Originally from Russia, Julia Govor is a music producer and DJ who now lives in New York City. Along with Elohim, Julia Govor is also playing at CRSSD this fall. Set on the waterfront in downtown San Diego, CRSSD will take place from Sept 30 to Oct 1 this year.


Art & Music

Where are you at the moment?

I just arrived back in NYC after a long tour around Europe. I'm finally home after being away for almost 3 months.

How did it go?

Some were better than others. For example in Russia, Eastern Europe, Germany and Israel I had very solid sets. I played meaningful, intelligent, minimal techno and people responded well to that. It seems that they were educated in techno; they were into my sound and into something more experimental.

Places I played along the sea-side were a bit harder. The crowds were more into happy clapping hi hats in the music . Of course I could play (bunging) techno house but it's 2017: there is so much interesting music out there that people don't look for. In these cases I try to incorporate different styles and experiment with electro and breaks.

What or who were your early passions and influences?

I'm not sure if it was a passion when I was younger but I suppose it was one of the ways I could channel my energy. I was a very active child and my parents forced me to go to music school. To my parents' surprise I ended up loving it. It turned out I had a good ear and assiduity, I wasn't shy at all and I loved performing on the stage.

My music teacher was very educated and a hardcore disciplinarian. I remember she had big glasses and a very rough voice and if you were late to class/rehearsal she would make you listen to this record all day:

It's an old Russian romance song about a broken relationship and as a 6 year old it came across as very brutal and sad. Even listening to it now at 32 it feels very heavy still.

Classical soviet music played a large role in my influences. But of course, so did electronic music. I listened to the likes of Tchaikovsky, Galina Ustvolskaya and Eduard Artemyev. I guess this is a perfect reflection of my sound today: dark and meaningful, intense but intelligent.

What do you do if you don’t have inspiration?

Most of the time I listen to other artists' music. I put my headphones on and go for a very long walk. The air, exercise, and moments of people watching are very refreshing.

I also really enjoy visiting other producers in their workplace/studio to observe them during their creative process. Inspiration can come through collaboration as well. I learn from them and become more motivated because we build off each other's energies.

I am very grateful to have a lot of producers inviting me for studio visits during my tours. This can sometimes liven up an otherwise unpleasant trip. Artists I don't even know will contact me via Instagram private messenger and offer time in their studio. Please, keep doing it, guys!

How do you create your working process in the studio?

I don't start my day without a good run! It helps to clear my head and calm down. My colleagues are always sharing interesting sets or podcasts so I like to listen to this during my runs. It helps create a mood.

In the studio I begin with creating a rhythm, the drum kit is my favorite part (I use the Tempest drum machine by Dave Smith). Sometimes my rhythms are broken but still working. I like the process of finding something between correct, mathematic structure and something off and irregular.

The next step is usually to create some pads/leads which is another one of my favorite sounds after clave. To find the right harmony is very difficult because if you spend too much time on it it becomes harder to really tell if it's nice or completely messy. My experience in music school as a child has really taught me to trust my intuition.

Breaks are important! Finding the right sound can sometimes come from taking a moment away from the music. I'll check some emails or go get coffee before getting back to work.

Here in the East Village we have a great coffee shop, Abraco. There I have run into Philip Glass and other old-school musicians and artists who were very open to conversation. It's always inspiring to talk with such legendary artists but we never talk about the process of painting or composing, we mostly just complain about life.

Once Im back in the studio, I play everything I made before over and over until I realize something needs adjusting. That can even include deleting everything and starting from scratch!

What is your last release:

“United” Ep on Rhythm Cult record

Style

Whats your favorite brand?

I love Henrik Vibskov, the danish designer. Not only does he have a great eye for fashion but he also played drums for the band, Trentelmoler, years ago. His runway shows are fantastic and include cool collaborations with artists. Mostly I am in love with his oversize dresses and pants. He is truly a master of great prints and colorful socks.

Where do you get your style inspiration?

In my first year studying at the University of Culture and Art in Russia, we learned how to write reviews for old films. I was obsessed with the classic American and Italian movies from the likes of Fellini, Truman, Pasolini, and Argento. Watching those movies over and over taught me that the best style is classy and elegant.

Who/what is your style icon?

Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn.

I have to include my husband, Kamran Sadeghi, who has the best style ever.

You are from Russia. Can you tell us about some Russian designers?

I really like Vika Gayinskaya. Her avant garde meets sporty 60's/70's chic garments are heart breaking! I cannot resist the sweatshirts from Katia Dobryakova.

Lots of techno DJs always dress up in black, or seems like they don’t like to shower, or they forgot to get some sleep - what about you?

That's because music takes on a different meaning for some people, or it's not about music at all.

I like to stay professional, elegant, and healthy. Don't get me wrong though, I am a party animal. But when I am on stage I keep my look solid. The dance floor is full of a young generation and I want to be an example for them. Everything I do today is a reflection of tomorrow! It is all connected.

Of course there is no right or wrong way to dress. It's all about attitude and culture, your personal experience and how you feel about it. Personally, I care about the next generation and I believe behind every detail is a reason.

Any item you're eyeing to purchase next?

Nord Lead Analog.

Why?

To make music.

Festival Fun

Favorite thing to wear to a festival:

Sunglasses!

What's your favorite pair of shoes to wear to a festival?

Asics

What's in your bag?

USB, Earplugs, nuts and lipstick.

5 essentials to bring to a festival:

Earplugs, an extra pair of socks, hand cream, lipstick and friends!

Can't live without at a festival:

Earplugs.

Future festivals you’re looking forward to playing at?

I am excited to play for the first time at CRSSD in San Diego, Soul Tech in Mexico, and Subsonic in Australia.

Julia now lives in NYC. Catch her at CRSSD at the end of this month!