Search for:

Ivan Kupala

All day long. This is Special Radio for special people. If an issue is properly addressed, it will be long standing. This philosophy can be applied to everything. In particular it relates to Special Radio. It grows and becomes more and more famous. We are not going to stop. So, in September we will establish a further pair of buttons, one of which will be completely devoted to new age and world beat. This, like everything else on Special Radio, will be a first for Russia. Given that this is the case, we have decided not only to talk, but to consult if you like, with Russian Deep Forest. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, the all-favourite group – Ivan Kupala!

SR – And, in general, is it correct to define Russian Deep Forest in relation to your group?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
1 – Well, basically yes, it is absolutely correct; it is valid – Russian Deep Forest… Although it is not so pleasant for me personally because Deep Forest and us, we were worlds apart.
2 – But on the other hand, definitely, our music is absolutely second hand, like most of the music in our country and if there is anything to measure us by, then first of all it will be Deep Forest which we have heard and which we try to copy the image of simply, with a Russian base. That is that we experiment and it just so happens that we do it not under the influence of any local themes, but rather under Western cultural influence.
1 – I would even say that Deep Forest is a distortion, someone played once on distortion, others heard it and now everything, all guitars sound like this. That is the style of the music.

SR – As far as I have understood what is written about you, particularly on your site, the idea to play such music was not accidental. Any genre of music, it says, at some stage encounters a dead-end. It even says this about that music which you make. Without dwelling on enumerating special reasons, in your opinion, how much longer will electronic synthesis and folk music live for?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
1 – Live where? In our country? Well, I think already everything, already has become obsolete, most likely because music is not in demand in my opinion. But whether musicians who are involved with it enjoy it, is another question.
2 – Well, I don’t speak so categorically because then our creative activity would not be in such demand. Records are still sold and people go to concerts. What we produce simply has a significantly limited market. Furthermore I think that there maybe will be new turf laid in technology, or someone will think up a new style and will experiment with electronic folk music again, but this time in a completely different way. That is to say that probably, apart from us, another group as not appeared which takes samples recorded in villages and puts them into electronic-ambience arrangements.
1 – Well, yes, here is arguably a unique opportunity – but if we will consider the internet to be a measure of public activity then there is absolutely no demand for the group on the internet and hence nobody needs us, nobody asks for us, nobody searches for us and nobody requires, absolutely nothing.
3 – What group do you have this view of?
1 – Ivan Kupala.
3 – Ivan Kupala on has sold five records in one month at a price of thirty dollars each.
1 – Well, you can look in any search system to see what happens. Any Tom, Dick or Harry is always interested in someone. Some search, some make links.
2 – I will say that we are not in demand on the Russian Internet, but there is foreign demand.
1 – Let’s say that various groups, even those I don’t know, have official and unofficial sites, set up by friends of friends, those who simply like the group. We on the other hand don’t have any unofficial sites and the official one is half-dead.

SR – Yes, and moreover, many people completely forget that world beat was not started by the likes of Enigma nor Deep Forest. Oldfield was involved with it about as far back as the seventies, and Lesiem were before everyone, including Enigma. So this genre has been around for some time. This is so, by the way. Interest in this type of music is huge in the West. And you somehow tried to make a success on the Western market? If yes, then tell us what you think provides for this Western market, your impressions.
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – Well, first I would not go so far as to say that interest in this type of music in the West is very great. If you look at Western MTV, and take into account the most popular charts, there will be no ethnic music there. There is however a presence of popular music like Brittany Spears, guitar projects and rap projects like Eminem and the likes. Ethnic music does not feature in the charts and it is not present on the radio. That is to say that, all round, this music only forms about 1% of the market
1 – Hang on though, it should be said, since Grammy has taken on board many of such groups, the payments are very rewarding. And further still you see, two differences: there is ethnic music that just happens in real time, that is that musicians play along and performers sing. In our case, in the case of Deep Forest and Oldfield also, there is a wonderful process of absolutely relaxed, casual end results, when people have once sung they did not know that it would go a lot further than them, he did not know that he makes a sample which comes from there, and the final result is completely accidental, 100% so.

