Dasha Rush
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Dasha Rush

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE
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Please describe your setup on stage!

Laptop with several FL applications running at the same time, NI Reaktor 5 standalone and as VST in FL, Elektron Machinedrum (not always), Kaoss Pad 2, external soundcard Edirol FA 101, and an audio mixer 8 to 12 channels. As well as my head and heart …:)

Which ingredients make a setup perfect?

Probably the imperfections of it :) It leaves me space to improvise. As I do not use midi to sync during my performance, because i love to do it with my ears, little accidents, slightly decaying sounds on purpose or not, are creating a certain groove. And it brings sometimes funny and wonderful sound – surprises to me and audience.

What do you need your setup to do?

It has to be functional, but not to strict, not prerecorded and too arranged, space to improvise!! I need my setup to play with me a little while I am playing with it..:)

What kind of problems are you always facing while performing?
Technically not so many, electricity buzz from the Kaoss Pad maybe, or places where electricity is not very stable. Very rarely high CPU – usage caused by the amount of VSTs, and laptop screen limits, so i need two of them. But these are not really big problems.

Laptop yes or no?
Yes for me, but I think both ways are good. Each artist has to see for him/her self. I think that the relation between you and your machines has to be a bit like a fusion. Digital or analogue or both, any way is good. In the end I think it‘s not what kind of instruments you use is most important, but how and what you do with it and how you transmit your ideas and energy with it. Find your own way technically and musically is the best way, I think. - De:Bug magazin


Unlike Heather Heart, European visitor Dasha Rush betrayed little emotion during her performance, but she delivered the strongest set of the night. Dasha played a focused, controlled set of inorganic, electronic rhythms, minimal in the formal sense, “trance music” in the tradition of American minimalists and having nothing to do with the dance genre of the same name. Simultaneously cerebral and visceral, controlled releases of nameless sounds allowed a choice between close, deliberative listening to a kind of ecstatic unconsciousness, an other-worldly state beyond shuffling and nodding.

I conducted an email interview with Dasha Rush, winner of the prestigious Set of the Night Award. You can listen to one of her tracks while you read.

Es ist , was es ist by Dasha Rush

dashaBijan: What type of music do you make?
Dasha Rush: I make electronic music in various styles. Not really into defining it. But if I were to simplify, I would say techno, experimental, ambient and so on… It’s hard to describe your own sound. I think the listener can do it better. But I would say my sound describes a part of me and how I see through my “filter,” and how I react, in a way, to what surrounds me emotionally/intellectually…

B: How did you get into this music?
DR: I always loved music, since I was small. My way of coming to actually composing electronic music was that when I was a child I always wanted to play piano, so my parents brought me to music school. After approximately two months, they were splitting instruments among the kids. Piano was saturated with demands, and as my parents did not have close relations to school administrations, as the way it worked in Soviet times, I did not get a chance to play piano. So I got “Dombra,” a three string instrument which did not really inspire me. On the contrary I was shocked from the esthetic view of a little girl. So I ran away from that school. My Dad said that music’s not serious, that my grandma played piano, and it was useless in the end. So I did gymnastics and dance instead, but was listening to vinyl my parents had and dreaming with sounds and about sounds. One of the vinyl was particularly interesting, a band called “Zodiac.” It was electronic instrumental music, and the electronic part of it was intriguing me. I was very curious — where are those sounds coming from? Then my adolescent time came. It was the same time as techno/rave culture was coming up in Russia. Spent lots of time there. So I discovered an enormous world of different sounds, and of course was caught by it. Started digging more, learning how it was made, then began to DJ. And from my little frustration I think, it was a sort of revenge at bad luck with classical education, I started trying to make my own electronic sounds. It took some years before I found my way and got to where I am now.

B: Tell us about Fullpanda.
DR: Fullpanda it’s my small record label, going forward with me and people who are working with me. I created it when I was living in Japan. The name came from personal jokes with my friends. They use to call me panda, they found I looked like one. So far, Fullpanda is a techno label, and we say: “All you need is ears,” meaning that if you want to know more, the music speaks better. It’s a label among the others, but our point in it is not business, it’s passion first.

