Denis A is one of Russia's biggest electronic music exports; in addition to occasional gigs at Amnesia and Tresor, his tracks find their way into sets by Hernan Cattaneo, Sasha and Danny Tenaglia among others. Meanwhile, he's a linchpin of Moscow's club scene, regularly bringing artists such as Timo Maas, John Digweed and Blake Baxter into town for his DAR Sessions. Since 2009, he's run his own label, DAR, through which he's released his own productions. This year he decided to broaden operations a bit, with two new labels that focus on up-and-coming Russian talent: DAR Digital and RA:DAR. Speaking last week via email, Denis A gave us the rest of the scoop.
What prompted you to set up these new labels?
I'm meeting more and more talented artists every day! Also, I'm listening to lots of unsigned tracks and the best of them I want to collect together on my label, but now there are too many for one label alone. I think it's also a good thing to help new producers, if I have the possibility to do this.
You still DJ mostly with vinyl. Why start a digital label?
Because I want to make more releases each month so people can hear this amazing new music and it isn't possible to release everything on vinyl these days. My DAR label releases are on vinyl and digital, and DAR Digital brings more flexibility to release more music quickly and efficiently. I still love to DJ with vinyl and CDs and vinyl is very special to my heart.
What kind of music can we expect from RA:DAR?
RA:DAR will launch soon and concentrate more on techno and house. I've already invited two of my best friends to help me to build something exceptional with this sub-label. Dr.Spy.Der and Nikitin (Nikitin & Semikashev) both have great taste, experience and a good reputation here in Russia, so it will be a very exciting project.
What challenges do you face running a label in Russia? Do you think it's more difficult to gain international recognition than it would be for a German or English label?
My DAR label is working in association with the Plastic Music team (ex Plastic Fantastic, London). Their assistance and experience with label management has really helped me. Also I have been lucky enough to have support from people like John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Tiesto, Robert Babicz (who masters my releases), Nick Muir, Spooky and many, many others. For two years we have worked so hard with DAR and now it's the strongest label in Russia. We had our own stage at Loveparade 2010 and Kazantip Z-18, got our own sessions at Amnesia. Everything is working because I have good friends in many countries—Daniel Rajkovic, Brian Cross, Nikita The First, Mar-T and others. It's a 24 hour-a-day job working out problems, planning and building a solid structure for the future of the labels.
What are you looking forward to most in 2011?
First of all, I can't wait for people to hear the DAR releases with remixes by Nick Muir and King Unique of my tracks. Then, on 7th March, DAR will present the BEDROCK stage in Moscow for an Amnesia Ibiza party with John Digweed, Timo Maas, Nick Warren, Mar-T and myself. It will be an absolutely amazing show with more than 10,000 people. During 2011 I'll make several DAR Sessions in the best Moscow club, Discoteque. Then in the summer we are looking forward to going back to Ibiza and having a DAR stage at Kazantip again.
The first release on DAR Digital, She's So Spacey / Cosmic Breath by Igor Cold and Gvozdini, is currently available. It will be followed this month by a split from Responz and Taboo, entitled Agnostic / The 10 Month Liar. RA:DAR is set to launch next month.