Winter is around the corner with its preparations for the long holidays. And I have finally come up with a new interview for you, my friends, to get familiar with a very interesting musician from the Moscow region. Please, meet Alexey Paluca.
Hello Alexey. I’m going to start with a straight question. Would you tell us where are you from, how did you movement to music start and how did the environment you grew up in impact you?
Hi all. I come from a small town in Moscow region. My movement to music started in the years 96-97, when I was a kid. Hobbies of my older brother influenced me a lot: at that time he already recorded radio broadcasts, recopied tapes with jungle music and draw covers to them. When I grew up I started b-boying and did this for about 6 years. I also liked drawing graffiti. It was a golden age: we were buying CDs with new drum'n'bass, passing them to each other and recopying the music, and then listening to the CDs until the black spots appeared on the surface. We were waiting for a radio show like for manna from heaven. I don't remember how I got one of the first versions of the Traktor software, but this caused my passion for DJing. I got acquainted to the local DJs at the first drum’n’bass parties which started in the area at this time. My brother became an MC, and I happened to be among the most progressive people at that time. I played my first drum'n'bass set in 2007. Since 2009 I began to learn the art of producing music, and the year 2011 marked my first release which was on the label “Unjustified Records”.
Thank you for this kind of brief review. Still let's talk in more detail.Which artists and record labels at that time had a greater impact on your formation as a DJ and were most used in you first DJ sets?
At the beginning I was crazy about Future Cut, Raiden, Dom and Roland, Dylan, Tech Itch, Ed Rush, Genotype, Doc Scott, B Key, Facs, Fon, Panacea. Generally speaking I enjoyed this dark techno style very much. In 2004 for the first time in my life I heard the track “The Phantoms” by Equinox - and this totally changed my mind. I really wanted to know what these special beats are and how this is all called. This lead me to interest to the music of Paradox and ended by the total love of drumfunk. At that time I also enjoyed nu school jungle music from such musicians as General Malice, Soundmurderer, DJ K, Twinhooker & Paulie Walnuts and Sumone. It is rather difficult to find any tracks that I repeatedly used from set to set, but I believe “A Certain Sound” by Paradox was the one a played the most. In general my sets were a kind of wild amen terrorism mixture of such styles as dark side, drumfunk, nu school jungle. Аmen never leaved me in peace then. Although nothing has changed by now.
What were the first serious gigs you played at like? And how did you get to that other side, creating the amen-terror?
It was fun how got to that other side. There was an opportunity to play with CD decks at a local club, which I used. And then I found myself playing every Thursday there. My shows were always very “successful” with almost empty dance floors and only friends supporting me and waiting to listen to my sets. At the moment I don’t play at gigs very often – not more than twice or three times a year, which I believe is connected to the stylistics of the music I play. I must say that I get a lot of positive feedback at my last shows, which is very inspiring.
So you stay true to the dark side and drumfunk? Don’t you look to diversify your mixes with some juke or half step sound like many artists do? And what do you think of this trend making it hard to define the general idea of a mix?
Yes, I stay true to myself, I do what I want and I like it. I like doing something that comes from within and not lying to myself. Sometimes this brings very pure and sincere emotions in response, it may be rare and from one or two people, but from all their hearts! I don’t have any desire to diversify the mixes at all. I’m not even particularly interested in new music genres. Not that I'm against them, but they aren’t just congenial to me, it seems that they do not have the drive that I need. As for the new trends, I think it's very cool that people are looking for something new, bringing the whole mess of new styles together and trying to make it one. A special approach to a listener can be found this way!
This is indeed cool to stay true to yourself, like for instance, well known Paradox or Nebula. Now let’s move on to the music that you create. Tell us about your approach, the first steps and the very first releases, and what you use when creating music as a whole?
I don’t have a clear approach to writing music, the ways are different, but there is always some central idea which is modified in the course of work. My first steps were very difficult. During a period of about a year I was studying the software, torturing the friends, constantly sending them demos and asking what was wrong. The lack of either musical education or knowledge of English and the software made the situation worth. But it was interesting to deal with it and I wanted to achieve some result. All my efforts resulted in the release on Unjustified Records, I was very happy with that. It was laborious release. After it I believed more in myself and started to work more on music. After it came the works on such labels as Omni Music, SoulRed Records, Secrets Of the Sun. At the moment I use the sequencer Studio One and a very basic equipment set, consisting of the external sound card from Roland, Mackie monitors and an Akai MIDI keyboard. It’s enough for me now.
As far as I know, you are one of the fruitful native drumfunk producers. Tell us about you latest and upcoming releases. And what are your plans in general? Maybe the LP is not far off?
This year I released an EP at Danger Chamber, and this is my fourth solo EP. I am very glad that I’m releasing at this label, as the spirit of music from the label is very close to me.
As for the upcoming releases, there are expected to be quite a lot of them, I believe. I’m having two tracks released in November, the one at the Logical Direction label, and the other at Omni Music, being the collaboration with the German musician Scale.
At the end of this year or the beginning of the next year one of my tracks will also be released on the Dutch label Eastern Promise Audio.One more track is also ready for Danger Chamber. And I’ve just finished working on a track for the Polish label Monochrome. Oh, I almost forgot about the track for the Russian main drumfunk music label Opposide.
