Lay-Far steps up to release a stellar EP on In-Beat-Ween Music featuring the collaborative vocals of Stee Downes. This one has been supported widely with the likes of Mark Seven, Gilles Peterson and more all behind it.- Ransom Note
Click play and have a read through the Q&As and get to know what makes the man that is Lay-Far tick….
Q1, Hello Alexander (Lay-Far) and welcome to a Q&As with eclectics. It’s said your label In-Beat-Ween Music, is known as a driving force behind deep & soulful house scene in Russia. How do you feel about this and what do you do to keep the momentum going?
Ha-ha, I can definitely live with that )) Basically soulful scene is a very niche worldwide, so in Russia I’m among the very few people working in that direction! The label is not about soulful house though – it’s about soulful sound as broad as it can get, including all the shades of modern dance music, be it broken beat, disco, dub or hip-hop. Music on my label is a good combo of the unique home-grown sound from the likes of Boorane (Boora & Krane), OL or myself to the internationally renowned names like Karizma, Byron The Aquarius, Simbad aka SMBD, Kid Sublime, Atjazz, etc. This is the global family affair!
Q2, So your homeland of Russia (Moscow) has a thriving music scene, have you always known it to be like that?
When I started travelling internationally in the year 2013 everyone was asking me what was the “local scene” like, cause it seemed very exotic, self-contained and relatively unknown from the outside at that time. I was telling everyone – just wait a couple of years and you’ll hear more of the Russian sound everywhere! And it became so! At the moment the music scene in Russia is very defined, vivid and unique and I don’t even need to name names cause everyone knows an artist or two, repping the country worldwide. What’s great is lots of our producers / DJs do it with the self-awareness, drawing inspiration from the endless cultural legacy of our own country!
Q3, Do you hold a residency in Moscow? What’s your thoughts on resident DJs, any that really stick in your mind and why?
Throughout my Dj career in Moscow I have been residing in different venues around town, including Cult Club (R.I.P), IKRA (R.I.P), City Space Bar, Denis Simachev Bar, Bar Strelka, etc. But I’m not really holding any on-going residencies at the moment though (apart from Strelka, probably) partially due to time-constraints and “necessity” to travel worldwide. Depending on the place, being resident can become too much of a routine sometime. So one needs to choose wisely)
Q4, Some DJs are know for doing particular slots, Day time slot, Sunset Slot, Evening warm up, headline act, Warm down, would you say you had a favourite slot to play, if so why do you think that might be?
I love accommodating probably all of those, besides the early-morning-midday one, cause it requires a totally different mindset, if you know what I mean, ha-ha. What I really enjoy is playing longer 4-6 hours sets when you can start with the dancefloor empty and then build up gradually, taking the people on a long exciting journey. Then I can fully express myself, playing dub, hip-hop, disco, jazz-funk, boogie, house music, bruk, garage, afrobeat….
Q5, Would you say you where a music producer or a DJ first? And why?
DJ of course! Started collecting music in 1996, played first sets in early 2000’s… The production side came later – started round 2006-2007. So what really drives me is the complete utter love for music and music culture!
Q6 You’ve produced wonderful music for some top labels over the years. How has this panned out for you? Do you produce music with particular labels in mind?
Thank you! I just do what I feel and how I feel it. So I never have a clear understanding of what’s gonna happen or what I gonna end up with on my hands as a final product. If you do – probably you’re more of a marketing specialist than an Artist! So I was just doing my thing without much interest from the outside world before some labels got interested, then the hype came and everyone wanted a slice of Lay-Far for himself, ha-ha. That’s when I signed all my early tracks that no one wanted initially. Music business is a very funny world! I keep on laughing all the time.
Q7. Although your musical ideas and styles vary, there always seems to be a distinct Lay-Far feel to a lot of your releases. Do you have a few go to pieces of hardware in your studio that you always use for your productions?
I’m actually glad to hear that, cause that’s what it’s all about – no matter what genre you can recognize one’s style! I think it all comes unconsciously – I just love fat organic-sounding beats, good old swing, the warmth of the samples, rough textures, catchy hooks, bitter-sweet feeling and deep emotions. My studio – In-Beat-Ween Music Lab – now is a sort of a museum of synthesizers and predominantly analogue equipment, housing Rhodes Mark I, ARP Odyssey, Moog Prodigy, Aelita (USSR), Polivoks (USSR), Electronica Strings (USSR), JX3P, Revox B77 Tape Recorder, lots of guitar pedal effects, drum machines just to name a few. One of my most favorite pieces of gear is actually a simple Roland 404 SX sampler, I’m using for generating ideas and texturization. But the main piece and general interface of the whole place is actually my 16 channel Mackie console, which allows me to use the studio as an instrument of its own!
Q8, You’ve got the amazing Stee Downes to feature on ‘Never Good Gnough’ How did this collaboration come about, have you done any work with Stee previously?
Cheers! At the time me and Stee we already finished working on another track for my new album. And I have this particular beat, entitled “Never Good Enough For You” – a personal tune with a message and concept, but it’s instrumental. One day I realize I must make a song out of it. So I send it to Stee to check out. He kinda likes it, but I don’t hear anything else from him. I’m waiting for a month, even more. I begin thinking it’s not gonna work. Suddenly one morning he gets back to me with the ideas of the lyrics ready, all based on the initial line “Never Good Enough For You”! Stee just needed to find his inspiration for the track to deliver the message, which he did 200% My mind was blown – he killed it on this track! That’s how it all happened.
Q9, If you could go back and give yourself some advice when you first started out of this journey, what would it be?
Just relax and don’t take it too seriously 😉
Q10, Thanks for taking the time for a Q&A with eclectics Alexander. Just one last question, if there was one piece of music you wished you had written what would it have been and why?
Afronaught – Transcend Me? ) It’s timeless!