Interview: Volen Sentir
The boundary pushing Volen Sentir have just released a brand new stream called LIVE @ Magic Forest. The new stream overcomes the limits of house music in a brand new live video that is an immersive watch with mystic visuals as well as a world class soundtrack. This Moscow-based pair have recently received the Best Seller status on Beatport in the Progressive House genre for a second year in a row, and are known the world over for their unique ethnic house sounds on labels like All Day I Dream and Lost & Found.
The band’s artistry is filled with rhythmic melodies, powerful grooves and pure, all-natural harmonies. By merging these individual elements into a unified musical vision, Volen Sentir manages to create a unique neo-authentic sound where the sense of modernity harmoniously blends in with the echoes of various times, cultures and traditions and all of this is captured in the video of the new live show.
We had the pleasure to sit down and chat with the Russian duo:
How was 2020 for you, and how has 2021 started?
2020 started huge. In January we had several gigs in US, Mexico, Serbia, and South Africa, then Germany in February.
With no touring for most of 2020, what did you guys do with your time?
Actually some gigs happened in Russia. July, August and the rest of the year was full of beautiful events. Not so many, but so nice. For example on 8th of August in Moscow All Day I Dream with a local based label Artists was supercool. The crowd was about 2000 people on the floor. And you know, after this, there weren’t any epidemic problems, you know what I mean?
Also half of 2020 we were separated with David. He’s stuck in Armenia when borders were closed. Since March to September. But studio time was good and the circumstances were not affecting our music.
How did you both first meet, what was the spark for your partnership around Volen Sentir?
We met in early 2013. There were a lot of things in music and art, that we both love. Understanding of right groove and right sounds. On that moment we worked under our basic aliases: Dave & Anjei aka Poison Pro.
Since 2014 there has been a lot of work and hype around our Moscow-based Thunderlab Records. Good times, interesting, experimental releases and great parties around it all.
After release on Anjunadeep early 2017, an idea to create new Name has come (thanks to our friends Gorje Hewek & Izhevski)
When you are working in the studio on new music, how do you work together, who does what?
Every time is different. We share ideas and send projects to each other. Meeting in the studio workplace, adding elements one by one, and finishing tracks together.
What software and hardware do you use most, are you collectors?
We use Ableton live, Native Instruments based plugins. A Lot of them. And more. We have only one hardware synthesizer – Access Virus TI Desktop.
You guys are the best sellers in Beatport’s Progressive House genre for a second year. How does this make you feel?
It makes us feel like something that we do is on the right way. And when you can spread your love through the music and people can share it with you – it brings pure happiness.
Tell us about the new Magic Forest live-streamed performance – where was the concept born from?
Our music contains a lot of miscellaneous live instruments and various timbres. That leads us to the idea to play some parts by live musicians. We are still in love for DJ sets, it will be. But to create your own music journey, is joy of another level.
What were the challenges around the stream? It was very much a live show!
It was a real challenge. To record all musicians correctly, to mix all the stuff together. Finally to film all of us properly. The ambience of that location was specific, and was pretty cold there.
For example, the flutes got freezy and some of the notes were out of tune!
You are both transitioning towards performing as much more of a live entity – what hopes do you have for 2021?
Live Live Live. A hunger for shows, a passion to create new music worlds.