Home Interviews Interview: Anton Make

Interview: Anton Make

22 min read

Anton MAKe returns to Juicebox Music this week with a new remix of Jiminy Hop's 'Desire'. 2018 marked the Russian artist’s debut on the Indian imprint with a remix of Michael A’s ‘Endless Time’. 2019 then yielded a second and equally impressive outing, one where the Kazan resident overhauled ‘Alumine’ by Berni Turletti & Matias Chilano. Continuing to build a bond with the label in 2020, Anton recorded his first original project for Juicebox Music, in the form of the two track 'Alya' EP. Being a firm favourite of progressive music tastemakers Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren, along with releases via Cid Inc’s Replug Records and US juggernaut Proton Music, have propelled Anton into one of the genre’s premiere artists. Now as 2021 winds to a close, Anton lands back on Juicebox Music with a suitably large remix of Jiminy Hop's 'Desire'. We had a chance to catch up with the talented Russian for an exclusive chat just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Anton, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hey guys! Thanks a lot for inviting me, always glad to be here. Today I danced to “Take Five”, brilliant jazz music, it puts me in a very good mood ☺

What are your plans for the coming week?

I’ll be travelling with my whole family to the seaside, can’t wait! It’ll be a great adventure. I also need to finish some things with my new music.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

- “Orbital – Funny Break” – pure love, this track helped me once.
- “Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall” – because this music sounded near my cradle, and I also really loved the movie “The Wall”
- “The Crystal Method – Busy Child” – it was on repeat all my childhood
- “The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up” – who doesn’t like it? Everyone loved it
- “Michael Jackson – Billie Jean” – the greatest track

How did growing up in Russia influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

I do not think that the perception of a child can be influenced by the country of his residence. Children are happy no matter what & we should learn this from them.

So, you are from St. Petersburg originally but now live in Kazan, tell us how the cities differ and how is the nightlife where you are now?

I have been living in Kazan for more than 19 years, and I rightfully consider this city as my home. My family and people that are close to me live here too. I really love this city. But St. Petersburg is of great importance in my life. I was born there, returning there I feel at home, it's quite difficult to explain. Completely different cities, according to their culture, architecture, and the people living in them. Nightlife also takes place in different ways, St. Petersburg has always been ahead, but today in Kazan there are people who change the market and the rules of the game. I'm certainly glad to be a part of what's going on.

Where are some of your favourite places to play in Russia and why?

I love coming back to WARPP (St. Petersburg), it's always fun there. I adore our audience in Kazan, which is part of Plombir’s large family. An amazing audience at the ‘Digital Emotions’ parties and a huge number of great places in general. Do come & visit, you’re always welcome :)

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?

A very good question, because if you gather all the worthy artists at one party, it will last a whole year :). But if we're talking about a personal “Dream Team” then this list will look like this:

- 9pm – Sebastien Leger
- 11pm – Guy J
- 01am – Hernan Cattaneo
- 03am – Cid Inc.
- 05am – Sasha

The problem of mental health is complex and nuanced, and it is an issue to which those working in electronic music are especially susceptible. It can be deeply rewarding but it is also competitive, fast-paced, unpredictable and hedonistic. Talk a bit about the pressures of what you do that fans may not be totally aware of.

Sooner or later, every artist goes through this. You are faced with the question, and who might be interested in all of this or need what you are doing. You can spend huge life resources on something that will not be interesting to anyone, unfortunately this can happen in the end. But I suggest focusing on the process and not on the result. I need music. With the help of its creation, I go through something like meditation or psychotherapy. If what I create becomes interesting or necessary to someone else, I will be even more happy.

I’ve read earlier this year that you feel progressive house is an undervalued genre but it is rising in Russia again, would you say progressive house is still rising in your country? And how do you think the genre is perceived globally?

Progressive House has been in Russia for many years. Thanks to people like Vladimir Fonarev, Cosmonaut, Shamil Om that they developed this at the very beginning and continue this path today. Now Progressive House is on the rise in our country. I see a huge number of young and talented producers, a large number of excellent labels that are increasingly recognizable on the world stage. This speaks volumes.

You have a new remix of Jiminy Hop out this week on Juicebox Music, tell us a bit about the remix, why you were attracted to the project and a bit about the production process behind it.

Jiminy is a great musician, I have lots of respect for him. He created a really cool job, I'm glad to be a part of this adventure. I tried to keep the mood and character of the track, but at the same time add my own ingredients. Here the JUNO is revealed in all its glory. Bass, synthesizer parts, pads - all of it is from the JUNO alone. I love this synth <3

Juicebox Music has been one of your primary homes over the last three years, what has made the label a good home for your music?

Absolute professionalism in all aspects related to the work of the label, a great team, I love these guys. We have a lot of joint projects ahead of us.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of the remix?

Ableton Live, Push 2, Sennheiser HD650, UAD Apollo Twin + some plugins, N-Monitors + CMS65 by Focal. That’s all. I prefer to use the built-in tools in my Ableton, it's an incredible DAW.

What is a piece of gear that gets used in every track?

The volume control and panning potentiometer, haha. This is truly very underestimated. I’ve also started included Trackspacer 2.5 in each of my tracks, it’s an awesome plugin.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

Prophet 6, Adam S3H

Do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

I don't think so. Sometimes both of these things can be both very simple and extremely difficult to create. I don't have a definite answer.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

Some of my tracks may sleep for six months or a year before I release them. I'm always doubtful. My dad hears my music first, it's a rough filter ☺, then the track flies off to Ilnaz Cramp (Anjunabeats) and Anton Firtich (Antenna). These are my friends and great musicians.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

A lot has been done over the past year and a half. A lot of tracks were recorded, we shot a great LIVE session in Kazan, with the guys from the Plombir. We have finally built our studio, which will be our temple, as well as a home for our friends' tracks. Now we are collecting a large number of orders for mastering and mixing, so do get in touch if you’re interested :).

What is the situation with the pandemic in Russia at the moment? Are there parties or events happening yet?

We do not lose heart and look forward to being able to live as before, travel and arrange even more events. Today, the situation is becoming more and more complicated. Due to the unwillingness of the population to believe in medicine, people in our country prefer to believe in conspiracy theories. It's very sad.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

The biggest risk and worry is not to become the perfect father for my children.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

I have read and watched a lot of things, it is very difficult to single out one thing. Little by little, everything leaves its mark. But of course, when I came out of the cinema after watching INTERSTELLAR, I was shocked and inspired at the same time.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My family, my friends, sport, nature and my cat.

What does 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I continue my studio work, on my own material, as well as for my partners, who place orders for mastering and mixing.

Anton's remix of 'Desire' by Jiminy Hop is available now via Juicebox Music: https://bit.ly/3DWCJGQ

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