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Blog

TroyBoi intrerview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music, Travel | Leave a comment

Music festivals are not all about fun. Okay, you got me, they are, ’cause even the ‘official part’ of the festivals usually looks like this for me: having a good laugh with British producer TroyBoi
right before his bombastic gig at Hungarian Sziget festival.

You can read to the interview at Myspace and watch it below:

Articles portfolio

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog | Leave a comment

Contently is a great tool for all freelancers who like to keep their portfolio nice and tight: I’ve been using the service to put all of my English articles in one place. That’s also the best way to stay up to date on my writing.

Hungarian Hot 10

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Travel | Leave a comment

I’ve survived Sziget. There’s a lot I can (and will!) tell and show from Europe’s craziest festival, that took place a week ago in Budapest, but for now – here’s my ‘official’ report: a list of great Hungarian artists I’ve seen at the festival.

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From gypsies to drum’n’bass-loving rockers, Sziget festival gave us a great idea on what Hungarian music sounds like today. One of Europe’s biggest festivals is over and we’re still recovering from the all partying, palinka drinking and culture-absorbing. The line-up was truly crazy and monstrous: from Major Lazer to Limp Bizkit, from Ellie Goulding to Robbie Williams, to just to name a few. Luckily, we also managed to explore the local scene and discover 10 Hungarian acts you need to hear right now.

Irie Maffia

No wonder this gigantic band was getting a VIP treatment at the festival: they got to perform at the main stage on the opening day and also recorded Sziget 2015’s catchy anthem called ‘Easy As One Two Three’. The band is fronted by Ghana-based singer Sena Dagadu (who has a big smile and an ever bigger voice) and two rappers, MC Colombo and Papa Diamont. Irie Maffia is famous for its spectacular performances and a wide arrange of genres they toy with – from dancehall and reggae to rock and funk. And they do make it all look easy as one two three.

Brains

Proving that Hungarians are great with multitasking, Irie Maffia’s MC Colombo is also fronting this drum’n’bass/rock band. Brains’ formed over 20 years ago, survived multiple line-up changes and experimented with their sound quite a bit, until finally settling down for a bombastic mix of radio-friendly mixture of drum and rock. After seeing their take-no-prisoners gig at Sziget and hearing their hit ‘Budapest Tours’ all we want to know is where do we sign up for such tour?

Anna and the Barbies

How come Lady Gaga and Die Antwoord’s Yolandi never told us they have a mutual older sister named Anna hidden in Hungary?! Anna Pasztor, the leader of Anna and the Barbies, came to stage all ready to shock and rock: with grotesque black-and-white makeup covering her face, in a long red coat and tall red hat, not unlike the ones you’d see at a magic show. Band’s gig featured dancers covered in gold bodypaint and lots of stadium-ready rock tunes – think Guillermo del Toro directing a Barbie commercial.

Ivan and the Parazol

“Let’s get fucking mental” – is always a nice way to kick off your show. In Ivan Viraris’ mind ‘going mental’ means playing with all kinds of 60s and 70s rock influences while holding a shaker and waving his hippie hairdo to the comforting sounds of vintage guitars. The standout track had a perfect flower power title ‘Whatever’ and featured enough ‘woo-hoos’ and clapping sounds to ship us back to the pre-Internet era.

Romengo

These days Romani people (the largest minority in Hungary) face a lot of problems in the country, but luckily all the political and social issues were left far behind when this virtuosic band stepped on the stage. The band’s official tagline is ‘Gypsy music from Hungary’ which pretty much gives you an idea of what to expect from the Monika Lakatos-fronted collective: they’re loud, soulful and mystic.

Mary Popkids

Self-proclaimed ‘indie band from the future’ brought a special acoustic set to the festival. Listing tons of artists from Kanye West to The XX as their influences, the band never shied away from experimenting with their sound, which seems to be an ongoing trend in Hungarian music, doesn’t it? As for the future, it does seem bright for the ambitious band: they have a packed live schedule up until the end of the year.

Middlemist Red

This psych-rock band borrowed its name from the world’s rarest camellia and their career has been blooming since 2012. Think catchy hooks, striking music videos and vocalist Soma Nóvé’s trademark black hat. Check out these guys if you need an additional 70s-rock fix after the new Tame Impala record.

