Release Date: Apr 23, 2013
Record label: Software
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Club/Dance, Dubstep, Bass Music
In the last year or two, New York's Slava Balasanov, best known for releasing old school-style house on labels like Future Times and Mathematics, has shifted to less traditional blueprints. The Moscow-born artist grew up in Chicago, and though the city's musical legacy remains an influence on his work, he's also moved on from classic house in favor of one of its modern descendents: footwork. Last year's Soft Control, his debut for Daniel Lopatin's Software imprint, brought a tender new dimension to footwork, combining its raunchy sexuality and DJ Spinn's sentimental soul.Perhaps because Balasanov is an outsider to Chicago's actual footwork scene, the style of his music is hard to pin down.
For years, dance music was gripped by a compulsion to sort its constituent material into ever more finely grained categories, so that a style like drum n' bass could spawn dozens upon dozens of sub-subgenres, each with its own precise aesthetic definition. Thankfully the easy digital exchange of music and the influx of new participants in the culture who aren’t bound by received orthodoxies has helped to break this taxonomical fever, and the dance music artists most worth paying attention to right now are the ones paying the least attention to the lines drawn between styles. ; ones like Moscow-born, Chicago-raised, Brooklyn-based producer Slava Balasanov, for instance.
Slava Balasanov spent the first 12 years of his life in Moscow prior to moving to Chicago. He devoted a few years to playing jazz guitar, abandoned the instrument, and immersed himself in electronic music. He was a quick study. By 2008, he was releasing his own productions on a label he co-founded ….
A couple of years ago, I found myself at a village regional harvest in South Eastern Poland. It was quite the event; people were setting up stalls and selling fresh produce, drinking cold bottles of Zubr, and enjoying the sunshine. At one point during the afternoon, an announcement was made and spectators slowly began to crowd around a congregation of children who were all kitted out in regional attire.
When your birth name translates to “glory,” the expectations put on you from day one are automatically high. Russian-American producer and visual artist Slava Balasanov, who goes by Slava, might never make music that you’d equate with something as lofty as glory, but he was able to produce a sweet and zesty footwork-rhythm-heavy follow-up to his 2012 EP, Soft Control.The new record is titled Raw Solutions and it’s filled with intense, stuttering drums and R&B samples. I know you’re probably thinking that you’ve heard enough of this kind of music for one lifetime, but Slava’s ability to add an upbeat twist to each song is what makes this album stand out.