In an era of one-trick ponies riding the bandwagon of a single trendy style, it's rare to find artists who straddle both ends of the house and techno spectrum. But Russia's Andrew Guyvoronsky, AKA Tripmastaz, is in the unique position of being associated with both the funky, jacking Chicago house sound via DJ Sneak's I'm a House Gangster, and the stark, edgy Berlin techno sound via Richie Hawtin's Minus.
Ultimately, though, Tripmastaz is here to make you nod your head and shuffle your feet, regardless of music genres. See for yourself tonight when he throws down at Treehouse alongside Italy's Francesco del Garda and Berlin's Roustam, among others. If that four-to-the-floor groove is what you seek, this party is decidedly the biggest bang for your buck.
Ahead of tonight's gig, we chatted with Tripmastaz about Russia's dance-music scene, his labels, and new releases.
New Times: Your sound is self-described as hip-hop-flavored house and techno. Are you a big fan of hip-hop? How much has it informed you as a producer?
Tripmastaz: I've always been a big fan of hip-hop, and that's what I most listen to in my car or while flying to shows. The bump-your-head-to sound aesthetics of hip-hop attracted me and are definitely a part of my sound as well.
What other styles of music do you consider most influential? What did you listen to while growing up in Russia, and how did you first get drawn to electronic dance music?
Hip-hop, soul, jungle, drum and bass, house and techno — all of these genres were and still are influential to me. The funny thing is, while growing up, I remember a lot of cheesy Eurotrash imports, which surprisingly, and in a slightly different form, is now popular in the States as EDM. Back in the '90s, we also had a pretty big radio show called Garage FM that aired underground dance music across Russia, and it worked for me personally in a similar way like the Electrifying Mojo for Detroit.
One of your claims to fame is "almost single-handedly making Russia more funky." What can you tell us about the Russian dance music scene? Was it desperately lacking the element of funk when you started making music?
I started making music about 18 years ago and to DJ around the same time. The Russian dance scene sure gets better with time. More people get to know about underground music, more musicians and more labels pop up, but it still has a long way to go, though. Longevity is the key word here. The element of funk wasn't big in Russia due to the fact that most of the dance music like progressive house or even techno came from Europe, and most people weren't familiar with it and didn't connect it with the origins of house and techno music, which are disco and hip-hop. That's why for most of the Russian DJs and producers, dance music was something else sound and groove-wise.
You're in the unique position of being associated with both one the biggest house music brands and one of the biggest techno brands. How did you first hook up with DJ Sneak and Richie Hawtin? What can you tell us about your relationships with these two important figures of global dance music?
What's next for you on the production front? Any forthcoming projects and original releases we can expect in 2016?
I just did a track for a Cocoon compilation and an EP for Desolat. Another tune is coming out on my homie's label Serialism. Up next is the long-awaited EP for my vinyl-only label, which is Tripmastaz by numbers: 01, 02, etc. And I'm already working on the third one. My label gives me full artistic freedom to release my most personal music without waiting for anybody and I'm really happy with it.
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I'm excited to play at the New Wave gang's party. Definitely a new experience and an opportunity to meet new people. Well, expect nothing but a pure groove science and head-nodding.
Tripmastaz, Francesco Del Garda, Roustam, and Mario Liberti. 11 p.m. Friday, January 15, at Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-674-4478; treehousemiami.com. Tickets cost $10 to $20 via residentadvisor.com.