We conducted a short interview with the remarkable producer from St. Petersburg, Playmewhile, ahead of the release of his album on SUBWISE, which includes 16 tracks written at different times but united by a common mood.
Hello, Andrey! You created quite a polystylistic album. It includes IDM, Chillout, electronic music at 170bpm, deep techno, all with a distinct touch of Trance and PsyChill. Tell us a bit about the album itself and perhaps what inspires you when writing tracks?
Hello! The tracks included in the album were recorded over quite a long period of time, approximately from 2010 to 2014. That's probably why they are all different. Moreover, I was inspired by the works of completely different musicians, including The Flashbulb, first and foremost, and Om Unit... Alveol... there were probably others too, but I don't remember anymore. I also included a couple of remixes - one for Astrocowboys from St. Petersburg, who, as it turned out, ceased to exist at the end of last year, and one for Koda from L.A., whom I don't know much about, to be honest.
And a bit about your current alter-ego. You performed under different names at various stages of your creativity.
That's correct; I had trouble choosing a stage name. In the end, I settled on Playmewhile (by the way, one of the albums by Sleepy Town Manufacture has the same name). Before that, I had different names as well. I also have another project - Famitsu. I planned to produce dark techno under this name, but at some point, I decided to change the concept of the project, and the recent pieces are probably something close to futurebeats in terms of sound.
Do you use any recording studios' services, or can you be called a "bedroom producer" in the full sense? How does your process of working on a track/album go?
I do everything myself, using my home laptop, Ableton Live, an AKAI MIDI keyboard, and KRK monitors. The tracks are sometimes produced in one evening, and sometimes they are put aside for later and gather dust on the hard drive for months. As for the album, it's essentially just a compilation of tracks that probably no one except myself and my friends would have heard if I hadn't put them together in an album. It was quite spontaneously decided to gather them together.
What are your thoughts on the contemporary EDM scene?
If we talk about Diplo or such extremely popular guys as Skrillex, I have an extremely negative attitude towards their music. Despite all the fun, energy, and sound quality, I find their material dull and perhaps shallow, and listening to it inadvertently only causes irritation. Of course, there are also interesting musicians for me, like Burial, Scuba, Om Unit, Throwing Snow, Rrose, and others.
Which Russian musicians do you recommend paying attention to?
Check out Dirty Owl from STM (I would also highlight the great podcast series "Rhythm Logic"), El Ched and Raumskaya, Unbalance, and Bulb. Ambidextrous is very pleasing too.