Zanzinger

Tired of Hozier’s religious ballads by now? Then this bearded Hungarian is right up your alley. Zanzinger is a stage name of Daniel Micsoda, who cites Bob Dylan as his main inspiration and says he plays ‘the sort of folk music that takes place in the present and tells how we feel’. With song titles like ‘It’s Raining In My Lungs’, Zanzinger obviously feels quite bluesy most of the times.

Supernem

This foursome has been rocking around for a while now: the rock band was formed back in 2001 and cemented its place in Hungarian rock hall of fame with their easy-going attitude and a string of anthems. And although they sing in Hungarian, you can still enjoy the music: their mix of punk, rock and garage rock will surely get you jumping up and down.

Punnany Massif

This veteran hip-hop band was formed in 2003 and has 10 existing members and 5 past ones: apparently, that’s how many people you need to create the band’s ‘social funk’ sound, filled with stories about the lives of ‘the real Hungarians’. So if you want to learn more about Hungary, visit band’s show after you climbed to the top of Budapest’s central basilica and had a healthy dose of palinka.

MTV Iggy

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Music, Travel | Leave a comment

The last couple of months have been extra fruitful and busy and here’s all of my recent MTV Iggy articles.

OMI interview (by the way I’m very happy that his awesome ‘Cheerleader’ has finally became a proper hit!)

Ivan Dorn interview

Pompeya interview

 

The list of the Russian trip-hop artists

 

Huge list of the best European summer festivals (I’ve already been to Denmark’s Tinderbox and plan to get to Russia’s Fruit Vibrations and Alfa Future People as well as Hungary’s Sziget).

Report from Tinderbox festival in Odense, Denmark

 

And, finally, I made my contribution to the Mid-year review of the best 2015 albums. Picking Susanne Sundfor‘s Ten Love Songs was a no-brainer.

VERNI MOI CREPE DE CHINE!!! Vol.1

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Party | Leave a comment

This Friday I’m serving disco at the new Sparking Dog bar in Moscow (36/4 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya) at our party VERNI MOI CREPE DE CHINE with Sofi Tronza and Ivan Vasiliev. Bring your disco fever straight to the floor!

https://www.facebook.com/events/964581920252920/

Fall TV Previews

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema, TV | Leave a comment

The main TV season isn’t even over yet (I still have the final episodes of ‘The Royals’ and ‘The Following’ to enjoy after ‘Revenge’ and ‘Glee’ recently died their slow deaths), but networks are already lining up their freshly recruited TV warriors. In other words: the season of the fall previews is up. I decided to check out most of them and describe what I’ve seen in couple of words – solely based on the trailers. Spoiler alert: I was hardly impressed by most of it.

Click on the shows’ titles to see the (mostly painfully long) trailers.

Supergirl looks like a Sesame Street remake of Superman.

Scream Queens looks like a Scooby Doo remake of Sorority Row.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend looks like a mediocre Funny or Die skit.

Grandfather looks like a PG-rated Adam Sandler movie (that’s a compliment).

Blindspot looks like a throwaway Luc Besson flick.

Limitless looks, well, like a Bradley Cooper-less Limitless (that’s hardly a compliment).

Lucifer looks like a very gay version of ‘Angel’ series.

Angel from Hell looks like a tedious SNL skit.

Legends of Tomorrow looks like a Asylum Studio (one word: Sharknado) remake of The Avengers.

Containmentlooks like a Soderbergh’s Contagion with soap opera twist instead of the A-listers.

Oil looks like a Dallas/Final Destination crossover nobody ever asked for.

Wicked City looks like a The Following/True Detective deranged and horny offspring.

Marina and the Diamonds interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Marina and the Diamonds was on the top of my interview bucket list for a while now. Actually, ever since I discovered her charmingly bizarre ‘Mowgli’s Road’ song and read her pretty sharp-tongued blog back in 2008. I almost talked to Marina in New York in 2011: “almost” as I didn’t recognized her (she just went blond at the time) and managed to party right next to this Primadonna for the whole night without acknowledging her. I finally got my chance when I was asked to interview her for Interview Russia earlier this spring in time for the release of her ‘Froot’ album.

Read the Russian version here and the original chat below.

 

You always take you album campaigns quite seriously. So what’s the concept behind ‘Froot’?

With ‘Froot’ I wanted the strategy to be distinctive. So I came up with a plan called ‘Froot of the month’, which meant that when you pre-order the album I’d send you a brand new song from the album every month until the album release. So each song has its own visual world, video, all that kind of thing.

