3 posts tagged

Backstory series

Backstory series. Part 3

Getting to a new level

Previously I told about my first local gigs in 2006 and shutting down the community website in 2008.

During the next three years after these events, I lived a normal trying to make a career in a totally different field of work. No music production whatsoever, I’m not sure I even listened to music — I guess that is how strongly burned-out I was because of the study, the job, and the toxic relationship I had back then (tough times of being a teenager).

So, 2011, I was 24. That was the time when I realised that not only I want to come back to music production, but also make it a big part of my life and eventually make a living on music.

It was sound like a nice plan, right, but where to start? After a 3-year long break, most of my connections in the industry had gone, basically, I had to start from the very beginning.

That’s how eventually I found Audio School — a Moscow-based school of electronic dance music that offer courses on production, DJing, VJing, music theory, and other related disciplines. In total, I spent six months learning the basics and nuances of the profession and studying there was one the best decisions I’ve made.

The final exam on DJing discipline at Audio School. Performing on 4×Pioneer CDJ-1000, DJM-800, and an external SFX-processor by Korg. Moscow, 2011

Also at the same year I started my radio show, Rave Podcast, actually a several months before my education. Now it’s funny how clearly you can hear the difference in my mixing skills before and after the study. I know those first episodes sound terribly bad, but that’s exactly why I keep them — it’s a reminder to myself of where I started.

All in all, education at Audio School gave me a great head start and saved a tremendous amount of time because learning all of this by myself would take me a way much more time. Eventually, the track I’ve made for the production discipline final exam is the track you know as “Contact”, my debut release signed on Ovnimoon Records.

Advice: music career has many pitfalls and nuances, so if you have a serious intention to make music as your profession — learn from someone who already mastered these things. It can be a school, online courses, master classes, blogs, vlogs, whatever. Always raise the bar and never stop learning, that’s the only way of getting to a new level. The time and money you invest in self-education will always eventually pay off.

To be continued.

Jul 30   Backstory series   Behind the scenes   Career

Backstory series. Part 2

First local gigs as a DJ

Previously in the backstory series I wrote about the Psychedelic community I created, and today I’ll tell how it affected my career.

Let’s get back in 2006. Psyplanet became a quite large website and our team grew up to twelve members. As a community founder, I had to do a lot of coordination, negotiation, and all in all it gave me a huge experience.

Psyplanet helped me to know the scene inside-out: I knew pretty much every professional and enthusiast involved, such DJs, artists, promoters, agents, deco designers, flyer designers, photographers, street teams. And to be fair, the Psytrance scene in Moscow was quite big at the time.

But it wasn’t just that. It also helped to build a trust. I didn’t have ambitions of being a professional DJ back then, but due to relationship with the party promoters, I played as a DJ too.

Flyers of the Psytrance party series in Rotonda Club, organized by Syntex Lab. The big flyer on the right is one of the first parties where I played as a DJ. It was July 6, 2006. See also Psytrance flyers 2005—2007

Here some are of the tunes I played at that time just for you to feel the mood:

For various reasons — mostly, financial — I had to shut the website down. Psyplanet didn’t make me rich, but it doesn’t matter because it gave much more than that — a priceless experience, networking, and industry insights from which I learnt a lot from.

Advice: playing local gigs is a good way to start a career, but don’t just come to promoters saying “Hey, I’m a DJ, do you want me to play at your party?” because the answer is most certainly will be no. Go to their parties a few times first, find out who is the main person in charge for artists, have a little chat. Ask if they need some help, perhaps volunteers or a street team to promote an upcoming event. Slowly but surely, you build a trust. And now compare it to that random guy who came up and said “Hey, I’m a DJ”, — who do you think have more chances to be a warm-up DJ at the next event? The answer is clear.

2017   Backstory series   Behind the scenes   Career   DJing and performance

Backstory series. Part 1

Psyplanet, the Russian Psychedelic community

I remember back in the days when I was a teenager deeply passioned about music, I was always wondering how did artists reach out their milestones, such as the first local gig, the first international gig, the first studio album etc. That curious and passionate music lover guy still lives inside me, but now being also a music producer, I have experienced all these milestones myself.

So, I decided to write a kind of “backstory series” with behind the scenes of my past career goals and how I managed to achieve them, and with some career advice along the way.

***

To really understand where I am coming from, I have to begin my story with the Psychedelic community I created almost 13 years ago, which probably not many of my nowadays’ followers know about.

The year of 2004. At the time I just graduated the high school and, as most teenagers, I was thinking what should I do next. After some time, I came up to learning HTML and CSS and building a website. I was one of the few lucky ones who got the very first PC earlier around 1999, so learning the web and these languages in particular came naturally to me.

So, armed with the “HTML for noobs” book I started making my own website. I never hesitated what the website should be all about, because the answer was clear — about Psychedelic culture, of course! At the raves I was one those guys with white gloves and fluorescent clothes, so making a website about Psytrance was also naturally to me.

Slowly but surely, in 2005 I launched “Psyplanet”, the Russian Psychedelic trance community. We had a forum board, events announcements, party photos, artist profiles, free download music (oops!) and more goodies. Quickly it became one of the leading Psytrance websites in Russia.

Keep in mind the Internet was very different from today’s, it was a time before Facebook opened registrations and before Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPhone.

Here are some of the screenshots I found on my disk:

Psyplanet.ru final look before it was shut down in 2008

Advice: when thinking of what you suppose to do in your life, always trust your gut instinct, no matter what is currently trending or what your parents say. Doing what love to do is always pays off.

2017   Backstory series   Behind the scenes   Career