Support The Moscow Times!

Waveform Celebrates 3rd Birthday

Fans gathered for a performance by German wave/shoegaze band Velvet Condom at Waveform last December.

The Waveform community of synth, minimal wave and punk enthusiasts is marking its third birthday on Friday, hosting -among others - France-based cold-wave artist, ADN' Ckrystall, the Belgian-wave DJ SIR EDWARD and Ukraine based Dmytrij Wulffius in its usual ‘cozy studio-bar’ Ypsilon.

Starting out as a small independent experiment, formed solely from a group of friends, the project has expanded over its past three years in Moscow under the watchful eye of Stanislav Trifonov (aka DJ Montmorency) and his now-wife Christine Eau Des Eaux.

“Waveform progressively grew with the support of ‘non-indifferent’ lovers of old music and synthesizers,” Montmorency said in an email exchange. “Over the passing time we have changed a lot...we have grateful people who understands the specifics of minimal synth wave,” he added.

The group started out ‘hiding’ from ‘the noisy bars and clubs for young people’ in Ypsilon - a supportive northwestern venue in the factory area close to the third transport ring - where they remain based even after the three years. As the desire grew “to share the knowledge with more people, to create something more than a house party,” a club became necessary. “So it appeared - Waveform.”

Very few people attended the first show - only long-time friends and noughties synthpop DJ Andrei Panin. However, as the nights attracted more attention, acts began to be summoned from beyond Russia’s borders. “The first gig [in which artists were brought in from abroad] was [minimal electronic duo] Xeno & Oaklander for our one year birthday party,” Montmorency stated.

”Since then we have brought our loved ones as the only chance to see them, to talk and shake hands,” he said, looking back on the events and subsequent new relationships forged as forming his“best memories.”

The last Waveform event saw Canadian UK-based heavy synth-pop act, Soft Riot (aka Jack Duckworth) brought in to perform, who described the event’s attendees as “very laid back and open minded” in a retrospective blog post. Duckworth’s visit marked a new album release through Russia-based label Other Voices Records.

“Other Voices is the only synth wave label here, producing really good, quality, releases on physical media. If there were some others on the same level, it would be great, but there aren’t,” said Montmorency.

Waveform are mulling the ‘super limited edition’ release of 80s Soviet experimental wave themselves in the not-too-distant future. “It will be an interesting experience for starting a label, but not that big,” he said. “Unique Russian synthesizer music disappeared forever with the fall of the Soviets. Nothing can be better than 80's Soviet synth punk.”

While drawing this conclusion, the collective continues to be supportive of their Russian protegees, although admits that talent can be a rare find. “The last cool ones were the old Arm Author and Утюо (Utro) from 2010. Now there’s nothing sounds like that,” said Trifonov. However, he seized upon a recent discovery in the past couple of days. “Novosti Kulturi on Soundcloud,” Montmorency recalled, “...but I don't know who it is.” “Not to forget Ruble Gang!” he added, mentioning his own synth project.

Waveform’s three years haven’t passed without a hitch, with some outside collectives attempting to create “imaginary competition” or appropriate its name and image when it began to grow. Montmorency mentioned some ‘gossip’ and ‘yellow press’ on them, while “from the other side, promoters made suggestions to put the Waveform logo here and there at their own parties.” The community has shied away from this. “They do not realize that Waveform is our own thing, a micro world for our own,” said Montmorency.

In the future, Waveforem will “devote more time to experiments in studios with analog gears (staring...a new type of posts on Facebook - ‘Gear Propaganda’.)” Although its current international links are strongest with similar-minded groups in Belgium and Germany,  Montmorency and Eau Des Eaux also “have plans to dive into the New York scene,” while also making promises to appear with a new audio podcast for loyal synth-wave enthusiasts on Followme Radio, Moscow.

ADN' Ckrystall, SIR EDWARD, Dmytrij Wulffius, will be accompanied by DJs Industrializatsia, Eau Des Eaux and Montmorency on Dec. 13 at Ypsilon, Ulitsa Pravdy, Dom 24, Str. 7, Metro Belorusskaya.

Read more