So this is the 1st album you recorded on your own?

Yes.

Was it harder or more liberating?

Oh, definitely more liberating! I would say songwriting was easier in a way, because I had this artistic clarity versus writing with other people and trying to come up with the songs that would ‘work’ commercially. I didn’t want to do another electropop album. The production was very different two: just me co-producing everything with one person for three month. It’s actually not my favorite thing at what I do. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, as much as I could.

You do quite a lot of misspelling: froot, teen idle, shampaigne… What’s the idea behind it?

I love words! And I love messing with them. I think with ‘Froot’ spelling it in a way with how it sounded made it look more playful. That’s what I’m interested in as a musician – with my sound blending with natural human sounds and electronic sound. It’s also visually what I do: I really like blending themes of nature with modern life.

Your favorite fruit? Song and an actual fruit.

The fruit-fruit is probably mango and I like lychee as well. And my favorite song off the album changes a lot. I really ‘Savages’ and ‘Better Than That’.

Should we expect you to dress up as a fruit like Katy Perry does?

Ha, no!

You did perform in Moscow. What do you remember from that gig?

It was very positive. I’ve some time in Russia and Ukraine when I was younger, so I was very pleased to go back and to see that I have a fanbase there. I remember I played the same festival as Courtney Love did and I really loved her.

Do people really mistake you for Catherine Zeta-Jones (as you mentioned in your ‘Hollywood’ song)?

No, haha! No we do look quite similar, it’s that Celtic welsh blood.

I remember when you and I do were partying in a small bar in New York back in 2011. And I didn’t recognize you because you just went blonde.

Oh, no, really?! Haha! That’s so funny!

Do you plan any more dramatic changes to your appearance in the future?

I don’t think so, no. These days I look quite similar to how I looked during my first album. ‘Electra Heart’ look was built for that character. And now it’s kind of a relief to not have to dress up, if I’m honest.

What did you learn from being Electra Heart persona?

Most of things I’ve learned was about what I didn’t want to be as an artist and what I didn’t really like about being in this industry. There are parts of the industry which I love but I think if you’re pretending to be a popstar, then you have to go through the popstar system and they talk to you as if you’re quite dumb and as if you don’t write your own music. I didn’t really appreciate that. But I did like being an electropop artist. I’m happy where I am now with ‘Froot’.

Let’s get one thing clear: Primadonna was a sarcastic statement, right? Was there a lot of people who thought you were being dead serious?

I don’t know… I think most of the people knew it was this theatrical sarcastic song. But who knows?

What gets you excited in the current pop landscape?

I really like BANKS, Broods, Childish Gambino, Lykke Li, Clean Bandit.

The blog you ran back in 2008 was very sassy. Will you ever blog again?

Oh, no, you remember! Haha. I am interested in keeping a very genuine direct communication with fans. So I’m doing these FAQs now.

The thing we do here at the Interview magazine is making one celebrity interview other celebrity. So if you were to interview one famous person, who would you choose?

I would choose the photographer Cindy Sherman, musician Daniel Johnston and Marilyn Monroe.

Okay, I’ll see if when can hook you up with those. And if you were to start an ultimate girlband who would you invite?

Oh, wow. I would choose Bjork, my friend Lizzy from MS MR, Brody Dalle from The Distillers and Debbie Harry from Blondie.

I would definitely check out this record!

Well, thank you very much, I’ve got one fan!

A lot of your new songs are rather dramatic and pensive. Does it mean the days of ‘Primadonna’ and ‘Mowgli’s Road’ are over?

Each album is a chapter of your life, some have different colors and moods to the other ones. ‘Electra Heart’ was a very high energy album. I feel more flexible in terms of what I can do creatively now, so who know what’s gonna come up.

Is acting something you’d ever consider trying?

Yes, I would.

Do you still live in the state of dreaming?

It’s good to dream and to think about what you want.

Get ‘Froot’ on iTunes

May I Dance Mix

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Music, Party | Leave a comment

This Friday I’m spinning new music at Moscow’s Bar Port (Tsetnoy blvd, 2) and to keep in the spring state of mind I’ve recorded a breezy sun-soaked mix. Put your sunglasses on and go walk around the city!

