An ambient odyssey.
Dasha Rush is a Russian techno artist who sees the genre as a starting place not a destination. She is a respected and well-travelled DJ and live performer, but her work is equally focussed away from the dance floor, and sometimes away from music itself. Her recent album for Raster-Noton, Sleepstep, could be a metaphor for her work: "These 16 pieces are transmissions from that state between sleep and wakefulness," said Tony Naylor, a reflection of the in-between zones her music often inhabits. Dubby but intense, brutal but tender, foggy yet clear—Sleepstep was a wonderful mass of contradictions. Not being one thing or the other is vitally important to Rush, which goes hand-in-hand with her strong independent streak. The majority of the music she's released since starting out in 2005 has come through her own Fullpanda label and, as she told us in 2013, she's resistant to playing the publicity game in the way many in the scene do. That's meant she's remained off the radar for some techno fans, but it's also given her the freedom to explore projects and sounds as she pleases.
With all this mind, it was little surprise that our invitation to record a podcast was met with, "Yes, but it won't be a club mix." What we got instead was an absorbing 65 minutes of dense ambient soundscapes that shows Rush at her most reflective. The mix comes ahead of the North American premiere of Antarctic Takt, Rush's A/V show with Stanislav Glazov, at this week's Mutek festival in Montreal.
What have you been up to recently?
Well, as you may know, I just released the new album. Also this year, I took on some remixes. One of them, the track "Requiem" from Inigo Kennedy on Token records, is quite special. It's coming out in July. And of course caring about my label, Fullpanda. There's a new release is coming mid June, this time from the Argentinian artist Pulse One. I'm trying to work on LADA album for the end of the year. In between trying to cope with every day life and reality or avoid it (ironically speaking).
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was selected carefully, then recorded in one shot, real-time, to keep the spontaneity. Speaking of media, I used vinyl, CDJs and a computer.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Light and darkness, love and fear could be the motive of this sound picture. A continuity of the music collage where the sounds could interpret the atmosphere of a place or an emotional side, and may reflect human feelings.
In my opinion, recording a podcast is not exactly like a club mix. It is more for listening purpose rather than dancing. If I may say, a more heady type of entertainment. Also, it gives the possibility for me, as musician, to experiment with a wider range of musical genres. I always intend to tell a story, abstract maybe, but it must have an inner structure like a story.
How did the album with Raster-Noton come about?
It is quite a long story. I might tell you some other time :)
Do you know how you'll approach your upcoming 4DSOUND project?
Well, I have an idea about performance related to sound, color and space, where physical sensation is involved in relation to a frequency. But honestly, I'm not sure if I will be able to prepare for the show in July and also the 4D team want to focus on techno for this one, so most likely, I will play an abstract "technoid" set, yet not completely club oriented, and try to explore all the aspects of 4DSOUND.
What are you up to next?
This past weekend I played in Paris and in the South of Italy. And then I am going to Mutek festival to perform my audio-visual show, Antarctic Takt, together with Stanislav Glazov, who is working with me for the visual aspect.