Nina Kraviz (fabric 91)

As you may or may not be aware, every time we release an artist's CD on either of our ongoing mix series (fabric/FABRICLIVE) there happens a lot of behind the scenes conversations that are all part of the preparation. One of these is a tailor constructed artist biography that's written to give the press extra background information on the artist in question: where they were born, where they grew up, how they got into music, etc etc. In truth, these biographies often become quite enlightening documents in their own right and from now on, in the week before we release the mixes to the public, we'll be publishing the biographies here to give you, our faithful readership, the exact same additional insight.

Nina Kraviz (fabric 91)

I was born in the 80s in Irkutsk, a city in Siberia.

I grew up in a family where music has always had a very important place. My father is a true music lover with a great collection of rock, pop and jazz.

I was into rock music with electronic elements as a kid - psychedelic stuff like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. Later as a teenager my tastes evolved into acid, Detroit techno, Chicago house and IDM, ambient and all sorts of obscure electronica such as EBM, funk and classic disco. Later on I discovered soundtrack music, underground disco and new-wave.

"This mix is about some kind of trippy acidic dream with a lot of different emotions on the way, and as it was recorded in different times and places, under different circumstances, it’s naturally absorbed these very different emotions. I’ve used only completely new unreleased music or rare old tracks, and nothing in between - no current releases. The mix is an invisible musical bridge between the past and a future that is actually now."

In the late 90s while studying medicine at University, I also became a radio host and got a job as a journalist at a music magazine. My musical preference at the time was around acid, Detroit techno, IDM, Chicago house, and drum & bass. In 2000 I moved to Moscow and through my passion for music became a DJ and record collector. My first vinyl records were given to me as presents - Okino Shuya from Kyoto Jazz Massive gave me his favorite George Duke record, and I-F gave me a few of his Viewless label releases. This was what inspired me to start collecting records. I continued working as music journalist at the legendary Russian magazine Ptuch, before becoming an assistant at an artist/concert agency where I met many great artists - some of them were my heroes including Juan Atkins (meeting him was inspirational). For a couple of years I was collecting and playing funk music as a DJ and I did funk parties with a friend. Then came a period where I was really into the Dutch scene - acid, electro and techno, stuff like Bunker Records, and especially all kinds of weird disco - particularly Italo and underground stuff from the 70s. I would regularly visit Holland, especially Rotterdam and Den Hague. I sang and wrote on Golden Boy’s album, although that never came out. At some point my song writing ended up with me being the singer, songwriter, and co-producer in the band My Space Rocket. During this time I slowly started to produce my own music by making demos or sound sketches with ideas for future songs for my band.

In 2005 I was selected as a participant for Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, but I couldn’t attend because I didn’t get a US visa - I attended the following year in Melbourne instead and it proved to be a turning point. It was an intense experience for me as an artist and I continued to learn about music production there. I gave the demo of our band's music to Greg Wilson and in 2007 our song “Amok” (co-produced by a guy now known as Vakula) was released on his B7 label. I also met Radio Slave there.

In 2008 I left the band and started making music on my own. Within a couple of months I’d recorded a lot of music that I would upload to Myspace under the pseudonym Damela Ayer every evening - I also released a remix under this name. Somewhere in between all of this I also worked on some collaborations with Heinrich Muller. In the meantime I became an established DJ in Russia with occasional international gigs; but I was also a certified dentist and carried on working as a dentist at the Hospital for Veterans of Wars and I was also studying for my upper degree at the time. On Fridays I ran parties at the legendary Propaganda club in Moscow.

That year I sent a demo to Jus-Ed which got signed to his label Underground Quality, while my other demo was accepted by Radio Slave for Rekids. Both records - “Voices” on Underground Quality and “I Am Gonna Get You/Pain in the Ass” on Rekids - were a breakthrough success and this opened a door for me internationally. The following year I made a few successful remixes and collaborations, and in 2012 released my debut album on Rekids. I also released 2 EPs, “I’m Week” and “Ghetto Kraviz”, which became underground hits and remain amongst my most recognisable songs to date. I also had an EP “Mister Jones”, including the well-received dancefloor hit “Desire” that marked my last solo record on Rekids.

In 2014 I formed my own record label Trip (трип), which has introduced a unique audio-visual concept and a number of new names to the electronic scene. Despite a low key attitude and a very specific non-conformist type of music, 2015 was marked with the crossover hit from Bjarki “I Wanna Go Bang”. This was arguably the biggest techno track of the year.

