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Interview: The Cobb

24 min read

-102C follows on from the release of Chapter One with a new single from label manager The Cobb. Firmly established in the worlds of progressive and organic house, the Russian artist has split time between -102C and Deepwibe Underground since first appearing a year ago. Now ten credits deep into his discography, The Cobb has earned support from electronic tastemakers Sasha, Solomun, Nick Warren and Guy J, while also being remixed by progressive music stars Dmitry Molosh, GMJ and Kamilo Sanclemente. As the year approaches it’s fourth quarter The Cobb now returns to -102C with ‘Veter’, alongside a remix from Dmitry Molosh. We had a chance to catch up with Andrei for an exclusive chat leading up to the release. Enjoy!

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

Hello everyone Thank you for inviting me, I am very happy and grateful for this. The mood is great, and the last thing I listened to be a new work of my good friend, which he recently sent me.

What are your plans for the coming week?

Nothing special. My life is simple. Day time I'm at work, Evenings usually spend with my family, sometimes I'll ride my sport bike. In terms of creativity, I am currently working on a remix of a track from Kamilo Sanclemente, which will be release soon on Deepwibe Underground, working on some projects for my label –102C. That’s the plan for this week.

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

When I was five years old, my father taught me to play the guitar, and this started my conversation with music. From that moment on, I started listening to rock music, it was both Russian rock bands and foreign ones. I developed in playing the guitar, at school we even gathered our own band-we rehearsed after classes, sometimes performed. It was a good time. I got acquainted with electronic music thanks to the British band The Prodigy. It was in 1994, when the guys released the album “Music for the Jilted Generation”. In Russia, this album caused the effect of an "exploding bomb". Well, I was not left indifferent. Rock faded into the background; I became more interested in this direction of musical style. Then there were The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, then my tastes flowed into a more club sound.

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

I'll try... probably the first track that I will name is a composition by Metallica - "The Unforgiven". I really loved rock music as a child, and it was one of my favorite compositions. My acquaintance with electronic music, as I have already said, happened thanks to the band The Prodigy and their track "No Good". I love their work and still listen to it, if we take the club sound, then the track Sandy Rivera – "Dreams", which was released in 2000, came to mind, I can still put it somewhere at a party. I got acquainted with Progressive House thanks to Dmitry Molosh and his track "Detector". After I heard it, I realized that this style of music is closest to me. Then I began to follow Dmitry's work and really wanted to work with him, I'm insanely glad that I managed it. Well, I'll call the fifth one Dima Molosh's remix of my track "Elysium", since firstly this is our first EP together, and secondly, judging by the Beatport charts, this track is the best in Dmitry's career, well, the most powerful push in my production.

You have a unique artist name, how did you end up setting on that and is there a story behind it?

Yes, it was a funny story… once the host of our local radio show approached me and my friend from the project "Monograph" and offered to perform in the nearest broadcast, but when he asked for an artist name for the poster, I was not ready... because I had it at that time... my main occupation is working in the police.... so, my friend decided to make fun of me and gave the artist's name “The Cop” to the poster... in the morning, when the poster came out, everyone laughed... in the end, as a result, everything was transformed into the name of the current project...and remained so.

You learned to produce by taking a production course with veteran Russian artist Ewan Rill, tell us about that and how it helped expedite the learning process for you.

I started studying production on my own... friends helped me... I read some articles... I watched a lot of video clips... but I didn't find answers to some questions. Over time, there were more and more questions and I decided to go to the author's course to Ewan. Ivan is a very experienced and excellent teacher, one of the few Russian musicians who have received a license to study writing music in Ableton. The basic course flew by like an instant, then there was a PRO course, after that, of course, my sound changed a lot... I am very grateful to Ewan for this, he is a brilliant professional and a fan of his business... sometimes his classes, which should fit into the framework of 1.5 – 2 hours... they lasted for 4-5... time just stopped....

