MDC Interview#38 "Fat Frumos"
Coming from the Port City of Ukraine, Odessa. Fat Frumos is know for his energetic Mash-Up's containing all kinds of influences from pop music, Russian and Ukraine culture. It is hard to pinpoint the exact style of music that he makes. Musical styles ranging from old-school sounding 8-Bit Nintendo sounds, to Acid, to Breakcore, IDM. As well Fat Frumos composes music for video games which is an achievement. Having numerous performance in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, United Kingdom and many more, he is set to spread his energetic rave sounds. Also FF running Suck Puck recordz lebel ..... Fat Frumos music can be found on labels such as: Suck puck recordz, Dance Corps, Off Me Nut Records, Hormonal Vibrationz, Sociopath Recordings, Dex And The City,
Q.Where are you from? Where are you based now?
I was borned in the town Kotovsk at the south of Ukraine. I didn't have computer and internet till the 2006, when i entered to the Philosophy faculty in the University of Odessa. A part of present time i stay in Minsk, Belarus, from where is my wife from. Other time i am Staying in Ukraine at my mum's place. It was harsh times in my youth, my dad was robbed and shooted in 2000, so i was needed to grow up quickly.
At all i think that 2000 was very hard year. We had a cataclysm in i our city, it was frozed. I left without electricity for 3 months. I remember those times very well. At weekends there were massive discotheques with generators. May be few thousands people were coming and that were real moments people's unity in the hard times.
Q.What is the most enjoyable memory you remember as a child?
My parents were training and treating dogs. Quite often we have a lot of snow the winter in our area , I remember the snow fun and how the dogs sleigh me on a sled in a harness.
Q.Since when are you interested in music?
My father was a drummer and that's why i grew up in the music atmosphere and partially on the scene. Once my dad presented me a cool new tape player Panasonic with EQ and then my mate gave me to listen few tapes of Prodigy. Since that time i got into Rave music totally. So i immediately started my experiments with tapes (record, rerecord, stretching, gluing and etc.). Next i got into jungle, hip-hop and Hard Rock.
(Story about cassets and burned stall. Once it was a massive fire on the central market, wich burned totally and i took a box of a cassettes from the music stall in the corner wich was burning too. The most of boxes melted but tapes were save so i pulled out them. So i got a lot of tapes with different music and I just switched tapes to another boxes.)
I started to organize parties in the school with my friends and later i started to work on the town discotheque in Kotovsk. On those times speed garage, rave, pumping and ofcourse poo music were popular. Usually there were only 2 djs, so we were needed to play full nights on weekends. I was enjoying very much and also a big bonus was that i could earn some money already.
Q.What are your favorites for Ukrainian bands / electronic musicians?
I was liked such Ukrainian bands as Green Grey, Vopli VIdoplyasova, TNMK, TOL but this is all from my childhood memories.
If we talking about core music at nowadays , my favorite is Alex Tune. Yo mast check his stuff if you like ravecore, happy hardcore, acidcore.
Q.What is the unique part of Ukrainian music?
In the times of Soviet Union in the past it was a cold war and all USSR countries including Ukraine were blocked from all other world. It was called like "Iron Curtain". It was very difficult to get in or out of the country, and ofcourse very small amount of foreign music were coming into our country because everything were needed to be accepted by the communist party. All new and experimental music was bringing here by sailors or foreign travelers. So these records were a very rare thing and they were copied in undeground and distributed in a very small circle of interested people. For example vinyls were pressed on a used X-ray and that was called MUSIC ON THE BONES.
Thus western culture was very interested and desirable. Young musicians were trying to imitate their foreign favorite artists. All these were mixing with our national culture, and as the result were taking some unusual and unexpected forms. I think thats the same is going on now.
Q.What kind of music scene did have in your hometown?
I will tell you about my university times in Odessa, exactly in this town i got to the real hardcore and breakcore party first times. It was always a problems with locations for the parties. Administration of the clubs always trying to stay away from the experimental music, so were needed to make parties in absolutely different and weird places...clubs, abandoned boiler houses, gay and biker clubs, and ofcourse my favorite parties on the Black Sea coast. When i got into the party in 2007, it was popular drum n bass, a bit of hardcore and jungle.
Q.When did you know Breakcore?
I heard breakcore first time at the party inside bomb shelter in the village not far away from Odessa in 2008. I was so impressed with the crazy energy and mix of different styles of music on a high speed. I was always loving different styles of music such as alternative rock, rave, jungle, hip-hop. And breakcore absorbed all these into one. Exactly on that time i realized that i need to do my own parties with the music which i love. I had an experience in organizing and djing already from the school times and that was helping me alot. So me and few of my friends decided to start a breakcore promo-group SUCK PUCK.
