Thru Jazz To Mars was the debut release from Boorane, the project of two Russian producers on Lay-Far’s In-Beat-Ween Music label. A cocktail of jazz, hip-hop and Deep House filtered through a layer of Soviet music, it positioned Boorane (as individuals, they go by “Boora” and “Krane”) at the forefront of the burgeoning Russian dance music scene that’s just beginning to dazzle DJs and dance floors across Europe & the Americas.
Boorane: The 5 Mag Mix
Boorane: The 5 Mag Interview
Hey guys, loved your records and I’m loving the mix too. Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? Where do you live and what is it like there?
Boora: Hi Terry! Thank you for providing this opportunity to get to know 5 Magazine, its readers and you personally.
My name is Alexander aka Boora, I am a sound fanatic and in love with everything connected to sound. Besides producing music I collect vinyl that was mostly recorded in the ’70 to ’80s. I dig for Soviet, European and different exotic records, mainly jazz, rock and funk. I am taking my first steps in sound design and dreaming about producing music for movies.
I was born and raised in a small town called Sovetsk, it is located not far from Kaliningrad, on the Russian-Lithuanian border. At the moment I live in Moscow and this is where I create my music. In my opinion, life in Russia is quite difficult but it also makes it more interesting. Over the years I came to the conclusion that the poorer people are, the more interesting their music is. That’s why we stay hungry while creating our future.
Actually the beauty of my country is in its people and its nature that surrounds us. That is why if I was offered to leave my country forever, most likely I’d refuse.
Krane: Hey there! Thanks for having us! My name is Pavel and my musical alter ego is known as Krane. I’ve been making music for over ten years and been also collecting funk and jazz records. Five years ago, I started to get into the electronic music scene.
I was born and raised in Kaliningrad where I’m also working on producing music in my own studio. Our city has a very positive and friendly vibe, so you can get inspired here in so many ways. The most exciting thing I’m enjoying here is the sea. I can take my laptop, lay around and work this way on music all day long. I do also like working on montaging video when I’m not doing music. However, I’ve decided on moving to Moscow so we can start working more often on our project.
There is a growing interest in Soviet music and jazz. People like myself and my friends are sort of sherpas in the world of Soviet music.
How did you begin working together?
Boora: We are long-time friends and over these years have been always doing something together, but our collaboration was only noticed in 2016 with the “Boorane” project.
Krane: I’ve known Alexander for roughly 15 years. Back in the day, we were break-dancing and that’s where it all got started. We haven’t talked to each other very often as we were living in different cities. But it all changed when Alexander moved to Kaliningrad. We ended up in opening our DJ school, then started making music and throwing down a series of local parties, the main focus of which was getting together different cultures, such as Hip-Hop, Breakdance and House.
There are a lot of crate diggers here looking for obscure records for sampling, but they seem to have ignored music from the Soviet Union altogether. Can you give us a glimpse of the material you’re using? Are they old MELODIYA records?
Boora: (laughs) yeah, many foreign crate diggers complain that it is not easy to dig for Soviet music because all names are written in Cyrillic and all music was released on one label! Yes, there was only one record label in the USSR, called “Melodiya.” Nowadays there is a growing interest in Soviet music and Soviet jazz in the world. People like myself and my friends are sort of sherpas in the world of Soviet music – quite often I am asked to show and reveal records to foreign artists who visit Russia. As for me, I collect not only Soviet music, I like European music as well as music from exotic countries and African music.
I heard some nice pops on the mix. Do you play vinyl exclusively or a bit of both?
Boora: Yes, this mix was recorded with vinyl and digital formats, so you can hear the cracking when listening to it.
Is your sound influenced by the early Hip House artists? A lot of those records were pretty obscure in the scene even here where many of them were made up until a few years ago, so I’m curious if you found them.
Boora: I am influenced by everything around me, even a walk along the river can inspire me. As for the early Hip House artists, I can not say I know them really well but there’s several contemporary projects that I like and that inspired me in a way. However, I focus mostly in “roots” music. That is why I don’t always follow present-day music, but I like to reveal new artists, both in modern and old music.
Krane: There’s not much I could say in regard to the early Hip House scene so frankly speaking, I kinda slept on it. Speaking of the influence, I’m finding it in everything that surrounds me. Nature is influencing me a lot, loving beautiful landscapes and eclipses. Also mysterious old buildings have their energy and, of course, the sound itself!
What was the last record you found that turned you on?
Boora: It was a record of the Yugoslavian jazz ensemble, RTB. I was searching for this record for quite a long time and, even though I got it in a condition that is far from the best, I still like to put it on my turntable.
Krane: I was lucky enough to discover Alexander Ryabov when I stumbled across one of his records. Once I got in the studio, I made a chop of this record, and we’re still continuing to work on it. You’ll definitely going to hear it on our upcoming release.
What can you tell me about the scene there? Alexander/Lay-Far spoke about a real renaissance taking place in Russia with electronic music and especially House.
Boora: Yes, I can agree with Lay-Far — there is a certain renaissance in dance culture and, especially, in House Music. I am sure you will hear many new names in the nearest future.
I think it is connected with the fact that many Russian beatmakers and hip-hop producers, including myself, are into dance rhythms and some of them started producing House Music. In my opinion in the next couple years we will see the renaissance not only of House but also Jungle, 2-step, Speed-Garage and Breakbeat. Of course, it is all going to be influenced by the present day reality, but it is going to be very interesting and I am very excited to witness it and being a part of this movement.
I loved the Thru Jazz To Mars EP. It was totally adventurous without being pretentious. I mean it was crazy and eclectic but people still dance to it! How long were you working on it and is there any more in that vein coming?
Boora: Thank you, Terry, we were really surprised by all the positive feedback that we have been receiving every day from all over the world, it is the best motivation for us to keep creating. It would not happen without the support of our label In-Beat-Ween Music that made this release happen. All tracks were produced in 2015-2016 except for “Starlight” which was produced earlier.
Krane: Thanks Terry, the support you guys are giving makes us do more work. When we were making these tracks, we couldn’t even imagine they were going to be released on vinyl and would get so much attention. I remember how we were going nuts while making all these tracks! “Starlight” was recorded in 2013, I sampled a drum loop from a record which I accidentally bought in an Amsterdam record shop! This track was mixed down using a quite generic LG audio system. So 2016 was the year to release it and it became one the best tracks on this LP.
What are you working on now?
Boora: We are currently working on our 2nd release that is due in the 1st half 2017, the label is the same — In-Beat-Ween Music run by Alexander Lay-Far. We’re continuing experimenting by blending Jazz, Dub, Breakbeat, Hip-Hop and House that is why our second release will be even more interesting, eclectic and, most important, dance and groovy!
Published first in 5 Magazine Issue 138, featuring Dave Pezzner, Jeff Derringer, a tribute to Earl Smith of Acid House pioneers Phuture, mixes and interviews from Boorane, Jay Hill, Tim Zawada & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.