Math is a clutch of songs without words. Still produced on computers,
and still only capable of being played on computers, it is concerned
less with the mechanics of its own construction and more with the
emotion involved in its creation. But before we talked about it
or them, I needed to know something.
saw a documentary a long time ago about dance music in Russia and
it had DJs using reel-to-reel tape instead of vinyl. Is it true?
Maybe it was, but I've never seen it.
I saw it in a University in the beginning of the 90s. The DJ lives
in Moscow now and he was playing on the campus outside the city
using big tapes and a mixer.
you never did any of that?
We never DJ'ed at all.
you not interested in it? It's an easy way out at gigs.
It's different from making music. You know in Russia they only like
DJ if they play danceable stuff and I'm not very interested in 4-4.
There are maybe two DJs who play anything like interesting music
and it's not really interesting for me to play the other stuff.
you got together, how easy was it to get the music that you've said
influenced you, people like Aphex and the Warp label?
It was changing from time to time and we were not always listening
to electronic music. We met each other changing CDs and tapes of
any kind of music. It was King Crimson and Nick Cave and Coil and
different kinds of music. Not only electronic.
Mostly tapes, so it was pretty hard to find out the records and
usually it was delaying for a year. So you could find the album
of the person released the year before. But, for us, it's different
now. It's still not really available, the stuff we're listening
to in Russia, but it's not such a big problem to find music in Russia
that because vinyl is more widely available now or do you go to
the internet to get it?
No, there is special vinyl shops for DJs and I think we can find
almost anything in Russia now. Maybe not everything like it's very
hard to find any musique concrete or stuff from the fifties, but
the internet made a big difference to what you've been able to do?
We try to always use it. But there is a lot of interaction with
lots of people and it's not good. Instead of producing music you
start chatting with them and sending emails.
But it's a very important part actually. Because we can work with
people a big distance away. We found Tom [of Pause 2] contact us
through the internet. He found our tracks and emailed us. We discussed
all stuff by email.
It helped us a lot because we just downloaded our tracks on MP3.com
and it worked.
We can reach any information without any delay.
so universal isn't it? Do you think that the kind of music that
you make has no boundaries? Rock'n'roll was American, but electronic
music is international.
That's exactly the way I feel about it. It's really hard for a Russian
rock band to get any interest outside of Russia because of language..
You can produce electronic music anywhere. It's universal.
so it can appeal to, and influence, a wide audience.
Recently we realised that perhaps we're more influenced by Russian
soundtracks from the 60s, 70s than modern electronica because it's
very hard to realise. It works when you're very young and you can't
realise it. You've just seen some movies and that's all. It's very
easy to think "I like that CD and it's influenced me."
that be why your style is changing - you were trying to do
something in the beginning and now you're just letting what's inside
Maybe. Our name in Russian is like Christmas Baubles, which is another
reference from childhood like celebrating New Year is the best holidays
for children. It's not an exact term because we don't mean Christmas
we mean New Year. These are the things that decorate elm trees for
New Year. I don't know the exact English term for it.
isn't one. Have you got lots of little baubles to hang around you
on the stage?
It was a funny story. The first year we were recording in a professional
studio we took with us some baubles, trying to get from them any
sound. But they just doesn't sound.
you record it, it's just crap.
and Ilya both laugh a lot]
you started making music, what equipment did you have? Just a PC?
Yes, we have a PC and small, little by little..
..our friends shared with us their equipment. Someone gave a mixing
desk to borrow us for a while, a synth and stuff like that.
you learn how to use the equipment just by using it?
No, we just used it. I think it led to an intuitive approach for
music because I met a lot of people who learned music making for
years and after that they don't know what to do. It's got to be
on a page for them.
you make music, do you go to the computer with a melody or a sound
or a beat in your head and make it?
We just turn on and start to do something. Usually Ilya produce
some bass drum loops and I try to make some melodies or arrangements
and then Ilya adds some more sounds and I arrange it again.