Todays artist interview on Chromatic Mag see's us welcome Nash Albert and Andrei Orlov. We wanted to find out a bit about their latest release, their music and themselves.
Can you tell us a little about your experience and your background in the music business?
Andrei Orlov: Back in school, I sang in children's choir and then played the classical guitar as a teenager -
- that gave me a broader understanding of music, I think. I started producing electronic music in 2017
- released a few EPs, made a soundtrack to a popular mobile video game, licensed music to art house films,
have done some remixes.. All of this - with my beloved vintage synths and loads of hardware equipment from the 70s
(my GAS is getting more and more serious each year...)
Nash Albert: I play guitar since being a kid. My cousins had a huge collection of Western rock music. I formed my first college band in late 80s. In the early 90s thanks to Perestroika and mr. Gorbachev for taking down the iron curtain we left Georgia with my mates to take a chance in the US, lived there for several years and worked with several producers (including Alan Shacklock), played gigs, then guys came back to Georgia and I came to Moscow to form a new band Blast. We were pretty big on the post-soviet club scene in the late 90s and through 2000s. We played a lot of tours all over the UK and Europe sharing the stage with bands like Blur, Franz Ferdinand, Suede, Supergrass etc.. The last Blast album was produced by Youth who is famous on both mainstream scene (The Verve, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd) and electronic club scene: Youth is the founder of Liquid Sound Design and Dragonfly Records. After that we split ways with Blast and I started a solo career that evolved into signing to a German Label MIG and releasing album Yet in Jan 2022. This remix is on the main single from that album.
Where are you from? do you feel that has a big impact on your sound?
AO: I grew up in a small town near Moscow. Forest, nature and dozens of scientific institutes
- a perfect environment for an electronic music introvert like me!
NA: I am originally from Georgia which has deep musical traditions and especially the Georgian choir. We use it in this track 'Lost in Jerusalem' in it's original version. And we left just one line of the vocalise in the remix: it fits great in it's quiet part. You know you don't want to overuse the ethnic elements – keeping the electronic stuff pure and focused is very important.
What artists and genres do you enjoy most right now?
AO: Lots of music inspires me, both old and new. '60s american torch songs, '70s italian library music, '80s french pop,
'90s british big beat electronica, '00s german downtempo, '10s scandinavian nu disco, '20s international retro synthwave :)
NA: There is a lot music coming out nowadays that I like, but still get inspiration from great artists like David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Leonard Cohen, John Lennon, Bob Dylan. I am sure their music still sounds fresh and experimental.
What is the story behind your new release? how did it come together?
AO: Remixing a prog rock song was something new for me, really! The voice - that's where the whole vibe started from.
I didn't plan the remix to fall into a certain genre, it was important for me to tell a musical story, to make the track
dramatic and interesting.
NA: I was in Berlin all September 2021 felt the spirit of the city and loved it and later that fall we came to an idea with my co-producer Ilya Mazaev that this song has a strong flow and deserves an uptempo remix for the dancefloor scene. We wanted this cold and confident Berlin style remix.
Has your sound changed a lot in recent years?
AO: I always strive to evolve sonically, and try not to repeat myself. I have been fascinated with retro vibe,
but I am much less into it right now. The older I get, the more I am driven by the future, not by the past.
I feel now more interested in fusing elements of various genres, to further develop my own style, and to reflect
my unique life experiences.
NA: Changes all the time, however I think there are core elements that stay solid. We experiment much more with synths, unusual scales, some psychedelic effects. it's really fun to get to the studio with the band in the morning and leave with something you never expected could evolve. Still I believe that the song is very much about the melody and the lyrics. you need to have those two strong enough to make experiments on top worth it.
Do you feel you can have a more experimental sound in the modern scene?
AO: I hope so! Maybe not 'experimental', but as much individual and personal as I can get.
NA: Absolutely, our last (to be released in 2023) album has a lot of that. We use traditional Georgian instruments like Panduri, Doli, Salamuri and some others (but again, not too much), we use a lot of guitar effects on everything, modular synths triggered by live drums, run hardware synths through an amp to record room acoustics with mics. It's a lot of fun. Would be boring otherwise.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
AO: Sure. Exactly because everyone now has access to the cutting-edge technology, you can no longer rely solely on it,
to create something really worth of attention. For me, creativity means openness, honesty and integrity.
NA: On one hand yes, on the other the digital technology and fast internet as well as the change in the industry allowed us to collaborate with top producers like Tim Palmer (U2, Tears for Fears), Darrell Thorp (Beck, Radiohead), mastering legend Bob Ludwig, 20 years ago they would be so busy with major label gigs for chart-topping artists that it would be impossible. I feel like working with them also affects creativity and in a positive way.
Can you tell us what's next for you?
AO: I am always working on new stuff, hope to release it this or early next year. I am also invited to perform
an audiovisual live show in collaboration with very talented media artists - their collective is called 'stain',
at the 150th anniversary of Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, in Janury 2023 - I am looking very much forward to it.
NA: At the moment we are preparing for the release of our next album roughly scheduled for 2023. We did it together with my friend producer Ilya Mazaev who currently lives in Georgia and a famous British producer Tim Palmer who did David Bowie's Tin Machine, U2's ALl that You Can't Leave Behind, Tears for Fears - Elemental and many other albums with great sound and feel. It's our second album in collaboration with Tim and I feel that he brought a lot to the way my music sounds now. We are making another remix with Andrei Orlov for the opening track 'Thought as Time'. I am sure the audience will love it.