Interview w/ Nikita Zabelin

How did it all start for you? Can you tell us something about the voyage that made you into one of most prominent minimal techno DJ of Moscow?

I’ve been always into music since very beginning. Being a kid I was listening to Chemical brothers, Prodigy, Speed Garage. When I was 13 i even got Drukqs tape. But than rock music completely swallowed me. NIN, MM, Nirvana, Korn, Slipknot etc. All of them appeared in 1998. I remember those times, they were cool. I wish I was be born a bit earlier, so i could see all those guys in their best shape. I learned to play guitar and my first band appeared. My idol was Twiggy Ramirez (MM bass player). So, thats how I started with my music. First time I attended a club was on a D’n’B party. At the age of 17 i went deep in to Dj-ing and fruity loops production. Since then iI’m one the most prominent minimal techno Dj’s of Moscow haha.

Your project, Rhizome, explores the new shape of sound and its post-modernist sound of techno. What does it represent for you?

Talking about aliases i need to mention that alias is not just a side of you… genre or way you do something. Alias for me is a metaorganism for itself with it’s own character, habits, specifics of behavior. So Rhizome grew up from avant-garde concepts of early XX century. I enjoyed constructivists architecture that i was surrounded in Yekaterinburg. It gave me this minimalistic view. To cut off all decoration, everything that makes things heavier, Unnecessary ideas to clear up mind. And Rhizome itself came from Gilles Deleuze. Once i asked myself which pattern can represent world culture of now… Before I could imagine kind of sine waved forms.. something like ocean of genres, styles, directions. One one out from another etc. But I couldn’t compare this imaginary structure to world culture of now. Finally i found this determination – Rhizome. This approach of describing ways of how this culture mixed in variety of patterns that actually do not persuade this kind of sequences wave forms. It can be described as a tree roots that grow everywhere mixing in a very chaotic way. So this two concepts i decided to put in one and somehow do new project that has it boarders and established rules. One interesting thing that 5 years ago Rhizome was something like a mute imaginary friend… but now i can say it was new me, my prototype. Music i do now has much more in common with Rhizome than with Nikita Zabelin. 

Resonance Moscow is also one of yours cool projects. What can you tell us about your future takes with this one?

Resonance is communicational platform for artists, promoters, clubs and audience. One thing I like about Resonance – this concept is absolutely useful for any other country with non-established night life. Kind universal treatment. All things in Resonance are connected in a way to maintain each other and make this wheel rolling without any pressure. Actually i don’t believe in a business that eats more money than bring to you. So Resonance is absolutely automatic. We have radio program, music label, series of parties, different educating programs, collaborations, clothing brand. actually we are very flexible. It helps us to adjust to any type of situations and improve our influence on that. my motto is – not situation determines the way you do things but you who makes steps to change situation. We are  coming with content that crystallize in a form. The problem of most people – they copy without understanding. Trying to fill others ready made form with their story. it never works. This year we are going to do next step and launch one big thing that i won’t tell you now.

What is the most inspirational thing you work on right now? 

My inspiration has always laid in imaginary world. 


It feels that Russian underground techno scene is quite rich. What would you say is unique for Russian scene and makes it different from European scene?

Haha now do you feel? When I started Resonance nobody believed in me and told me I’m crazy cause I won’t find as much good Russian music to fill schedule (we are on air on Megapolis FM every saturday 23:00-00:00). Now it’s 2,5 years since I launched Resonance. So what i can say. I believe music relays on ethnic geographical factor more than any other. Sure we borrow so much from western culture but still you can hear this cold and scale devoted to russian soul.  a bit of sense of emptiness, sadness and a bit rough but full of hidden emotions and love. actually everything russians do is cause of love. 

You performed on the West and on the East, can you tell us if you noticed a difference in energy of the party, atmosphere and perception of music depending of that? What is your favourite city and club to perform in?

Ah its very different. Cultural background is different. I like to play everywhere actually. Cause I believe music has no borders. Music is a common language and if you are nice person everybody feels it. If you are a shit so it’s clear. One thing is to be open to tell your story without hiding facts. I believe good dj will make everybody dance. People want to be happy. To be happy is to talk directly to your self don’t be ashamed of who you are. So dance and music is the key to your soul actually. and when its even 2 people on the dance floor feel it it’s done. this is the party. and it doesn’t meter US or Berlin or Tokyo or Moscow… My fav club is Mosaique in Saint Petersburg. Robert Johnson gig with Nina was amazing but i played there once so i can’t say more. 

Belgrade audience are keen to know how did Nina Kravitz and you met? How do you enjoy your co-op on the TRIP label?

Nina and I met at Outline festival in Moscow, 3 or even more than 3 years ago. I was really happy to meet a person who has so much things in common with me.  She supported some of my tracks and released them on трип later. трип actually didn’t exist when we meet, so I’m glad to be a part of it from very beginning. Nina helped some russian artists to start their international careers, mine as well. This is, in my opinion, the most important thing for russian electronic music producers. Cause, to breakthrough out of the country is not that easy and playing this club game is not an easy deal too. трип is doing well. Lots of artists are on board now and its still growing. 

We heard that you are exited and can’t wait to arrive in Serbia. What can people of Belgrade expect from “Russian Prince of Techno”?

Sure I’m exited. I play Filip Xavi’s music for the past 7 years. Since that time I have this special feeling about your country. Cause, not a country by itself, but people make you happier. Better for them to expect something from themselves.