DZA - My Robo Army

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Just as American popular or commercial music rushed to meet an unsuspecting generation of Russian youngsters in the early 1990s, so DZA (Sasha Kholenko) says that he chose hip-hop due to a lack of musical training. Newcomers could grapple with a fresh and appealingly brash style, in that - says Dza - the core structures of hip-hop could arguably be boiled down to the "borrowing" or reworking of sampled material... and a catchy beat. Stolen recordings and syncopation; these were basic skills of acquisition and editing that seemed within the reach and budget of any bedroom dreamer.

When Kholenko first moved from Vladivostok to Moscow, he found himself with a job at the notorious - and enormous - Gorbushka indoor marketplace, home to fantastic amounts of pirated music and computer games for many years. Salesmen in the market were impressed by his knowledge of music online, in other words of recordings they should sell, but could not. The CD market looked feeble in comparison to the boundless options of online portals.

Oddity and innovation lived in digital realms; Kholenko's knowledge of these virtual lands got him a job immediately. Similarly, when he first met Mujuice (Roma Litvinov), his initial impression was: "What a freak!" A productively strange quality, so to speak, defined those artists who looked beyond hard media. And so the two men hoped to guide a DIY electronic style far beyond the related constraints of what they would call "easy music."

The commonplaces of hip-hop and national radio were endlessly looped in high rotation; they gradually seemed laughable when compared both the web's plenitude and the dizzying speed with which fashions changed online. "Easy" triteness needed to become increasingly complex. A universally marketed fashion, sold lazily to centralized media outlets, now had to become more ingenious - more often.

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www.farfrommoscow.com/artists/dza.html

soundcloud.com/dza
www.youtube.com/user/Dzhem
soundcloud.com/how2make
www.facebook.com/sashadza/info

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from FFM Festival Compilation 2016, released October 29, 2016

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