Interview with Proxy, Russia’s EDM pioneer


by Rose Blanton

One of Russia’s best, and without a doubt most accomplished EDM producers, Proxy has been around the world’s festivals a few times. Having seen the man himself perform at the Wavefront Festival recently, we caught up with Evgeny to get insight on how he runs and sees his world.

The darkness to his music, heavily inspired by Prodigy, is both intoxicating and off putting, both in a good way, so it was fascinating to see what the harbinger of the apocalypse had to say about the electronic music scene.

Rose Blanton:  You were recently in Chicago for literally a handful of hours to play at Wavefront, how did it go? 

Proxy: It was incredible. Chicago is a great place and  the festival was great. It’s the people that make a festival what it is, and that crowd was incredible.

RB: Your history shows a lot of passion for music, would you say that it enabled you to become recognized internationally?

P: Like with all these things, you need to have  a passion for what you do. I love music. I love making music. I love playing that music out through an electronic ‘live’ set up.

RB: How did you come to define your own sound – when did you realize, ‘this is it, this is what my music will sounds like’ –  was it with Raven?

P: Ahh, this is the tricky bit. Sometimes it happens by accident, but sometimes that sound finds you. I live in a very grey part of Russia. Sometimes that dark sound has come to me as my surroundings dictate my mood. I hope that makes sense. Rave…well… Raven just landed in my synth.

RB: You’ve played hundreds of shows around the world over the years, what was the most amazing show you’ve ever played?

P: Truthfully each one has its own merits. I can honestly say that Wavefront was up there. I just wish I could have stayed longer!!

RB:  You’ve mentioned that Russia is still an ‘old country’ and you hardly ever play there;  international success has not helped you in eastern Europe just yet?

P: Well it depends on how you define ‘success’ but Russia as a whole is a country of contrast. Very rich or very poor. Very commercial or very traditional. There are some cool emerging producers on the underground tip which is great, but sadly in my experience Russia hasn’t totally embraced it yet.

RB: Is Kazantip not an option? What does America’s electro scene offer that Russia’s doesn’t?

P: Kazantip could well be. I need to be booked there. America’s electronic music scene is just much more advanced. People forget that you guys (USA) started electronic music in many ways, with house music anyway, and the scene there is so varied and accepting to new scenes. You have a great underground scene, and a very strong EDM scene if you want to call it that. Russia does not have that variety yet.

RB: Talk to us about Mako Records, what are some exciting things happening on that front?

P: I have a cool set up of producers who will be releasing on Mako soon. Mako has been going a few years releasing some cool things, we are flying some underground flags for Russia!

RB: Now that you’ve dropped Eastblock Jungle, what do you want to conquer next?

P: I want to create the soundtrack to the Armageddon with my next record which I am writing now in my studio! In all seriousness I just want to make music that may resonate with those who don’t always follow the normal. I like things a little off-centre. I don’t like music that is too safe. I like to keep people guessing.

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We’ll have to wait and see what the soundtrack to the Armageddon would sound like but in the meanwhile you can love every minute of the Eastblock Jungle.

Images are courtesy of the artist.