Dear Deer records was founded in 2013 by Alex Kaspersky & Sviatoslav Tvardovsky based out of Kyiv in Ukraine. The guys very kindly agreed to feature their label on Decoded Radio and take some time from their schedule to have a chat. We started with them explaining to me about the city’s underground scene at the moment. Alex began “first of all, I want to say thank you for inviting us for the interview and mix show. Yes, we are both based out of Kyiv in Ukraine, you are right and we are very proud of it. About the underground scene at the moment I can say that we have many clubs which provide their own ideology for example like ‘CHI’ by Decadence which has made big parties with names like Solomun, Maceo Plex, Tale Of Us and others. Also there is ‘Closer’ who are working to a more underground style and make parties with names like Ricardo Villalobos, Arma Residents with more Romanian tech house. This is what can I say about the Kiev scene. There is also Odessa city, its Port Odessa Romanian tech house, ‘Fancy Room’ with more commercial techno sound, ‘Caleton’ and ‘Mantra’ they have some similar parties like with few previous clubs but with their own people and crowd. These are two cities for me which are most popular in our country. To which Sviatoslav further commented “Hi, thanks for having us. Alex already told the whole situation, I can only add that the electronic music scene here in Ukraine is growing up, people here are trying to do something interesting and new, but not always people are ready for this.
Before we began to chat about the label and their partnership I asked about their individual backgrounds and their prior involvement in the industry. Alex explained first “well as for me I can say that I began to be interested in music since my childhood thanks to my father. My first tunes were Queen, Deep Purple, Enigma then I started getting interested in more electronic music like Daft Punk, The Prodigy and others. In 2004 I started to learn how to play music then there were a few parties in local clubs that’s how I become a DJ”. Alex continued-
“In 2008 I worked with Indeks Music like an A&R and Radio host. It was a very good time. Residents of the label were Woo York, Etapp Kyle, Ishome and many more good names which grow up and now became stars! I got a good experience. In 2009 I meet Sviatoslav at a party in Kiev at the legendary Cinema Club. Periodically we began to attend some parties, so we began to share some experience in music taste, and at the end of 2012 we came up with the idea to create something that cost something that no one before us has done in our country. Since 2013 I’m Co-Founder and Co-Owner of #1 Digital Electronic label in Ukraine called Dear Deer Records”.
Sviatoslav eagerly followed “Music has been in my life from 4 years old when I went to Musician School here in Kiev (thanks to my mom), then at 14, I decided to learn DJing when I was going to my first electronic festivals. I learned DJing on vinyl and then CD’s very fast, then I played at some local clubs trying to find my sound. Soon after I decided to learn how to make electronic music. My first DAW was FL Studio on my home laptop, I learned everything by myself, and then in 2009 my first release was out. I concentrated on music production and released a lot of tracks in melodic techno (it was called Neotrance at that time) but sometimes I’m experimenting with Chill Out, Electronica and even Drum’n’Bass. In that time, I founded my first record label Stereo Paradise where I released my own productions and tracks from my friends and workmates. Then Frisky Radio invited me to make an exclusive radio show for them (which I release on every month even now). I have a huge discography for that time with my tunes out on Parquet Recordings, Moonbeam Digital, Armada, DAR, Proton Music, Touchstone Recordings and one of my tracks even was licensed to Hed Kandi CD compilation. I increased my skills going to Sound Engineer department of University, but all this time I have a vision and desire to make something big in the music industry, but I can’t find like-minded people. I’m very happy that I met Alex, my best friend, adherent. Together we are a very strong team. Then one day we decided to found our label Dear Deer. That was in 2013, I even couldn’t imagine how it would be after 5 years”.
You could really feel the bond and tight relationship they had built between each other. Next we spoke about the current new release on Dear Deer Records which is a Collab between Betoko and Balcazar titled ‘Somniak’ and is already doing well in the Beatport charts. Alex explained the support and feedback for the release so far-
“Well, Betoko is very good friend of mine. It’s his second release on our label which I’m very happy with. About support and PR, in general, we always work with Pete from Jukebox PR agency for our promo campaigns which always generates good feedback. So far, we have support from the likes of from Jamie Jones, Dubfire, Township Rebellion, Digitaria, Philipp Kempnich so it’s a great start”.
Which then lead me to ask about some of the artists on the label. Who have been key in helping build the labels reputation? “From the beginning of our label the most popular style was deep house & nu-disco so our residents were Nikitin, Rafael Cerato, Benedetto & Farina, Re Dupre, Anturage and many more” says Alex. “A lot of very talented artists believed in us and grew up together with us. I’m very proud to know all these people” added Sviatoslav.
