PT: Hey Alexander, how are you? Exciting times, with Pure Progressive Volume 3 about to hit the stores?
Alex: “Hi! I’m fine, thanks. Of course, I’m super excited about the release! Really looking forward to share my view with the audience.”

PT: Do you recall the moment Rich asked you to mix/create it? What was your first thought?

Alex: “The story is quite interesting. After I released my first album (Different Together on Pure Progressive as well), Rich told me it would be great to come up with something similar in a year or so. I think in 2021 I started to make a new album and it was ready in 2022, so I sent it to Rich and he said he wanted to make a call. We had a chat in Zoom and he told me that it would be great to make 2 CDs: one with the artist album and another one with a DJ mix. It was a great idea, there was nothing to think about, so we agreed to make it, right that moment.”

PT: Do you feel right at home at Pure Progressive? What makes your sound fit so well?

Alex: “The reason is the variety of music released on that label. I think it fits perfectly for artists who don’t stick to a specific genre within progressive music. Or even more – for example, I had a drum’n’bass track on the Different Together album. Plus, I think Rich loves my music, this is very important to me and makes me want to move forward.”

PT: Were there any doubts? Any moments you thought you couldn’t do it?

Alex: “Of course, and I would say that feeling was following me all the time I mixed both parts of the compilation. Especially hard was the part to find all the tracks for the second DJ mix. It wasn’t easy, we had spoken with loads of artists, but with the help of Kirill (Enlusion) we made it right.”

PT: Did you have some sort of plan? A structure, a way to tackle this massive project?

Alex: “The main idea was to make it as variable as possible (of course, within the progressive genre). The artist part was not that hard to make, as all the tracks were written by me, but it took months to find the right balance for the mix.”

PT: How long has this one been in the works?
Alex: “I guess a year and a half, but the first track from the album called ‘Space Trace’ was written around 3 years ago. Also, I think 1 or 2 tracks from the artist mix were written about 2 years ago. The last 6 months, it was mostly about mastering, mixing, promo etc., but the full mix was ready in January or February.”

PT: It’s basically an artist album as well, with the first disc ‘The Artist’ being all original productions. How would you describe your sound – if you had to define it in words?

Alex: “Different Together : ) Actually, I wanted to call it Different Together 2, but when we decided to make both discs and this name was no longer valid, but the idea was the same. Most of my tracks are based on repeating synths, arps, etc. with a nice rolling bass touch on them. Because it’s how I start making a track, try the synth, lay some nice rolling bass on it, repeat : ) Some of my friends tell me my sound is recognizable, but I still can’t understand why.”

PT: Are there any particular productions on there that stand out to you personally? Any favourites you’re particularly proud of?

Alex: Yes, sure. It may sound surprising, but my absolute favourite from the artist album is ‘Space Trace I’. It is very personal and emotional to me. I wrote it 3 years ago and I’m still listening to it few times each month. There is even a funny beats version I made for myself : ) If we’re talking about DJ mix it is ‘Vasily Dvortsov – On Transgalactic Bridge’. Of course, all the tracks are great, but these two are special to me.”

PT: ‘Afterglow’ is first up to be revealed – and released this week. What can you tell us about that one?

Alex: It’s very interesting story that at first this track was intended to be without a beat. I was thinking about making it a chillout track, intro track or drum’n’bass track. But at some moment I added my loving rolling bass to the main chord sample and it sounded just right.”

PT: The first disc really builds from chilled-down prog that you can listen to while having a drink at the beach to something you can lose your mind to in the club – was that your vision?

Alex: “You have the right thoughts — that’s what I was trying to do exactly. There are some great artists out there who release awesome EP’s or single tracks, but when it comes to an album they do the same – they make a long EP with 10 tracks. The album should invite listener to the artists’ world, there should be something more than a usual EP.”

PT: So what about disc 2, ‘The Mix’? How did you find all these gems?

Alex: “Oh, it was really hard. I mean it. At first, we formed a list of artists together with Kirill (Enlusion), kind of a long list. There were around 100 producers. We didn’t choose everyone, because I wanted my mix to be more progressive oriented. I think we got around 30-35 answers (including ‘no’ answers), so only 30% of artists actually replied. From that 30% we got signed around 8-9 tracks, other tracks didn’t fit the mix or artists weren’t interested. Also, Rich (Solarstone) helped us with several great tracks. I don’t remember the exact proportions, of course.”

PT: Were there any restrictions, any tracks that didn’t make the cut?

Alex: “Yes, the main idea was to make a progressive mix, there were some tracks that were too trancy, tracks we didn’t sign. Also, there were some nice demos we received, but they had some problems with the quality of the sound.”

PT: What did you aim for with The Mix? Is this what people would be hearing in a Slam Duck set in the club?

Alex: I would say yes, but not in the club, maybe on a personal party, some event, etc. : ) Or maybe first or second mix in the club, before the main DJ arrives. Of course, I would play something harder, if I play in the club prime time.”

PT: What does Pure Progressive represent and mean to you?

Alex: “Short, but clear — it’s my home.”

PT: Finally; is there anything you’d like to say to the listeners of the album?

Alex: “Please, always listen to full albums, even if you feel like a track is not okay as a single, it may sound great in the full album mix.”

Pure Progressive Volume 3 lands on June 16th. Grab your copy here.