SR – You have not released any albums for a while. As far as I know, your new album will appear shortly. If it is not a secret, can you tell us something about the album, whose label will it be under and, more importantly, when?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – The last question can be answered precisely: It will be under the “Union” label and will be released in the middle of November. To talk about what it will be like is difficult, as with any music, our music cannot be described in words.
1 – Well, it will be in the style of the group Ivan Kupala, this is so.
3 – And it will be better or worse than before?
2 – This too, it is impossible to say…
1 – It can be said that we will do much harm to ourselves.

SR – With regard to gathering material. Do you go on productive business trips to towns and villages to gather material? Everyone says that Russia is a singing country. This groaning at us is called a song)))). So is this generally the case? And if it is a singing country then why are there so few good performers?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – First of all, villages practically don’t exist in real life anymore, small villages have already died, and are deserted and so on, only the richer villages which grow and turn into regional cities live on. Small villages linger in a pitiful existence; there are no grandmothers there anymore and there hasn’t been for a long time. The records that we make contain material from significantly long ago, the maximum peak of these records was probably some eighty years ago, and then there were such grandmothers alive. And on the issue of whether or not we’re a singing country, I think that Russia sings the same as any other, no more or no less.
1 – How can one say that we are a singing country? We have hugely failed compared to all other countries. I’d say that its roots in art have been replaced by a certain pseudo-culture. In my opinion this has taken place at some stage during the revolution, because, for example I was in Finland recently and there, there is no break in ethnic lines, both young guys and little girls, together with old grandfathers of 80 years, they all dance and know all the movements. They have passed on this experience from generation to generation. With us, in 1920 everything changed, people overlooked what their earlier songs were about and began to sing Utyosova and all the rest. Art was strangled by consciousness.
2 – Quickly, choruses such as Pyatnetsky and others occurred on a political basis, in connection with the revolution. History was re-invented, literally in 10 years everything changed, textbooks changed, and so art was changed.

SR – A question about Russian singing. Since ñîâêà times we have assumed that if it is Russian folk song then either grandmothers or women perform it, but the voices are similar, like stentorian voice. Particularly when young wenches begin to sing with such voices, it becomes terrible. Are there really no voices in Russia? Who, generally, has dreamt up this stupid style, to sing in the voices of old women? What do you think of this?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
1 – It is not old-womanish, but more so hopeless squealing.
3 – Why is Russian always “Old Woman” and a Russian man always a “Bear”?
2 – This question has probably already been answered by the last question. Our roots have been interrupted, since then young women did not sing, and as a result Russian song has become the song of grandmothers.
1 – Most of all, about 200 years ago, young people sang in a different way in the villages, but now nobody knows about it.
2 – Because of this interruption, it has turned out that in our day, the people who sing Russian folk songs are grandmothers.

SR – Understood. Answer accepted))). Let’s return to the general subject. Who do you think controls such type of music nowadays?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – Who controls us?
1 – Well, here it is difficult to say, authorities. There is, say, music which at times I don’t even know who has written it, yet there are certain elements and tokens which I find interesting. Basically, on the Internet one can find a lot in this field, sometimes it is even the first time you hear these groups, but you always notice interesting sections for yourself.

SR – But still, nevertheless, what is more in this music, folk song or electronics? I understand it is synthesis, and in synthesis there is such music that gains it’s attractiveness by this value, but anyway.
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – In the foreground, it is absolutely live, that is to say the samples of folk instruments and voices, but the sound arrangement is electronic.
1 – If you switch it off, you will have much less.
2 – And so, fifty-fifty.

