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Broken Adam [Interview]

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The small coastal town of Kalkan with an air saturated with salt and seaweed, the free wind wanders through the narrow streets that come alive in the evening, keeping warmth of the Mediterranean in memories! Introducing the new EP "Kalkan" by cosmic producers Broken Adam and Soul Engineers, featuring two tracks: Kalkan - gentle and dreamy with the proper chill vibe, but energetic at the same time, reflecting the seaside way of live. "Before The Storm" has similar energy and mood with more focus on synth line and melodic progressions.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Broken Adam to learn more about the release of 'Kalkan’, the birth of his new production moniker, DJing and more. Enjoy.

Hi Vadim, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hi and first of all, thanks for having me! This year began with the big number of tasks and new projects, one of them is my new alias Broken Adam. I’ve already released the first single in collaboration with Wesley (BR) on Beatlick, which got some solid support and now the next EP called “Kalkan” is ready to be out on Songuara in collaboration with my good friends Soul Engineers. We are really excited about this one. This day began with preparing a guestmix for Songuara at Mambo Ibiza Radio which sounds pretty ordinary, but I didn’t record any mixes for a while, so had much fun and pleasure today.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not travelling, what does a day in your life look like?

First of all it starts with a lot of coffee of course! As i’m also running a couple of labels it is always an administrative routine, new releases, checking demos and etc. I love cooking, so quite a part of my evening takes place in the kitchen, it’s kind of sublimation for me as I consider it to be a creative process.

What was the music genre you discovered first before you turned to electronic music, and what made you continue with the latter?

To be honest I think it all began with the dance music, my parents listened to ABBA and Modern Talking among others, so I heard it from my childhood. Later I discovered act like Scooter and Prodigy and at that same moment I’ve learned to play piano in the music school and got my first computer, so things happened themselves I would say. Me and my cousin started experimenting with music software and it totally caught us. At some point we released our first record, did our first gig and there was already no way out if you know what I mean.

You are known as a pioneer in Russia’s electronic music scene, a history which dates all the way to 1998 when you were part of the Sound Fiction project. Tell us what it was like growing up in Russia and how it influenced your path into electronic music.

Indeed I grew up and did my first steps in music in Russia. Of course this fact also influenced my path. There was a massive record in the late 90s – “Resurrection” by PPK released on Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Records, this record made it to the top of UK charts and made a lot of buzz in Russia as PPK are also from Russia. So all the producers I guess could only think of repeating this success. Imagine, your music is being heard in UK while 10 years ago you lived in quite closed Soviet Union, this was mind blowing. Underground club culture was developing rapidly at that period of time so once again I guess things just happened themselves. These days i try to spend more time in Israel where electronic music scene is also traditionally very strong and it is very interesting to compare and see how it develops.

And to add to that, who were some of the local producers and DJs you looked up when you first discovered the music?

Apart of PPK there were some great artists like Radiotrance, Arrival, Triplex and DJ Groove to name a few. These people also inspired us in the beginning of our path and i was lucky to work and to play with them on the same stages later in my career.

You’ve been producing under your Vadim Soloviev for close to two decades now, releasing music via Anjunadeep, Armada and Intricate, amongst others, but you took a couple of years off starting around 2021 I think, tell us about your time away, why it was necessary and why did now feel like the right time to return?

Like it often happens at some point I preferred to focus on some more stable “daytime” job and switched into music management. I worked at Freestyle Records licensing labels like Ministry Of Sound and Spinnin for CIS countries, really cool period of my life when I got lots of new friends and connections in the music industry. We’ve also launched our own record label with PROFF, Alexey Sonar and Sergey Tkachev called Intricate, and it is still up and running with several sub-labels on board. So this management work took all my time and I felt comfortable with this. But yeah, I mean I do miss the excitement of producing new tracks myself, the joy of travelling and performing on the stage, sharing the energy with the crowd. Spending time without all this gave me a chance to rethink of my creativity as my music tastes evolve and I believe I have something new to say to the world.

Looking back over all the work you’ve done under your given name, which tracks or releases hold the best memories for you and why?

It’s really difficult to highlight some particular track or remix, each of them has it’s own story behind it. I adore our works with PROFF because every time it was very creative and fun, you never new what will be the result at the end, and it was always great. Can also mention my first and only full artist album which surprisingly was chill out and lounge music release. Really love it because it was 100% pure creativity, when you sat down with your gear and just recorded whatever you feel and hear in your head.

