Summer of Haze: “I’m not some hero of a pissed off public with a maladjusted audience, but a quite self-sufficient musician with his own vision of what’s happening.”

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Hello! Since there are stories of you being Makarevich’s* other son, let’s start with the banal questions: introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! Oy, I really don’t like these questions since it goes against my image. Summer Of Haze rushed in at 11:11 from nothingness. I’m not gonna comment on the part about where I’m from and “all that”, all the random info that exists – I myself don’t want to talk about that kind of stuff, because Summer Of Haze is not a banal project from some guy from Russia.

 So what kind of project is it, if it’s not banal?

If we are talking about completely ideally, then I’d like to pass on this concept of “project.” It’s more of an “idea,” or a “vision,” but in layman’s terms – it is a musical project after all.

Is it a one-person project or a “group photo”?

One person.

And does this “one person” have a “life plan”?

Yes, of course. I’ve been involved in music since childhood and I knew ever since that I would continue on with it. That it would be something significant. And that’s how it ended up being. And to be honest, the “significance” came when I just gave up – that’s when it all really started. Although, and I’m repeating myself, but absolutely everything starting from my childhood led me here, to this. I don’t know man, it’s like something opened and I became free, honest. Music – that’s a language in itself that Haze speaks. His “thoughts,” his “philosophy” – that’s the important thing initially.

Could one say that you completely give up your ego for your alter-ego when you are occupied with your project?

Absolutely! It’s a complete depersonalization. The personal ego suddenly become an anchor, dragging the idea down to the deep end, and I want it to flow through the prism of me as a guide, not as a person.

But you sign pay slips a bit differently, right?

Right.

In what moment does the idea make way for pragmatism?

When I stop writing music, when I get off the stage, when I stop talking about Summer Of Haze. But with the years I’ve noticed that, really, the more you stare into the abyss, the more it stares back at you, and it so happens that Haze influences me, as I influence him.

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Before your close collaboration with the Hyerboloid label, how did you develop yourself and your project?

Everything happened at its own pace. I did the bare minimum of things, and everything that’s happened with me is completely fair game, where different people and situations came up, to the extent to which they were really necessary for me at the time.

That answer…It’s like the atheist preacher who says “God just found me with a suitcase full of money – and everything just kind of happened.”

Well then I guess that means I am the atheist preacher. (Laughs) I tell it how it is. I didn’t write to anyone or send anyone anything, everything happened on its own. This is my essence.

Well, maybe you partied at Solyanka*? There must have been mutual friends, parties. 

What Solyanka, I’m from Tambov!

Ahhh a wolf! Alright then.

Probably more like a maladjusted bear. (Laughs) I didn’t have anyone. No friends, no monitors, no sound cards, etc.

Have you got monitors now?

Nah. Just the Microlab Solo 3, I think. They’re not even monitors.

Well, ok. The guys from Hyperboloid found you in Tambov and propositioned you to make some tracks for them?

Well, not right away. Before that I already had six albums and EPs, and I participated in a bunch of compilations.

Was your suitcase packed when you got lucky?

Oh yea, more than packed! In the span of three years I had accumulated over 200 tracks.

Tell us about your collaboration with Hyperboloid.

Oh, well it is and has been very successful. First, my brothers from BWWWOYS offered to do a remix for them which came out on Hyperboloid, and then came the idea for the INTERNETGHETTO compilation with the top artists from the different electronic scenes, who have ties to the internet.  With this submission is how the booking onto Hyperboloid came about, where I also got signed. And as a result, they offered to release an EP. But everything got held up until December and the EP grew to an LP, Holy Heavenhood. The eighth album with eight tracks for December 8th!

The release has been in the works for a while, even before I myself knew about it, since the majority of the tracks are material that I’ve written 3-4 years ago. Everything was supposed to come out in May, but it’s good that that didn’t happen and time itself resolved everything so poetically, with the release appearing as a sort of symbol to people’s ears/souls. It f***ing snowed in the summer! This is my eighth album, and the first in terms of the level of preparation for it. It was really a combined effort at the label. Absolutely everything was discussed with the guys. The micro frictions and micro victories – it all poured out into the album. Well you yourself understand, that guys like me, people love to mess around with us. That “Ruzke* Witch House” and all, all that’s connected to it… It was really important for me to point out that I’m not some hero of a pissed off public with a maladjusted audience, but a quite self-sufficient musician with his own vision of what’s happening. The Russian mentality isn’t particularly ready to acknowledge what happened in music and the perspective of music in 2010 – 2011, so to make a big fuss about yourself is rather easy, but to sustain your style with longevity isn’t something everyone can do. This album is quite fateful for me, and the scenes connected to me.

You travel from Tambov to perform in Moscow – does it work for you? How do you like Moscow? Do you want to move there?

Yep. I love Moscow, it’s always a great time, my own wave of sorts. I don’t see the rush and bustling that everyone talks about. Moving there – no, though I would live there for some time, but in good circumstances. Generally speaking, there will never be such a thing as a perfect party – but that feeling of anticipating a party and the mystery in terms of what’s ahead – that will always be perfect.

In your eyes, in such a gigantic city where you are surrounded by 16 million people every day, is the independent scene well-developed or is it lacking?

