Hailing from Moscow Lay-Far is a production maestro that can do anything-electronic music, from super secret disco weapons to dance floor worthy deep house. He’s released on the likes of Razor N Tape, Local Talk, Leng and Wah Wah 45’s. Lay-Far has just released his long awaited third studio album – War is Over which gained support from some of the best DJ’s in the game, including: Gilles Peterson, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Soul Clap, Kraak & Smaak, Osunlade, Alexander Nut, Tensnake and so many more. Check the album over on bandcamp.
Lay-Far describes these workings as: deeply personal, honest, emotional and uncompromising. We now have the absolute pleasure and delight to chat a bit with Lay-Far about his roots, influences and creative process while taking in his new volume of our mixed by series.
Let’s take it back and start. Please can you tell us when and where you first connected with dance music?
Hey guys, that’s a very long story, but I’ll keep it short. Got started collecting music in 1996 with Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Moby, Orbital, The Future Sound of London and stuff like that and got deeper and deeper after that – discovering more obscure / underground music, different music cultures and getting to know the roots of it all. From 1999 I was actively involved in the local breaking (break-dancing) scene, which was a real eye-opener for me – I got so much from it intellectually, physically, mentally, spiritually.
What is the electronic music scene like in Moscow? Is this where you first broke out onto the DJ scene?
Love Moscow! It’s a very vibrant place. I mean it has been for a long time, but now we have artists known globally for their contribution to the music culture!
Moscow is the city where it all started for me professionally and I’m very thankful for all the challenges and opportunities it has been offering me. It’s keeping you motivated and active all the time.
Do you find yourself playing lots of your own music whilst DJing?
These days I tend to play more and more of my own stuff – original tunes, remixes, edits… I mean every time you are out there – you showcase your own unique style, taste, attitude, cultural vision, represent who you really are, entertaining the people and making sure they really enjoy themselves! What better way to express it all than to play the music that you actually made, especially when people expect you to ;-)
You have released lots of outstanding original music; in 2018 alone I count one album, four EP’s and remixes for the likes of Joey Negro, Lovebirds and Razor-n-Tape records. Firstly, how do you find the time? And please can you describe your very efficient creative process?
(“War Is Over” Album – In-Beat-Ween Music, Solitary High Social Club – City 2 City, Star 2 Star EP, Be The Change – In-Beat-Ween Music, Never Good Enough You – In-Beat-Ween Music, Even More Secret Weapons on G.A.M.M., remixes)
There is no real secret. Just do what you really feel and love and the rest will fall into place! My method is locking myself in the studio and watching the time pass by very quickly. I’m getting excited by trying various things out and experimenting with the sound and music approaches alone or with fellow musicians. The fun bit – the moment when you find the fresh idea – is what motivates me to come back for more!
Our favourite track from “War Is Over” Album is “The Pressure – The Release” – the one you produced together with with Recloose. You collaborate a lot, to name a few artists: Stee Downes, Jesse Futerman, Phil Gerus, Peter Simpson, Ashley Beedle and Riddim Research Lab. Are these friends you’ve made over your career? And do you work together in person or rather work remotely?
What I love about working with other people is the synergy! When you lock together in a certain groove, music idea – the writing process becomes so natural and fluent. The music just writes itself! There is no forcing of ideas – just a pure expression and registration of that moment in the form of the actually played music. But for that to happen you and your fellow musicians have to be kindred spirits. Music is the form of communication, right?
As for the actual working process – it can very – depending on the location of your friends, really. If possible we work “tete-a-tete” in the studio – if not – internet makes it easy as well, but then this process is a bit stretched in time and involves more revisions, afterthoughts.
You are also known for your remix work. Can you tell us what is different about approaching a remix compared to some original music? Do you find you can still connect emotionally with the music when completing a remix?
The approach is the same! I get a kick from a certain music idea, feeling, groove, sound, texture and develop it naturally just going with the flow. As for the emotional connectivity – I never do remixes of tracks which I don’t like originally, no matter what conditions are!
What does the future hold for Lay-Far?
For the rest of this year I’m concentrating mainly on touring globally with my new album “War Is Over”. Some more remixes will be released this year, but I have many exciting and versatile projects in the pipeline for 2019. So stay tuned for more info soon! ;-)
Finally please tell us how and where you recorded the mix.
I recorded it at home using my Technics turntables, CDJs and a Urei 1601 mixer.
Interview by Adam P