An Interview & Guestmix- Impish (CIA Deepkut)

As drum and bass enthusiasts, over time we will have marked our ‘go-to’ labels that have consistently quenched our thirsts for the styles we like. One of our favourites has to be dnb legends, Total Science’s ‘C.I.A Records’. Raw, unrestricted and pure drum and bass that is yet to let us down. They maintain a quality over quantity ethos which is always a winner in our books so you don’t feel over saturated with their releases and have time to appreciate before the next one rolls out. Their next offering is from Russian producer, Impish.

Impish has been dropping great music since around 2014. He has appeared on labels such as Fokuz and Program and portrays a slightly more cut-back style, with powerful basslines and rolling drums being focal points of a lot of tracks. Ahead of his release on C.I.A we thought it best to catch up with the man and get a little more insight into what he’s about!

Firstly for those that are new to your name, lets get a bit of background.. Where are you from and how did the name ‘Impish’ come about?

Hello, glad to meet you. My real name is Roman, I am from Moscow, Russia. Actually i guess about 15-20 years ago on one of the Internet forums dedicated to the band Korn, friends gave me that nickname. So I started to use this nickname for everything I do.

 You’ve been on the radar for a few years now with releases on some well known labels such as Fokuz, Program and now the legendary C.I.A.  What’s the story behind signing your latest release with the Total Science lads?

I watched these guys for a long time and have a lot CIA / Total Science vinyl in the collection. I often share my tracks with my friend Freddie (FD) and one day he sent few of them to the guys and that is it.

How would you describe your sound for someone that hadn’t heard before?

I’m not limited to one genre / sub-genre, so hard to say, but if to talk about dnb, mostly I love old school, deep, neuro, a little bit of liquid-funk and I try to combine these sub-genres. I especially like when the drums sound tight and clear, so it turns out something new.

You run your own label, Occulti Music. How long have you been doing that and what prompted you to do so?

First long ago we have started events ‘Burning Series’ in Moscow, there we tested our first dubplates, then started label Occulti Musica in 2011 with a first legal press run. We wanted our music to be heard not only in Moscow but also in other cities and countries. So we started the official label and began to sell our vinyls abroad. Now we also run strictly vinyl record label ‘Mayak Rec’ exploring deep house and techno vibes, and OCT:LTD (Occulti Limited) for deeper and more minimalistic drum and bass, also focused on releasing VIP mixes of unreleased tracks as well as new material with an emphasis on the ‘dubplate’ cutting culture of days gone past.

 Hailing from Moscow, what is the scene like over there?

I think we have many artists we can be proud of. Enei, Intelligent Manners, Command Strange, Eastcolors, Bop, ESS, Cutworks (now Cutworx), Agbo, Skyweep and many others, so we’re all good. Regarding events we hold our monthly events Burning Series within the label with local djs and producers. Also if you are here do not miss “Night Grooves” hold by Intelligent Manners – personally my favourite event after Burning Series. Always good, home atmosphere and the proper dnb only. Also, we have some yearly big festivals like Pirate Station – festivals dedicated to more heavy music, mostly mainstream which is not my style nowdays.

What can we expect from you over the next 6 months, gigs, releases etc?

Regarding gigs, I’m always opened for cooperation. In Moscow you can catch me on the Burning Series dnb night every month. Regarding d&b music releases i am going to release third vinyl LP this year, the first ‘Hush’ album sampler dropping early July on the Occulti Music featuring the tracks Can’t Feel / That’s Right.

Who else are you currently rating in the drum and bass scene?

I like what do guys like Zero T, Break, DLR, Mako (Utopia Music), Villem, Ed:It, FD, Random Movement, Alix Perez, Nymfo, Survival, Spectrasoul, Duo Infernale (but not very active these days), and a long list here. Regarding our new guys i look forward to releases from Agbo, Cutworx.

Big up for laying down our latest In-Reach mix series. Do you plan it out or just go straight in with an improvised mix?

Glad you like it, it was a warm-up set, recorded on the 3rd of June on the Burning Series d&b night in Moscow.

Can you give us an insight into your studio set up?

I have 2 rooms in my home studio, mastering and production / control. Monitoring with: Adam a8x + some subwoofers, Beyer Dynamic DT 770, shit-control: Creative Inspire P380. For the production i often use DBX products, my favourite is budget DBX 166 which i use for the drums. iMac, Macbook Pro, Mackie mixers. few Numark TT200 / Numark USB / Technics turntables.

 Top 3 tunes in the bag at the moment?

Impish & Vasilisa – Lie

Impish – Can’t Feel

AX Farel – Cork Up (Impish Remix)

Any final words?

Thank you for your interest, questions and for reaching out, thanks to all family, mom, dnb fans, and everyone who supports. 

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