TLDR: As A&R Coordinator, Max Flyant helps keep Silk Music progressing.
Silk Music has been a label to watch out for for since its 2007 beginnings as “Silk Digital Records”, a Moscow born imprint began by a small group of music loving friends. Now the Silk Music umbrella covers 5 main divisions managed by a team of 10, and they’re not slowing down anytime soon. While covering a wide range of underground electronic sounds, Silk Music and its sub-labels are able to continuously release carefully selected tunes that fit with their high standards and benefit the overall industry landscape. The selection process to find the artists that fit Silk Music’s vast catalog and meet future goals is a formidable task, but one that the A&R coordinator Max Flyant handles gracefully and gratefully. On top of his many other tasks including recording his bi-monthly Only Silk show on FRISKY, Max is able to keep the label he helped create continuing down a successful path through his direction.
To learn more about Silk Music and the role of A&R coordinator for this expansive group of labels, I caught up with Max:
Could you share the origin story and current goals of Silk Music?
First of all, please let me introduce myself: my name is Maxim Flyantikov; in electronic music circles I’m better known as simply “Max Flyant”. I have been involved in music for decades. I began my path through the world of the electronic melodies, synthesizers and beats with some pretty heavy genres: goa trance, psychodelic techno, drum’n’bass, jungle and even hardcore. This music opened a brand new (incredible) world for a 13-year-old me, back in 1999!
A more conscious love and understanding of electronic music appeared in 2001, when I met Alexey Golovanov, better known as Mango. Way back then, Alex had access to the most releases of trance, progressive house and techno in our scene, compiled in the “Kontor – Top of the clubs”, “Dreamdance” and “Technodrome” series. That was the moment that changed my vision of electronic music entirely.
The first division of our Silk Music label collective was born on July 17th, 2007, during a long walk with Mango around the city of Moscow. After several hours of discussion, we finally chose the name “Silk Digital Records”. Together with three friends, we launched the new label very quickly, created the official website for it, developed serious relationships with partners, and gathered many young and promising musicians from around the world under our wing.
In January 2008 our first release saw the light; seven years later, “Silk Music” is now a company with 5 main divisions under its umbrella (Silk Digital, Silk Royal, Silk Sofa, Silk Textures & Arrival), which are managed by the team of 10 people. I am an A&R coordinator for Silk Music. I also co-host a bi-weekly “Only Silk” radio show on Frisky Radio, together with progressive house veteran Shingo Nakamura. I see the future in bright colors, since I am surrounded by loyal friends, I’m busy in a career that I truly enjoy.
My reward is the opportunity to spread high-quality and beautiful music around the world.
What have you learned in the last few years as A&R for Silk Music that you wish you knew at the beginning?
By the end of 2006 I didn’t know what does a label mean or do. I had to start from absolute zero, educating myself, reading articles, checking webpages of my favorite labels and artists, consulting with the label managers. The only thing I regret is that I hasn’t started this all earlier — back in 2003, ideally. Progressive music was in the midst of a “Golden Age” at that time. Back in 2007, it would have been great to realize the potential of social networks for our business in advance.
What do you look for in new artists / releases? How important is fitting with your brand, versus a solid track you enjoy?
When we look for the new artists and check new demos we always seek for a mixture of emotions and high quality sound standards that each and every label release should represent, without exceptions. Fitting our brand, our philosophy and our vision is the key factor to get released on one of our labels. We won’t ever sign a track, simply because it’s a “dancefloor killer” or has a potential to be featured on big radio shows or compilations.
What do you think is the most challenging part of your position with Silk Music?
The most challenging part of my job is to keep the firm sound of Silk Music labels recognizable and enjoyable for our fans — old and young, yet keep pushing boundaries for further development of the whole company by recruiting new talents, releasing big projects and keeping high standards of music quality at the same time.
What is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part is the music itself, which I still enjoy so much. Another great reward is to see how something I used to consider as a nice hobby has eventually transformed into a serious professional pursuit.
Tell us about your upcoming Only Silk compilation:
It’s one of my biggest and most personal projects to date. The whole compilation concept was born in 2012 as a logical continuation of our bi-weekly radio show called “Only Silk” (we’ve just celebrated a 100th episode of it on Frisky Radio this March, by the way). Two previous episodes of this yearly compilation were solely mixed by Silk Digital’s veteran — Shingo Nakamura. They gained great interest amongst our fans, which encouraged us to keep on developing this series further. During the demo submission stage for Only Silk 03 compilation in January we received so many tracks, that Shingo asked me personally to join him in the project. Instead of one mix as it was before, we’re going to have 2 mixes: I will start with a selection of deep house / progressive house tunes to warm up the audience before Shingo’s more upbeat progressive house and trance mix. The whole compilation will consist of 25+ previously unreleased tracks from Silk’s veteran artists, as well as new names. The release is scheduled for late May, there will also be a couple of samplers launched beforehand, showcasing several tracks from the compilation.
Thank you to Max Flyant for the insight into the background & future of Silk Music! Be sure to tune into the Only Silk show, airing bi-monthly on FRISKY. You will hear the latest and upcoming tracks from the Silk Music family as well as finely selected tunes chosen by two dedicated and passionate progressive DJs.