Philipp Gorbachev is one of Russia’s most celebrated dance music artists, and a resident of Mutabor, Moscow’s most iconic club venue. As a DJ and live performer, Gorbachev also plays regularly at ARMA17, and since moving to Berlin in 2011, he’s become an important figure in the German capital, releasing music on Matias Aguayo‘s hip Cómeme label, plus studio and remix collaborations with Barnt and Nina Kraviz. In 2019, he released KOLOKOL, his third album, documenting his life-altering experience of becoming a church bellringer by day.
While Gorbachev sits at the forefront of cutting-edge techno, his music is distilled with the jagged edges of post-punk. He grew up in Moscow and was introduced to music by his music-loving parents, who took him to see the likes of Nick Cave and Einsturzende Neubauten perform. His earliest experiences of making and performing music aligned with the birth of rave culture in Russia and this melting-pot of new sounds shaped him into a flamboyant sound artist, whose live sets are marked by a wide range of instruments, strutting grooves, and rich textures.
In 2011, Gorbachev began releasing music, and he shared his debut album in 2014. He followed this with Unlock The Box in 2016. Outside of his solo work, he also plays frontman in The Naked Man, an improvisational band project birthed as a response to the sterility of laptop DJ sets. His PG TUNE label serves as a platform for his own work, and Russian artists in his orbit.
Gorbachev’s EDMjunkies podcast lands in midst of what’s a surprisingly busy period for him. Unable to tour, he’s knuckled down in his Berlin studio to work on new material, some of which you’ll hear in this mix. If it’s not his own work, it’s that of his artist friends. Musically, its contrasts driving club cuts, which transport you into the Mutabor world, with more poignant, introspective moments, all before intertwining them with a “secret weapon” from Rizu X.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Despite the pandemic, this autumn was a fruitful period of time for me. I was honoured to release a beautiful double remix album called KOLOKOL Remixes on PG TUNE, a solo EP called Nichego Ne Ponyal, and a track called “Normalno” on System 108. I also did a remix for Decka, which you’ll hear in the mix.
02. Have have you been managing with lockdown?
As a bell-ringer, I have the luck to be constantly making a big sound on the belfry. This helps me to stay in touch with really loud vibrations in quiet and sad times. Since I’ve discovered this instrument, I’ve changed my attitude toward music and sound in general. I tend to experiment with how sound evolves in certain spaces and interacts with light, temperature, space, the people. When music deconstructs from its genres and its “studio sound” into something bigger. A common action, a performance, rather than the music itself has inspired me ever since.
03. What music have you been listening to?
I love listening to different recordings of Russian church bells, especially because I am involved in the production of a documentary about bell-ringers in Russia. As a film composer and sound engineer, I am editing a huge amount of field recordings that we have done with our film crew in over 50 different locations across Russia, including a remote prison in northern Ural.
04. Which labels and/or artists that have been impressing you?
This year, I have launched an experimental label for releasing complex bell-ringing compositions by my good friend, and legendary bell-ringer, Alexander Chayka. The label is called KOLOTONE, and every release features a long take of a live recording, made on the belfry in the town of Bolkhov. On the dance side of things, I am surrounded by the talented crew of the System 108 label, and I am particularly a fan of Kovyazin D.
05. What have you been working on recently?
I’ve been doing a lot of session in my studio in Berlin, and these are mostly serving as new parts for my future live shows, for clubs and raves.
06. Where and when did you record this mix?
This mix was recorded live in my Berlin studio, on December 7.
07. What can the listener expect with it?
There are two narratives in the mix. The first concept is something you might expect in my sets in clubs, and this is shaped by my experience as a Mutabor club resident. The second is a more complex, emotional story. I think Barnt’s remix of “I Am Saved” is really sad and beautiful and I especially like the track “Monsters” at the end of the mix, recorded by Ukranian artist Katarina Gryvul. The last track, “Rub It” by Rizu X, a secret weapon released by Cómeme, kind of unites these lines into one.
08. How did you go about choosing the music that you’ve included?
Most of the music played in this mix is created by people I have a personal relationship with. Also, I think this mix sounds like how I imagine a main room to sound like. I am really worried about our dear friends and communities around the world who have been working hard to maintain small events and venues with a strong spirit and love for independent music. The pandemic made things worse for everyone, but it will be really sad if big EDM festivals became the only survivors when the crisis is over.
09. What plans do you have for 2021?
Planning is so much overrated! I just hope we will find a way to be close again, for real!
EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
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01. Philipp Gorbachev “Concentrate On House” (Acappella) (PG TUNE)
02. DJ JM “No Days Off” (Nervous Horizon)
03. Barnt “Local Fame” (Schalen)
04. Philipp Gorbachev “Kolokol” (Ushi333 Remix) (PG TUNE)
05. Ushi333 “Tribal8″ (PG TUNE”
06. Robert Hood “Nothing Stops Detroit” (Rekids)
07. Philipp Gorbachev “Normalno” (System 108)
08. D-Leria “Divergences” (Avian)
09. Philipp Gorbachev “I Am Saved” (Barnt Remix) (PG TUNE)
10. Stanislav Tolkachev “There Is No Cure” (Token Records)
11. Decka “Elimination Techniques”(Philipp Gorbachev VDNH Mix) (Unterwegs)
12. Philipp Gorbachev “I Am Saved” (Decka Remix) (PG TUNE)
13. Roma Zuckerman meets Carlota “Trues” (System 108)
14. Katarina Gryvul “Monsters” (Self-Released)
15. Rizu X “Rub It” (Cómeme)