Learning to face our fears with unstoppable new talent Moytra
Considering Moytra landed onto our playlists in June 2020 – right at the highest summit of that awful raveless drought during first heavy run of lockdowns – he’s cut through the vast oceans of noise and achieved an astonishing amount.
Already the labels on his ever-growing discography reads like a wish-list: Vision, Overview, Incurzion, VALE, Ekou, Hanzom, Demand, Impact, Lost and fellow Russian stable Data Music have all been blessed with Moytra music, often more than once. In the case of Vision, he’s even had the opportunity to remix the mighty Noisia. Impressive considering he’s not even three years deep into releasing music yet.
The latest in this impressive sonic slew is his Face Your Fears EP. Released on Data Music – one of the earliest labels to support the young talent and champion his sleek, fine-tuned emotional techy tackle – Moytra explains how the EP is the result of him honing his consistency and effectively find his sound. Listen to the grizzly, wonky funk and detailed production of the title track (fronted by none other than Rider Shafique) and it’s clear he’s found it.
To find out more about the release we caught a moment of his time for an interview and a short mix. Enjoy!
Mr Moytra! How are you? What have I interrupted with these questions?
Hello Dave! I’m very well, thanks! You’ve caught me in a very good mood because it’s spring outside. In my city of Surgut the winter lasts for nine month a year and now it’s getting sunny again and I’m so happy about it.
On a daily basis I work at a plant that operates engines for submersible oil installations. After I get home I write music and this week I also prepare my dubs for Data this Friday in Moscow’s finest club Mutabor.
Nice. You’ve caught me in a good mood too because I’m really enjoying your Face Your Fears EP. Please tell me about it…
Thanks a lot, I’m glad to hear it from you! I’ve been working on this release for quite a long time, mainly because of the certain concept. I think you might have noticed I produce various styles within drum and bass. There’re some heavy tracks like Sliga and something more experimental, like If You Will Remember, but I’ve never found it easy to create a piece following one common mood and structure.
So the main idea of the EP was to create a right balance between deep and dancefloor kind of vibe, while leaving some place for experiments. I can say I like the final result. I feel there’s something fresh in there and at the same time something you’d expect from “dancefloor drum and bass” record.
Ah nice task to set yourself. I think it works. What are your own personal biggest fears?
Haha… Being a human, I have a lot of fears, Dave… One of them is to stay somewhere in the shadows of nothingness. It’s not about the fame, though; I just want to continue doing what I really like, develop my sound and be better every day. And to have my family around.
Do you have any advice on the best way to face your fears?
It’s not an easy question and everyone is different… but I’d say it’s always important to stay human, especially these days.
Let’s talk about that actual track… Rider Shafique is such a sick MC isn’t he? How did that come about?
Yeah, it was actually a great experience! I always admired Rider’s voice and so happy we could work together for Data. The track was so different throughout the process, it had dozens of ideas, developments and titles. But still, we managed to find a balance for Rider’s strong lyrics. And I am grateful to Yuri Traffic from Data Music for this opportunity as he connected me with Rider and we started working.
I also need to know the story behind the track Slough. Is that named after the UK town Slough?
Wow, I didn’t know about UK’s Slough! Actually, it was the last track written for this journey. I wanted to do something specific for the club audience, so everyone could do a “bassface” when it drops. And I think we got it!
Let’s zoom out a little and take in more of your creative and musical journey… How did you get into production and drum & bass? Who were your biggest influences?
That’s my favorite one! Honestly, I don’t know why I felt I wanted to sit down and write something. I was just listening to various electronic music and somewhere in the middle of 2016 I downloaded FL Studio and started trying. I have no professional musical education, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
At that time I was strongly influenced by Czech producer Hybris and his album Extraction. That’s probably why my tracks are quite minimalistic. And of course, the guys like Noisia, Mefjus, The Upbeats have always inspired me.
In terms of releases, I think you came through on Incurzion, right? They’re a really innovative label supporting futuristic electronic music. Tell me about Optics 2 and how much of a breakthrough release it was for you!
Yes, it was my first official release, the first small step for Moytra. At that moment I did not understand what sound is supposed to be associated with Moytra, but I liked the tracks.
Peter Piper helped me to get signed to Incurzion. Initially I sent the tracks to Overview but they didn’t fit their style. Peter gave me contacts of Incurzion, they liked the music and we started working on the release.
By the way, the track Handerhoh immediately got a Noisia Radio spin and this was my dream come true moment! The release turned out pretty good, thanks to the good promotional work of the guys. I’ve got my first listeners, first connections in the scene and things started to move on.
Ah awesome! Obviously you’ve been on Vision Recordings a few times lately. That’s also a dream come true for many producers. Tell me all about these releases and your relationship with Vision…
Oh yes, it feels really good when another dream comes true. The story is that before my second official release, which came out as the Manifest EP on Data, I sent these tracks to Vision. It was somewhere at the beginning of 2020. I got the reply from the manager that I needed to wait for the guys’ feedback but there was no reply for about half a year. Now I understand that Vision really have lots of work, but back then I just though the music doesn’t fit and I sent it to Data. And got immediately signed all four tunes.
After we announced this release, I got the reply from Vision telling that “Alpha” fits the Mission 01 compilation. Due to my lack of experience with labels, I did not inform them the tracks were already signed. It was just a misunderstanding and I missed the chance to be released on Vision at the time.
After that we have much closer contacts with crew and thankfully, I was able to get to Mission 02 and make a remix on Entangled.
You’ve been on some really cool and respected labels since you emerged… Overview, Ekou, Vale, Lost, Demand, Hanzom, Impact, Incurzion, Vision… That’s such a sick list of labels. You must be happy with your journey and accomplishments so far? Tell me about this journey so far…
Oh mate, I’m happy that I worked with so many of great labels and become part of a big family. Most of the releases were singles or remixes but every time it was an incredible experience for me, because none of the guys were limiting me and each time it was tracks with different vibe and structure.
I think that in the three years of Moytra project I have done a lot of work, which gave me the listeners and lots of connections, some of great artists and labels support my music. And it’s just a beginning of the journey!
Sick! I’ve just realised that you remixed NickBee last year. I think that’s a lovely sign of rising above the politics and unifying musically and creatively. Was your remix of Dark Matter an important one for you?
When I found out I have the opportunity to remix NickBee, I honestly was very happy about it.
He’s a great producer and I’ve always admired and was influenced by his works. So yeah, it was really an important one!
Tell us about this mix you’ve done for us!
In this 30-minute mix I played plenty of fresh music from various artists around as well as my exclusive material. You better listen yourself and hope you enjoy!
What are the most important things a DJ mix should do in order to get your ears and appreciation?
I like to listen to more conceptual and eclectic mixes, club lives too, like it when there are interesting doubles drops, because it gives DJs some new ideas for their own performances. And I’m not into very monotonous style of mixes.
As for clubs… People are there to have a great time so the energy you put in the mix is important, but the more important is to play what you really feel yourself and enjoy this time with everyone around.
What comes next?
After the Face Your Fears EP is finally out, expect two new tracks from me. One of them is a collaboration with Trinist and the second is my solo tune. One very important remix of mine will come out after that. I don’t think I can talk much about it now but I can’t wait for you guys to hear it and the whole project. Expect it on May this year. At the moment I’m working on my new EP, which will be very different from the tracks you usually hear from me. So, let’s stay in touch. And thank you all for the support.