Q.What artists and labels/party are important in the Ukraine Breakcore scene?
When did you get into the Ukraine Breakcore scene?
Almost all core producers are from the south of Ukraine. In this list are Alex Tune, Drunk Optimus, PRZ, Frontcore, Bob The Builder!, Prid Prod, UBRZ and ofcourse Fat Frumos, also there is a band like Submatukana from Dnepropetrovsk that making live breakcore performances. We are trying to make few parties in a year in Ukraine, but of course we would like more.
Q.When do you think Ukrainian Rave culture started? What people came to Rave?
What was the largest Rave in the Ukrainian Rave scene? Also, do you know what size and location Illegal Rave was doing?
I think rave culture in Ukraine in 90th was very cool. Even pop music was much faster more interesting, and more ravy. There was good time for art after the collapse of the USSR in 1991!
There was several good Eurodance groups In the 90s in the Ukrainian scene, for example: AQUA VITA or the Fantom-2
The most significant rave festival in Ukraine was KaZantip, also known simply as "Z", is an electronic dance music festival that took place every year from 1992 to 2013 on the Crimean Peninsula At first it was very underground, it was held on the territory of an unworthy nuclear reactor that stay from since Soviet times.; The entrance ticket is called a "viZa". It takes place for 2–3 weeks in August, and about 100,000 "paradiZers" visit each year. There is a cult of orange-coloured fashion and yellow suitcases associated with the festival.
Q.When did you first make music and what did you use to make music?
First time i tried to produce some electronic music in 2000. I had a cd with software "Music 2000" for the Playstation1. I was recording composed tunes on the tapes and then played them at the discotheques in school. Also i had an electric-guitar with the delay, reverb and my favorite distortion pedals. But thats all was in childhood. Until 2008 i was just collecting knowledge. At some point i said to myself that it's a time to make finished material and that nobody needs a lot of unfinished projects. Around the same time i got Gameboy and LSDJ cartridge. That's how was produced my first album Kolobok. Practically no information was available on that time and i was collecting pieces of info from the foreign websites and forums.
Q.When did Fat Frumos start? What were you doing before that?
I started project Fat Frumos in 2009. Before that i was just djing, organizing parties, collecting knowledge and experimenting at home. First 3 or 4 releases were produced just only with Gameboy and LSDJ. That helped me alot in the future to learn tracker Renoise in which i still working.
Q.You released on Sociopath Recordings, Dance Corps, Offmenut recordz and Dexandthecity Records, etc early on, What is your favorite early works?
I think it is a breakcore/bastardpop/hardcore album BORN! LIVE! FUCK! DIE! It was released on Dancecorps and Dexandthecity. Also my album Chiprave Monster can be noted. On it i mixed down 8bit/Chiptune music with Breakcore and old school Rave.
Q.Please tell us the current music production process.
In General for the Production i am using Renoise. At First preparing samples. I like to remember some old melodies and music from the childhood and also i like to use memes from youtube. Putting it down into Renoise and slicing it all. Also recording sounds from there hardware synths, gameboy and other devices. And then creating a track from all of these. Not long time ago i started to learn the world modular synths and building Up of my first Rack.
I am trying to separate Working process on two parts. First one is technically - it's a time for mixdown, mastering and other soundworks. Usually it is a first part of a day because you should be sober and concentrated. Second creative part is a time for creation of melodies and recording hardware stuff. And it can be any time of the day up to the deep night when you are near to be switched off and you conscious fall to the very interesting creative conditions. Besides that i am trying not to forget about education. I think that it's very important to study every day and get some new knowledge and experience...
Q.What is the appeal of modular synthesizers? What is your setup now?
I think that the main feature of modular synthesizers is the ability to experiment and get unexpected results, you can build any setup for your needs , When your system grows, each new module can expand the capabilities of your box in 10th times. At the moment I’ve just started, I have Erica Synths Sample Drum which is very cool for sampling and adding and breaking amens to your mix; I also have semi-modular Crave synthesizer, which is essentially a copy of moog mother 32 but in 4 times cheaper =) I'm Also waiting the parcel with Bassline, Dual Drive, Drum Mixer, Pico DSP from Erica Synths at the moment.
Q.Where did you play for the first time outside of Ukraine?
Which country was the most impressive of the countries you've ever played?
