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10 years of Logika Ritma

An interview with the creators of the podcast.

26.03.2024
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Чытаць па-беларуску

Logika Ritma has been on air once a fortnight for 10 years. It's a 1,5 hr long show about the new electronic releases produced by Andrei Vusevich and Alexander Ananyev. We sat down with them to discuss the origins of the podcast, staying motivated during the show's long run and why Logika Ritma would never become sumpermarket muzak.

<h1>Long story short</h1>

– What is the origin of Logika Ritma?

Andrei: While the podcast is 10 years old, the name is much older. Back in 2008 my friend Arciom, who I knew from livejournal.com where I blogged about various IDM releases referred me to Novoe Radio. It was the time when this Belarusian FM radio was actively trying to reposition themselves as contemporary electronic music purveyors with numerous dj shows a-la A State Of Trance etc. They were looking for somebody to host a program focusing on the more underground varieties of dance music like IDM and electronica. That's how I started the Logika Ritma show on Novoe Radio, which went on air every Wednesday night from 2008 to 2010.

So this brand name is 15 years old actually. In 2013 I decided to reboot it as a podcast together with Alexander. He also had background in making a musically similar radio show. When he relocated to Miensk (Alexander was born in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia – editor's note) we decided to join forces under the Logika Ritma flag. And we have been going strong ever since with over 200 episodes under our belt.

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– What is the main difference between broadcasting over FM and making a podcast?

Alexander: We had our hands tied a bit regarding anything too experimental or out of the box when doing the show on terrestrial radio. For instance, during our stint at Megapolis FM one limitation was no Russian vocals. So, we felt more comfortable working independently, abandoning the classic radio show format, free to determine our own show schedule and runtime. Now we don't need to cut anything. If we want to do a two-hour show we just go ahead and do it. That’s awesome!​

– Where did the project go from there? How did you start working together?

Alexander: We started from looking for a platform. First we made a deal with Ultra-Music, which at the time was more of a Belarusian album review portal. Once it closed down, we migrated over to Nozh (ex-Metropol) online magazine. We put out the show there for a while, then moved to Megapolis FM, where we stayed for quite a while until they decided to change their format and get rid of 70% of their programming including us. That's when we hooked up with Radio Plato and have been with you guys since.

<iframe width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1783892154&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true"></iframe><div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/logika-ritma" title="Logika Ritma" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Logika Ritma</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/logika-ritma/lr4-150" title="4.150 (25mar2024)" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">4.150 (25mar2024)</a></div><br><h1>The logic of introverts</h1>

– What is your demographic?

Andrei: We have what you might call a clandestine following. First of all, there is not a single dominating platform that we would have the biggest number of followers on. We have a Telegram channel, all the social media accouns, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast and episode download links. So our audience is pretty spread out across various platforms, which makes it hard to quantify the exact number of listeners, we can only ballpark it.

Secondly, it's a rather introverted community. Rarely do we see comments from new listeners. Quite the opposite. We often get "I've been listening to you guys for 8 years" and it's the first time we hear from the person.

Alexander: I often get comments from friends that they listen to Logika Ritma on the road.

Andrei: Looks like it's more intimate for them. In most cases I can't picture putting it on for a somehwat sizeable group of people and everybody liking it. Trying playing Autechre’s "LP5"...

– In a supermarket...

Exactly! People will probably thing there's a PA malfunction or something. That's more of a headphone type of music.

Alexander: I recently saw a friend from Georgia post an Instagram story with Boards Of Canada playing in his gym. That's an interesting choice of a workout soundtrack, I thought.

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– How often do you get messages asking to play somebody's demo?