I don’t even know… the independent scene is already quite different. In some places it’s very cool, in others not so much, but in any case, we already have a multi-faceted and self-sufficient scene that will only grow further. Right now, it seems, it all continues to develop, but there is a certain feeling of stagnation. I think in 2015-16 something will happen again.

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Which performances will you remember and what’s your set-up like?

I perform old-school with discs and only my own stuff, although sometimes I can play others’. In the future, maybe there will be something other than a folder with discs, but that’s how it is for now. Kazan has been very memorable. All three times it has been f***ing incredible – a cool city and very cool audience.

Why did you start digging in Witch House, and not some place else? Something more hyped?

Where did you get this idea that I started digging there?

Well they’re writing everywhere that you’re a sort of Witch House producer.

That’s a problem of the Russian mentality. I just haven’t negated this term, to not disorient the listener. With a rise in one’s popularity, the quality of listeners diminishes, just as their understanding of what the music is really about.

But it’s a bit reckless to expect the listener to keep up with the collapse of the musical mainstream, that’s happening right now in the heads of musicians. The listeners need some sort of orientation, to be able to say, “I need 2 kilos of Witch House and 200 grams of Seapunk, – no more and no less!”

Probably, yes. I, of course, belong to it, but only in the sense of the idea. Witch House – it’s not just any kind of musical style, but in Russia what came about is, firstly, the incorrect designation of the style: it’s not even a style, it’s a whole concept with a pretty strong ideology, imagery, its own philosophy…and secondly, with this type surface thinking one is incapable of reaching the full necessary understanding. When it was all starting, it was all very multi-faceted, in addition to the concept of Witch House there was also Ghost Rave, Drag, Haunted House, Ghost, Juke, but for us, it all got combined to the limited and the simple 808 beat and the commonplace trance lead.

So it is because of the absence of the wide spectrum in the “young” media and the absence of developed social platforms, with the exception of VK*, where it all gets reduced to “a track with a picture.” What kind of concept can be derived from “a track with a picture”?

Yes, it’s all become devalued.

Ambitious projects, as common as it is, never reach the audience: people see the picture, listen to the track, look at the photos from the party, and bam! They say to themselves, this is cool – this is “Trap”, and further down the line, they crave “Everybody Dance With Elbows.”*

The public’s and newly appearing “Vichugans'”* tones brought the understanding of Witch House to a pretty sad form. It’s probably the reaction to it that I’m so put off of rather than the actual notion. Regardless, I have nothing to do with it, in the bigger sense. I have a completely independent view of the ghostly music. In any case, none of this means anything. I spoke earlier about fair game – let each person hear and see it in their own way. That was the initial calculation, and yea, many people wrote to me with really amazing messages. There really are those who feel me and understand what I’m all about.

We also get the feeling that your vision has been shaped by long winter nights spent by the warm glow of the PS2 and GTA, circa Vice City.

Well, it was all a bit more sad than that, but GTA is connected to me as an individual as well as to Haze.

What was so sad about it?

I didn’t have the PS2.

Don’t you mind the fact that your track names are in Unicode with special symbols that can’t be googled by listeners and are hard to remember?

I don’t always use it, and secondly, to me, it’s not a trend or attachment to some movement. To me, it’s the impossibility of saying with words what I want to say, and overall, naming a track is its own art and I dedicate a great deal of attention to it. I have my own aesthetic when it comes to using symbols, and regarding the fact that they are hard to find – on the contrary, that’s a good thing. That way it’s clearer to see, how much the world really needs it.

Have you worked with foreign labels? Or tried to send your demos around, knocking on the doors of their social media accounts?

Yea, I’ve remixed on French and German labels. And sending my stuff around, that I haven’t done. I don’t even want to. If I will know for sure, maybe I will.

Describe your bedroom studio in Tambov.

Two Microlab Solo 3 speakers, a desktop, FL Studio, a bong, papers.

Can you tell us ten tracks which have influenced you the most?

It goes something like this:

Summer Haze – Salem – Skullcrush
Jam City – 2 Hot
FAUNA – LOWLIFE
Stoned Boys – Dead Friends
Vagina Vangi – Christ
DJ Screw – Hail Mary
Andy Stott – Cherry Eye
Ben Frost – Secant
James Ferraro – Leather High School
Washed Out – Olivia

And who is the girl on the cover of your Jessica release for Fuselab – and is she the same girl from the teaser video?

She is a friend of mine in real life, with whom I’ve been mentally on the same plane with for many years, and in the universe of Summer Of Haze it’s Jessica – the utopian image of a girl who is waiting for you at the beach, carefully rolling joints. But you’ll never find the road that will lead you to her – you can only know that she is always waiting for you.

Summer Of Haze @ вконтакте / soundcloud / bandcamp / iTunes

‘Holy Heavenh∞d’ came out December 8, 2014 on HYPERBOLOID.RU

original article can be found at : http://musicserf.com/all-materials/interview/item/653-sohint

***

Makarevich – refers to Andrey Makarevich, a Russian rock musician and founder of the influential and still active group Mashina Vremeni (Машина времени), since 1969

Solyanka – a club in Moscow, running its own magazine, restaurant, fashion boutique, and lectures, est. 2007

Ruzke – an Anglicized way of saying “Russian”

VK – VKontakte, the largest Russian social network in Europe, founded in 2007

“Everybody Dance With Elbows” – (все танцуют локтями) a track by L’ONE, produced by DJ Booch

Vichugans – followers of Witch House

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