I think that my first most important gig outside Ukraine was at Bangface in London in 2013. That was my first airplane flight to the foreign speaking country and i got to the mega Uk rave with 4 dancefloors straight from the airplane. There were so many great producers and artists with whom i could speak just only in the internet before. I always was dreaming to get to the UK rave because i growed up on uk rave music, and here we go..i was invited to play. From that moment i performing in UK few times in a year. Also i am dreaming to travel in Japan once, hope it all in a future:)
Q.How did Suck Puck Recordz start? How many people run the label?
We were organizing parties for many years and also i was making my own music and got a lot of musicians friends from all over the world. I had already some experience in running the label Dexandthecity which KODEK passed to me and Kojan in the past. And one day i realized that i should organize it all in my own label. Then I made an plan of how it will goes and develop. Wrote a list of artists for the first compilation and who could be released and started to message people. To my happiness everyone answered very positive and friendly. So that's how it all begins.
I am doing a lot myself for the label, and also my friends DOC from Russia and PZG from Poland are helping me. My wife Ajent Lida doing an art design part such as covers, posters, CD and DIY merch. Sometimes we are calling another different designers.
Q.Suck Puck Recordz has also released a CD. What do you think about physical?
Yes we are making custom CDs at home, Ajent Lida cuts out cd boxes and printing DIY
CDs. Also we have few tape releases and of course we strive to release vinyl .
Q.When did the idea for “Fuk the borders”event come about? How was the event in Germany?
Everything began from the FZB compilation , and layter i thought that it is a good concept for the worldwide series of party. At the moment we have already done parties in Krakow, Berlin, Moscow and Kishinew. Next we are planning to repeat parties in Berlin and krakow and hopefully will do in Israel, Holland and UK, Japan and more. First FZB party in Berlin was absolutely wicked. Festival lineup and e dancefloors at the party, it was very difficult to choose on which dancrfloor to stay, cause everywhere was some awesome act in same time.
Q.What do you think of Today`s Breakcore music? What do you think of the music of young artists who are active in this scene?
I think that new wave of electronic music in the world is coming. In my opinion everything goes on a round like a spiral. At the moment techno music is very popular again but its becoming boring for the people and they want something new, more faster, energic and with more difficult structure. I think this already happens with the music in 90th. We are trying to release talented young and not well known producers the same as famous and old one. I think that when young artist get a chance to be released on the same release or label with his favorite artists , it helps to open potential...
Q.What is the craziest sight you saw at Rave / Party?
I think the craziest things I've seen on British raves, UK ravers know how to have fun. Lot of various entertainments, pools, an infinite number of inflatable toys, mini-cinemas between dance floors, second-hand shops with various costumes this is only small list of fun that you can find there. People come on party in frantic costumes and have fun from the heart.
Q.What do you think of the current situation in Ukraine?
Ukraine is very cool country with good geopolitical location. And that's why we suffer. Oligarchs, Criminals and other cunts are coming to government. Our country survived and still surviving through the bad times, war, corruption... But i think that all these difficulties had a good influence on the cultural life and art in Ukraine. People always were uniting and generating some great art in hard times as it is like a protest against government and hard life.
Many cool raves are happening in Ukraine these days and also a lot of talented musicians, labels and painters are appearing.
Q.Please tell us the recommended spots for people going to Ukraine.
I would recommend you visit Odessa, it is a very cool city on the Black Sea coast with special spirit and special sense of humor. I advise you to do this at the end of summer beginning of autumn, at this time all tourists leave, but the weather is still warm enough for swimming and fun on the street. There are many cafes, street fairs and markets with excellent seafood and excellent wines and brandies. And of course, in Odessa you should get to the SuckPuck party.
Q.Please tell us your release schedule for the future.
At the moment my personal plans are to release my new “Breakboy EP” on the tapes,mini-cd and floppy discs in which i decided to back to the roots. All tracks recorded with Gameboy and NES synths mixed with oldschool rave samples in 180 - 250 bpm. Also i am going to start side project with hardware/modular IDM sound.
And we have a big plans on a label and parties. Forthcoming a lot of great releases such as Captain Raveman, Goreshit, DOC, LaxenChaos, Vincent van Sloth, Kodek, Liquid Anderson, Miki Taiki and many more. Also i have an idea to make a serie of TOP compilations with experimental artist from different countries. First one Polish TOP18 compilation is already released on our label. Next we ard planning Ukrainian, Swedish, UK, Australia, Japan and many more other TOPs. And hopefully soon we will start our website suckpuck.com where all our releases and booking information about our artists will be available. And ofcourse Fuk the borders party worldwide.
Q.What are your hobbies other than music?
I like travelling very much , but still its connected with the music. And my very big dream is to travel to Japan once....also i like cooking, making home wine and growing tomatoes.