Saving lives and making music: A Day in the Life of Qoob’s Kirill Andreev
Russian Producer/DJ Kirill Andreev goes specifically as one half of the contemporary electronic music act we know by the name of Qoob, his musical sensibilities always manage to put together a techy framework with outer casings of classic Progressive rhythms, and flutters of melodic goodness that sit perfectly in sync with the current dance music scene. Keeping his music score and living in cosmopolitan New York gives his music that edgy veneer, all the while he is a naturally private and modest person. A career which allows him the freedom to indulge his passions—DJing, producing and photography, when he feels more inspired by one medium or the other.
But you could tell he wondered why we were eager to talk to him. The questions probably running through his mind: Would there be enough talk of the past to give his career context? Would there be mentions of his art, to ensure that people understood that he took music seriously… but that it wasn’t the defining feature of his artistic career?
And what about the future? This shouldn’t be a memorial either, a career overview that leaves aside the fact that he’s busier than ever, whether taking breath-taking captures that speak a thousand words, or getting out those tight floor moving releases.
Presenting Kirill Andreev aka Qoob:
I start my day typically at 6 a.m from the fresh coffee fragrance emanating from the kitchen, my wife and I always eat breakfast together, and then the feeding and walking with two our dogs, preparing for a regular working day.
We usually jump in to our car by 7.30 and I drive her to her work place. Thereafter if I am lucky I have some time to relax, listening to or creating music, selecting daily promos, preparing for radio shows or guest mixes, playing with my dogs and the usual social media and waiting for a service calls.
I am currently working on a manufacturing company. We are focusing our energy on saving lives. We equip the world with new tools for fighting cancer by exposing tumors with little dose of radiation. I am on a Field Service Engineer team and we support those multi-million costs and very complex machines. It is a really good place to implement my education and all my previous experiences. This is a great motivation for me to improve my skills on an ongoing basis. People’s lives are on the line and sometimes it depends on my work ethics. It is sometimes really stressful and hard but it’s worth it.
During the day I travel all over New York and fix problems on these machines in different clinics with a lot of overtime involved. Now I am in training, it will last over 1 year before I get all my certificates.
Training time requires a lot of traveling to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles to name some. I’ve had great experiences and a lot of fun alongside quite a bit of hard work in the last couple of months. Each new place gives me new emotions and I transfer it to my music, always trying to make music with a story behind it. Every track has its own tale. I know everyone who makes music knows it well. I am not alone in this respect.
When asked about the music scene he grew up on what and when the interest in electronic dance music take place, Andreev has this to say –
Thanks to my parents I listened to a variety of music at home, we had an impressive Vinyl collection ranging from Rock, Pop, Jazz et al. I recall my earliest electronic initiation was to sounds from Jean Michel Jarre, Schiller and then of course who didn’t listen to Pink Floyd and Space.
I started DJing during my school years where they hosted dance events every 2 weeks, I recall I really loved Hardcore and Techno. After that I worked as a DJ in my university years, at the campus club that had an industrial design and 3 different dance floors. I always played at the underground dance floor. I used to play Trance, Techno alongside Drum`n`bass and House. Which reminds me of 1998 when I happened to be at one of the biggest raves of the city and I heard God Is A DJ by Faithless and I knew exactly then that this is what I wanted to do, to go in this very direction.
After some years I kind of went in to Pirate radio, restricted raves, recording BBC Essentials radio programs with John Digweed, Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Tenaglia and then all the traveling for gigs came after 10 years of me being a DJ, all this even before Qoob took shape.
Exactly the time to ask how his music project Qoob took off as collaboration with fellow producer Eugene Maltsev, how they met etc. –
It is funny because initially we never met personally, Russia is huge and the distance between us was about 2500 km. We did meet a few times when I was on the business trips at his city, but think it was more spiritual than anything else. We understood each other well and that was all that mattered. Eugene has a really great music taste plus his track selections just awesome. Our process is free style. We start from the idea and share the musical sketch to each other, after that playing around the composition and sound structure. Our influences are similar; we both love an international sound, electronic music from James Holden, Nathan Fake, Aphex Twin, and other pioneers. Thereafter we tried to get our own set of sounds as a unit.
I also get around to what is his studio set up is –
We are really unpretentious in terms of studio gear. I have a few analog synthesizers from Arturia, midi keyboard Korg Control 49, Akai APC40, and two pairs of studio monitors, Technics and M-Audio. Eugene has pretty much the similar basic gears. I believe that is all you need nowadays and a good laptop or desktop computer and creativity. Presence of expensive gears at your studio will not help, if your ideas are not sound.
2016 was a tough time for me, which is why I hardly had much music released, but I am in a better space already.
Yet there’s been time to release original works and as well as remixes on labels such as Stripped, Lowbit, Black Hole to name some, does the method change when reworking others work and Andreev is quick to ramble –
I always feel a certain sense of responsibility for the remixes, it is more exciting than working on my own music. I have a time frame, I have an original track from another producer with its own energy and I always try to open the potential of the composition as much as I can. Original tracks have more spontaneous nature. I can work on something for few months but sometimes I make it in 3-4 hours. I don’t feel any difference between my attitudes based on a label. Almost all labels are hosted by our friends and it is always a pleasure to sign another track with a friendly establishment. Some great news will come very soon.
I am curious to know of his upcoming projects and he says –
I have releases on Replug, Modern Agenda, Honey Drops, Stellar Fountain, Whose House plus some remix work. Also July 10th we release our mini album which is ambient, downtempo, electronica music heavy. This release will be on Honey Drops label, hosted by Amber Long. It will be the first release on this label and I am really proud to open it up for people to hear.
Steering the topic to his other hobby, it’s fascinating to realize how it all is as passionate a pursuit as the other –
I never treat myself as a photographer. I just capture my surroundings, nature and things. I love to catch the beautiful moments; I use mostly my phone and action camera. I don’t have any desire to buy the world’s greatest camera or sending my shots to agencies to purchase. It is just a part of my lifestyle. I love to travel and sometimes I see some great views to capture them for memory.
Time to wrap up and ask if you were to have to choose between photography vs DJ/producer, which one would you go for, and Andreev’s sense of candor is endearing –
I am happy and I will never be in this situation to choose between music and photo. It is exists together and is a part of my life in an organic way. I would like to keep them at a balance. But again I never pretended to be a photographer. But I do pretend to be a good producer.
Qoob has had many excellent guest mixes on FRISKY, including the latest from Voice of Nature. Listen now!: