There is a magic in the merging of two minds to produce music as one, each person’s perspectives finding a parallel purpose through the art of creation. This special something is especially evident in the work of Volen Sentir. While the individuals behind the name have each been involved in the progressive and deep house scenes for decades with successful careers as Dave Pad and Poison Pro, their coming together forged a fresh artistic direction for them both, as their newly established project made waves in the electronic music world right from the start.
While still in their beginning stages together, Volen Sentir’s sound has already impacted the underground with releases like the popular “Vdol Po Rechenke” on Shanti Moscow Radio in 2017 and “Arrival”, released on All Day I Dream’s 2018 Summer Sampler. On November 22nd they released their premiere EP on All Day I Dream, the unmistakable blue sky and white clouds of the label’s aesthetic a perfect fit for the sacred soundscapes of Cloud Atlas Map.
Created for truly listening, each track constitutes an emotional piece of the journey, each telling a story that blends dreaminess with grounding through nature. It was a pleasure to catch up with the team behind Volen Sentir, to get insight into their inspirations and background on this special EP.
I’d love to learn a bit of your background, how did you first meet and start making music together? What drew you to the idea of working as a team?
VS: We met each other in late 2012 in Moscow. At this time we were totally involved in the progressive and deep house music scene. We were known to the world like Dave Pad and Poison Pro.
Andy: When I heard Dave’s Deep Elements album released on Highway Records, I thought, “Damn, that’s a really deep and amazing sound.” Dave’s sound also touched my soul when it touched my ears. We started to throw several parties under my label imprint Thunderlab from 2014. Until 2017 we had some really great parties. We were very experimental with sound and art. All of this led up to our eventual music collaboration. Finally! Next step was a release on Anjundadeep as Dave Pad & Anjei.
VS: Our friends Gorje Hewek & Izhevski (whom we also met at one of our parties for Shanti Moscow) got an idea to start a completely new path for us. It’s not progressive. We made Vdol Po Rechenke and after that, Volen Sentir was born. We can’t explain what it means… It comes from somewhere. We don’t know. There is no direct translation of it, but he lives in the forested mountains of North Europe. It’s a mythological animal, soul of an ancient magician. Reading sacred books and mystic literature helps us to connect with him. After all of this, our new message became ready.
What has been one of your favorite moments in your career so far?
VS: As Volen Sentir, we have just started, but already have had some beautiful moments. When we made “Arrival,” we were inspired by many things… UFOs, aliens, Andy’s newborn son, Titanic’s adventure and, of course, Burning Man scapes and Black Rock Desert. Actually, that track was created for that area. So, one year it was played at Robot Heart at sunrise… There’s a beautiful video of it.
Also, our new track “C.A.M.” is totally mystic.
It seems that you draw a lot of inspiration from and have a deep connection with nature – how does nature play a role in your music?
VS: Nature is everything. It gives answers. All technologies come from it. One of our home studios is based outside Moscow, in Andy’s house. It is surrounded by forested woods, which gives us a wide open mind outside the Megapolis.
We need to learn more and feel more nature inside and outside of us. Nowadays, sound has become too plastic, too synthesized. The synthesizer is not the final point, the beat isn’t the final point. ENERGY is the main path that you are searching for. It gives everything… and it comes from nature.
Where else do you find inspiration? What are some of the driving forces behind your desire to create and share your music?
VS: Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to stay in that position. It’s about mindfulness, or being against it when you are really feeling low. A lot of beauty comes out when you feel bad, and have some issues in life. But also, a lot of other beauty appears when you are blissful. When you feel that, everything in this universe means something special. So, common, do it, get it.
If there was one underlying message, energy or atmosphere that you would like your music to express, what would it be?
Your Cloud Atlas Map EP on All Day I Dream feels like a natural extension of the relationship which began with their release of your popular track “Arrival”. What has the relationship been like with All Day I Dream? Can you share some background on the decision to release this full EP with them?
It was a big surprise for us when Lee took Arrival on board. It’s unusual, really. One of our lovely tracks, that has a story behind it. A few months later we decided that we could do a full story in a four-track EP on All Day I Dream. Every track has a background and a story to tell.
What was your creative process like for this EP? What was the most fun part and the most challenging part?
It all started while making a track in Andy’s studio. We had some wine, got some beats together… something was going on there in the studio. Then we decided to pause and go outside for some fresh air. The TV was on, and The Cloud Atlas movie was playing. While we were heading downstairs we could hear the melody and we lost our mind for a moment. It was a moment of understanding everything in this life, it’s meaning and how it works. It was one of the happiest moments of our lives. By the way, the funniest thing was that the track we had already been making upstairs in the studio was in the same key!
You have already established yourselves with a distinctive, fresh, and finely designed sound – what would you say are some of the factors behind having such consistency and quality with each release?
Speculation is bad. Also, trying to achieve the same good result as another project is impossible. Always search for a new way. And don’t lie to yourself.
Besides the EP release, what else is coming up for you that you are looking forward to?
Everything has just started. We have a lot of news coming in the New Year. It’s about the world of unknown, the world of unspoken. We can just see the signs and are using it for our knowledge.