As for the LP, I have some trouble with it because of constant lack of time and effort to start working on it. Nevertheless I’ve already elaborated the idea for the album, a story one could say, in which I’ve thought everything thought even to the track titles. The album will combine drumfunk, dark ambient and trip-hop as I see it. Hopefully I will carry out his plan soon.
Great, so we are waiting to listen to your LP, especially considering the indicated approach and stylistics. As far as your EPs are concerned, which track would you highlight?
I would highlight “Brain Kills The Dream” EP, released on the label Omni Music. I’ve worked hard on it from beginning to end, and there is a story in it, a certain idea of a fight. I hope I was able to get my thoughts over to the listeners of this music.
As for the single tracks, I would highlight the track “The Warm Air”, which is also released at Omni Music. I think it is unique, because at the moment it seems to me that I am not able to do such kind of work, based on a single bit and having such a charming atmosphere.
Well, why don’t we move on to other styles. I think, that beside you love to complex rhythmsyou could tell us about your other preferences in styles, artists and albums?
I listen to almost everything, from breakcore to neoclassical music. At the moment, the album of the Ukrainian musician, r.roo "Nothing" is always in the player. Also the album from a Japanese producer Montage "Anthropologie" is highly enjoyed. Every year I find awaken love for the music of Danny Breaks, and now I’m listening to his hip-hop album “Another Dimension”. There is a lot of favorite music, but it’s difficult to remind everything at once. I listen to what comes along with my mood. This can be one material today and another tomorrow.
Do you collect the music in digital formats or there are any physical media that you use?
Music that I have is mainly in digital formats, of course. But I purchased vinyl turntables a couple of years ago, so I collect some vinyl records, mostly old stuff. Recently I’ve bought the album of Danny Breaks "Dislocated Sounds", which I was extremely happy to find.
How do you consider all this argument around music formats?
I’m a bit annoyed by this monkey business concerning the formats, mainly because these issues are raised only now, when the mp3 sales mechanism is in full run and there is now way back. I don't think that after some time the situation will change. Everything will probably remain the same until some new fundamentally new format appears! For me the choice between formats is not critical. I try to use wav if I can, but if it’s not possible to find it, you have to be satisfied with mp3. I really like vinyl with all its characteristics. But I won't argue that all the music should come out on vinyl, and people must create the cult of vinyl. Let it remain a miracle of our time, when a DJ playing music from vinyl receives more respect and recognition!
I think it’s time to turn to more down-to-earth topics. What are your hobbies apart from music?
I would say that a person who works 5/2, and creates music in the evenings, doesn’t have a lot of time for anything else. But sometimes I like to escape from everyday life and to clear the brain by turning on some old RPG game. I enjoy reading history books. Everything demands time, but sometimes I manage to combine it.
What do you particularly read in history?
The development of the European civilization interests me the most, although when I see some facts from the Chinese history in the books, I understand that I should really pay much attention to it too. I don’t know why, but the Russian history interests me less, the only thing that attracts me in it is war, I can read a lot about wars. Now I would like to switch to the biographies of the people who impacted the course of the history, and find out how life has led them to this or that action.
But haven’t all this historical data inspire you to create music dedicated to this or that historical event?
I have already told you about my plans to create the album, for which I have the concept and I’m striving for its implementation. This album is dedicated to a very important historical battle.
So as we are back to the topic of your main creative work, please tell us a bit about your guest mix.
The mix consists of the tracks that excite me at the moment - with a taste of heavy bass and deep sound, united by the idea of interesting drums. I selected some fresh stuff, releases at the Danger Chamber label, and some older material. I decided not to use my own stuff in this mix, because it doesn't quite fit in this kind of mix, and the idea of using my tracks bothered me. I gave this up completely in order to express my feeling of the music, I’d like people to listen to my true musical preferences. I also refused to use dubplates, because I didn't want to make the mix attractive by using the exclusive stuff in it. I think the mix has not lost its power because of that. I hope I'll be able to surprise the listeners.
While we were expanding on the music and its role in your creative work, I came up with a question about your nickname. How did it appear?
Oh, this must be the most burningquestion, because there are a lot of people who do not understand what the word means and how it is pronounced. When I was a child I loved playing football, particularly as a goalkeeper . At that time the Italian goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca was very well known, and I got my nickname Paluca in his honor. So it kind of stuck to me and I decided not to change it.
I think we came to the logical conclusion of familiarizing the viewers with the main protagonist. A few words from you to conclude the story.
It was my first experience of such an interview and it was very interesting! I would like to thank the MUSICSERF magazine for granting me with the opportunity to give an interview and my interviewer Dima (Space Depth) for very interesting questions. It was very interesting to recall some the stories from the past and to think about different topics for the future! Hope it will be interesting for the readers to learn something about me.
Paluca for MUSICSERF
interviewed by Space Depth
translation by Yulia Gadalova
01. Gremlinz & Ahmad - Nibiru
02. Stranjah - Frontline
03. Skru - Elder Jedi
04. Deeperheights - Fundermental
05. Technical Itch - Nemago
06. Eric Electric - Breakthru
07. Acid Lab – Technology
08. Overlook, Mono and Endorse - T C
09. Мartian Man - Metro Thing
10. Double O - Iroy Lion (Phuture-T Remix)
11. B Key and Smyla - The Sign
12. Double O - Rider Riddim
13. DJ Future - Evil Bidding
14. Parallel - Rotten Apples
15. Greenleaf - Never Let Go
16. Fada - Decay
17. Nebula - Left for Dead
18. Chili Banks - The Magic Box