Russia missed out on the Acid House explosion.
Whereas other European countries were getting tuned into the new sounds of Detroit and Chicago, the kids of the disintegrating Soviet Union had more pressing concerns.
Two decades of economic and political strife has led to Russia fostering a unique youth culture, one that is both similar and oddly removed from the West. A new generation of producers are emerging from Russia, fusing electronic shapes to their own distinct identities.
Perhaps foremost amongst these, Proxy has been waging a one man war on the dancefloor for some time now. Essentially a techno head, Proxy's tracks have a muscular, metallic edge which recalls the intensity of their birth.
Gathered on last year's 'Music For The East Block Jungles Pt. 1' the producer's work nods towards the outlaw spirit of classic Jungle which retaining its Futurist sensibilities.
A second instalment was recently released, prompting ClashMusic to get in touch with Proxy. Here's what he had to say...
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What was your first experience of electronic music?
It was like 12 years ago. I did just few stupid mixes in Sonic Foundry Acid (something like that) some mixes, like i cuted voice sample from one track and beats from another, mixed all together. So that was kind of super bootleg, which i've tried immediately in some local club. That was fun.
How does the electronic scene in Russian differ from the rest of the world?
We have music here! Some of music :) And the electronic scene looks for me absolutely different from the rest of the world coz I think its more about Good look.. You know, when people just trying to look good. So just add some cool minimal techno around these people and you'll see what is Russian electronic scene.
How commercially driven are clubs in Russia?
No idea actually.. They all trying to be different and independent, and looks like doing good... but you know is one 1 right point there. Boss point.
You opened your own club, what was your experience of this? What were the main opportunities / drawbacks to owning a club in Russia?
Ha! No Comment. Its Hard Work!!
Do you think being remote from London / Berlin / New York is what enabled you to build such a unique sound?
I don’t try so much to follow anybody. I love acts like the prodigy at times and you will hear elements of that influence but Being from where I am from (which is Cold and Grey) has moulded my sound. I love my countries contrasts, It can be beautiful yet very dark and sinister and that’s what makes my sound.
You’ve described ‘Music From The Eastblock Jungles Pt. 1’ as a ‘greatest hits’ – how so?
Well much of it was written Around 2009 and 2010 and disk 2 is much more recent. It was just a way of packaging everything together in one go. Many of the tracks on Disc 1 have been rocking my floors for 2 years so is a kind of greatest hits already!
What factors determined which tracks be included on the album?
It's mainly tracks that have worked best for me on the dancefloors around the world that have made the cut. Tracks like 'Raven' & 'Who Are' are big important records for as they me on the map.
Does ‘Music From The Eastblock Jungles Pt. 2’ follow the same pattern?
It's an extension of Pt1 for sure. It has heavy moments but hope too.
Do you believe that ‘Music From The Eastblock Jungles Pt. 2’ is one, unified whole? What relevance does the album format have to an artist such as yourself?
A single release would have been excessive: It needed to be 2 parts. There is little to be gained from annihilating what is already dust. Furthermore, there was no catalyst behind the concept because there was no concept. Concept is decadence. Decadence makes you a deserving target.
Where are you based right now?
OREKHOVO ZHUEVO. IT IS NOT LIFESTYLE CAPITAL. THERE IS A FOREST AND RIVER. LOCAL MAFIA ARE COOL SO MY LIFE IS COMFORTABLE.
Do you tend to use Western European & North American kit, or Russian / Soviet technology? Why is this?
I have a lot of analog stuff in there, and for now my favorite is Polivoks, Russian analog one. I think its from the 70s or so. Its Very powerful and soft at the same time.
Do you believe that music can affect society change?
Well it can affect it in all ways. Look at what Pussy Riot did over here. But yes It can inspire a voce. Punk did this in your country in 1977. It can certainly affect a response.
How do you view your music as interlocking with Russian society?
Sometimes I think my music is kind of propaganda which can be easily fitted to the story about Russian society haha.. like you know sometimes Music is life, so I think my music is good reflection of Russian society.
How aware are you of emerging dance trends? Is this something you allow to influence your work?
I am lucky enough to see all types of emerging trends around the globe. It's good to see this happen and important to listen but I try and let many things influence my works. I write very much in a way on how I feel at the time and how the music makes me feel. I write on my terms.
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'Music From The Eastblock Jungles Pt. 1 & 2' are out now on Dim Mak (in North America) and Turbo Recordings (Rest of the World).