Andrei: Being in charge of our mailbox logikaritma@gmail.com, where we accept your demos by the way, I can say we get about one demo per month, sometimes per two months. But I wouldn't call our show exactly a demo premiere platform. Sometimes we get tunes that are ok, but we already have our playlist full of great tracks. Although I do have some all-time favorites that we initially received via our mailbox. One such example is Constant Current, one of the people behind Ezhevika label who decided to publish his old tracks which I liked a lot. If it weren't for his email we would have probably missed that release. We can't promise we'll play what you send, we have to really like your track first and foremost.

<h1>Running the show</h1>

– How do you keep motivated to keep going all these years.

Alexander: Regular schedule and self-discipline. First of all, we set ourselves deadlines and secondly we feel responsible to our listeners. I, for one, would be very uncomfortable not having a show ready without any important reason knowing I have listeners wondering where this week's episode is.

Andrei: The show's regularity really helps with the scheduling. You know that each episode takes about two hours to record plus mixing, writing press releases and posting. And yes, we try to keep to that schedule. We do take breaks during the year – four to six weeks off, usually – and we announce them beforehand. It gets hard to put out quality episodes every two weeks non-stop. Of course personal emergencies have happened as well when we put the show on pause. We took breaks in 2020 and 2022 due to the circumstances obvious to every Belarusian. After all, what we do does require some inspiration and the right state of mind. When you're overwhelmed by all the terrible news it's hard to put out positive vibes, which is essentially what we do through music.

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– How do you select the playlist for each show?

Alexander: When listening to music, I always ask myself whether that's something I'd play on the show.

Andrei: We never pander to the audience. We present our own choices.

Alexander: We select the tracks that we love and we're lucky that our audience likes them as well. We matched up there. And if we set narrower stylistic boundaries for ourselves or tried to follow trends like playing only techno when techno gets popular, we probably would have imploded a long time ago without a clear vision why we are doing what we're doing. Instead, I often find amazing and unexpected tracks, which sometimes drag me right out when I'm feeling stuck in the mud.

Andrei: Alexander and I have a lot in common, we are friends, and after my move (Andrei moved to Poland in 2022 – editor's note) it is difficult to keep in touch, but we know that every two weeks we reconnect when in addition to discussing the podcast we also simply catch up.

– How is "Logika Ritma" today?

Andrei: We have rebuilt our format. A few years ago we started making themed specials. "Tikhii Chas" is all about ambient and the chill side of IDM. We had a few dance specials. Basically 1,5 - 2 hr long dancefloor DJ sets. Then there is also the wonderful "Back To Basics" segment, where we dust off great tunes of the past dedicating an entire episode to an artist or a label. It's hard to project far into the future, but as of now, nothing's in the way of us keeping up the same schedule of quality programming and getting the emotional and sometimes monetary benefits from the listeners' donations.

<iframe width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1744800606&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true"></iframe><div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/logika-ritma" title="Logika Ritma" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Logika Ritma</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/logika-ritma/lr4-417-back-to-basics" title="4.147 (12feb2024) Back To Basics" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">4.147 (12feb2024) Back To Basics</a></div><br>

Alexander: I sometimes scroll back to the old episodes and see the bashful "a little bit of IDM" in show descriptions, which we have fully embraced since then. You can say that in the recent years the show is mostly about IDM and a little bit about everything else. First of all, the old radio episodes had to fit a certain FM format stylistically. But also it seems like there simply wasn't as many great new releases in that genre that would fit our format, which has changed. We see a lot of artists putting out IDM-leaning tracks nowadays, including releases on bigger labels. One example is The Fear Ratio – a joint project of James Ruskin and Mark Broom, who are both DJ's and electronic musicians making intricate techno and dancefloor-oriented house respectively – very functional music, essentially. At the same time they have this more exploratory project, which is by the way released by Tresor Records. We keep track of such things and happily play them.

Andrei: I think that the younger generation of listeners craves emotion in their music. The demand for the more emotional music is definitely there, not just house, techno or jungle, which are more about the energy, but also all sorts of experimental electronics.

<h1>Expert community</h1>

– What's your take on the impact of COVID on the electronic music scene?