Mikey Moscow – May I Dance (May 2015 Mix) by Mikey Moscow on Mixcloud

Indiana interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

When an artist borrows her stage name from Indiana Jones movies and cites ‘Drive’ as her biggest inspiration, you know the music has to be quite an adventure. And British newcomer Indiana’s debut LP ‘No Romeo’ did not disappoint at all. My favorites were ‘Solo Dancing’, ‘No Romeo’ and ‘New Heart’, all three a pleasant blend of trip hop and pop, accentuated by Indiana’s distant delivery. I have to agree with The Guardian review – this record deserves much more attention that it received. And I’m glad I got to interview Indiana for Cosmopolitan Russia: the Russian version is here and the full interview is below.

And don’t forget to get ‘No Romeo’ on iTunes, too.

First of all, thanks for a great record: I can’t get ‘No Romeo’ and ‘Solo Dancing’ out of my head for a week! And now that the album is out, do you feel relieved?

It’s a great feeling having it out there, I’m finding new people are discovering it every day.

In one interview you said that you didn’t plan to become a musician, but the music eventually found you. Can you elaborate on this? What’s your story?

I didn’t set out with a plan to release an album and become a recording artist. I was just using music as a creative outlet and because I loved it. Soon I discovered that I had so much within my reach and I became very determined and now I set myself so many new goals and aspirations.

You’re not just a passionate musician, you’re also a mother of two. How did being in the spotlight change your family routine?

It’s not at all really, I’ve always been a working mum. My jobs just a bit more interesting and rewarding now.

You also said that there are a lot of hidden meanings in your lyrics. What’s the funniest way someone has misinterpreted your lyrics so far?

Maybe that people actually think ‘Solo Dancing’ is just one big innuendo! It’s funny but also a little frustrating, it’s meant to be a song of empowerment… Maybe masturbation is empowering?

Do you actually enjoy solo dancing?

I love doing a lot of stuff alone, maybe it comes with having children but I find so much comfort in my solitude.

What’s the perfect settings to listen to you music?

Driving or in the studio.

There are a lot of nuances and undertones in your sound. How do you come up with all of this and where do you find inspiration?

Anything and everything, I see myself as a storyteller. My songs draw on personal experiences but they aren’t biographical. It’s more challenging when writing and interesting when listening, I think.

You play with food a lot in ‘Solo Dancing’ video. Is it something you always liked doing? And are you a good cook?
I like to think I can bake… My children will tell you different. I enjoy food so much, too much I think. If I’m not eating I’m thinking about eating.

How many takes did it take to get that shot of you laying on a bed with the milk spilling on the table right?
Just one, which was lucky ’cause we only had one carton.

When will we see you in Russia? And are you familiar with anything Russian?

Whenever you fancy, I’ve never been. I’m sure my band would love to sample some proper vodka… And of course I will join them!

I like your sense of style a lot: it’s very chic without trying too hard. What are the inspirations?

My biggest inspiration was always Debbie Harry back in the day: she’s boyish in a girly way.

Any fashion tips for the spring?

Little boxy tees with a mini skirt.

Five fun facts about Indiana are…

I’ve been driving since I was 17 but only got my license when I was 21.

I have a guilty obsession with Kim Kardashian.

My favourite film is Drive.

I would love to write a song with Prince

Sometimes I don’t change my socks everyday.

Photo by Tim Mattia

Susanne Sundfør interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Interviews, Music | 1 Comment

Let’s face it: Scandinavians got their pop figured out. They know how to make it, well, pop in a lot of ways. But to make a certain project really stand out, an artist should go beyond the typical ‘ballad on the dancefloor’ routine. And Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør’s latest album ‘Ten Love Songs’ is a proper tornado. I may go as far as proclaiming this record my most favorite LP of the year so far. It has tons of nuances, emotions and surprises – this musical gift mixes Scandinavian folk music with the right amount of electronic glitz and keeps on giving listen after listen. Come for the glorious Bond-esque synthpop banger ‘Delirious’ and stay for the menacing ‘Accelerate’ (that features an epic organ part brings ‘Phantom of the Opera’ to mind), a bittersweet 10-minute-long requiem for a failed relationships ‘Memorial’ and a unapologetically catchy ‘Kamikaze’. And even though it’s Susanne’s 6th album, in a lot of ways it’s a fresh start for the singer that not only follows her previous dancefloor-ready collaborations with Kleerup and Royksopp but cements her place in the Scandinavian electropop female pantheon.