I think I was first invited to play at fabric in 2011. It was in Room 3 and I was so excited about it. I really loved it!

I was very excited to record the mix. Of course! I wanted it to be recorded live, but I tried a few times and it kind of sucked. Some parts were great but something was missing - I realised that some parts of these 20 takes I did were awesome, so I was in a dilemma of which to use.

Finally I decided to take different parts and glue them together to make a story. In fact there are two separate stories in one story. A careful listener will probably feel that in the middle of the mix - there is a little break, as if you were changing breath. I like real-time mixing because it gives me this warm live feeling where you can feel a real person behind the mix. Some parts are mixed with vinyl and some parts (all the unreleased stuff) were mixed with CDJs. Some parts could maybe have been mixed better, but I decided to keep it unrefined because the energy on these parts of recording was just right and it captured exactly the emotional background I had at the time of recording.

Musically speaking it is my current taste - this is what I really like at the moment. There are a few really special and quite rare tracks there and I am very glad we were able to sign them off. Bedouin Ascent is one of my absolute favorite producers, Frak’s “First Snow in Harlem” was taken from my favourite label Börtht, Kirlian (AKA Abe Dugue) and Panasonic on Sähkö Recordings, which is another all-time favourite and inspirational label of mine. There's also Mike Henk's hard-to-find track and DJ Tuttle's gem which is one of my favourite acid tracks, along with one under I-f's Beverly Hills 808303 alias I also used. All three Woody McBride tracks and DJ Slip are also kind of collectors' secrets and very hard to find, but I wanted to include them in my story. Another special thing about this mix is 90s Russian electronica. I really love it and find it amazing! So there was no way I couldn’t include some artists from that fascinating era in 90s Russia (mostly from Moscow and St.Petersburg). I have included Species of Fishes - an IDM, ambient project from Moscow. There are a few tracks incorporated in the mix, all from different albums, some of which were never released on vinyl. “Tetra”, the collaboration between New Composers and Pete Namlook, is also a pretty special one taken from their album “Planetarium”. These are all pretty awesome examples of Russian 90s experimental electronica and IDM, which remains somewhat hidden from the international eye.

Some of the Species of Fishes will be re-released on the трип sub-label that will soon be ready to start, along with music from Iceland’s Biogen. There is a serious amount of unreleased music on this mix. Biogen and Species of Fishes, Birk Brainwash, Orange Juice Man, Breaker 1 2, Soren, PTU and Nikita Zabelin (both from Russia), and my own two previously unreleased tracks are all coming next year on трип. There is also one unreleased Apex Twin track that he kindly allowed to include to this mix too. The track previously appeared on his Soundcloud but never saw an official release. Commass Vrubel’s (someone I know since my days as a journalist at Ptuch) rare record as DJ RX-5, taken from the small label Schmer that was founded by Jason Szostek (AKA Prototype 909) is also in the mix. Just in the middle of my recording process Jason reached out and offered me some DAT tapes that he had recently found for a possible re-release on трип.

This mix covers acid, IDM, ambient and, of course, techno. It includes some of my most treasured acid records. Some of them are very trippy, psychedelic and at times trancy. There's some Frankfurt acid psychedelica, Thomas P Heckmann’s track as Drax LTD II “Amphetamine” remixed by Air Liquide, or Negative Return's “First Light”. Some tracks appear just for a few seconds, like Panasonic, while others are stretched out for the full length like the hard-to-define Bedouin Ascent. One particular track that I'd class as some voodoo madness is by Automatic Sound Unlimited (one part of which is the Rephlex-afflilated D’Archangelo).

This mix is of course what I am as a DJ and record collector, but it’s also what I am as a listener. What makes me groove at the moment. People call this a brain dance, but at some points the groove is very straight up for the dancefloor too. This mix is about some kind of trippy acidic dream with a lot of different emotions on the way, and as it was recorded in different times and places, under different circumstances, it’s naturally absorbed these very different emotions. I’ve used only completely new unreleased music or rare old tracks, and nothing in between - no current releases. The mix is an invisible musical bridge between the past and a future that is actually now.

A new album and a new sub label of трип that will focus on ambient, IDM, psychedelic and experimental music. As well as more unique трип events around the world.

fabric 91: Nina Kraviz is out now.

Order your copy from fabric here.
Get this and every fabric release from just £5:


Related Posts

Popular Posts