixed the track called 'Trans Port' by Native featuring Ani, it was released on the UK based label Segment Records; the remix is called '4Mal's White Road remix'. We called it this way because once we were returning home from somewhere, it was at night already i suppose, the snow was falling very dense and the road in front of the car was all white, we were very impressed and titled our remix '4Mal's White Road'.
Your favourite producers of the moment are... ?
A&E: Dousk (waiting for the second album sampler), Matthew Adams (watch out his name), Jaytech (can't do wrong in 2006), DJ Pilot, Freza & DJ Flash, Ivan Spell (new vinyl in December approximately), Micah, Pole Folder, Igor Dorohov, Arturo Bonetti, Santiago Nino (album coming soon), Matt Black, Dmitry Filatov (ex. Sound Fistion), Shiloh (their 'Bleed' album - 10/10!), Silent Brothers (recent debut release), Chance Jumpers (keep it up!), Rocco Mundo and Onno, The Proluctors, FeralCode artists (Jay Lumen, Pablo Roma and others) and many more!
Who are your friends and colleagues from Europe and Russia?
A&E: Have a look at the previous answer, please!
We don't know many musicians from Russia, because our country is very big! We listened to Alexander Polyakov's 'iRecords Volume One' compilation, there are some nice tunes produced by Russians and a couple of demos by Ivan Spell, very driving progressive sound! We keep in touch every day with very few fellow Russians, everybody's going their own way. For the future, we would like to mention John 'Powerplant' Morgan, Andre Absolut, John 'Quivver' Graham, Pole Folder and 16 Bit Lolitas - we'd like to collaborate with them or remix their tunes. Anton: Oh, and before we move to the next question - Kirsty Hawkshaw and Jes Brieden, the ladies we are dreaming of!
Their vocals in a 4Mal track...
Are you going to DJ outside Russia someday?
A&E: Oh yes we are, after we release an artist album and get our master-of-arts degree!
CD / Vinyl / Digital (Final Scrach, Ableton)? Vinyl vs. CD?
A&E: Vinyl & CD! We get promos from our fellow producers every week and would like to test them and give feedback, plus it's the absolutely exclusive material which cannot be obtained anywhere else and we are proud to present it to the public in our local DJ sets and guest mixes. But of course we buy vinyls too, mostly classic dark prog records which we'll never get tired playing! It's a big stereotype here in Russia that top level DJs should play from vinyl only, that's not suitable for us - first of all we are a production duo, not back 2 back DJ set!
Evgeny: My collection is growing slowly because I love holding these 12" records and touching them, but vinyl should not become cult or fetish...
A rhetorical question: Why are you much more famous abroad than in Russia? Is it intentional?
A&E: No, it isn't!
The reason is quite simple - composing electronic dance music and selling it in Russia is not the best idea because the demand is not high, there is another stereotype that music made overseas and then imported is far much better; there are no strong EDM labels releasing CDs and vinyls in here, that's why we had to go west in order to start delivering our message to the world (otherwise we could only play at local parties few times a month in here and give CDRs to our close friends, that's a very poor distribution!). Sometimes we get emails like: "Wow guys, I purchased your tracks and didn't even know you were Russian!". That is what gives us strength to move forward.
Every producer has something what gives him inspiration. Would you please reveal your secret to us?
A&E: There is no secret actually, just come to Yekaterinburg and have a look at the city! It's very particular and contradictory - dark, muddy and depresive from the outside and friendly, warming and bright from the inside. We don't stay at home, we always go somewhere to get new impressions. Evgeny: I think if we move to another city or even country, there will be no 4Mal music anymore like it sounds now.
Thank you for your time and say something to our readers before we say Goodbye!
Everything is going to be alright! Yep we know it sounds commonplace, but: Spend more time with your beloved, friends and family! Listen to the music you like and enjoy life!
please fell free to drop us a line to info [at] 4Mal [dot] ru!