Ahead of his release on Circus Company France record label we caught up with the stunningly astounding Oleg Poliakov to see what he’s all about.
That’s an interesting name you’ve adopted. Can you tell us the story behind it?
Mmmh… dunno if the story behind this worth it. I just wanted to change my nickname to start a new project. See my answer to next question.
What led you to take up a new moniker? Was it because you wanted to mark a directional change in your music?
Indeed yes, I wanted to do something more. .. Functional because I wanted my records to be played in club, such an immature call ! Furthermore, I thought the music I did under the Skat moniker didn’t interested so much people and I was totally wrong because I didn’t have so much feedbacks about it at that time. Anyway my old friends still call me Skat, I have that nickname since I have 18.
You started off making beats for MCs. Was hip-hop your major musical influence when you were younger?
Fortunately not, I always listened (and I keep doin it) different styles of music and you know , when you’re a so called Hip Hop producer you better be inspired by everything but Hip Hop (same every music I think) . Everything started with one single record when I was 11 and it changed my vision of music and it definitely opened my mind. It was a record from Brian Eno that my uncle used as an intro for my father’s radio show;
How did you feel after you’d made your first track?
The 1st true track I really finished was an Hip Hop track of course after we recorded the voices and everything, I felt good, empty and relieved at the same time … And from time to time I like to remember that track and that sample I recorded directly from the radio on a K7 then resampled with an ASR10 (I’d love to have it again) … was dirty but was so good !
How has hip-hop fed into your more recent productions, it it has at all?
Doing beats at that time brought me into the world of loops, and sampling techniques, . I was a Dj too, scratching and all, so digging for records and samples was part of the job too.
Do you still dabble in hip-hop at all, or is that firmly consigned to the past?
Not so much actually, that HH era is far behind me but I still enjoy to do beats on my MPC sometimes (cf. ghost track on my album :D), like a relic of the past.
I’m not into it anymore but I like to listen old stuff sometimes, like Black moon, De la soul, jungle brothers, Gangstarr, Mob deep etc … Timeless records … East coast u see .D
You then moved into radio production. What did you learn, musically, from this period in your life?
Sound techniques and team, to be precise, how to listen to a request, to analyse it, answer to it.
What made you switch into making more electronic based music?
Perhaps The ‘dancability’ of that music, the story behind it also, the way people enjoy the music dance and loose themselves on it. Which was very different from the HH environment where guys came to concert and stayed on the wall criticizing, testosterone useless things …
Do you ever revisit your work as Skat? How do you view that now?
Never, that was before.
What was it like working with Guillaume Coutu Dumont on the Destination Danger collaboration?
Guillaume and I are close friends and beyond that friendship, collaborate with him is very stimulating and we work very fast together. Someone has an idea, the other will answer within a minute to make this idea evolve etc …
How would you say your production style has evolved over the years?
It s always hard to qualify your own work, Nevertheless I think it’s maybe more mature … for what it worth.
What technology out there has had the greatest influence / helped with this evolution in style?
Not any one really, actually technology tends to make things easier for everyone which is nice, and now, everyone can have access to music productions and techniques but personally I see it as a regression for creativity.
I noticed that people don’t really dance anymore in clubs, I think this has to be related with the lack of energy in nowadays productions, and so to that same technology, I m talking about dance music here. I still believe that you can do fantastic and timeless things with the minimum of equipment. I will try to go in that direction in the future. It s the brain versus the plugins.. I wish I could work without any oomputers at all … but I don”t have the meanings to do it for now.
How do you approach your own compositions these days?
I Just can talk about the last EP on Synchrophone and the ones on Circus Company; I feel that I do interesting things again. Now, with the album done I feel I can start something new, fresh. I mean not only DF oriented music but perhaps something more musical.
Who are the major influences on both you as a producer?
If by producer you mean someone in the electronic scene … I couldn’t say … they are too much producers who inspired me, and I still buying records every week and I’m still amazed by the high level of productions but I have to say I feel closer to producers who made the techno and house history, you know them already. Someone like Philippe Cam influenced me a lot for textures among others. Other wise I would say Brian Eno for sure because he’s versatile and muli-talented.
If you could team up with any other producer to make a track, who would that be? Or they be, for that matter?
If it would match between that producer and I, then a track wouldn’t be enough. A long format record at least would be nice among others possibilities. By the way we already did an album with Guillaume and Gabriel Coutu Dumonts. We still don’t have a label to release it but this project is a beautiful and interesting one. You can still contact me if you want to hear more ;D
You’ve got a new album in the pipeline. Can you tell us some more about that?
Well what else can I say ? It’s my 1st album, I should have done it a few years ago I think but anyway it’s there and I’m happy and relieved, I think it represents me quite well because ot the diversity you can find on it, This crystallizes the past years in terms of productions with a more introspective approach due to the long format, and it would let me think my next projects differently now, For now I need some freshness, new way of doing things, new perspectives,
Aside from the new album, what does the future hold in store for Oleg Poliakov?
A 2nd album for sure and I would like to do an ambient album too, I have ideas, I just need time. If I feel that I could bring something to house / techno music, I don’t need to release records every months, I think i’d rather focus on timeless records now.