As the evening glow of the sunset enveloped Montreal's skyline, a steady crowd flowed in and out of the doors of Musée d'art Contemporian for the premiere of Dasha Rush's Antarctic Takt for MUTEK16. Bringing together ambience and self-discovery, Dasha drew the crowd into a hypnotized state of transcendence. As the message "THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING HERE" was relayed through visuals at the end of Antarctic Takt, a moment of reflection erupted from the audience as Dasha brought together unwinding textures and left us contemplating our future steps as humankind.
What were your initial plans when you first launched Fullpanda?
I didn't really have a plan when I started. It comes from maybe releasing my own music because that was the idea... It was the question of independence. I just wanted to be independent, so I decided to open my own label so I could release my own music or my friend's music. But I didn't have a business plan at all or anything like this.
Under your own label, do you choose to stick to a specific sound?
Fullpanda is techno orientated label. If you want to classify it as a style, it's a techno label. But techno is so diverse and it's even more complex now than before because there are technical possibilities and ideas that are different. If it's dark and hard but it has something to it, I'll release it. And if it's soft and beautiful, I'll release it too. It's not a matter of one picture... You can like paintings and movies; you can like drama, tragedy, and comedy -- it's the same as music. As long as it has something that attaches you. And of course its subjective and personal, but as long as it has this emotional content that has an impact on you, that's the most important for me.
So when you're releasing off of different labels such as Raster-Noton, do you feel a similar connectivity?
Not at all. It's a totally different procedure when you work with other people; it's a collaboration. In terms of Raster-Noton, I gave one of my babies to them. I'm a mother of the album but they're the father... they helped me bring it out. It's just a totally different procedure, a different mood. But you learn a lot from collaboration because a lot of people aren't doing things the same as you, so you find this territory where you both agree on things and have something in common. It's always interesting.
At what point in life did you realize your imagination for the arts?
It's hard to say. I could say it's from the childhood. I think every child has the same thought capacity and grounds in an imaginary world, that's the reality. But when you grow, some people lose it and some people don't. I believe that everybody has inside them a capacity to express themselves in terms of any media arts. But for some people, it's just not interesting. They don't need it. They feel happy with other things.
Some people could say that going towards an artistic career path (stability, monetary) can be frightening. How did you push yourself past the fear of instability?
I didn't really have a fear of instability probably because culturally, in the environment I grew up in, it was stable and then it collapsed. I think Russian people are easily talked-up to drastic changes. Of course you have all sorts of fears as a human but that particular thing that "I don't have a stable job and can't pay my rent", I just never had this fear. Of course because I have a child, it's a bit more complex than that. But when you're young, you just do things that feel right to do. There's no strategy. For me, it was just natural processes first. There were not so many people telling me to be careful.. probably because I was always by myself anyway [giggles].
I have often seen you referred to as a “citizen of the world” as you have lived and travelled the globe. Did you leave these cities with a different touch to your music?
I think the places you stay for a longer period have an impact musically and artistically on you but i thin it has a lot to do with a question of age. Because when I was in Japan I was really young and I was playing really hard music but that was an inner me... I was rebellious and whatnot so I don't think its only the city but its also your inner development. It's your emotional state and your hormonal state. And you know there are a lot of aspects that can influence musical and artistic parts of us. So, I think it's not only the place you live but how you see things. I don't think borders, countries, and policies. I like cultural but "citizen of the world," is more of a reference to the fact that there are no borders to music or anything in life.