The second instalment comes from the Russian artist, producer and DJ, Dasha Rush. While she's been a leading light in techno over the last two decades, interdisciplinary projects comprising choreography, digital art and sound are just as significant in her career, reflecting a vision extending beyond the club. For her Splice sample pack, she applies her sound design skills to dance floor techno, sharing her signature complex atmospheres, snaking acid lines and drum sounds from off the beaten track. She talked to RA late last year about how the learning process for young producers is changing, the role of samples in her live sets and the process of developing the pack.
Do you remember a point where you realised you'd become confident in your abilities, or is it an ongoing process where you're still not quite sure of yourself all the time?
I don't think there was a turning point where I said, "I'm a producer now." I actually never asked that question: "Am I ready?" It was just an inner feeling. You keep on working at it, and then at some point you realise, "I'm excited by what I've been able to make, so I want to share it." So first, of course, you show it to some friends, and you get feedback. Then some more distant people hear it, maybe at small events where you play for free or something. Once you can publicly perform somewhere and you have good feedback, it nourishes you so that you can continue developing yourself.
Today I am sure of what I'm doing and what I want because I accumulated knowledge through experience. But even then, you always question in the back of your head, how far can you go, what are your best talents, and so on. So there was no turning point, it was a long evolving progress.
A lot of people starting out see this giant mountain in front of them, and they're not sure whether they're going to be able to get up there. But for anyone who sticks with it, it never feels like you've reached the summit.
Yeah. It needs a huge amount of time. To be honest, I have friends today who are really young producers, and they want to be at the summit right now. But it depends on what you actually consider success. Is it your personal success, your name, getting known for what you do? Or is it your name getting known for not having done anything? So it depends on your personal values regarding what you want to achieve.
It's only after a certain amount of time that you can look back and realise, "Oh yeah, there was a progress." You can't say, "I'll be this good and have achieved this much in five years." I mean, you can try to predict it and have goals. But I think it's false because you can't see objectively how you are developing, you don't know how your brain works, what's your talent, what's your capacity to learn.
Again, it depends whether you focus on the internal process of evolving as a producer or developing a public appearance. I can't relate to how things are now, where the model of building up a profile without actual content, or with very little content, or with very little experience, is seen as normal.
I developed really slowly. It took me an enormous amount of time to learn things. And I wouldn't say I'm on top of the mountain, I'd like to go further and learn more. Music is vast.