Alexander: There was a definite period of many musicians retreating from dancefloors to their homes and studios to explore more introverted, ambient and atmospheric sounds. But as the pandemic ended, things returned to the usual. Venues and festivals came back, demanding new bigroom bangers again. I can't say COVID drastically changed electronic music at large, but certain artists definitely went through a creative shift.

Andrei: There is a lot more genre crossovers nowadays. Of course there are always style purists who will always play, say, minimalist dancefloor-oriented techno, but there are also a lot of tracks combining elements of different styles nowadays. And that's what we love.

Alexander: Take for instance arabic motifs finding their way into trance or hip hop or whatever else.

– What's your take on the development of electronic scene in Belarus?

Alexander: On the whole, there is a few labels but no significant upheavals. I would rather say there is an overall cultural decline. There are interesting musicians, such as Anton Anishchanka, EFF DST, who we, let's say, share musical DNA with. We gladly follow everything they do. But I can't say there are new young artists who came up in recent years (that we follow). Perhaps because our own musical tastes lean towards the 90's and 00's. If I were to dig, let's say, the fonk scene, I'm sure there is a lot to discover there.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: wide; height: 350px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1988636861/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/minimal=true/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://smallforms.bandcamp.com/album/native-soil">Native Soil by Primary Noise</a></iframe><br>

Andrei: It seems like the local electronic scene has been already rather unstable in the past, artist- and release-wise. There were some releases, some of them interesting, others less so, but at least there was some action. Today, in my opinion, that action is over. It looks lethargic overall. I'm sure people make music but don't really publish it much, since there isn't anyone who could do good publishing and promotion in Belarus nowadays. I'm following Ezhevika label and People Can Listen, who have recently relocated from Orša to Miensk. They sometimes put out tracks by Belarusian electronic musicians who I’ve never heard about before.

<h1>Dancefloor logic</h1>

– How are your DJ sets tied to Logika Ritma? Do you play at parties under that brand name?

Alexander: We decided from the start that if we DJ together, we'll play back to back. We are used to that, mostly knowing each other's repertoire. Of course, we sometimes surprise each other with new tunes, but that's usually a pleasant surprise. I love playing back to back with a DJ with matching musical taste. He may dig up a great tune you have never heard and surprise you, or, just the opposite, pull out the long-forgotten banger you used to know, which is just the right tune to play at this moment.

We have regularly played in Miensk as Logika Ritma. We also had a few live podcast attempts playing abstract atmospheric electronics commenting on the mic as we play. That was an interesting experience, but sometimes too experimental for the venue and the event. Afterwards we started preparing more dancefloor-oriented sets to play at techno, electro and house parties.

Andrei: For me, our most memorable DJ sets we played at Gestalt parties. We fit the format perfectly, while playing not the most typical sounds for Gestalt. Stuff like Blawan, rather then Locked Club, which could have scared off some of their audience, but we also approached those sets as educational in a way. We always strive to educate the public, open them up to new styles and genres that they may discover and like. A gentle push beyond your comfort zone. I recall hard electro and broken techno and sometimes trance working really well at those parties. It was a lot of fun for us and I think people were coming out to see us when they saw our name on the posters.

Nowadays, I don't play parties since my move to Poland. I've had my hands full of other things. Plus Gdańsk is a city with its own well-developed and rather sealed-off local scene. So I mostly listen and reminisce about the good old days of playing together with Alexander back in Belarus. If I were in Miensk, we would have definitely celebrated 10 years of Logika Ritma with a bang.

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– How about your future plans?

– We are feeling well-balanced and ready for the future. Over time, we will come up with something new and interesting, add variety to our shows, but for now our listeners can count on us putting on a good show of new electronic releases and beyond twice a month.

Subscribe to us on Boosty and Patreon, where we publish the new episodes early with an optional "instrumental" version without the talking. And follow us on Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and other platforms.

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