Love Cult is a russian duo Anya Kuts and Ivan Afanasyev, which has been active for nearly five years now. Their early releases contains fragmented folk, which erodes under heavy pressure of ambient soundscapes and psychadelic drone. Since their latest imprints 'Know' and 'Yr Problems' it's heavy ambience is spiced up with beats, yet cold distance still remains at very heart of their music. Solely electronics approach coresponds with a transition that their favourite british band Gnod made two years ago. This close connection with Gnod flourish into the very last record by Love Cult, which was made in cooperation with Gnodhead Paddy Shine aka Druss. Anya and Ivan also manage their own label called Full of Nothing, which already released fourty records. Releases from names like Billiam Wutler Yea, Woodpecker Wooliams, or split tape by Gnod / Bear Bones, Lay Low are one of the most notable imprints on the label. Listen to their exclusive mix that the duo made for czech commentary blog A2LARM. It is excellent dancefloor mix with tracks from Logos, Visionist or Acteurs. Go and get it on A2LARM soundcloud channel!
You come from Petrozavodsk, which seems to be a beautiful place just on the shore of Lake Onega and pretty close to borders with Finland. Tell me more about life in Petrozavodsk. Judging by just listening to your music, it has very poetic landscape, yet life stands still in Petrozavodsk…
A/I: Life in Petrozavodsk doesn’t seem to be much different from other small towns in Russia. However, there is this unique soul here. You can feel that time has stopped here, but it also contains variety of strong emotions like hope, love, mildness, dignity, pain, devotion, pride, despair, power and beauty.
Your first albums Love Cult / Tempera Split and Fingers Crossed are both very calm and hazy, yet since your EP release “Know” you started to make more rhythmic music with beat structures. Still, a touch of coldness prevails at the heart of your music. Why did you decide to change your approach?
A/I: Love Cult has never tried to plan what it should sound like. When we started the band we stuck to the idea of sounding like the Dutch band The Ex. The second rehearsal revealed we probably wouldn’t. We realized that the music we make together lives on its own. Our sound has changed a lot during these five years, but we believe that our music is always the same. Natural processes occur. We have a certain idea that we’re trying to get across.
Love Cult - The End from Love Cult on Vimeo.
What inspired you when making “Know”?
A/I: Reality is the biggest inspiration. Things that are happening around us right now. Things that we can see, feel, that we can influence. Then there are those things that we cannnot influence. These are the most powerful and fantastic things that can happen to us. That is what our music was always about. 'Know' is not an exclusion. Last year has been rough on us. We escaped to rural Denmark for a couple of months and put everything we’ve experienced back at home into tracks. We’ve finished 'Know' and the collaboration with Druss simultaneously. It’s existentialism.
How did your cooperation with Druss happened? When listening to Yr Problems album, it feels like you’re very close with him music-wise.
A/I: Actually, we met in Czech Republic at Creepy Teepee Festival. Gnod blew us away both artistically and as likeminded individuals. It was love at first sight and we’ve been following what the guys are doing for quite a while. It eventually led to a fantastic tape they did for Full of Nothing. When they traded guitars for synths, we knew the sonic vocabulary is getting closer and closer to us. Their music and vision was cold, sharp, doomed and very human. Paddy kept sending us samples and demos from his machines and we were filtering them through the whole arsenal of Love Cult production. There was a moment everything went boom. It felt right.
You certainly follow russian / finnish music scene in your nearby area as you also have a label of your own. What artists or bands you would recommend us to check out?
A/I: You can’t miss Traura. It is Full of Nothing’s latest release. Depressing cloud rap, mixed with some gorgeous beats and productions with postdrone attitude. It features remixes from two of our current finnish favourites. Everything that Olli Aarni touches, turns into gold. Nuojuva is his melodic ambient guise. His broken skatepop project Lichen Gumbo is the weirdest and best output from him. Then there is his old mate - Somepoe. He is like Finland’s best bass music specialist. His productions are minimalistic. One needs stuff like this on a daily basis. On a different note, finnish psychfolk / noise princess Islaja is currently blasting some pretty awesome damaged pop since she relocated to Berlin. When talking about Russia, you should check out the new label called Incompetence, which features our longtime Kazan’ favourites PTU. Some sing-songy synth goodness is Motorama’s wife-husband offshoot project called Bergen Kremer. You should also check out John’s Kingdom or Burago. We are currently working on another russian band - ЗОЛОТО. To put it shortly, they sound like nowadays Russia. Modern rendition of EBM with some Belgian ‘Ardkore. Lyrics are in Russian and they are basically about suburbs with S&M references. Soon on Full of Nothing, stay tuned!
Your label Full of Nothing is more or less full of tape releases. Why this particular format?
A/I: Tapes are just as cool as proper mp3s or 12 inch records or you mom’s apple pies. Formats make no sense if you don’t know what you’re trying to say. We’re trying to reach deeper issues without saying anything substantial. Cassettes made sense for some of the things we did. We’re pushing it further. We’re playing around. The label is about having a vision and investigating, not about products, sales, scenes, or god forbid formats.