B: Describe your live setup and process from Saturday night. What was the blue box?
DR: Haha , My setup was pretty minimal , for reasons of long travel and customer service. In detail, I use Reaktor 5 standalone , 2 FLP studios running at the same time, couple of vsts. A Kaoss pad for external Fx , and my little baby “Blue box” that I built/soldered myself in a workshop in “Schneider’s Buero,” created by Manuel Richter from leaf-audio and Matthias, creator of Curetronic modular synth.

B: Your set exhibited a formal minimalism that stood apart from the other sets of the night. How do you restrain yourself to keep the pace and let elements out slowly?
DR: Ow, that’s a difficult question. Well, I don’t really analyze things when I am playing live. It’s more of a feeling and emotion which I want to transmit. I don’t know if it’s minimalism, that’s the way you perceived it.

B: You’re really quite serious-looking up there, not that the music is any less serious. Are you just focused, or what’s going on?
DR: Yes, it’s simply technical concentration. So many buttons to touch. Also, if I may say so, mostly I’m into head music more than fully body music, so my corporal or facial expression is sometimes disconnected, but trust me there’s a lot going on in the head and heart.

B: Any thoughts on the West Side Jewish Center?
DR: Well, I found it funny, the choice of the location. In a way it’s interesting because,if you think about it it’s two elements of completely different culture indirectly coming together for a night.

B: What’s your relationship with Sonic Groove? How did you end up playing this show?
DR: Musically, my relation to Sonic Groove is that I just released an EP on SG. Also personally, I and Adam X are friends and colleagues who share the same passion for music. We have already shared together, and enjoy each other’s production.

B: How did the show go for you? How did you feel about your set? Any sets in particular that stood out to you?
DR: I enjoyed playing and sharing those moments with people I don’t even know, really. About my set, well, we always critique ourselves. There were moments that I could do better, but that’s the thing — when you play live, you can be surprised in a good or bad way. About the other artists, I enjoyed the music, because most of the artists played old school records that I know, so it brings memories. I liked Abe very much, as well as Frankie, and Adam — and some artists upstairs as well. I have no particular highlight.

B: How was the New York crowd for you?
DR: New York crowd rocks. But seriously, New York, Berlin, Rome, London are slightly different in certain aspects, but people are people — with energy and beautiful and ugly moments. People are basically the same everywhere — they want to enjoy, dream, and so on.

B: Where else in the US have you performed?
DR: USA is pretty unknown for me, I have played Mexico so far…

B: People who have been away from electronic dance music for awhile might hear your set and say “This sounds like music I was listening to in the 90s.” How has techno in fact changed since then?
DR: Change in the music. Mmmm, well electronic music progresses, evolves, morphs all the time. There are always sounds coming back, like particular Detroit sounds, acid house, I could go on. It’s hard to invent something completely new, so old waves combine with new elements due to technology but not only that. An important element of it is the personal emotional memories attached to it. It’s very subjective. For some people they could hear one sound that reminds them of the time when they dreamed, were impressed in some way, touched in some way, and they associate those sounds with a certain period in time. So it’s relative, and not only in electronic music.

B: Your sound is particularly tough, somewhat of a resurgence of previous strains of techno that were more popular. Do you think that there’s a resurgence of this sound, or are you on your own thing?
DR: I think I am doing my own way, but others may hear it different and I don’t mind. I have several projects, not only pure techno, so I think I am just going my own way experimenting, discovering, learning, and making sounds based on what I feel now. As simple as that.

B: Do you make music with a particular sort of listener in mind? How would you characterize that listener (even if it’s just yourself)?
DR: Too much analyzing music or thinking about the listener is not how music has to be experienced, that’s what I think. Music, you feel it or don’t — [it] does not matter if it’s coming from the past or future, underground or out from space. It’s sensible matter; it has a minimum of logic and is more sincere expression.

