An impeccable journey from the forward-thinking TrES-2b artist
This latest 1 More Mix comes courtesy of none other than Russian renegade LeStR… And what a journey he has in store for all of you!
We’re treated to blends old school and new as he takes us down a dark, deep wobbly road. Having been on the scene for a number of years now, you can certainly hear some of his inspiration and imagination powering through every sizzling twist and turn on this mix.
Production-wise he’s just as sharp: over his career so far his discography boasts releases with the likes of Ram Records, Grid Recordings, INVISIBLE and TrES-2b. An artist who puts his feelings and emotions into his work, his love for the whole genre spectrum can really be heard throughout his discography and mixes. Mixes like this…
Press play, be prepared for an almighty trip and read on to find out about his mix craft, his love for UK-influenced sounds and his own trail through the wonderful world of drum & bass.
An artist who works and lives in the moment, LeStR tells us more about how his unique and gritty sound has developed, what’s to come in the future and some real modest advice for budding producers and DJs. An artist who loves every nook and cranny of the scene, he reminisces about his love and admiration of the characters he’s met along the way from his homelands scene.
So kick back, buckle up, listen in and feast your eyes as we learn about all things LeStR!
Wow, well that mix was an amazing journey! Thank you! But how about you? How did your journey into music begin?
Thank you! Well, my love with electronic music started with The Prodigy, I was a very obsessive fan. It kickstarted my passion to try producing myself. The journey into drum & bass started from listening to different mixes from Pirate Station and Therapy Sessions events. I got fully into it in 2008, thanks to Noisia’s Stigma/Crank single – that blew me away!
Seeing the track list before listening to the mix made it even better hearing it all piece together, what is your thought process when preparing a mix?
It was improvisation in the vein of my latest release. Beforehand, I only planned to keep this mix focused more on the darker and murky style with some rolling sprinkles. So it’s all going with the flow. I recorded it live on some dodgy setup, so there are little mistakes here and there, but I think it adds up the raw feeling to it with the hectic pace.
Is that an honest reflection of a LeStR club set?
Not really! I love and produce many styles of drum & bass, so it kind of reflects in my sets too. That particular mix is only a small part of what I like to play. Give me five hours, and I’ll go full on into it any day!
Go on! When you discover new tracks that you really like the sound of, do you try to include them into your latest mixes?
As I said, I genuinely love every corner of D&B, from autonomic sound to current jump up with frogs croaking at each other. I am certain that drum & bass is one of the most broad genres, it’s so diverse… So there is always a place and moment for every track that I like.
There is an eclectic range of artists that feature in this mix, some old school, some new school. Who were your inspirations?
Yes, I always like to mix old and new stuff. For me, it fits perfectly when executed well. I will never find myself playing only new and current stuff. I am always wanting to sneak something from the past, there are tons of absolute gems that cannot be topped by current productions. Old but gold!
Regarding my inspirations within drum & bass: Alix Perez, Noisia and in no particular order: dBridge, Data, DJ Hazard, Instra:mental, Ivy Lab, Rockwell and Sub Focus.
With a mix craft like yours, there is no doubt you have a bright future ahead. Are there any goals on your bucket list that you hope to achieve in the near future?
Hopes and goals are always in my head, but sometimes it’s better to just focus on what are you doing right now. Music is my main passion and I just want to continue being in it fully emerged.
Russia is known for its love of heavier, neuro side of drum & bass, why do you think that is? Can you describe what the Russian drum & bass sound is to you?
To be fair, I prefer to distance myself from the current state of it. For me, Russian drum & bass sound was stuff that Subwave was making around 2010, Enei coming to the scene with his signature productions and Bop too. It was very forward-thinking music even back then. Actually, the compilation Future Sound of Russia by Hospital Records was a great representation of that sound, it showcased the great potential that all the artists had. Very emotional, melodic and peculiar stuff! But that type of music will never get a broad reach, it will never pack a festival. You always need something loud and direct at your face like jump up in most countries now, for example. Which is good on its own and kudos to the Russian neuro community, they championed their own sound and pushed it to the forefront.
Your productions have a little more UK flavour than your Russian peers, would you agree and why?
Yes, it’s heavily UK influenced, because from the beginning I was focusing on the core of it. Thanks to Russian forum “dnbarena.ru”, it basically shaped my taste in D&B. IMHO, at its peak, it was even better than DOA forum! Mad people there… a few crazy guys who knew every ID of some big guy DJ set with all dubs in it! For those old times it was impressive as it gets! It’s a very good community with a genuine love for music, countless discussions on forthcoming releases etc. So it played a major role in me being in touch with all things drum & bass related. And of course most of it was a UK-based movement, so I absorbed it all. Now I miss places and forums like this, where you can gather all information with interesting discussions and local themes.
Your new single Snitchez / Meeting The Impeccable is well… Impeccable! The bass world knows you hate rats and snitches, how did it come about?
Thanks! It all came about last winter, I just wanted to translate some anger and dirtiness into those tracks. Big thanks to Benny L and Trimer with their TrES-2b Music imprint for having me on!
We’ve seen you work with some awesome labels in the past, are there any labels you would love to release with in the future? Any surprises in store?
Nothing special at the moment, I am very thankful for the opportunity to release at such seminal labels like Ram Records, Invisible Recordings and Grid Recordings in the past. Big labels will come with good tracks, no doubt in that for sure!
What are your upcoming plans for the next year? Any more Albums, EPs, Singles or gigs on the way?
Nothing planned as yet, but what I can say for sure is that I will try my best to come up with good music that will express my emotions and energy in it. It’s a hard thing to translate what you have in your head to a finished product. It takes a lot of time, skill, and dedication. Trying to produce too many subgenres doesn’t help it either. Most likely, you will hear more mixes from me this year, where I will showcase my love to other sides of drum & bass and my own production takes on them.
What advice would you give to talented producers/DJs to keep them on track to be successful?
I feel like I am not in the position to give such advices, but what I would like to say is towards all UK based producers and DJ’s, enjoy your opportunity to be at the heart of this great culture! Sometimes people take things for granted, it’s better to take your time, appreciate that you are living in the centre of this movement and just enjoy this moment at its fullest!