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28.11.2018 | Words by: Angelina Nikolayeva

“I would say that I’m trying to create my own kind of musical language” shares Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno in his essay for INRUSSIA. First involved as a graphic designer, his synth-rich industrial atmospheres now soundtrack Gosha Rubchinsky runway shows, resonating the fashion designer's post-Soviet take on streetwear. Pavel’s passion for music became evident around 2010 while playing electric guitar in Moscow punk band Midnite Cobras, which subsequently evolved into obsessive experimenting with synthesizers and gave birth to John’s Kingdom, a collective of underground suburban producers, a label, party series and a community. "Untitled United" reads their manifesto highlighting the nature of a self-described “group of rather unknown artists”. As Buttechno project shortly came along, he soon enough caught attention of labels such as Moscow's GOST ZVUK and London’s The Trilogy Tapes next to starting his own imprint Rassvet Records.

Ahead of his debut in the basement, I took the chance to have a small chat with Pavel and hear more about his vision and approach to music.

Q: Your musical path started with playing electric guitar in a punk band and later you got into synthesizers. How did you take up mixing?

A: A lot of my friends had turntables at home and I always wanted to learn the proper way to mix. So, one day I bought my own gear and started practicing. Later, we opened our venue called NII and I began to play there as a resident, which helped me to further improve as a DJ.

Q: In an old interview with Russian Furfur, Alexandr Savier talks about spending his last money to open this “club for friends” Nauka i Iskusstvo (“Science and Art” or NII), where you fulfill the function of an art-director. Now, this venue is often referred to as “one of the most iconic spots in Moscow”. Can you tell us a bit about the concept behind it?

A: The concept was to open a perfect venue in Moscow. Savier has been bringing a lot of artists since mid 00's, but there was no proper club that would fit our vision. Therefore, he decided to open one himself. It’s not about business, it’s about being home for the coolest experiments and sickest parties here in Moscow. I don’t know any other club like this around and really hope it will live a long life.

Q: In September, you made your debut on Cititrax, a sublabel of Veronica Vasicka's Minimal Wave label. The 6 tracks on Cherskogo Drive LP are described as “ranging from driving electro to 90s techno to slower paced, dirty, perfectly pitched 808 sounds”. What is the story behind this album?

A: I used to live in an apartment in Moscow suburbs, on the street called Cherskogo drive. It’s a pretty tough and sketchy area and those were and still are kind of hard times for me … I recorded these tracks during a few months while I lived there.

Q: I’ve read you record your own samples. What do you use as your sources?

A: I do both - use my own samples and the ones from libraries too - it doesn't matter for me. It’s the idea of my productions I care about - it should be fresh and not boring.

Q: There are a lot of hidden gems in your record collection. Where do you look for them?

A: I dig a lot on Discogs and communities.

Q: Some of your material, such as Eastern Strike EP and Yalta LP, is released under your birth name. Why did you prefer to distinguish it from your works under the Buttechno moniker?

A: My Buttechno alias is for more dancefloor-oriented music. I use my real name to release more obscure and forward-thinking productions.

Q: For the Fall/Winter 2017 Gosha Rubchinsky runaway show you did something special and recorded each model’s personal story to use as a soundtrack. How did you come up with this idea?

A: We made it together with Gosha. The idea was to represent the face of a new generation through their personal stories.

Q: With so many projects on the go, what challenges you the most?

A: To represent Russian music culture and show the world new Russian talents through my Rassvet label, NII club and NTS radio show, and any other opportunity I get. To make some new and fresh productions - real pieces of art representing the moment and everything that surrounds me here.

Q: What can we expect from you in the nearest future?

A: A few releases: a double LP on Berceuse Heroique, an EP on Incienso, an EP on GOST ZVUK, and a few releases of great local artists on Rassvet imprint. I am also working on some experimental performances and works. Want to move forward and make bigger things in terms of music and stage performances.

Buttechno will be playing live in our basement this Saturday, right after Solaris and before Solid Blake. 
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