B: What are you working on now?
DR: I am working on my third album, have not many words about it now. Alongside that are several EPs, remixes for different labels, as well as on Fullpanda and Hunger to create my other experimental label.

B: Anything else to add…
DR: A big smile…and much love. - Thirteen new york public media


Zweite Heimat Techno

Von den Laufstegen der großen, bunten Modewelt in Paris, London und Tokio ist es ein weiter Weg bis zu dem schmucklosen Bürokomplex, der dunkelgrau in den herbstlichen Großstadthimmel nahe der Jannowitzbrücke in Berlin-Kreuzberg ragt. Dasha Rush schmunzelt, als wir durch die labyrinthartigen Gänge zu ihrem Studio im fünften Stock des Betonriesen gehen. “Meine Freunde erlauben sich immer den Scherz und fragen, ob ich jetzt in einem Krankenhaus arbeite. Schön ist es hier wirklich nicht, aber hier habe ich meine Ruhe und kann mich voll und ganz auf meine Arbeit konzentrieren.“ Die Konzentration ist auch absolut nötig, denn derzeit arbeitet Dasha unter Hochdruck an der Fertigstellung ihres zweiten Albums, das für Ende Januar 2009 angekündigt ist. Damit möchte sie sich deutlich vom Sound des 2006er-Debüts “Forms Ain’t Formats“ auf ihrem eigenen Label Fullpanda Records entfernen. “Beim ersten Album habe ich eher einen sehr abstrakt-konzeptuellen Ansatz verfolgt. Es ging um die Übersetzung von geometrischen Formen in Klang. Ich habe das Album in drei Teile geteilt – Kreis, Quadrat und Dreieck – und mir zu jeder Form die passende Musik überlegt. Jetzt ist alles sehr viel persönlicher.“ Die ersten fertigen Tracks klingen dann auch gar nicht mehr nach dem rohen, Industrial-beeinflussten Techno der ersten Platte, sondern eher nach knuspriger Elektronika, die den Spagat zwischen abseitigen Soundexperimenten und charmantem Pop wagt. Nicht nur weil Dasha erstmals selbst einige der Vocalparts übernimmt, erinnert das ein wenig an die Kölnerin Ada. Folgerichtig erscheint das kommende Album auch nicht auf Fullpanda, sondern auf Hunger To Create, Dashas Label für weniger Dancefloor-orientierte Projekte. Nur in die Techno-Schublade möchte sie sowieso schon mal gar nicht gesteckt werden. Zwar wurde sie bereits Mitte der 90er vom damals auch im anarchischen Postwende-Moskau aufkeimenden Rave-Virus infiziert, ihren ersten Auftritt hinter den Plattenspielern absolvierte sie aber mit einem Ambient-Set. “Ich konnte noch keine Beats mixen. Sounds aufeinander abzustimmen war einfacher für mich. Meine Eltern hatten viel instrumentale Elektronik, so etwas wie Jean-Michel Jarre aus Osteuropa.“
Vor der Musik kam bei Dasha aber erst die Mode und die Arbeit als Model. “Ich habe bereits mit 16 Jahren angefangen und insgesamt zehn Jahre als Model gearbeitet. Am Anfang habe ich sehr viele Laufsteg-Shows mitgemacht, um Geld zu verdienen, später dann lieber Fotoshootings, weil das weniger Stress ist.“
Geblieben sind von dieser Zeit vor allem die Eindrücke von längeren Aufenthalten in London und Tokio und “eine gewisse Melancholie vom vielen Reisen“. Auch wenn ihr Lebensmittelpunkt derzeit in Berlin liegt, bezeichnet Dasha weiterhin Paris als ihre Basis. Parallel zur Musik begann sie dort auch mit Soundinstallationen, die sie meist im Verbund mit Malern und Performance-Künstlern präsentiert hat. “Das als Kunst zu bezeichnen, ist aber etwas schmeichelhaft. Es ist einfach eine andere künstlerische Ausdrucksform, die der Musik eine weitere Dimension gibt.“ Für die Zeit nach der Fertigstellung des Albums hat sie schon wieder einige Projekte geplant. “Eine Kombination von Visuals und Tanz, aber es ist noch zu früh, um darüber zu sprechen.“ Außerdem wird man sie bald wieder verstärkt als DJ erleben können. “In der letzten Zeit war ich etwas gelangweilt davon. Die Live-Acts haben mir neue Inspiration gegeben, aber jetzt möchte ich unbedingt wieder auflegen.“ An starren Konzepten wird sie sich auch dabei bestimmt nicht orientieren. Denn die Form ist als Ausgangspunkt immer nur die Möglichkeit eines künstlerischen Entwurfs, egal ob auf dem Laufsteg, im Club oder in Berliner Bürokomplexen mit Krankenhaus-Charme.