What do they bring to the label with their style and sound? “With their help we started to enter in the TOP100 Beatport releases and tracks which helped us to attract the attention of other artists with the same style. Now we focus on Techno, Melodic and Progressive sound. With our platform now, we can work only with the best artists (newbie or superstar) in music genres which we are interested in” they both explained. “Coming up on the label we have Italian producer Luigi Gori & Ukrainian rising star producer Larsun Hesh, they will follow after Betoko with their second release called ‘One Week To Escape & Doubtstar’ and the release will also include remixes from Nolah, D-Formation and Chris Di Perri which is coming on 30th July. Don’t miss it” said Alex.
We had spoken about the current roster but I was curious to know is there anybody on their radar who they would love to sign and why? Alex reeled off a list of names who I agreed would fit the label perfectly including Adriatique, Fur Coat, Patrice Baumel, Max Cooper and Jeremy Olander. Sviatoslav smiled in agreement. Alex has also recently released on the excellent Einmusika in collaboration with Thomas Gandey. He told me how it was working with Thomas-
“Thomas is a very very good friend of mine, fantastic producer and vocalist as well so it was really fun to make this great collaboration on Einmusika. We are reaching a TOP100 and handle the #16 in Deep House chart for around one month, it’s a big result for me! I think we will make new music in future for sure”.
It was great catching up with two very enthusiastic and talented individuals and hearing them explain their journey and experiences leading to the very successful Dear Deer Records. To wraps things up they sincerely thanked me for this opportunity to tell us about their label and to stay tuned. We hope you enjoy the feature!
Dear Deer Records have Betoko’s ‘Somniak’ out now. Grab it here
Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Dear Deer Records with Alex Kaspersky & Tvardovsky
01. Luke Brancaccio & Simon Berry “Pukwudgie” (Mono Electric Orchestra) Platipus Records
02. Dirty Vegas “Ghosts” (Jay Shepheard) Your Army Records)
03. Chicola “Velvet Aftenoon” (Karmon remix) Lost & Found
04. Luke Brancaccio & Simon Berry “Pukwudgie” (Gai Barone remix) Platipus Records
05. Luke Brancaccio & Simon Berry “Pukwudgie” Platipus Records
06. Hot Since 82 “Buggin’” Knee Deep In Sound
07. Camelphat “DMT” Circus Recordings
08. Wehbba “She Lost Control” Drumcode
09. Y-Traxx “Mystery Land” (Spektre Remix) Kraftek
01. Road To Mana – High Ground (Original Mix)
02. Different Sides – Orion (Original Mix)
03. Alexander Alar – London (Original Mix)
04. Maty Owl – Personal Chaos (Original Mix)
05. Betoko & Balcazar – Somniak (Rework)
06. Riesen feat. Haptic – Vulture Tourist (Several Definitions Remix)
07. Nils Hoffmann – Moan (Moritz Hofbauer Remix)
08. MKAY – Safari (Original Mix)
09. Rafael Cerato – Yoru (Original Mix)
10. James Trystan & Rory Gallagher – The Young One (Jonas Saalbach Remix)
11. Khubu feat. Ian H – Round N Round (Erdi Irmak Remix)
16/07: Mio Radio: 3pm-5pm UTC (GMT+2) www.mioradio.net
17/07: Studio Lux FM: 11pm-1am CEST (GMT+1) www.studioluxfm.com
18/07: Nube Music: 4pm-6pm ART (GMT-3) www.nube-music.com
19/07: Casafonda: 10pm-12am GMT www.casafondaradio.com
19/07: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
19/07: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.krafted.co.uk/radio
20/07: Midnight Express FM: 4pm-6pmm CST (GMT-6) www.midnightexpressfm.com
22/07: Tempo Radio (Red Stream): 10pm-12am CST (GMT-6) www.tempo-radio.com
24/07: Soundtrip: www.soundtrip.gr
26/07: Casafonda: 10pm-12am GMT www.casafondaradio.com
26/07: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
26/07: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.krafted.co.uk/radio
27/07: Danceradio.ca: 6am-8pm EDT (GMT-4) www.danceradio.ca
28/07: Deep London: TBA
29/07: Safe House Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.safehouseradio.co.uk
On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com
Full show will be uploaded to Decoded Magazine Soundcloud from 2nd August.