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Pavel Milyakov is one of the most exciting and intriguing talents to have risen from the Moscow underground. Spearheading a wave of underground Russian music, the producer’s first forays into creating tracks was as a guitarist in the punk band Midnite Cobras. Extending from beyond the setup of guitars, drums and bass, it’s after Milyakov turned his hand to producing that he’s since continued to prolifically release various strains of sounds via different aliases and his own birth name.

From the self-released 1984, Milyakov’s musical trajectory can be traced through to releases on labels such as crackaud.io residents Incienso, Will Bankhead’s The Trilogy Tapes, Citritrax – a sub-label of Veronica Vasicka’s Minimal Wave imprint – the Tokyo-based Citi-2 St Giga, Berceuse Heroique and Moscow’s Gost Zvuk, to name just a few. Beyond his own releases, the producer is driven by a desire to highlight and contribute to his own community, platforming esoteric underground music from Russia via his own label RASSVET, its monthly NTS residency and nights through the venue NII. His work doesn’t stop there, either, having crossed over into fashion when he soundtracked Gosha Rubchinskiy’s SS16 runway show, for which he stitched together stories from models to highlight the voices of a new generation.

While Milyakov’s multifarious approach to music has seen him produce lo-fi house, electro and experimental, spoken word tracks – what lies at the core of his latest release, badtrip, is the play of tensions. Paranoia is balanced against delirious joy, desolation and hope co-exist in a dystopian environment. The foreboding sense of dread creeps through sinister, distorted vocals; hypnotic melodies and loop-driven tracks pulse with the 4×4 template of gabber kick drums. The latest video from his new badtrip EP, tr-919 sees him build upon his visual discography. In the past, the producer has successfully evoked the atmosphere of the club through his videos – think repetitive clips of dancers and high-rise ceilings of clubs. His latest clip is somewhat nebulous, focusing on a blurred, shadowy dancer that shuffles to his latest single.

Below, we premiere the new video for tr-919 and discuss the ideas behind it with Milyakov.

What were the ideas behind the video?

The idea behind the video is to represent mood, images and sound movements of the track through filming the hardstyle shuffle dancers in a very special way. Video is filmed and directed by Oleksandra Trishyna, a visual artist from Kyiv. She recaptured these scenes with an old digital camera using specially prepared blurred lens and a nightshot effect, so it gives the image a very special and infernal feeling of mirage, like they are dancing somewhere in another world. So it reflects the mood of what I’m trying to achieve here – pumping and lively, but at the same time out of this world. Something like the macabre dance.

How does badtrip differ from your other works?

Musically the release is about exploring more dancefloor territories, which is for sure one of my interests in sonic research – although most of my time now I spend in creating quite abstract and beatless conceptual soundscapes under my own name. You could hear those kind of pieces at my Atonal live set in August. But still I am very interested in creating living textures in the paradigm of 4×4 sequences, which is for sure quite a big limitation in itself, because this construction is obviously repetitively boring so it’s even more interesting to try and get something that is alive out of these limits.

Does the narrative of your upcoming release relate to where we are now, culturally?

The narrative of the release and especially of its title is referring to the bad trip itself. Also it is a game of words, because the label is called трип, and its every release is a trip, so this one is obviously a bad one. Bad trip as a state of mind (or society in general) is full of paranoia, anxiety and fear. It also often has a loop kind of structure, where the repetitive thoughts and ideas layering one on another create a kind of paranoidal Hydra, which grows bigger when you try to cut its heads off.

Why do you think трип is the ideal label for your next EP?

I think that the concept and sound of this album fits well into the трип discography. I feel the albums that are released there are close to the things I do in badtrip. I really love the releases from Roma Zuckerman and Aleksi Perala, the incredible Solar-X reissue on трип sublabel Galaxiid and many others.

Listen back to Buttechno’s Crack Mix. badtrip is out now on трип.