Interview by Gosia Mrugala (IAMMUZYKA)
Toronto-based Russian DJ duo Kotov & Andre Wilde are impressive producers as well as performers. In the way each brings something entirely different to the table, they embody the Asian philosophical concept of yin and yang – an idea that describes ”how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn.” Diverse talents, they create together a perfect musical balance.
The musical bond that they share is deeply esoteric, and watching them live perform live is a pleasure. It can be awe-inspiring to see two artists with wildly different styles come together as a team to realize such enrapturing tracks for the audience. Their names are becoming deservedly better known; I recommend keeping your eyes and ears on Kotov & Andre Wilde — and I definitely recommend seeing them live.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the duo recently. Here’s what we talked about:
IAMMUZYKA: How would you describe Toronto’s EDM scene/community?
KOTOV: Toronto is like a university for EDM. With such amounts of DJs and producers, only the best make it — and only the best make the difference. Look at the world, there’s plenty of talent that we supply!
WILDE: The EDM scene in Toronto I would say is blooming. We’ve got lots of locals going international; we’ve got Carlo, Flipside, Deadmau5, Manzone & Strong, we’ve even got the The Junkies who just got signed to Dubfire‘s management company. So we’ve got lots of local guys who are going international and that’s really good and nice to see.
IAMMUZYKA: What brought Kotov & Wilde together?
KOTOV: The music and the groove is what brought us together. You have your own personal opinion and feeling, but in the end what essentially brought us together is the mutual goal of bringing something better to the audience that people will feel good about. There are things I do that Andre would never do, and some things Andre would do that I would never do. It’s opposites but it brings us together. The bottom line is that we depend on each other for production, for better production, and we wouldn’t survive without each other in the sense of creating that particularly perfect track that we want to get to.
WILDE: What brought us together was the love for the music. The love for the production and getting our own stuff out there and just getting better at it. One thing is our own production, but the next step is to be able to play our own productions to our audience and fans. Right now we’re at the point where we can play our own stuff and people go nuts, they don’t know the tracks but they go nuts. And that’s what brought us together and will keep us going.
IAMMUZYKA: What are you guys working on at the moment?
KOTOV: We’r'e actually looking into something different. We’re looking at being something that’s not the same as everyone else, and that’s essentially always been our motto: to not be the same as anyone else. And our production has always had a part of our own sound, our own groove, our feeling to it. We would never trade it off for the popular sound — it always has to be real and from the heart, otherwise it doesn’t matter what we do. We might never reach the top or anything close to it, but we can do what we like and it will always be something of our own. Or we could do something everyone else does and get on the same track as everyone else towards the top — but then there would be no internal feeling to it, it wouldn’t be personal or have our own touch to it. Everything we do has our own touch and sound to it, and that’s what we’re all about. We’re about not what everyone does, we only care about what we do and how it reflects on the people who come to listen to us. It’s only about the music and about the feeling.
WILDE: We’re working on a lot of new productions. We’re sort of trying to take the next step but not follow trance — we never really followed trance, even when minimal was out, we did a minimal track but it had our own hook, our own sound, something we put into it it that wouldn’t really follow the trends everybody else was trying to follow. Right now we’ve actually got some stuff with a couple of vocalists that we are trying to work on. We’re working on an album of sort of top 40 stuff. We’re opening the horizons from the regular techno and tech house sound that we usually produce and going into sort of top 40 house, which is a genre all on its own. So that’s what we’re working on right now: the next few tracks that you hear will have a completely new sound. We’ve got something coming out in the next few weeks with Christopher Norman, something that we’ve never done before. Which maybe you’ll never hear from us again, maybe you will. What we love is what we do. Lots of stuff is coming, lots of stuff is done; it’s just a matter of releasing it.
IAMMUZYKA: What can one find playing on your iPod today?
KOTOV: My iPod has stuff that is back to the basics, kind of the beginning of 2000 drum and bass. I listen to stuff I love to dance to, stuff that is completely unpopular, stuff that is overlooked and never really catches anyone’s attention. Stuff you can dance to and just be yourself. You can find three things: Pendulum, Sub Focus and our productions. That’s pretty much the things you would find on my iPod.
WILDE: In all honesty, I don’t have an iPod. You can find me listening to some downtempo, jazz and bossa nova. If you’re looking for artists names, I would say: Prodigy – the first album was one of a kind. You would find TuPac, the Scorpions live album, Sting and quite a bit of Russian stuff. Everything I listen to is an inspiration to me; it can be hip-hop, jazz, electronic music, it can even be pop. I’m all over the map when it comes to music.
IAMMUZYKA: What is next for Kotov & Wilde?
KOTOV & WILDE: Next is opening new horizons: what we can do and what we can achieve. Developing our skills, our sound and bringing something new to the world — bringing our own Kotov & Wilde sound and hopefully making it international. At the end of the day, I think the biggest thing for us is to actually not just be electronic DJs but to be musicians. We would like to develop more as musicians and not just as electronic dance music producers. I think that’s our next step — what we are looking forward to, what we’re working towards. International in the sense of making it bigger. Our sound has become quite international and global, now it’s just about making it so a larger, broader range of people can hear our music and appreciate our sound and be our fans.