You’ve become known for both progressive and organic styles in your production, is there a style you favour more and where do you see your sound going in the future?

Yes, that's right, progressive and organic styles, they are a priority for me... I really love these styles equally much... in the process of writing, I have no idea what will be born today... everything comes from the depths of my soul and very much depends on many factors... mood... some inspiration or a situation that happened the day before... depending on this, the composition is born... but it usually does not go beyond these styles.... In the future, I think, I will move in this direction…

You have a new single “Veter” out on -102C this week, tell us about that and how it showcases your sound.

We had the idea to create four tracks EP dedicated to the four elements-wind, water, earth and fire. Wind sounds like "Veter" in Russian. So, this week the first one is coming out. All these tracks will be closer to the organic sound.

Walk us through the production process it please.

The production process does not stand out in any special way. Personally, it reminds me of putting together a puzzle, a musical puzzle... which gradually develops into a beautiful picture. Writing a composition begins with drumming, then bass, percussion and synths and can take from one hour to several weeks. It all depends on the inspiration)

Where does your inspiration come from and was the anything that inspires ‘Veter”?

Inspiration comes mainly from communicating with people, emotions that have been experienced... I also like to draw inspiration from moments when you are alone with yourself... you are immersed in your own thoughts... it's especially great when it happens in nature…

Dmitry Molosh has provided an outstanding remix on the track as well, was he someone you had in mind from the beginning? And how does his mix complement your original?

As I have already said, Dima's work made a vivid impression on me from the very beginning and I have always dreamed of working with him. I am very glad that he agreed to participate in the project. An outstanding remix was plucked, very bright and more danceable.

You have a strong bond with Deepwibe Underground witch is where your first releases came out, how did you begin to work with the label and tell us about your role in -102C.

I don't remember when it was, but my friend introduced me to the boss of the label… we became good friends and it so happened later that my first EP was on this label. For me, Deepwibe Underground has become a native label. I feel at home here... I am glad to cooperate and develop with him, to help him in something) Over time, I began to try a more Organic sound and as a result, the idea was born to create a label of this direction. So was born -102C.

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

I don't get hung up on working in one tool – I use both digital plugins, so I have Moog Subsequent, I use it actively, there is also a KORG PA1000. Of the VST plugins, I really like DIVA and OMNISPHERE 2, which I mainly used when creating "Veter".

How much 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?

Always in different ways, mostly I send to my friend and boss Deepwibe Underground, my mentor Ewan Rill... more friends and acquaintances, but they constructively criticize and suggest, only the first two.

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

During this time, I have learned a lot and learned a lot, gained experience, the sound has become better, all my friends and fitbacks are talking about this, which I am immensely happy about and what inspires me to work even more productively. There are a lot of people from different countries writing, it is very pleasant to communicate with everyone.

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

A person gets used to everything and in Russia this is no exception. Everyone is tired of all this-restrictions, vaccines, prohibitions... of course, it also affected social events, parties and nightlife... no, she certainly did not die at all, but she has changed a lot... it is very difficult to organize a party at the moment... it is very depressing... there is no possibility of full-fledged personal communication, there is no opportunity to give good emotions to people... and there is nothing better than a grateful dance floor... I hope this will all change for the better.

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

Even speaking, I don't have enough time for this... I don't watch TV at all…

What is your favorite food?

I like different food... I like to eat a good steak with red wine, I like mushrooms in different dishes... I like different salads...

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Of course, my seed makes me happy, I have a wonderful daughter and a wonderful wife, who are my main inspiration and happiness.

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

There are a lot of plans for the end of this year, a lot of releases and work. The main goal is to bring as many positive emotions as possible with your music, to develop.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support. It is a pleasure to communicate with all of you. I would like to wish everyone all the best, that in this difficult time that we live, we will still all find our happiness and balance. I hug you all.

'Veter' is available for pre-order now via -102C: https://bit.ly/3kdjUIj

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