Dmitry Evgrafov – The ‘Monday Is Ok’ Ransom Note Mix
M is for Mondays, M is for Moscow and, most importantly of all, M is for Mix. We're combining all three in one fell swoop as this week's Monday Is OK Mix comes from Moscow-based music-maker Dmitry Evgrafov. With a penchant for making absolutely stunning ambient electronic music, Dmitry is currently working with Fat Cat's 130701 arm to release his album Collage. We very much liked what we've heard from him so far so, without a moment of hesitation, we asked Dmitry to put together mix for us. He duly obliged and so you can tune in while you read on, deep into the world of Dmitry Evgrafov;
Please introduce yourself…
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
My name is Dmitry Evgrafov, I am 22 years old, I am a composer and sound designer. I was born in Moscow, studied there but for the last half a year already I have been living in a country house in the nature with my wife.
Describe your sound as if it were a fine wine.
I try not to stick with any particular sound but, when I do, I do my best to move it on. I will tell you about my latest album Collage. It’s a lively, ambientish compilation of analogue synth and orchestral sounds, boiling and swaying and tape delaying and flickering streams of sounds and melodies, that’s what it is.
How did you first get into making music? Do you still have the same motivation?
Being completely self-taught, I started making music at the age of 14 when I got my first electric guitar. I had very limited interest in playing songs written by other artists though, I had a subconscious curiosity to dive into the unknown and explore the world of sounds, harmony, how notes and chords interact with each other. I can say that I still have the same urge to understand music as a medium and I am motivated to stay open-minded to everything that is unclear, uncommon or even confusing.
If you could drive ANY kind of vehicle, what would it be and why?
I would say it is going to be an old Porsche 911, but what I am going to see when I drive it is a more interesting question.
What about if you could ride any animal?
If I rode an animal I would most likely fall from it.
What is the sound of silence?
I am not among those ten thousand people, maybe more, so I can’t say for sure.
What would your message to someone first getting into music be? Who should they listen to and what should they do?
I would try to show that music can be very different and let this person to be enthusiastic about everything he hears.
Some self help questions for a Monday:
I should warn you that I am a freelance composer at game-making company called Bubl so I don’t have Monday issues.
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that i have lined up for the week?
Nothing special this week is planned. Next week though I am planning to travel by car to Georgia for few days, it should be quite a challenge!
Am I looking forward to engaging with the people i am meeting or working with?
I like the people I work with. You know, with them I don’t feel that I am “the smartest man in the room“, which is a good thing for self-development.
Am I going to my dream job?
Sometimes I don’t have this feeling, but it’s yes for now
Am I being compensated fairly for the value i bring to my job?
Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?
I woke up at 3pm today.
You just had a fight with the person you are closest to. Do you not speak to them until they apologise…or do you apologise first?
I almost always apologise first. Is this some sort of internet psychological quiz that those 40yo+ women share on Facebook? (Yes – Ed.)
If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?
My wife. I didn’t eat her already so it’s a good result.
Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?
If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?
I spent countless nights imagining that I am travelling to different times, what I would do, what I won’t, what I would take with me if I could. I was too excited to fall asleep. I can’t really choose but I would like to see how Moscow in 1960s really felt, during the Soviet Union. If you look at the pictures of that time you will notice that there is something special about it. I was born in 1993 and I have less of a connection to the USSR than you might think.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
I loved Gorillaz when I was 7 or 8, I felt that they were very “driving” and “cool”, or whatever I could think of at that age, I even I tried to dig (unsuccessfully) into their tracks back then, not all of them are “mainstream” and easy to listen to.
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
I always try to search for new approaches and try new techniques. When I have an empty project I always have a feeling that I barely started making music and the composition I am working on is my first one, so my brain always asks questions like “what if…”, “will it work together?” and others.
Onto the mix…
Where was the mix recorded?
Actually I gathered this mixtape together when I was on a grandiose car trip around Europe this summer, when me and my wife drove ten thousand kilometres and visited dozens of countries, from Italy to Norway. To be more exact, I started doing it in Oslo and did a final master in Stockholm.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I would recommend listening to the mixtape in a quiet place with no distractions. Most of the compositions are very intimate and subtle so you don’t want to spoil that feeling.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Right now I would love to re-listen to Foreign Fields — 'Little Lover', a beautiful and very well-made song. In the long-term I would rather stick to Nina Simone — 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes', it’s timeless.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I think it’s the track you start with because it is responsible for a number of things at the same time — it should attract the listener to stop doing whatever he/she was doing and focus on the music, it should give at least a hint of what the mix is going to be like.
What were the first and last records you bought?
I remember buying iTunes Music subscription. Disappointed. And one of the first records were definitely some kind of bootleg CD mixtapes, because proper CDs in '90s Russia were very expensive and rare.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
For some time already I've tried to come up with an elegant way to share and mix bits of classical pieces that sound contemporary and interesting, even if they were composed a hundred years ago. There are some hidden gems in classical works, both well-known and not. But in order to understand it you usually have to experience a whole thing, and cutting a nice melody probably won’t give the same kick.
Upcoming in the world of Dmitry Evgrafov?
The world of Dmitry Evgrafov was pretty quiet for a long time, now it starts to wind up. I have the release of my album Collage on the 16th of October on wonderful 130701 label, which is a post-classical imprint of FatCat Records.
I worked as a composer and sound designer on iOS app called Bubl Planes which is out now, I wrote some nice music for it! I wrote music for a movie called “The Little Bird”, and it will be premiered in October on Rome Film Festival. I have an upcoming live show in London at Union Chapel on 28th of November. It is going to be my second live show in my life, so feel free to watch me being embarrassed!
I am currently working on an EP with a bit more “serious” piano music, hoping to release it in near future. Also, now I have a cassette-only release of my less known/unreleased works on “Crime And Punishment Packaged Goods”.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Will you check out to my second mixtape? It’s FIRE, man, I tell ya.
Collage is out on 16th October via 130701 – find out more about Dmitry here.
0:00 Wharton Tiers — Great Awakening
3:30 Sufjan Stevens — Out of Egypt, Into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake The Dirt from My Sandals As I Run
7:45 Porn Sword Tobacco — Carl Zeiss Driving To Work
10:20 Fennesz — Transit
15:00 Owen Pallett — Export 3 (“The Great Elsewhere” sung by Shara Worden)(Dmitry Evgrafov Edit)
18:00 Foreign Fields — Subtle Weight
22:15 Nina Simone Who Knows Where The Time Goes
27:00 Ted Lucas — Baby Where You Are
30:30 Nick Efremov — Глубоко (suggested by author, otherwise it can be written with latin letters as Gluboko)
33:25 Tom Tykwer/Johnny Klimek/Reinhold Heil — Death Is Only A Door
37:10 Andrey Petrov — Unnamed Melody
37:40 Ricky Eat Acid — Hanging Out In A Valley
40:00 Sibylle Baier — Forget About
42:30 Ricky Eat Acid — Dreams of Algeria (Outside your house…)