Initially, Raw Russian was to become a local label, but I could not find local producers, and then this option was discarded. Therefore, it was decided to find a new concept, radically different from what now is in Russia. By that time, a union of producers had already been formed, which were included in the first joint work of the label. Half of them are anonymous – I think this also has some aesthetics – if we turn to the very roots of anonymous black metal labels.
Working with the concept of the label, the emphasis was made on black metal music and aesthetics of zero and nineties, which manifests itself not so much in visual appearance as in the music producers of the label. As it seems to me I came out with a unique concept and the unique presentation of tracks. Also, our community love the culture of zines and wants to revive it in Russia. The first zine with our interviews and a couple of bonuses inside was available for download along with the first compilation.
Original dampness and outsider raw-house as a genre only supplemented the full picture of the concept. And on the way out I got a vision of how everything should be: damp, anonymous, dirty and vague until the very end.
Actually, from all of the above turned out to be Raw Russian. Real, raw and anonymous.
Many people ask, what is a Raw Russian?
It’s simple. “Raw Russian” – where the dampness not only in music, but in the hearts. A kind of postmodern on the ruins of ideals, a new cult or something; where people are united by two things: their vision of modern music – that it may consist not only of what is twisted on MTV, and their sense of the modern world, including today’s Russia. Its past and future. Twenty-year-old boys and girls have grown up and find themselves in Raw Russian. And they are driven not so much by nostalgia as by the feelings inherent in children, and the cassette culture that was forgotten, but again reborn – this is a second chance to rethink everything. I am now talking about the zero and nineties. This wave is already gaining momentum.
Since the foundation of Raw Russian passed about a year and a half. Let’s say from the bottom of the house RR. Because I had this idea as a whole when I was playing a black-metal and was thinking about how to unite all these “underground” blackacres throughout Mother Russia.
How it was? Very difficult. Initially, at that time I proposed the idea to all movable house-fellows from the Russian Federation. We agreed on a compilation, but as usual, the fire went out and died down. Then I realized that all I gotta do myself, so I still work with RR alone.
We got up quickly on our feet. For this special thanks to all journalists, freelancers, critics and just friends, without whom this raw child still would have been just another public page in vile Vkontakte.
In general, over a year and a half we managed to hold several cellar parties, to release two compilations, which the Western press and listeners really well accepted, to get on the charts with Nina Kraviz, to be shown in the Ukrainian media because of the scandal with our merch and entirely – could create something more than just a label.
About the scandal with merch:
A familiar guy from Ukraine really wanted the RR merch, and I fitted him without a backthought. He went to the club, everything was okay: moved there, danced, and on the way out he was beaten by the ultra-right guys, attention, for a T-shirt with the inscription “Russia”. But we know that there is only written “Russian” and even “Raw Russian”. Not orthodox, not drunk, but raw. Such a pun occurred, but we quickly hampered it. After that I sent him almost all the revenues from the batch of merch for the treatment, I just could not stand aside.
The main goal of Raw Russian:
To share young and unknown Russian producers with Western listeners, to move our independent and non-commercial music. This is one of our main goals. So we want to create a large advertising platform for Russian musicians and assisting them in the publication of music, PR and so.
We meet with the young producers simply by mail. They send demos, I listen to all the records that come in and I try to answer everyone, even if the music does not fit the style. For Raw Russian it does not matter if the track is made in a studio or in a garage – the main is the spirit and its atmosphere. For communication “only for their own” we mainly use proven things, such as the FidoNet protocol, which is very helpful in connection with the growing Putin’s Internet locks.
Most of our producers work in their own studios, because Raw Russian is a very large label. As big as Russia itself. Some of them live in small towns, some in villages. In the future, we want to make one big centralized “base” with all the equipment, something like the commune for people who are in on this. By the way, work on it is already underway.
Many people think that Raw Russian is a cult: but how it can be a cult, if we do not worship anyone, we do not have a spiritual leader and permanent orgies. Although, I think, from RR would have come out a great cult. We need to think about this for the future. Joke. Although no.
There is one fable in the theme of cults and movements of different. One day, we with the RR partners sat in a summer cafe. We were dressed in T-shirts, well, the very ones that limited edition and with satanic numbers. Next to us sat a hen party, or someone’s birthday, consisting entirely of ladies from 30 and above, who were chattering loudly about their own.
We got excited a bit and began to discuss erotica as a component of art, without vulgarity and dirt. A simple peaceful conversation about the beauty of women.
Gradually the female hum came to naught, and from the corner of my eye I saw that the ladies were interested in listening to what we were talking about.
I said this to my colleagues and continued the idea – and what if the ladies saw our T-shirts, they decided that we are representatives of some studio shooting nude and sometimes something more. Porno producers.
There was a burst of laughter, and the ladies, obviously hearing my ardent speech, were embarrassed and continued their chirping on low tones.