Interview: psypad

psypad is a Russian DJ/Producer who is now based in London. He has a deep musical past and you can tell instantly from his productions. We caught up with the artist recently to find out about his musical background as a child, and his upcoming release on his imprint Nøice Records…

How are you, what’s making you happy or sad right now?

Hey! Thank you, I’m good. Now I’m pretty happy because I’m on a new production streak. I got a lot of inspiration from moving to London and now I’m putting it to use.

What parties, labels and DJs did you get into first in Moscow? Was there easy access to music for you?

At first I was a constant visitor of parties like Bassweight – this was a series of classic, deep dubstep parties, with performers sounding like Burial, Kryptic Minds and so on. The access to these parties was pretty easy and I loved the dark and heavy atmosphere there.

How long until you started making music? Did it take a while for you to get happy with your sound?

My first attempts in composition date back to 2009. This was the year when I got my first hardware synths – Korg Electribe and Clavia Nord Lead. It took me, like 10 years of making mistakes and learning on them. Even now, while I’m quite content with my current sound, I still see a lot of room to grow.

What is that sound, what is your musical identity? What are your aims with the sounds you make?

For now (and I can’t guarantee for how long) I am very much into the spacious atmospheres, long reverb drone tails and deep bass sounds. Talking about my aims is a bit difficult, when it comes to sound design and production. I could say that my main goal is to expand my range to more positive sounding productions, while at the same time preserving and multiplying the amount of tension in my music.

Tell us about your new EP for NOICE Records- what inspired or influenced it?

The main inspiration came from the contrast between the world of my real life – it is following the rhythm given by the surrounding people and events – and the world of my dreams – there, while not everything depends on me, I still have a lot of control about how things go and what happens around me.

What gear do you use in the studio, does any bit of kit define your sound? Are you hardware or software?

I try to combine hardware and software. But on the production stage I rely mostly on my hardware: Moog Sub37, MFB Dominion X, TR-8, DSI Tempest and a couple of FX pedals. At the same time, my mixes are made in the box: for arrangement and mixing I use Ableton Live. Speaking of my “signature sound” I use the same one trick with convolution reverb on most of my most recent tracks – this gives them a lot of space and background movement.

This new EP is a departure from your last album – why is that? What made you make that change?

To be honest, I can’t be sure with any answer for this question. Maybe I just became more experienced. Maybe that’s the life experience that determined this change. Or maybe it was both of these reasons. But what I am definitely sure of is that I just wanted some change.

There is lots of melody in this EP – are you formally trained at all in piano? Does that or would that help?

I studied piano since I was five. I graduated from my music school when I was fifteen by that time I got pretty bored with the sound of piano, so I stayed away from the sound of the piano for next three or four years. I definitely think that formal training helps. Here you don’t guess – you know where to put the note or sound and you know how this note should sound.

Tell us about the titles and their significance. Do you dream a lot, and what is the current reality of your real world?

I dream a lot, and when I sleep I usually have bright and conscious dreams, where I have a lot of control over what is happening there. Speaking of Reality – when I was producing this track I was a bit torn between what was going on around me and what I wanted it to be. And that’s the premise for this release.