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May 27, 2015

Dasha Rush: Journeys Through Imagination

Piano notes.
Drones.
Echoed Lullabies.
A Poem. A Breath. An Enounter.
A Journey.
What is the importance of sensitivity in the Album Sleepstep? Could we describe the aestetic of it as romanticism?

For me sensitivity is a major element of music in general. When you are sensitive to everything that surrounds you, you find the need to express it, it’s the essence of creativity. I cannot analyse romanticism and related it to my own work, it’s too global. Of course certain elements are present, poetry for example, but I wouldn’t define the album as romantic, each part of it is so different. Dance with Edgar Poe refers to it for example. Edgar Allan Poe can be considered as a romantic writer but for me he would be more associated to mystery. He was a direct influence for the track; I fell asleep while reading one of his stories, I was in a half dreaming state, in that dream he was asking me to give him an answer. When I woke up, I wrote this piece, it was my own personal answer in music. It was one of the first piece I composed for the album and this half dreaming state gave me a lot of inspiration. Every piece is an expression of a different idea or layer of inspiration.

Is there a more philosophical aspect that we couldn’t describe in Sleepstep, a feeling under the surface?

If I had to put a concept on it, it would be really basic: life is a dream. The idea that nothing lasts forever, that dreams influence our imagination… You can see and feel things the way you want through them, they bring you a different conception of life. I think that is what I wanted to portray, as if I was a filter and could absorb things through my imagination. Every little piece has it’s own influence, my admiration of Albert Einstein and his capacity of thinking beyond things for example. There were a lot of different inspirations, I wouldn’t put it in one box. I think it’s expressed better in my music than in words (laugh).

Did the aesthetic of Raster-Noton influence the album?

It certainly had an impact on the visual aspect of the album, but the music itself was not composed with the idea of releasing it on Raster-Noton. When the manager of the label came to me, it took a while to agree on something. I have a lot of respect for Raster-Noton, but I was not sure it was the place for this album. They have a strong aesthetic which is different than what the album was for me. I thought at first that the label would be too masculine and digital, not as feminine as Sleepstep. But they showed me they wanted to progress and bring fresh ideas, and that’s what they found in the album. The process was very interesting, I think we learned a lot from each other. When we had to choose the artwork and the cover, I had my particular idea, but it was too theatrical for them and not minimalistic enough. Then we both understood what we were looking for and we were able to find an agreement. The final result, the psychologist ink test, really represents the album for me. It’s something semi conscious, it’s personal and impersonal at the same time.

Do you think that music should be conceptualized to express something stronger?

In my opinion, music should have an idea behind, which could be conceptual, intellectual, emotional, etc. It can be very subjective and it doesn’t have to be clear for the listener. Music isn’t material, you have tools to create something like you have colours to paint, but the music itself is not technical. You can touch the medium that transmits it, but you cannot touch the music itself. It expressed something that goes further than the medium. If you want to do something to touch the masses with the idea of making something that will work, it’s not art anymore. Art should be very personal and should come from an inner source. It’s something that you share with the audience. You always take the risk that people won’t necessarily feel something or understand and you have to accept this vulnerability.

We found some shared ideas between your album and All In All, the latest release of Cio D’Or; what is your impression about it?

It’s really hard to say objectively because I’m emotionally attached to her. I appreciate her personality and artistic sensibility. I find the album very beautiful. She is a master of minimalism, she can created really nice tiny spaces, it’s her own signature, her own universe. I think we have different universes but a similar feminine approach. I have the feeling I’m much more dramatic and she is wiser than me (laugh). We probably share things unconsciously too as we are friends.

What is that feminine approach you talk about and how would you translate it into techno music?

It’s hard to find a precise way to describe it in words. It’s more a sense. I can usually feel the feminine touch in the music, but maybe it’s just an illusion. We could say that women are more emotional and men more rational, but it’s not a rule, everyone has both sides of these personalities. Feminine can be dark and harsh as well, it happened to me that people were surprised to learn that I was a woman. There were a lot of women in the electronic music since the beginning, but techno in particular has a more masculine history, maybe that is why people still tend to link it to a masculine type of music. But after all, it’s just a style and now women are more on the surface.

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You will present Antarctic Takt at Mutek, what is the idea and the mood behind this project?

I won’t reveal everything but the main idea is an abstract journey to Antarctica. It’s the only continent that hasn’t been touched by human beings, the only pure continent. The introduction will show you why I chose this continent…
It will be my first time at Mutek, but it always seemed a very interesting festival. It seems to be oriented towards something else than the parties or entertainment, which is not a bad thing, but I think it’s really interesting to relate electronic music to contemporary art as well. I am very curious to discover it.

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