“This is the sound we’re after,” writes Moscow-based promoter Gleb Sereda of Angelwave — an events series co-founded and run with Andrei Smiryonnov — about their modern approach to trance music. Represented in their ‘Евразия Ангелвэйв’ mix, shared via AQNB today, the music oscillates between expanding, breathless build ups and wonky, sometimes jagged, moments of sublime ambience. “It’s always mutating and recombining with other genres.”
This year saw a series of daytime, so-called ‘light’ parties spring up in Moscow — all booked by Angelwave and most of them held at NII (‘НИИ,’ i.e. ‘science & art’) venue, originally known as the citadel for lo-fi techno and house labels Gost Zvuk (‘ГОСТ ЗВУК’) and Johns’ Kingdom. Angelwave events (transliterated to Cyrillic as ‘Ангелвэйв’) are organized by a small promo group run by Sereda called ໂ 𝓾 𝓻 𝓪 𝓼 𝓼 𝓲 𝓪 (‘Евразия’). By any standard, the parties are a novelty for the Russian scene, typically associated with all things gloomy and depressive. This summer’s events were marked with appearances by Italian ‘pointillistic trance’ superstar Lorenzo Senni, as well as other brighter-side-of-life artists like London-based French producer coucou chloé’s ghostly RnB and Glaswegian Sega Bodega, just to name a few.
Angelwave’s press releases are peppered with terms like ‘progressive audience’ and ‘future meta-physics,’ while also mentioning face control and a dress code of ‘light’ or ‘white’ clothing. The ໂ 𝓾 𝓻 𝓪 𝓼 𝓼 𝓲 𝓪 team makes use of the club space in broad daylight — setting up fog machines and bright neon lights, printing themed banners and having racks of party merchandise — altogether making the club more akin to a closed fashion event. Many visitors choose Club Mate over the usual drink of choice for Moscow club-goers, beer or vodka. It is the middle of the day, after all.
In making an exclusive mix for AQNB, Sereda also shares some insights into Moscow’s burgeoning ‘light wave.’
**When and why did you start Angelwave? Had there been a precedent of daytime raves in Moscow?
Gleb Sereda: We’d had the idea of making something filled with light and kindness, something life-affirming and aimed at progress for a while. But the concept took shape in 2015. Basically, daytime festivals are the same thing, so yes.
**Which artists have you already brought to Moscow, and which Russian participants of Angelwave can you single out?
All Russian acts are cool and kindred spirits but there are not too many of them yet, unfortunately. Most of our events are pretty international but I guess that’s the way it should be, at least we originally planned this as a global platform. I would definitely recommend you to check out MAX 100PERCENT, FMSAO, Tropical Interface, Sasha Manik, AN System, Lovozero, Звук солнца.
**In Russia, witch house grew from a tiny online genre into a real movement. Do you look back on such teams as WITCHOUT? Both of your parties take root in Soundcloud tags and you are just as obsessed with aesthetics and clothing… They even have a light-themed offshoot ‘Грёзы.’
GS: I wouldn’t like us to be compared to WITCHOUT due to this one go-round. We learned how not to do things. The internet is surely the main source of inspiration but I think we really take it seriously and pay attention to the undercurrents of this culture. We have gone further and this is a more informed project.
**Is Angelwave a reaction to Moscow’s obsession with EBM and techno of sorts?
GS: It’s more a reaction to decadence, cynicism and the stranglehold of the grim side in this city.**