Podcast / 26 August 2021

VOLTAGE Podcast 15 - Nastia Reigel

A key figure in Russian techno community, Nastia Reigel started out by throwing illegal dance parties in Siberia when she was just 18. That tenacity and dedication later found her in St.Petersburg in 2018, launching the first-ever queer parties in town called Грань (Grahn’) which was written up in DAZED Magazine. Later, following the footsteps of Грань events, she launched O-Zine Radio – a podcast that intends to introduce, emphasize, and unite queer musicians from Russia and across the globe.

Nastia's obsession with achieving deeper understanding of electronic music, modern art and developing techno sound finds its reflection in her mixes and production. As a multidisciplinary artist, Nastia has written music for several art-house films, which has broadened her scope as a musician well beyond techno, to various other experimental audio and visual projects.

Interview

Did you go in a specific direction for the mix? What were you trying to get across with the track selection?

It’s the set recording from my party Грань (Grahn’) that took place in Mutabor August 7th. So this is a reflection of the mood that night.

Pick a track you played in the mix and give us some background on it. How you found it, why you like it/why it’s different, anything!

The opening track - The Empty Centre. It was released quite recently but recorded by Regis in the era of Sandwell District, which had a strong influence on me at one time. Also the track of mine, called Velvetfly. It was released on a compilation for UNICEF named Era Novum II, which is an idea I really stood behind. Overall I like every track in the mix.

Tracklist handwritten by Nastia Reigel - a typed out version can be found underneath the interview

The first thing mentioned in your Resident Advisor biography, is your history with throwing illegal raves. Meanwhile you’ve shared stages with some of the biggest names within the (Russian) techno scene.

What’s a pro and a con we might not think of when comparing the more impulsive and chaotic free raves with a more well-organized, multi-stage event / festival?

The illegal raves mostly happened years ago in Siberia, the time when club culture didn’t exist at all over there. It was just the beginning, it felt very chaotic but so interesting at the same time. It brought along lots of mistakes, but you learn from it and make the next events better. Nowadays we have more possibilities in order to host more well-organized parties and that’s great. It makes everything safer, with better sound and so on.

The other side is the promo and marketing. It’s a big part of events now. On illegal raves we didn’t think about it at all, everything was natural and even when I throw parties nowadays I do so without a dedicated marketing budget.


You’ve been a name at the forefront of the representation of queer musicians within the Russian scene for quite some time, which you under more show(ed) by hosting the first-ever queer "Грань" (Grahn) events in Sint-Petersburg in 2018.

What’s key in hosting events, it could be communication-, organization-, music-, or even production wise, in order to give the queer community a safe and happy space when going out?

The main idea is always to unite people. It’s great to have events where everybody can have fun and feel safe. The key to creating that space is just by bringing queer people, queer-friendly, open-minded people, and true music lovers together. After that it’s easy; people from the audience get to know each other, share experiences and just have fun.

How does Russia’s society look at the queer community and events & how does it differ from other European capital cities like Brussels, Berlin, London etc.?

The openness and acceptance is only just getting started over here. The main difference is the government’s pressure, which is way stricter than in the European capital cities where that mindset is more evolved.

Nastia Reigel's live setup from the last Грань (Grahn’) event, used to record the VOLTAGE Podcast mix.

Next to being the founder of “Гран”, you’re also the curator of the brand new, pro-queer O-Zine Radio series. Just a couple episodes in, what more can we expect?

The idea is to unite all queer artists, without implying any genre boundaries. That last part is very important to me, I don’t want you to be able to expect what comes up next. It could be noise, classical music or anything within the electronic spheres.

What else is coming up for you? What are you most excited about in the near future?

I’m working on my own label and planning to launch it soon. Also a few big Грань events with awesome lineups! More on all of this very soon!

Tracklist:

Regis - The Empty Centre (Downwards)
Border One - Node (Key)
Dustin Zahn - Studio 5/4 (Blueprint)
Oscar Mulero - Area (Suburban Avenue)
Fadi Mohem and Rodhad - 210407.2 (WSNWG)
Crime As Service - Pegasus (Modularz)
Rene Wise - Marbles (Mote-Evolver)
Altinbas - Anaphora (Voltage)
Fadi Mohem - CX Sketch (Sspb)
Blue Hour - Reef II (Alfredo Mazzilli Remix) (Blue Hour Music)
EQD - #009A (Equalized)
Ctrls - 2 Meters (Key)
Concentrate - Timewarp (Developer Remix) (Gynoid Audio)
Nørbak - Myelination (Lewis Fautzi Remix) (Soma)
Nastia Reigel - Velvetfly (Blocaus)
Tensal - Kalyke (Arts)
Dold - For Life (Arsenik Records)

Next up: Locked Groove

Interview by: Michiel Demeulemeester
Editorial Team: Noah Hocker and
Michiel Demeulemeester