interview. Deeplomat & Dublatov: Rattling the Foundations of Every Sound System

"In our music you can find polyrhythmic turns, melodic synthesized timbres, dynamic breakbeat grooves and a full range of musical immersion, from ambient to full immersion in leftfield house & techno"
21st November 2023

Dream Dome is a vinyl-released collection of weird and wonderful electronic gems, with each track sounding different from the last, all recorded live by Max & Rost, aka Deeplomat & Dublatov. Infused with a healthy dose of acid house, the guys lay down techno beats over hard-hitting electronic synths, creating this cohesive piece of music that is sure to shake up any sound system you play it through.

Given some insight into how the album was created, their love and reverence for live performance is a huge part of how they work. Each track is composed, performed and recorded live, all in one. Each track on Dream Dome is carefully chosen and calibrated to create an overall musical journey by taking the best moments from these live performances.

‘All ideas are generated during performance sessions using modular synthesizers and drum machines,” D&D explain. ”This allows the music creation process to be more organic and less predictable, where every finger or hand movement can be a ‘happy accident’.

With the quality of the tracks and the clean cohesion of the album itself, you could be easily fooled into thinking that these guys have been spinning tracks for their whole lives – but this is actually quite far from the truth. The guys are refreshingly honest and open about the fact that they are not, in their own words, ”professional musicians”. The pair met originally when working together in the real estate business. Thankfully for their listeners, the guys ditched their day jobs and decided instead to create house music together – an ironic turn of events, to be sure – and thus Deeplomat & Dublatov was created.

“We do not belong to a certain genre, we are characterized by musical instruments and a constant search for new sonic dimensions,” D&D elaborate.

That’s why in our music you can find polyrhythmic turns, melodic synthesized timbres, dynamic breakbeat grooves and a full range of musical immersion, from ambient to full immersion in leftfield house & techno.'”

 With their non-conventional creative process, and their refreshingly honest attitudes, their sound is infused with a genuinely organic flow that is only enhanced by their authenticity as artists, and it’s not hard to see, or hear, that these guys really love what they do.

I’d love the streamers to take less from the artists and stop making unfair deals with megastudios.

What brought you together, and what sparked the collaboration that led to your musical endeavors?

Rost: At the time we met I was producing electronic music for a couple of decades. Truth be told I was on sort of a musical hiatus, making a few tracks a year and rarely performing, so our encounter re-ignited the wish to create more. Additionally, it seemed like we are close in musical tastes, but different enough to have an interesting combination. It all started as a series of jams and trials.

Max: I wasn’t involved in electronic music as Rost for decades…I had a couple of years with music before and our connection was through the studies of music production I did in 2017. We had a common friend that is also a musician and our first collaboration was about real estate business.  But luckily it didn’t work and we started our music project. Happy accident, haha

How would you describe the unique sound and style of D&D, especially considering your use of modular synthesizers and drum machines in live performances?

Rost: I think any musician who truly wants to express themselves is going to produce something unique. Add to that a combination of gear, musical tastes and cultural backgrounds and you are going to create a prism that is going to curve the reality strong enough to produce a signature sound.

Max: Agree. I also think the creative workflow affects.  In 2018 when we started writing music together, we mostly worked in Ableton. It’s not like looking for interesting timbres/melodies with a mouse, or twisting the knobs and faders of a live instrument…. I think after 5-6 tracks we got bored with this form of work and started to pay more and more attention to working with live instruments, which eventually resulted in 80% of music creation happening outside of DAW. I think that’s what defines style, is more unpredictable, live I guess

Your record “Dream Dome” was released on vinyl and digital on March 29. Could you delve into the creative process behind the album and the inspiration behind its 13 tracks?

Rost: It started as a series of live jams, later unified into longer public live performance programs that we’ve been performing since 2019. The list of tracks grew, they mutated and at one point we just decided to press a “record” button and shape them all into some proper musical pieces.

Max: Before the pandemic we hadn’t time for studio work due to frequent performances. But after Covid game changed, we focused on production process. As Rost said we already got all music from active live performances and we just selected the most approved tracks by the dancefloor. 

How does the wild nature of modular synthesis influence the overall flow in your recordings and on-stage performances, and what challenges and rewards come with this approach?

Rost: We are lucky enough to own some very organic, very hands-on machines that we are not afraid to take to their limits, in the years of producing together certain patterns emerged and we were able to tame some of the seemingly random sounds and frame them with rhythms and melodies, thus giving a pretty clear and understandable pieces a vibrating, living edge. As a result, each time we perform, even the old tracks, they sound slightly different.

The debut album “Dream Dome” was produced from live performances in 2019-2020. Can you discuss the significance of these performances and how they shaped the overall narrative and atmosphere of the album, especially considering the limited vinyl version?

Rost: In that span of time we definitely got more comfortable with playing live, relying less on structure of pre-recorded parts and experimenting with sound and flow. In the end this is what we recorded, just like a regular ol’ band with guitars. 

Max: Certainly these performances gave us invaluable experience in live performance and audience interaction. But perhaps the main thing that influenced it was a type of live show called DAWless. If you play a prearranged live show in Ableton, you have less risk of playing something differently than planned. And if you play 5-7 analog instruments and the whole arrangement goes through them – surely some instrument will not work or will work differently. To put it simply, we had almost all the tracks played in 4-5 variations because they were created DAWless. And it’s cool when new forms of sound and composition were discovered with such happy accidents. For example in the track Upper Structure the transition in the second part was created because Rost accidentally turned the wrong knob, and as a result we liked it and this version was included in the final release.

What was the first album you purchased?

Rost: If we’re talking about electronic music. It was probably the Prodigy “Experience” album. I bought bootleg tape on a “black market”. Otherwise, I’ve been listening to some rock music since I was a kid. Stuff like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, soviet alternative rock band Kino.

Max: In electronic music field the first one was psy trance Skazi’s album – Zoo 3

Which artists are you listening to right now?

Rost: Most recently to the newest James Holden album, Whitest Boy Alive and Marconi Union.

Max: Right now I’m very addictive to old-school afro music as afrobeat, blues, ethnical afro band. 

What changes would you like to see happen in the music industry?

Rost: I’d love the streamers to take less from the artists and stop making unfair deals with megastudios.

Max: More focus on live electronic performances.

What is your favorite equipment to use in the studio and why?

Rost: My ever changing modular suitcase. I always tweak it and that is as much fun for me as using it for music, which it is also great at! 

Max: It’s a handpad percussion with sampler Octatrack

Do you have a dream piece of gear on your wishlist?

Rost: I’d probably like to have a decent size Buchla system at some point. Other than that maybe a couple of old keyboards like juno 106, and korg m1, just for fun.

Max: I never thought I’d say this, but I think it’s time for me to say I don’t need extra studio equipment, haha