Raw Solutions

April 23, 2013 Software

Raw Solutions is the debut full-length by Slava. Following his 2012 EP Soft Control for Software Recording Co., Raw Solutions finds Slava exploring the darker, denser corners of Chicago House and Footwork in an ever-broadening context.

Slava means “fame” and “glory” in Russian and is the artist’s given name. Born in 1980s Moscow, Slava developed a taste early for the pop glamor slowly steaming its way through the Cold War door. Stricken by the particular flair of Freddie Mercury, young Slava imitated his every dance move, complete with fake mustache, slicked-back hair and a broomstick for a microphone stand.

After moving to Chicago at the age of 12, Slava discovered a new object of obsession – House Music. At 23, Slava began creating his own productions inspired by the city’s musical legacy, tinged with bittersweet memories of a childhood spent in socialized housing blocks.

After relocating to New York City in 2009, Slava’s Windy City 2 Step set became a beacon for the best – or, simply, rawest – dance parties. An enigmatic figure in Brooklyn’s underground dance community, Slava’s presence at any after hour party focuses the altered state of the room in a stately but ecstatic way.

True to his cross-cultural identity, Slava’s production doesn’t fit neatly into a categorical genre. Rather, it surveys many and, Zelig-like, borrows freely from them. Slava dissects elements of pop, R&B, Hip-Hop, Vogue House, British Bass and Ambient and refocuses them in almost sculptural form for the live experience.

The development of Raw Solutions was greatly informed by Slava’s performance. Often recorded in single takes directly from a Korg Electribe ESX, the album compositions were crafted from bare machine essentials with few audio effects or sound-design. Slava’s command of the mix powers Raw Solutions along a more refined and visceral arc than his previous recorded work.

The vocal sample has become a signature element in Slava’s carefully constructed balance. The thick and sticky sonic material of the samples contrasts the lean tone of mix element. The space surrounding Slava’s skeletal programming becomes muscular with foraged sounds.

Over the course of Raw Solutions, the samples dissolve into the production, naturalizing the contrasting presence. Raw Solutions rarely drifts though. The mix remains meticulously assembled — each part perfectly puzzled-pieced. Mercury’s penchant for intricate vocal choreography may have left as deep a stamp on Slava’s psyche as his charisma.

The Raw Solutions album cover continues Slava’s relationship with the collaborative artist team of Dora Budor and Maja Cule, also responsible for Soft Control’s cover design. A video for “Werk” is forthcoming, directed by Michael Intile with creative direction by Katie Hickman and Richard Pedaline.

Raw Solutions is now available via the Software Recording Co. in limited vinyl edition as well as CD and digital formats.

2xLP $16.00
CD $7.00
MP3 $8.99
1 Werk  
2 Heartbroken  
3 I Know  
4 Girl Like Me PLAY  
5 Girls on Dick  
6 Wait  
7 On It  
8 Hold On  
9 Crazy Bout U  
10 How You Get That  
11 Doit  
12 Wit U