I interviewed Susanne for the Cosmopolitan Russia: read the Russian version or our original chat below. And do yourself a favor – go get that spectacular record.

What’s the story of Susanne Sundfør?

I started making music in my teens, got a record deal when I was 19 and have been releasing albums on a regular basis since then. My sixth album is out now.

˜’Ten Love Songs’ is incredibly ambitious and accomplished records. It sounds like it took a lot of inspiration and preparations to get all the layers, moods and emotions down. Was it a long and tough process? And what inspired you?

Thank you! It took about two years to finish it, but I didn’t work continuously the whole period. I travelled a lot and recorded it probably in ten different studios. I got inspired by the traveling, movies, music, life in general!

I personally hear ABBA echoing in your music. Was that intentional?

Not really, but maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing. We all grow up with ABBA here, and I’m a big fan of them as well, so probably subconsciously they’ve been an inspiration to some of the songs on the album. 

Scandinavian music has very distinctive sound and is always celebrated around the world. What makes you guys so talented and enigmatic?

The Scandinavian music scene is quite diverse though. The Swedes are the experts on pop songs and Norway has a big black metal and electronic music scene. Or at least that’s how I see it. Maybe we just get tired of all the darkness and need to do something creative instead!

We can hear a lot of the instruments on ‘Ten Love Songs’ from relaxed piano to 80s organ, from pulsating synths to some menacing drums. Was it hard recording all of this? And how did you decide that you want these particular sounds on your record?

It wasn’t necessarily hard, but it took a lot of programming and recording in different studios to get the different instruments like celesta, harpsichord, strings, drums and organ. It was the best part of making the album though. You have these midi-ideas that you have to listen to for ages while you’re composing and arranging, and then finally you bring it to life with the real thing and it’s such a high!

It’s safe to say that this album can become your international breakthrough (hey, we’re talking for Cosmopolitan Russia, so you get my point). But it’s actually your fifth album. For the listeners who’s not familiar with your previous records, can you guide us though the changes your sound experienced and maybe where you’d like it to go in the future?

Well, I’ve been in this business for such a long time now that nothing really surprises me anymore, so I’ll just go with whatever happens as long as I get to continue making the music I wanna make. My first album consists of songs I wrote when I was a teenager and are all in the singer songwriter style. Take One is a rerecording I did of the first album because I wanted a version that was completely unpolished.The next one, The Brothel, is more of a conceptual album with both quite acoustic and electronic soundscapes. A Night at Salle Pleyel is a comission piece with only synthesizers recorded live from the only concert I did with the piece. The Silicone Veil is maybe more electronic and bass-y. And then we have Ten Love Songs!

The album is very dramatic and cinematic. Should we expect some grand visuals from your live shows and music videos? Maybe even a musical based on the songs – about a couple of tormented lovers? Just an idea!

That’s a cool idea! I really like dramatic lights and visuals on shows, so as long as I can afford it I’ll make it as big and lush as I can!

‘Memorial’ is another obvious standout of the album. What’s the story of that song and how come you’ve decided to create this 10-minutes-long number?

It started as a ballad I made on the piano, and for a long time it was just piano and vocals. Then I wrote the string part and wanted it to be quite big. I then teamed up with Anthony Gonzalez from M83 and he added a lot of lush and beautiful synths and big drums.

If you were to create a soundtrack for a motion picture, what would you choose? It can be anything: from an actual movie to a made up documentary.

I don’t know about what kind of music but it would have to be a director who trusts in me. I’ve heard so many stories of musicians who make music for film who are basically dictated about what to write in the end, and I don’t like that kind of a work situation.

What kind of music are you drawn to these days?

I’m listening to Beck’s latest album on repeat. It’s just got so many layers of beauty and I keep discovering new details that just give me goose bumps all over. Fantastic album!

Russians are known for their love to all things excessive and dramatic (it probably has to do with our literature, theater and ballet history). Is there anything in our culture that fascinates you? And would you like to perform over here one day?

I read Master and Margarita not so long ago and loved it. I know there are a lot of cultural references there that are hard to understand for foreigners, but I still thought it was a brilliant piece of literature. I love Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. To be honest I haven’t read Dostoevsky or Tolstoy yet, but it’s on my booklist for sure!

Photo by Sofai Fredricks Sprung

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