http://www.fullpanda.com - De:Bug magazin


Discography

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dasha+Rush

Photos

Bio

Russian born, well-travelled Moscovite has spent most of her time between Paris, London and Japan, combining her activities as techno producer and dj with multi-artistic collaborations alongside artists and dancers. Her first live performances formed part of gallery exhibitions, using sound installations and theatre performances ,exploring the emotional and technological aspects of electronic music. She now runs her own techno label “Fullpanda” and a more experimental sub label "Hunger to create"

Her first techno release was quite successful track called "Shtirlitz" was taking places in various dj's charts. In 2006 her debut album "Forms ain't Formats”, where she combine dancefloor rhythms and bass lines with experimental soundscapes , mixing cold industrial with minimalistic atmosphere . This release provoke numerous reaction and reviews from international music magazines, dj , producers as well as following Ep's.

Never stopped experimenting, In 2009 She released her second album , called "I run iron i run ironic" on "Hunger to Create records". Regardless techno community expectations , Dasha took risk to hit a different musical aspect , pointing towards experimentation based on concrete music combining with French pop .
Presentation of the release was taking place, as special live concert with elements of theater play , at the small church , Theaterkaplle in Berlin. This release provoked very diverse opinions, followed by some reviews in several music magazines like DE:bug , Groove,Electronic beats and more. Same period Dasha and her label “Fullpanda “ following other reviews . http://de-bug.de/mag/6106.html

In January 2010 Dasha releasing for legendary label Sonic Groove records .
3 track release "Sonic State" on Sonic Groove
can be described as dark, futuristic, industrialized subsonic bass techno for the mind and the feet. This is the current day techno sound for a brand new decade.

Following the review on RA and charts by Marcel Fengler , Peter Van Hoesen and more as well as the interview for New York public media portal“Thirteen” http://www.thirteen.org/insidethirteen/2010/04/22/sonic-groove-20-year-dasha-rush-interview/

Dasha's dj mixes "Intense vertical" and "Sleepless horizontal" for the very respected blog, mnmlssg.blogspot.com ,wish shows reach universe of Dasha’s musical creativity from pure techno to more subtle , intelligent and experimental work , have received several reviews and was also listed as mix of the day on Resident Advisor.

By the end of the year 2010 Dasha creates a new project “LADA” in collaboration with Berliner Lars Hemmerling. Later on Dasha Rush coming with “Unspoken” ep. In this release Dasha Rush bringing up a mixture of rather rare techno electronic experimentations, and synthesized sounds more akin to the brief movement of underground music. Where roots of such sound partially go back to the early 20th century that rise to significant Art Movements now days ,that encouraged experimentation with various musical (and non musical) forms, while rejecting more conventional, tradition-bound styles of expression. By Including the elements of contemporary dance music and experimentations with deep , slightly dark undefined sounds as for the titles like “Veloure rouge” or “Unspoken”, that has been charted by artists like Cio D’or , Efdemin, Obtane, and has been followed by video work : clip 1 , clip 2 Now days Dasha Rush performs Live acts and dj sets all over the globe.

If taking Fullpanda slogan , which perfectly describe
musical attention of Dasha Rush and related labels ,no need more words
"All you need is ears"