He is our hero, and soon he will be yours. (Or else!!)
We interviewed Dim Mak’s new signee (and first-ever Russian act) Proxy, and apparently he is an evil robot. Or the prophet of the revolution. Either way, he sort of scares us.
When you hear his two-part album From The Eastblock Jungles, (part 1 is out already, part 2 comes out Feb. 11), you’ll understand Proxy’s whole disembodied persona, and why he’s the only one in the world who can get away with phrases like “Stupidity reigns from its gutter-throne” and “one may only pass this iron curtain if one possesses great power” and “[my music] is no more a cynical manipulation than an attacking bear ‘manipulating’ you into shitting your pants.”
The album is packed with electronic darkness of apocalypse-rendering proportions, drawing from hip-hop and bone-chilling hard dance beats, but with plenty of lush sampling reprieve and bonafide mixing talent. When you get past the initial jitters and/or scoffs, his stuff seriously kills.
And it’s about time someone’s answers made this entire office do a double-take.
How did you get hooked up with Dim Mak? What specifically attracts you to the label?
My label turbo and management secured this arrangement. Steve Aoki has been a supporter of mine from years ago, and we felt that they would be a valuable ally for conquering USA.
Is it difficult for Russian electronic artists to receive recognition?
Yes. It is difficult in many ways. Even simple things that many people take for granted are a big problem for Russians. Getting Visas has been a source of frustration for me. However, one may only pass this iron curtain if one possesses great power. If you can leave Russia, you can achieve great success internationally.
Love your debut album title. What inspired it, and what does the eastbloc have to offer dance music?
It is my hope that something of my life and origins can be felt in my music. The inspiration is rooted in the tension of two opposing forces, of east and west. There are many eastern sounds on this record. For me it was important to tell this story, of the rise of the east and the crushing decline of western civilization. Also, it comes from growing up in the shadow of the cold war.
As a young man with not much opportunity, I looked to the spirit of western culture—and UK rave in particular—as an inspiration. I think in some ways the atmosphere of dark British laboring towns is similar to the place where I grew up, but in the UK there was a very rich music culture, so ecstasy was within reach, whereas in Russia it was a more distant hope.
So far I’m hearing some pretty hardcore, dark stuff from you, and you’ve even described your sound as “dread-inspiring.” Why so ominous?
The sonic incarnation of power may inspire dread, but it is a truth which people must learn. Men are disposable and weak. Why must art and dance music always seek to affirm that they have such great value? They do not, and will receive no such validation from me.
My music is visceral. It forces the body to act. Submission to this force can be liberating. Or it can be destructive. I cannot cater to weakness. It is not my way.
Hear “Raw” off Proxy’s album From The Eastblock Jungles
It’s refreshing to hear something counteracting all the sparklepony shit out there. I can’t imagine you attract the glitter and pasty crowd we see all the time now in the states. Or am I wrong?
I am not familiar with this sparklepony culture you speak of. Proxy music attracts youth in revolt. The rest are not my concern.
What is the craziest shit you’ve ever had happen at a Russian show?
The craziest things are also ones that are considered very regular, that which is sadly acceptable. Men fighting because they drink too much vodka. Women dancing in cages. Stupidity reigns from its gutter-throne. What is normal is insane.
What do you mean by Proxy?
There is revolutionary meaning in this name and great power in the idea of an anonymous, shifting identity that acts as the strong arm of a greater idea. Perhaps one day this Proxy will fade and another shall rise.
What’s your story? Tell me about growing up and getting into electronic music.
I grew up in the easternmost part of Russia, then moved to the outskirts of Moscow as an adolescent. I lived a very typical Russian life with no great advantages. I was exposed to some hip-hop and became interested in break dancing and its attendant music, later to The Prodigy and the ideal of rave. Through a modest inheritance I was able to acquire some simple studio equipment and I dedicated myself to a life of creating bomb tracks. Through MySpace, I contacted Tiga and signed to turbo recordings and my history began.
What’s next for Proxy?
New music. It was a long process to make this album. Now fans can look forward to a great deluge of material in the near future. New live show. Some cool remixes. Videos. Cartons of cigarettes. Apocalyptic shit. That is all.
Stream Marseilles’ new remix of Proxy’s “Audio 15.” Buy From the Easternblock Jungles Part One on Dim Mak, and look out for Part Two on February 11.