The latest signing to George Fitzgerald’s ManMakeMusic label, Tokyo-based composer Phil Gerus is something of a virtuoso. Growing up in Moscow, a city that lays claim to the world’s finest conservatoires, Gerus became a classically trained pianist before ever entering the world of Electronic music. Curiously thumbing through his dad’s record collection, Phil grew heavily influenced by jazz legends Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, as well as funk & boogie records of the 80s & 90s. Inevitably, these sounds translate directly and smoothly to his own production: sensual 80′s vibes with tunes that are brimming with rhythm and funk.
Last month he released his Opposites Left Together EP, following a pair of 12″s issued in 2012 by Fuselab and Sonar Kollectiv. Warping classic r’n’b and disco, Gerus’ use of synthesizers, looping, and heavily filtered vocals has marked out a plot of untouched territory in Electronic music for his EP to stand.
We asked Gerus to take us on a virtual tour around the Russian capital Moscow, giving you a definitive guide to the best record stores, coffee shops, music venues and more. What’s more, Phil Gerus has recorded an exclusive mix of 100% local music to accompany his guide to the city, so you can immerse yourself to the fullest.
Below you can find an annotated Google Map of Phil Gerus’ guide to Moscow, accompanied by detailed explanations of every place pinned.
1. Favourite place to buy records?
There are a few record stores in Moscow that I like but I would probably recommend two places which are: “Dig” and the “Sound-Barrier”. And traditionally, there is that record store sorta district located in Leninsky Ave – lots of new places I’ve never been myself.
2. Favourite place to listen to live music?
If we are talking LIVE classical music then it’s definitely Moscow’s Conservatory hall and the “Moscow International House of Music” (Dom Muziki)
You can just pop in any weekday and you will have some student’s concert or The National Orchestra and what not!
3. Favourite outdoor party?
I love those summer outdoor events in Gorky Park called “Faces And Laces” and the “Afisha” Festival
4. Best sound system?
I personally love the sound in my favourite Solyanka club. They have that Funktion One sound system – always a pleasure to play there – good vibes, good people, good music!
5. Best view of the city?
Best panoramic view would be in the area around Moscow State University called the Sparrow Hills which are also known as The Lenin Hills. You can enjoy the city lights and it’s the best ever place to take a bike ride.
6. Place to experience something unique to Moscow?
Get yourself in the Ostozhenka street and Gogolevsky boulevard, visit the Puskin Museum or the Museum of Private Collections – it will bring you back to the XIX century of the Russian Empire, though it has changed recently, a bunch of new buildings and renovations. But it still has some Moscow uniqueness to it!
7. Favourite coffeeshop?
Coffee tastes good at the place called Coffemania on Pokrovka street.
8. The first place you miss after leaving Moscow?
It’s definitely Leninsky Ave and the Sparrow Hills altogether – the place I was born – my first musical school and it’s just the near and dear to my heart and tummy neighborhood.
9. Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?
Usually, you’re most likely to come across the peeps of the kind at the good old Moscow backyards or in a park where old men are playing chess – they can most certainly be friendly!
10. Best place to see another medium of art other than music?
I’d pick The Tretyakov Art Gallery as the best choice for me. It contains more than 17000 works by Russian artists from early religious paintings (icons) to modern art.
11. Best traditional Russian restaurant? And what meal would you choose?
There is that posh Russian restaurant on Pushkinskaya – they serve the traditional Russian cuisine but the prices are pretty high. You can try the new one called “Doctor Zhivago” located in the Hotel “National”. Get the Borsch with sour cream – you can’t go wrong with it!
12. Is there a person (dead or alive) who encapsulates Moscow for you?
For me it will always be Scriabin and the Moscow’s Conservatory neighborhood. Just listen to his Valse op.38 played by Vladimir Sofronitsky. It will blow you away! It has the best Moscow feeling to it in my POV.
13. Tell us a little about the mix you made for us. Where did you record it and are there any particular tracks/artists you want to shout about?
There are lots of new cats around here but I was looking for a particular sound. The mix features friends’ works and some up and coming producers with a good potential.
14. Lastly, who are some of your favourite up-and-coming producers coming out of Moscow?
The tracklist contains all the guys that are worth checking out.
1. Feyorz – Won’t Expire
2. Lapti – Velo track
3. Oh!Dee – The Dream
4. 813 – Rover 75
5. Arsenii – jlenn gones – i am bombody (arsenii jumble)
6. Frunk29 – Slowdilla (Original Mix)
7. Lay-Far – Side 2 Side (I Just)
8. Cream Soda – Cocaine
9. Phil Gerus – Voice To Voice, Lip To Lip