SR – Folk music, which is the root of the given style of music, can also be very different. If speaking in modern terms, it contains candid pop tunes. Well, I wouldn’t say that you could find rock there… to put it bluntly. In my opinion, as a layman, all modern music has developed from these basic melodies. Moreover, in relation to the music, a lot of the material is nonsense, that cannot be said about material lyrical text. The history of life, various life situations. When you make choices, so to say, what do you pay most attention in working with your songs?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – Once again, there is a musical principle; that is that we don’t think of the text. We only consider the text if it categorically does not fit or if it is difficult to hear. Or, in order to make a rhyming line or song from it, it is necessary to change the sense or cut syllables, to the extent that nothing remains of the words.
1 – Anyway, with this we’re not concerned and from my point of view it is much more important as to what mood you get from listening to one or another fragment. It’s not even clear what a person sings about when they sing, but sometimes if something sticks, then it is desirable to make a song from it.

SR – So do all songs basically give in to processing?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – It is possible to process any songs
1 – One can argue that they all give in to processing.
2 – Just from this there already comes another question.

SR – There were no ideas to do the project differently, popular songs, set with folk instruments and voices of those grandmothers.
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
2 – Four days ago the former group “Karapuziki”, now known as “Euro”, approached us. They offered to do a song “who here is the trendiest radio-DJ” sung by grandmothers. But, regrettably, we were compelled to refuse, because, altogether, from the moral standpoint, it is really too much.
1 – But the idea has been around for a long time, it would always be interesting to try, for example that instead of the same old Brittany Spears, a grandmother sings.
2 – On the whole we had a remix, at least we say so, it was a planned remix with the group “Visitors from the Future”, where a couple sang Eva, but grandmothers refrained, at least they didn’t sing it. Of course the original, it is as though the compilation came from two songs.

SR – The most important question for us.))) Advise Special Radio; what should the new button be devoted to, new age and world beat. Your recommendation please. But first I will say that it won’t only be restricted to broadcasting this genre. Apart from the two above mentioned genres, there will be everything aside from it, ranging from international ceremonial music to ultra-modern processings, etc.
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
1 – Well, this should be based on the program director, he who is engaged in the music. If it is a person who has good taste and his choices are pleasant for most people then the more songs he finds, the more interesting it will be.

SR – The final question. There have been pitiful attempts in Russia to create something the same as you but nothing worthwhile has come out of it (Except maybe Woman Jaggi, but she is unfortunately already history, apparently). What are your predictions with regard to the development of this genre? And while on the subject, recommendations to the musicians who work with this style, what pitfalls they should try to avoid?
IK – Answer: Listen answer | Download answer
1 – I’m afraid that nothing will be similar, in connection with that…
2 – Four years has passed and nothing has appeared, this is the most likely factor to consider.
1 – Even the reason for this is clear, Russian people are very lazy, and basically nobody likes to work. I even understand this to be the case in relation to Russian folklore. If you listen to music that is a hundred or even two hundred years old, the people sing out of tune, they record with microphones onto old-fashioned tape recorders and the music is distorted and stretched. Usually if the person is playing the balalaika, it requires tuning. A complete breakdown in everything and in all life. And here with our project there is one very laborious thing, sampling. This requires a lot of time and effort and is tiresome, we always get tired. And just as people who work for us don’t like it, it is unlikely that something similar will appear very soon.
2 – Even before sampling it is necessary to carry out lengthy and tiresome gathering.
3 – Yes, it’s necessary to collect samples. And where does one start to collect these from? Where in Russia can one find these samples? Can you say?
2 – This is particular knowledge and it is classified.
3 – That is that the secret cannot be revealed, for example, where is the place where we recorded the grandmothers who sang “Kostroma”?
2 – Each song is written down in its place. “Kostroma” for example was written down in the village of Drozhyovo, in the Bryansk area. But now, already, this ensemble does not exist. Grandmothers have departed to other villages and the place is disbanded, the village has died. That is why other groups cannot work with such songs as “Kostroma”. Basically every song has the same destiny. These people cannot be found, some have died, some have moved, basically it is now practically impossible to collect such material.
3 – We are very pleased that nobody will cross your path, nobody will steal your samples and nobody will buy up your grandmothers. A big thanks to you!

Special Radio and its listeners thank you for your responses. If it’s okay with you we will meet again at the end of September, when the sixth button of Special Radio will already be working and we shall talk about new age and others once again.

1,2 – musicians.
3 – correspondent.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *