Straight out of Russia comes The Deep Structures EP Part III from Kos.Mos.Music, we catch up with one of the EP's contributors Abstract Elements (AKA Bop & Diagram) to talk deep Russian bass music and reinventing neurofunk into minimal...
Where as your better known alias Bop has penetrated the main stream of drum & bass, Abstract Elements has remained more elusive, with a much more faceless identity. Clearly appealing to the more experimental side of the music has Abstract Elements given you the opportunity to work outside and beyond your the expectations as Bop?
You associate Bop with mainstream drum & bass? Are you kidding guys? Just listen to Bop's albums and compare them with the latest Ram releases and you will notice huge difference. Bop is more leftfield / avant garde side of drum & bass, than the mainstream (at least for now) ha ha.
Abstract Elements is a duo, so for each of us it's an opportunity to work on music that we just couldn't imagine to make alone.
You've had strong support from Kos.Mos.Music, late Instra:mental and dBridge, icons within the deeper side of 170 bpm music. Featuring in the hugely successful Autonomic podcast series your music was put in front of tens of thousands of listeners worldwide. How did this platform enable you to grow and develop your music as a production partnership?
Yeah, when we get support from our heroes dBridge and Instra:Mental we get a lot of motivation to keep working on the project. And of course it helped to promote our name among the listeners of deep drum & bass and get some releases as well.
Support from Kos.Mos.Music gave us some really cool gigs in Russia and some ex USSR countries plus releases, so we are happy about it also.
You have a track on the Deep Structures Part III EP called "Brainsplit". The track brings together classic Abstract Elements pads and percussion with the a thick streak of dystopia throughout. There is even some cheeky break beats too. How was the track conceived? Was it made especially for Kos.Mos.Music?
This tune was written a couple of years ago, when me and Diagram just started to produce music together. At that moment we were trying to get that old school neurofunk vibe and combine it with our minimalistic vision of modern drum & bass. It wasn't produced especially for Kos.Mos.Music, actually, we even didn't think that Kos.Mos.Music may really like and sign the tune, because first their releases sounds more atmospheric and smoother than our claustrophobic experimental shit.
Kos.Mos.Music is probably the most significant lable for drum & bass coming out of the former USSR. How important is it that artists from the region have there own labels to release home grown music?
Yeah, that's cool to have a good label in your city / country, because you can talk personally with the owner, discuss the releases, arrange some parties, maybe control them on some aspects... But... in the 21st century with the internet i think it's not necessary and, to be honest, it makes not too much sense. Now a label can release music by any artist anywhere in the world and that's awesome.
Your music leans strongly on the electronic, and not sampling other peoples music, which is in contrast to alot of drum & bass. What are the keey influences behind Abstract Elements and what if any are the recurring themes within your music?
We got a lot of influence from the first wave of neurofunk/ technoid around 1998 to 2002 when we was teenagers by artists like Ed Rush & Optical, Matrix, Bad Company, Konflict, Stakka & Skynet to name a few. Then, when we started to work together we didn't want just copy sound of our icons, but wanted to create something fresh and unique so we decided to try combine those oldschool sci-fi atmospheres and neurofunk vibes with minimalistic sound. At the same time we were really excited about new stuff coming from dBridge, Instra:Mental and some other guys so influenced were by them and we started experimenting more with our sound.
In regards to samples, we sample sometimes, but mostly films, not music.
You share the Deep Structures Part III EP with Electrosoul System, Faib and Cutworks. Just some of the artists representing the former USSR right now... Who are your favorite producers in the region? Who should the rest of the world be looking out for in the future?
We adviced to pay attention to Dissident (aka Kontext), Oak, Subwave, Sunchase, Cutworks, Getz, Korsun... can't remember all guys, but these dudes definitely worth your attention.
The Deep Structures EP Part III is out now on Kos.Mos.Music.