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What is your Koh Phangan story?
I came maybe five years ago for a short vacation from working in an advertising agency. I stayed in Asia for six months. I was impressed by Koh Phangan, five years ago it was a very different world for me.
I went to Vipassana for a meditation retreat and what was more interesting is that at that time I was working in advertising but started to work as a masseuse here. I didn’t have any will for it, it just happened.
I took a massage from a strong old woman and she said a phrase that shocked me, she said ‘I cannot massage you, you must massage me!’. She’s like old and wise, there was nothing sexual about it but she saw something in it. She said ‘I can teach you in two weeks and you can work here’. It’s Mama Tuk, she saw something and I was in shock so said yes.
I started to go every day and work with Thai people, this changed my mind a lot, it was an absolutely different mentality. How they work, how they look on life, it made me understand that I had an ego problem as for the first ten days I was doing just one sequence every day, just legs.
I was already making it perfect so I asked if I could move on to something else and she said no, it started to work with my subconscious.
After this I went to India for one and a half months and then back to Moscow. I got a new job as creative director, worked for two years but then started thinking that maybe I needed to go back to Koh Phangan because I understood it had changed me so I needed to come back.
Three years ago my friend and I came here together as an indie band, he was drummer and I was guitarist and vocalist so at first I was making indie music here in 2012.
I have been here for three years, throughout my life I have been going to Europe, Berlin etc, I have seen the best contemporary music live. In Phangan I thought ‘yeah we have Eden Garden and Guys bar which are super places but for my first year I couldn't go as I didn’t have any will to play at any parties but after time I have come to understand, that time has come.
There is an audience for good quality and contemporary music here, they are always everywhere, you just have to find them.
So what is your opinion of the Phangan party scene and music now?
I think it’s developing in a way, at the moment Phangan is still in 2005 in world time. Anyway is just the very beginning, and the party scene is oversimplified. Almost everything is around House music and commercial, it used to be Trance, it seems like they can only have one kind of music, they said no to Trance so now it’s House.
That’s it, basically Koh Phangan is not integrated to the world music party scene. Hip Hop, Trap, German Techno, Detroit Techno, French Techno are the most popular party music worldwide with huge rave events for millions of people, but it’s like super underground indie music on Koh Phangan now.
It is quite conservative for the present moment. Maybe people had the wrong impression from experiences of Trance music on Koh Phangan, they might be thinking - if people start to dance, they won’t go to bar, so let’s every dj play deep music, we will get more respected people.
And all other music is for Haad Rin, and there is no difference in good music or bad music, we just make it loud. Maybe this point of view stops Phangan from music developing. But I am sure if parties start to develop good quality contemporary party music, with modern djs then they could be famous worldwide.
So we are here to develop the island from Deep House tyranny.
Try to explain your style in terms of djing and producing…
I think the roots of my style is shamanism and understanding. The main thing is not to amuse the mind or ego, my point is to give something like a psychedelic feeling, this out of body experience that I have in every music I am making.
Although I don’t make Trance or Psy Chill as I feel like that is more fairy tale style.
My method is not to make music from background experience, things I know, instead the best things are coming out when I exist like nothing, then things come out, I tune in to an invisible radio station and receive messages and then give out this message
What are your projects for 2016?
The main thing is to release my own original tracks, this is why I have SILA as a dj name, SILA is in fact is a group, a band, with my friend that I came here with. He is in Moscow but we continue to work together. We will release our single but they are tracks for ten minutes so more like a mini album.
Second thing is ‘Acidhop’ a hip hop project, we have a single to release which is almost finished. I am going to publish them on Not For Fun records, it’s an experimental underground record label that I manage. Nof For Fun records appeared after AUX Do/nothing festival in Arma 17 club, which is like a Russian Berghain. We recorded the live album there and made an amazing art music video after it.
These are the main things but I have started my SILA soundcloud for my djing and it has more than five thousand listeners so I understand it’s pretty small but I want to develop it.
One more point is we started a Not For Fun records youtube channel and want to make more videos, at the moment we have five unfinished videos but when you finish things you make more things automatically.
What parties have you been involved with on Koh Phangan?
I played Loi Lay, Infinity Beach Club, Mountain Life, One Love Bar, Fisherman's for Chill and Deep, Jeff’s Mondays, I’ve played Amsterdam bar, Relax viewpoint for Yoni Electra party and Woodstock bar for Giant Squid says Hello party.
We made the strange name to give a different understanding of the party, to bring the people who are interested. We also made an interesting party one year ago called ‘Phagandelic’, it was small underground session for one hundred people where I played Italian psychedelic techno.
Why do you think Koh Phangan has kept you?
I don’t have an explanation but everytime I leave I feel something, even after five hundred metres away. It’s some kind of mental radio tune, some kind of energy but I understand I have to move soon, there is still not enough scene and audience, I need to go to Berlin or something. It’s super international there, we can go to a party and not just drink, there’s more arty places.
I’m staying here for now to pick up the material, I will prepare the work, make a lot of tracks and music here as in Europe, Moscow etc I don’t have as much time. Here I work almost every hour, I am using this golden opportunity.
I’m using my time to make music then when I’m finished I will be ready for the next place, but I will always live here for three or four months of the year as it feels like home here.
Music Projects -
1. Not For Fun records - https://www.facebook.com/notforfunrecords [record label, community]
1.SILA (Band) - https://soundcloud.com/silaofficial [Experimental Indie rock]