ITW Novel 23 by Gustavo Santos:
Q1: When you start work with music? Please tell me a
little history of Shaped Harmonics.
A1: I started as many musicians. If you love and listen to music long and
much, then you desire to try to create music too. You desire to become
one of musicians, because you want to feel emotions similar to those
that persons which creates your favorite music feels themselves. If
you can create music of course, and bear hasn't step on your ears :)
So I started in the year 1997, when I have got the first Soviet
synthesizers. So the project called Novel 23 was born to electronic
I never planned to open an own label... I cooperated with Russian
label called Art-Tek records those years, and it was pleasant to me
that people around a label have united the efforts in the business of
promotion of Russian electronic music. But with time a music that
didn't fit under a format Art-Tek label was in our hands. It was music
without deep sound experiments, but with beautiful lush melodies and
harmonies. And I have been inspired for creation a label which will
let out this material. So the label Shaped Harmonics has appeared in
the year 2000.
Q2: How does the russian eletronic scene works? There are clubs,
magazines, radios stations, festivals. Can you gave some names?
Are there a public for that kind of music?
A2: The Russian electronic scene hasn't a big activity, it just exists.
The main centers of it are Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Izhevsk. We
haven't got magazines and radio stations which are dedicated to
electronic music. Periodical experimental party in small clubs and
rare big electronic festivals (such as DJ Parade, Abracadabra, Izhevsk
Underwater News, Nokia Lab, etc) are all that we have got. Speaking
about names of musicians, first of all I can name Solar X from Moscow
(he lives in London now); Lazyfish, Alexandroid, also from Moscow;
Fizzarum, EU, Vesna, they from St.-Petesbourg; Stereo Modus from
Siberia. A public for that kind of music isn't very sizeable, the
basic interest is shown to more dancing and commercial music. So we
very much appreciate ours 100+ devoted listeners from Russia.
Q3: Is it possible live in Russia making music or most of artists
have to work out ? If you don't live only for music, do you
believe it? l'll be necessary leave Russia and try another country
to make your music and some money?
A3: Of course it isn't possible if you want to lead a normal life. The
majority of us is engaged something besides music. Sales of CDs are
poor nowadays, and live performances are infrequent. Experimental
electronic music can't to bring enough money, but it helps to spend
Speaking for myself personally, I want to tell that I work not in
musical business, and I would not like if music will be my work. My
music is my big hobby, and I'm happy with it. And of course I don't
want to leave Russia and try another country, both for musical
activity and for other parties of my life.
Q4: There are some difference in produce music before the colapse
of the soviet system and nowadays?
A4: Yes, certainly. The Soviet system closed access in the culture of
capitalistic countries absolutely. We can't listen to "another's"
music, and my favorite band Depeche Mode was in the taboo list.
There was no opportunity to use the import synthesizers practically.
Moreover, the Soviet system has knocked down Russian electronica which
have born in 50th years of 20-th century. Already for a long time
not the secret, that the first synthesizer has been invented in the
USSR. And certainly we could not show our music to people in other
countries. I happy that I live in new time, that I can use all
progress of electronic instruments now, that people in other countries
can listen to my music, and that my favorite group Depeche Mode plays
concerts in Russia finally.
Q5: How do you think the Europe and the rest of the world see the
russian e-music? Is there some distribution of the russian
A5: I think that the first reaction was "wow, Russian people are able to
write electronic music too!". Whereupon the definition of Russian
electronics has appeared in magazines, and the world looks at this
phenomenon in an especial way till now. However I don't see special
differences of our music from English, German or Italian electronic
music. All of us are create one international art, and music unites
The problem of distribution is really actual problem for any small
independent label. Of course we try to create distribution, for
example special mail order which dedicated Russian Electronica was
created about year ago. Here is url: http://electrosputnik.com/
Q6: What do you know about e-scene in Brazil? Do you know some
artist? How does the brazilian music sounds over there?
A6: Unfortunately I don't know anything about Brazilian e-scene. We can
see many Brazilian serials on TV now, but I would not notice that
electronic music sounded in them, even in a little fantastic serial
"the Clone". So I suppose that e-scene isn't very popular in Brazil.
But we will wait for better situation, and I hope that I'll have
chance to listen to Brazilian electronic music.