Coming out of Rotterdam, they’ve been throwing some of the wildest parties in North Europe.
A combination of insane line ups and quality productions have seen them taking leaps and bounds from the rest. They began work on their next venture at the tail end of 2018 with a huge compilation featuring exclusive tunes from sick producers including; Gridlok, Feint and Agressor Bunx.
The Korsakov Compilation was just volume 1 of a series we can’t wait for more of. The album also signalled the launch of Korsakov as a label, and they’ve already got a packed release schedule which kicked off earlier in March with the insane Dead Groove EP from Bl4ck Owlz.
That was quickly followed by The Outsiders’ mad EP last week, Entity which itself will be followed by a huge album from Droptek later on in April. Couple their packed release schedule with Droptek's album launch party on April 12th and their insane Asia Theme party on May 3rd it’s fair to say these guys are not fucking around.
With the Korsakov brand about to blow, it was obvious we had to talk to the brains behind it. We managed to chat with Elmar & Sami from Korsakov HQ about their bass music machine that’s tearing shit up.
What’s got you guys motivated right now?
Sami: Seeing the growth of the Korsakov Events and how fast the label is growing! It really gets me up in the morning and makes me motivated to get the best out of it.
Elmar: For me it's seeing the crazy release schedule for this year already, we've got some sick names down for singles, EP's and even multiple LP's are incoming. The response to all of the releases so far (also the ones currently in PR campaigns) has been acclaim, acclaim and acclaim. It's just so nice to do stuff that gets people excited.
What are you most in love with at the moment?
Sami: Our new couch at our korsakoffice (you see what I did there?), it's really nice and big and makes me relax whenever I want to take a short break. We have also purchased a watercooler which provides us with the most crusty, yet tender water ever. All bad jokes aside, I really love my watercooler.
Elmar: My girlfriend! But in terms of the business, it has to be the massive 18 track Droptek album that drops April 9. It's so incredible, you have no idea what's coming.
Korsakov has rapidly become one of The Netherlands’ biggest drum & bass entities - describe the last 3 years in a sentence.
Elmar: I am never drinking again!
Sami: I want to sleep.
What has been one of your proudest moments?
Elmar: In terms of the business now I can't decide between signing Droptek or confirming our first Korsakov Music label night. Sami and Sacha do the big events and I am in charge of label nights so this is the first time I really have creative control over what happens, and we got a LOAD of label nights incoming all over Europe this year.
Sami: When we sold out the Maassilo in Rotterdam. It was our dream when we started organizing events, and we did it.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, how have you overcome it?
Sami: Working with Elmar and Sacha. Beer. The feeling is mutual.
Elmar: Getting through a day with Sami can be hard especially with Sacha lurking around as well. Beer. Definitely mutual.
What is Korsakov’s ethos?
Elmar: I'm not sure we have one haha. We just do what we love in the only way we know, which is organised chaos. We get the job done, just don't ask us how! In all fairness though we work HARD. It happens a lot that we're even working when having family dinners and stuff like that. We work 7 days a week basically from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep again. There's beer involved
Sami: Our mission is to provide high quality drum and bass events where we make the visitors have the best time ever. We drink beer, have fun and work hard.
You recently evolved into a label, has that been something on your mind’s for a while?
Elmar: It surely was on my mind! I'm just really glad the guys wanted to do a label too because their strength really is doing events while my strengths lie with A&R stuff, getting people to do stuff and sign music to us and all. Being the spider in the web, that's my thing! The boys seem to trust me enough to just let me run the label on my own so I have a lot of freedom to run riot behind the scenes and make releases happen.
What’s your vision for the label, where do you see it in 5 years time?
Elmar: In five years I want to be up there with the very biggest labels. Huge label nights, sick releases by the greatest artists in dnb while always maintaining the good vibes and the family feel.
You kicked off Korsakov Music with a killer compilation back in October, talk about hitting the ground running!?
Elmar: Could have been worse ennit? I was lucky because most of the guys on there are just mates too so it was really just "yo we're gonna do a label and it's gonna be epic, you gotta be a part of it from the start, want to do a tune?" and literally everybody I asked just said yes straight away. Network is everything in music!
Rather than focussing on a sub style, you feature quality cuts of the whole range of dnb - is this what we should expect from Korsakov in future?
Elmar: 100% yes. All dnb is awesome so we will rep all dnb. Simple as that. If it's awesome I'll always want to sign it.
Sum up the what you hope the a label’s sound will be in 5 words or less?
Elmar: Uncompromising. Creative. Unique. Banging. Epic.
You have "BIRTH OF A NEW ERA OF DRUM & BASS MUSIC" on your website, what do you mean by this?
Elmar: We want to become a global drum n bass brand in all shapes and forms. That's why we now have a label and I also run the brand new Korsakov Music Agency where I'm representing the likes of Droptek, Gridlok, Maztek, High Maintenance, Bl4ck Owlz, Ancient Radius and the Korsakov Soundsystem. There's not a lot of brands out there reppin all drum n bass but all drum n bass is awesome so why just submit yourself to only one subgenre of it? We want to be known as the drum n bass powerhouse where all is and all are welcome. A new era.
What are you going to do differently?
Elmar: For me it's my approach to the entire thing. I always want to maintain the human element. As an agent I will always strive to be nice to promoters because there are agents out there who really aren't fun to work with because they come up with crazy demands and have really arrogant attitudes. I never understood that shit because agents aren't even important, it's only the artist who matters so why be a dick to promoters representing someone?
What makes the perfect party?
Elmar: I think as long as the vibe is good the rest doesn't really matter. Sure, lineups are important, sound is important but without a good vibe the party will always be shit. In a perfect world the vibe, sound and lineup are all sick.
If you could host an event anywhere in the world where would that be and why?
Elmar: If we ever get to the point where we get invited to the biggest events around for label hostings on stages then any event anywhere would be sick. Doing a stage on We Are Electric festival with the label is the ultimate goal since that's the greatest festival in the world and you can't change my mind.
Sami: An outdoor event in Rotterdam! The city where we come from. Throwing a massive dnb event in our own city is one of my biggest dreams.
Who would be on your dream line up?
Sami: I’d go for Pendulum, Netsky, Shy Fx, Camo & Krooked, Chase & Status, Audio B2B Mefjus.
Elmar: If I have to dream big it'd go with Noisia, Pendulum, Dirtyphonics, The Prodigy and Andy C and then me solo as Baromar closing haha. If it ever happens I will take you out to the most expensive Gordon Ramsay restaurant in the world.
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