Exclusive Interview – COMMAND STRANGE

Fresh off the plane, CS sheds light on a crazy night in Amsterdam, how he makes music, and future plans with Intelligent Manners, and more in his latest interview. Dive in to the thoughts of a young musical mastermind…

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Alexey Fuifanov aka Command Strange

Firstly, what’s the meaning behind the name ‘Command Strange’?

  • Its funny, but these two words don’t make sense in that order. A lot of people think its two guys. When I was thinking about my artist name, the main thing is that I liked how it sounds. I also like CS because it sounds like a game that I was always playing.

You were born about the same time as drum & bass, when a dance music revolution was in full swing in England in the early 90s. Are you familiar with that time period? What are your thoughts on rave culture?

  • Not really. But I was introduced to the music when I was 7, thanks to my big brother. He always bought tapes with rave music. Drum and bass music is in my blood. I can listen to it every day, every hour. I can’t describe it but, It was something amazing for me, something incredible. I always wanted to be a part of the rave culture when I was young, but I didn’t know how, so I just started writing music.
You’ve mentioned that some of your songs were made by sampling old soul and mo-town records that your friends brought to you. Are you still using old records for your samples? Where do you get most of your sounds? Do you play any instruments?
  • Now, I don’t use old records for my sounds anymore. I use sample packs and search the internet for sounds. I don’t play instruments, but I use a Behringer keyboard for my productions. And I make my own bass and synths in Reason. And when I was young, I sang in a choir in Kazakhstan.
Some of your recent tunes are more dark and moody than your earlier soulful productions which you are known for. What inspired this change? And where do you see yourself heading in the future, musically?
  • I have always loved everything in drum & bass, whether its techstep, liquid, dark, etc. I love everything. It is much easier to make liquid funk because of the samples. After you get more practice, you can make your own sounds. In the future, I don’t see myself being any one style, I want to be purely drum & bass. I have plans to make my own label with Intelligent Manners. we are going to release true drum & bass, nothing commercial, just true vibes.
What non-drum & bass artist do you like the most? If you could travel back in time to experience any musical moment, when and where would it be?
  • I have always loved Prodigy. I was really a fan of them. I think this is the main artist for me in electronic music, and I loved the breakbeats. If I could go back in time, I would wanna go back and see them perform.
Command Strange in concert
You’ve put out some incredible tunes with Artificial Intelligence. How did that relationship come about, and what have you learned from those guys?
  • I sent some tracks to them about 4 years ago, and they liked some of them, so they signed me to Integral Records. Since then, we’ve had a great relationship. After 2 releases on Integral, I made offered to collaborate with them, and they said yes. I sent the idea for “Mad One” to them, and they suggested we release it on Metalheadz, as they had a good emcee on their side. I have some new collabs with them which are currently unsigned, but keep your eyes open. They’ve also helped me to find a good agent to help me get gigs.
What is your most memorable DJing experience? What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road while touring?
  • All gigs all different, and all are good. I meet different people and learn about different cultures. I remember one gig in Amsterdam, when I was super drunk before my time slot, and I fell asleep on the table in the club. Five minutes before I needed to play, my friends woke me up. I told them to get lost, then began to play. During the set, I made about 30 rewinds because I was super drunk. After that, I can’t remember anything. Since then, I don’t drink much alcohol before I play. I also missed my flight to Russia from Amsterdam.
You’ve been very successful from an early age, with your first release at 16, and tons of releases since. Any words of advice for the young producers out there?
  • Nowadays I think its much easier to make music. There are a lot of libraries and plug-ins, and things that can help you to make music. Its all about practice. Spend a lot of time in your studio making music. Then you’ll improve your production to a higher level.

Aside from making music, what do you enjoy in life?
  • I love sports, especially football. When I was young, I hoped to be a football player. Also I like traveling. That’s why I love my job. I love freedom. I don’t wanna be a manager, or sitting in an office all day, or doing boring work. I also like traditional Russian food, and I don’t like food with too many chemicals.
Tell us some things about Kazakhstan that we might not know about. What is the music scene like there?
  • Kazakhstan is a very nice country, its very big and rich, but there are many rich people and many poor people. There is no drum & bass scene at all, but there are a few night clubs where you can listen to good electronic music. We have done a few drum & bass parties in Almaty, my hometown. We had Nicky Blackmarket, Mutated Forms, Caspa, Raiden, and the parties were very nice and a lot of people came.
Finally, please name 3 of your favorite songs that you have made, and what they mean to you.
  • At the moment my favorite song is Brand New Style ft. MC Fats [V Records] because it was always my dream to be on that label, especially with a legendary emcee. I think the same with Mad One on Metalheadz. I have always loved these labels, they are the most respected for me since childhood. Finally, I love every collaboration that I’ve done with Intelligent Manners. He is my good friend, we can understand each other. Its magic when we make music or gig together.

Thanks for your time, and we’re looking forward to your gigs in China!

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Command Strange + Intelligent Manners in action

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