The chilly climes of Eastern Europe are increasingly becoming a hotbed of activity when it comes to underground house and techno. In no small part is that thanks to artists like KRIVDA, who might be Moscow based but is a Ukrainian sound producer and musician at heart. He started way back in the 2000s and has roamed stylishly through IDM, dubstep and bass as well as working with Russian pop stars and now turning out electrifying techno while working as a mixing coach at Moscow art school.
\We speak to him about his colourful journey so far, how he has evolved, life in modern Russia and how he has stayed busy during the pandemic, all as his latest EP Heavens Tears proves he is on the top of his game on MAGNESIA Records.
how did you survive 2020, what got you through it?
I want to say “Thank U!” to 2020. It was the most difficult year in my life for now. Every part of my life and business should have changed. I have come a long way from panic, frustration, depression to revaluation of values and transformation of myself and my music.And one of results of those transformations is “Heaven’s Tears” EP and forthcoming single “Polynesia/Indeed”.
did you manage to stay creative? keep making music? You have worked in many different genres? What inspires you to change sounds and move on from one to the next?
All my life I discovering something. With music it’s the same. Listening to different genres is like traveling. But making music in different genres is like living for a while in different countries. You will never know until you try. And changing genres helps you to make your music more diverse. If you own a record store you need genres to divide your shop on zones by genre. But if you are a musician you need to focus on music and its mission. What people will feel while listening to your music.
You’ve also worked in the commercial world with pop stars and for fashion shows – what’s that like? How did you get into it?
It is a long story about my exploring the world of sound engineering. I worked as sound engineer on television, tried film sound recording, sound design form movies. I was young and demand specialist. But one day guys from KAZAKY band invited me to go with them on tour as FOH mix engineer. There I understood that making music for yourself is a sin! If you have this talent you must show your music as wide as you can! Thats why I focused on music production for pop stars and fashion shows. The next stage was to combine electronic beats, live musicians and technical equipment of big concert venues. Working with it gave me a deep understanding of how we can influence on people and rule their emotions. I did all these thing to catch knowledge and experience on top venues with top artists. So now I use all these skills to produce the music which I like most – techno.
What is the underground scene like – what sounds are the most popular? What DJs, parties, labels should we know about?
Melodic is a hype now. Synthesiser’s sounds are big, melodies are heartwarming, beats grooving in the right way. No chance to remain indifferent on the danceflore! And I’m so proud for my co-nationals guys WooYork and ARTBAT who found place in hearts of millions of people around the world. Music is a mission. And they doing it so well!But if you ask me about guidance – listen to Dmitry KOLOAH (Voin Oruwu). He is the most significant person on the Ukrainian electronic scene.
you are a Mixing coach at moscow art school – whats that like, how did you get involved?
Just remember yourself 15 years ago. You starting to learn how to play on music instrument, trying to understand what sound engineering is. You open youtube but there are only cats! No tutorials, no “how to..” videos. Only funny videos. So you need to spend thousand hours digging forums, finding scans of books to learn something. Now its completely opposite situation – a lot of non-systemised information. Every young man with laptop trying to teach you how to make bass like Srillex on youtube)) So I systemised my knowledge and prepared few courses of mixing arts: course for beginners, advanced techniques of mixing and song production course.I think that the only one way to develop culture is to share your knowledge.
tell us about your new Heaven’s Tears EP – what inspired it, whats the vibe?
It was a peak of nostalgia for happy times of freedom. 10 months of lockdown have passed and you still don’t know when it will end. This feelings I translated into music. That why Heaven’s Tears was born. From the first note I knew that it will be a song with vocals. And I felt that it must be Arthur Gaspar (GASART). He felt the message of song and completed this sound canvas with his brilliant voice.Whole EP is about this nostalgia. “Shape of the Earth” is about little clubs, “Heaven’s Tears” is about festivals and “Harpoon” is about raves which I like the most.
what do you like to do outside of music?
I’m trying to distract from music while I’m not in studio. It helps me to maintain my objectivity and freshness of thought. So outside of studio I try doing something absolutely unrelated to music. So now I develop a brand of newborn clothes. It makes me miss the music and inspires a lot!
what else have you got coming up?
Now I’m finishing my forthcoming single and stashing materials for album which will open to you my wider and deeper musical side. So stay touch guys and thank you for pleasant talk!
Buy the new EP here –