An interview with Sergey Syene
Sergey Dolgalev alias Syene
1. Is music your full-time job - main source of income?
Unfortunately no, but I’m trying to find additional jobs associated with music.
2. Tell us about your musical education.
I don't have any comprehensive musical education. Just one Guitar class and some lessons from my father.
3. Are you primarily a DJ or do you spend as much time producing music as well?
50/50 really – It all depends on my mood, but I’m becoming more keen to be involved with live PA performances.
4. How did you come to being involved with Entropy?
Last summer my old friend Sergey (aka Mr. Cloudy) and myself worked together on some collaborative projects, and one of them was consequently released by Entropy.
5. What other labels and artists have you been involved with before?
Hmmm…let me see – at first Cism then ZeECc, Dewtone & U-Cover.
6. How did you get to know Mr. Cloudy? That is a long story... we have known each other for more than 5 years now. Sergey is one of the musicians who can make me listen & think at the same time.
7. How did your interest in electronic music initially develop?
You know, It was really hard. During the end of the 90's the small town in Russia where I'm from wasn’t the best place for electronic music. I tried to get information from every possible source – radio, tapes, journals, later cd’s. When I listened to break beat mixes on my Walkman all of my friends thought that I was crazy!
8. Do you remember your first music/instrument tutor well and did that particular person play an important part in where you are musically now?
Ohh yeahh … He was a very tall guy with bad breath! After my lessons with him I thought that the guitar was the worst instrument in the world, hence why I don’t finish my education. Fortunately I've now changed my opinion about this great instrument.
9. What popular music/bands has/have influenced you throughout your life?
3 most important – The Doors, Amon Tobin, Jan Jelinek.
10. What was your parents influence, if any, on both your musical tastes and education?
I don’t think they influenced me as such, but I have my Dad to thank for my first cd’s. Thank you Dad :)
11. What would you say is your primary motivation for DJ'ing and producing music?
Satisfaction of mind – for producing. Freedom of heart – for DJ’ing.
12. What's your view/position regarding the changes the internet and digital downloads have brought about within the music industry?
There are now too many of the same sounds and musicians. Also, now you can download digital releases free, [albeit illeaglly the majority of the time] the very next day after a release date – you just have to open google. The situation is terrible.
13. Are you an exponent of "vinyl only" or do you embrace digital/cd methods of DJ'ing?
First of all and most important = music. I know many great artists who share their music for free, really fantastic tracks. And then on the other hand there are many guys who've released music only on vinyl which I can’t explain how that particular stuff was released at all!
14. Do you feel you are able to tell the difference between music reproduced via vinyl and that of digital mediums?
I think now the boundaries are blurred. I don’t like to separate music by physical or digital formats.
15. What do you have planned and what are your aspirations musically?
Now I’m finishing my new album, and preparing live material for some upcoming gigs in Moscow.
16. Tell us the story about how you became interested in and then went onto DJ'ing?
It was my dream since 2000. I listened to the radio one night to the first deep house mix I heard in my life. I just remember it being a fantastic feeling.
17. How old were you when you first bought decks and which make/model were they?
I don’t own any. But I remember the first decks which I played on were very old Denon DN 2000's.
18. Have you been lucky enough to have travelled anywhere in the world in the name of your music?
For a long time I didn’t have such an opportunity, but now I’m preparing for several gigs in Europe and Russia.
19. And where do you currently live?
20. What's your set-up consist of [hardware/software]?
I prefer to use a laptop with Ableton & a midi interface or Native Instruments Audio DJ with vinyl decks and Traktor Pro 2.
21. What's your favourite piece of equipment /software?
I think Ableton.
22. Which headphones do you use and recommend for DJ'ing?
I really like the sound of Sennheiser HD 25 II's, but I would like to try Aiaiai TMA-1's.
23. How do you incorporate a computer into your process/set-up?
A laptop is the central piece of my set-up. It gives so many opportunities to experiment.
24. Can you give us an insight into your approach towards DJ'ing and playing a set for a particular venue/show?
As a rule, I always prepare a special set/live PA for every new show. But I also like to be ready for any situation and any audience.
During the end of the 90's the small town in Russia where I'm from wasn't the best place for electronic music...
25. Have you any tips or tricks to offer aspiring DJ's and producers?
My best tip – to be ready for surprises and to know what are you doing.
26. What album/ep/artist is currently playing on your music player?
Soundtrack to “Dead Man” of Jim Jarmusch by Neil Young
27. What's the last piece of music you bought?
Mokira - Time Axis Manipulation Pt. 2
28. Could you easily name your all-time favorite records for us?
DJ Dozia – Pop culture & Urban Force - Sunset Anthem Pt.I
29. Can you recommend a piece of classical/jazz music?
Dizzy Gillespie – In the Land of the Living Dead from Bahiana album
30. How do you classify the music you play/make/listen to genre wise?
From dubby to groovy
31. Do the styles/genres of music you play when you DJ vary a great deal or do you stick to that which we know you for?
If a track is really great, I’ll find the way to play it in spite of the genre, but without detriment my set.
32. Describe your place within music and what part music plays in your life?
It's the main part. But I hope that music will surprise me more with new sounds and artists. I understand that nowadays It’s hard to create something truly remarkable, but we must always move forward and open up other dimensions of sound.
Interviewed by Neil Tibbetts.