As mentioned, you’ve come back to electronic music now with a new alias Broken Adam, tell us why you’ve chosen to start fresh with this alias and what does the name mean to you?

First of all I think that people barely remember me and my tracks, generation of clubbers have changed and the amount of music increased dramatically, so it’s very easy for an artist to get lost on his path to the listener. Besides, those who remember me strongly associate me with trance music which I don’t produce for more than 10 years already. Some artists jump from genre to genre depending on the trends, and I prefer consistency. It looks logical for me to start a new project and deliver my current vision of music under the new name. Speaking of the alias, I would like to refer to a quote by Vincent Van Gogh, who said once "Art is to console those who are broken by life." With this new project I try to console myself I think, to call out to my roots and initial joy of creativity, to taste it pure like the first man on earth would.

You are in the very early stages of the Broken Adam alias but do you have any plans to continue producing progressive and trance under your given name as well? And if not, please tell us why.

I would say never say never, but trance music doesn’t really interest me for a long time. As for progressive, it’s a tricky question. Organic House has something in common with progressive in terms of sound and I guess it can be one of the directions for the genre to evolve, but anyway, wherever it goes, I’d prefer the melodic side of things under the new alias.

Your second release under Broken Adam, has just come out via Maxxim’s Songuara imprint, it is two collaborations with Soul Engineers. Please tell us about the release, how they showcase the sound you are aiming for with the new alias and how the collaborations came to be.

I wrote these two tracks more than a year ago when I was in Turkey being under impressions of what happens in this world and finding calmness in a small town, the title track called “Kalkan” and named after this town. I am lucky to have amazing people on my path, Maxxim was the first one to hear these demos and he said he would love to release them on Songuara right away. But for different reasons these tracks remained unfinished for a while and I realized I stuck with them a bit. So I sent them to another amazing guys in my life – Soul Engineers with whom we have a perfect music match I believe and we finalized the EP in several days. I really like what they do and yeah, we’ve got the perfect blend of melodics, groove and sound after all which makes me very satisfied.

What was it about Songuara which made the label a good home for these amazing tracks?

Songuara is one of the leading labels in the genre and we know each other with Maxxim for ages, so obviously he was among the first ones to hear this EP. When he said he likes it and wants to release it on his label – I agreed and didn’t even think of any other options. Another time when things just happen themselves.

You’ve had quite a lot of high profile gigs over the years, playing at iconic clubs and events such as Creamfields, Godskitchen and Kazantip, so please tell us your approach to DJing, and what your philosophy is to programing a set.

Back in the days when we started producing music as Sound Fiction we didn’t even think of DJing, we didn’t actually want it. But it appeared to be essential to get heard and I was lucky to be mentored by legendary Russian DJ Fonarev, who started his career in 80s and pushed us to make a step into DJing, he always said that each DJ set should be a story told by the DJ, so it has to have a concept to resonate with the crowd. When you play infront of the people it’s always mutual exchange of the energy and you have to feel it, otherwise it just doesn’t work.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part?

The most painful part these days is to find good records. Huge amount of music released every day and less than 1% of it deserves your attention. I consider it to be a big problem which takes really much time and energy. So when you have your music carefully selected and know each track, how it works on the dance floor and when you can play it – everything becomes easy and can go any direction. I guess the perfect record box for a DJ should consist for at least 50% of own tracks.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Broken Adam
Volen Sentir
Rodrigues Jr

Current top five tracks in your sets?

Broken Adam & Soul Engineers – Kalkan
Broken Adam & Soul Engineers - Before The Storm
Melarmony – Concordia
Esoku – Golconda
BT - Time Moves So Fast (PROFF & Volen Sentir's Timestop Remix)

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (Something not music related.)

I always dreamed to be an F1 driver

What’s something people do not know about you?

I guess a lot, but what can be interesting is that I plan to sing myself for the next Broken Adam tracks.

If you are not DJing, producing in the studio or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

Most probably cooking in the kitchen or playing some game on PlayStation.

What are some of your favourite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

To be honest I almost don’t watch TV even TV series, mostly sports, F1 and Football. But of course I have my all time favourites, they are “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “How I Met Your Mother” and “Rick and Morty” if it can be considered as TV Series.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Good news and kind and intelligent people

What does the remainder 2024 hold for you and your new alias? Anything you can share with us?

I have a lot of demos in my table, so fingers crossed some of them will be released soon.

'Kalkan' is available now via Songuara: https://tinyurl.com/45a2sjfk

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