Phil Uninc and Denis Kolomensky are just about as do it yourself as you can get. Based in Moscow, the two initially shared bonds over their love of dance music, but when they got tired of not being able to hear it at parties, they made their own. With help from their frequent collaborator, Owlson, they now have a respectable following around the ИДА party, a record label of the same name and a handful of original productions under their belt. A few of these tracks have recently made their way to the modern disco loving, Italian label, Hell Yeah Recordings. 2018 is looking bright for the two, so get to know a little bit about the Russian dance music scene and their eclectic approach to production.
Cosmic Incantations: I'd like to start by asking about the ИДА party, what was the reason for starting it?
Uninc & Kolomensky: Basically we felt lack of the parties with the music we like and that was the main reason. As it often happens we just started with small events for friends, then we began to bring some big DJs from abroad and now are making raves.
CI: The party has grown a lot in the three or so years you all have been at it, did the idea for the record label come from your experiences at the party?
U & K: It came naturally to the label as we wanted to share the music which reflects our party. It’s also a great thing to promote the music from the people who we think deserve it. We had some difficulties with finding the labels for our music, but then we understood it may be just different and we need to build our own label for releasing it.
CI: You have brought many great underground DJs and producers to play at ИДА parties, DJ Boring, Adesse Versions, Chaos in the CBD, etc. Whos is on your radar for the future?
U & K: Yes a lot, we would dream to bring some big names. For example Four tet, Gerd Janson, Bicep, Midland, Palms Trax.. Actually acts playing on festivals like Dekmantel.. Would be amazing. Now Present Perfect Festival and Roots United team in Russia make a big job for building that scene. We personally need to grow more as party/community for making it happen.
CI: You currently work full time and do music on the side, are the 2 linked, and have you found a good balance between them?
U & K: Yes we have day job and it’s connected with building some digital projects for brands which support musical events and so on. Sometimes it’s more connected to music, sometimes less. We would be happy to spent more time on musical projects as Djs and producers and hopefully that will happen one day.
CI: What countries or cities have been your favorite to play, aside from Moscow? Any upcoming tour plans?
U & K: Now we travel mostly in Russia, we loved playing in St. Petersburg, Sochi, Rostov, Kazan. Will continue to travel across the country for upcoming months and we will try to get some gigs in Europe this spring/summer, we will definitely announce that.
CI: Moving on to the production side of things, can you describe your workflow? It sounds like there’s a healthy selection of gear at your disposal, but is there a dedicated studio space set up?
U & K: We have some hardware synths like Prophet 8, Moog Sub Phatty, Yamaha dx100, 0-coast and TR-8 drum machine.. Everything is MIDI synced up with the computer where we also use a lot of samples and software stuff. This studio is actually located at Denis’ house.
CI: You seem to have a knack for combining bits and pieces from a wide range of source material, is there a particular source that you keep going back to for samples?
U & K: We love to use samples very spontaneous[ly], for example we can just search for some sounds and run YouTube clips over the instrumental and cut some pieces which we like. But sometimes we start to build the track around the sample, such ideas come while listening to some old music usually.
CI: The Svadba track is a perfect example of this, Russian ballet vocals, xylophones, and an acid bassline make for an unlikely, but effective, peak-time stomper in my opinion. Do you usually 'test' out all of your tracks on the dance floor before releasing them?
U & K: That is an example when we started to build the song around the sample which was an idea of Philip’s father DJ Zigzag, who is actually one of the first soviet DJs. When we came to that combination we knew that we made something new that we never heard before. At that moment we were 100% sure we will release it. However we test our tracks on the dancefloor to find the perfect sound and balance of the instruments in it.
CI: Speaking of releases, in your mymusicmoments interview, you mention that you basically sent some demos to labels that you liked, and got a response from Hell Yeah Recordings. How did you first hear of them?
U & K: Hell Yeah was one of the label which we stumbled upon more than a year ago. It has nice eclectic approach and love for some weirdness so we were happy to get and answer from Marco. Also we heard about the label after it released some stuff from Russian Kito Jempere and Lipelis.
CI: Andrea Amaducci is an amazing artist, and I really like the covers he did for you all. Did you all have any hand in the release process outside of the music?
U & K: Yes the artwork is very interesting and unusual, we love it. Andrea has the freedom for making it and we just appreciate it because we find it amazing.
CI: What have you found to be unique about Russian dance music culture? The country as a whole can be viewed as quite insular by other countries, do you see any truth to this? If so, does that attitude take root in the club culture too?
U & K: First we may be insular lately because of the economic reasons, but we think everyone here is happy to export and import music, artists and so on. Second, maybe because of that, lately we started to look more inside of the country and found true identity which now grows into interesting, diverse and unique scene. Hopefully it can really emerge into something big.
CI: Wrapping up here, do you have any upcoming ИДА releases?
U & K: Yes, actually we have a plan. We are releasing ИДА003 now - EP by Panks - DJ and producer from Krasnodar. We like it very much. Take a look at it for sure! Next one will be solo EP by Kolomensky, then EP by Owlson & Yssue, ИДА party residents. Then we will see.
CI: Any details you're willing to share on upcoming productions or parties?
U & K: Follow our social media pages to get info about upcoming productions and parties, we will share everything asap :)
Thanks to Phil Uninc and Denis Kolomensky for your time, and thanks to Marco at Hell Yeah Recordings for the connection!