Ossia - Live At Iskorka 05/2021
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Edition of 100 tapes capturing Ossia's a raw recording of the first time on stage after roughly 15months 'time off' during lockdown.
Roughly 60minutes of exclusive live performed material made for the occasion -
"It was around April 2021, and I'd been stuck in Berlin for the last 6 months or so, in what felt like a continuous lockdown in that notoriously grey & cold winter. Like most of us, I'd been doing my best to make the most of the isolation and pace of life, trying to focus on music and trying to keep some sort of zen within the Inertia. I certainly did not expect to be doing any live shows any time soon - I had only (reluctantly) recorded a handful of radio shows during the whole of lockdown - I didn't do any live streams or sit down gigs or anything.
Then, suddenly I get a message on Telegram from a friend & long time promoter in Moscow - Egor.
Egor told me that borders from Berlin to Moscow were (kind of) open again, and he'd be able to get me a sneaky visa. He said he was itching to organise some shows again, and that I could come and stay with him and friends in Russia for a few weeks, to play some music again, and to hang out and drink beers.... In two weeks time.
After being totally perplexed at this totally unexpected idea, I decided it was the right thing to do, and somehow it felt like fate - as Egor was the very last person to invite me to play outside of town (alongside a few friends from the Young Echo Crew) in Moscow & St. Petersburg in early 2020, pretty much a few weeks before the first wave of the pandemic hit Europe and we went into lockdown, and now he'd be the first to put on a show again, after all that was in between.
I then spent three weeks in Russia, and had the rare, and much needed opportunity to play some music again, and enjoy the noise with like minded people, and feel some kind of normality, within the insanity. It was quite an alien experience for me, as I was one of very few 'tourists' in the country at all at this time, and Russia was only just rearing its head out of lockdown (sort of).
The first set I played, was at a small DIY festival called 'Iskorka' or, more correctly, in russian: Искорке.
The site that was used for the festival, is an old soviet-era youth camp in the forest near the town of Bryansk, a few hours train ride from Moscow. We all stayed in the cabins where the kids would usually sleep on their summer vacations, and we ate in the canteen together, or shared home made spirits and beer from a makeshift bar set up near the camp fire, just in front of a little stage under the trees, with performances from day time until sun rise - at which point the music would be replaced with the sound of the hundreds of birds, chatting away over the treetops above us.
I had no idea how my set would go down, or if i'd fvck up... But even though it was quite nerve-wracking in the lead up, I was (as I always try to) up for embracing some chaos. I didn't actually rehearse my live set at all, I had only spent a week or two beforehand building a bunch of raw tracks in the drum sampler, with a few rough run-throughs - but no full set rehearsal or planned consecution of anything.
Luckily, the show felt like it had all that pent up energy released which had been building up inside me all these months - There was a moment about half way through, when I nearly killed a track that was playing by hitting a wrong button, when I got it going again, I had to throw my beer into the air and just scream. Felt good.
The crowd there was really great too, despite it being a kind of rainy night, people were in fknin great spirit, screaming in tandem to some sections of my set, like some kind of call & response reaction. Made me feel comfortable, even as that lone english kid in the forest where every other person was speaking russian.
One regret about this recording is, that there was no mic capturing the crowd and the reverberations of the forest as the soundsystem blasted out... But still, I hope that the recording creates a sense of 'being there', and that the photos help bring across that sense of exploration and the surreality of it all.
The photos were taken by yours truly on a shitty phone camera around the area, except for the pic of me playing on that stage, which was taken by Vera (aka furrr), on a proper camera.-'
Edition of 100.
60 minutes run time.
Apricot tape shells with white onbody print.
Served in zip lock bag, with photo prints and photocopy of festival info flyer with set times and map of the site + secret offline order form & diy artwork for another ossia tape.
Designs taken from the Iskorka festival artwork, layed out again for the tape design.