Insomniac’s Metronome series features mixes from some of today’s fastest-rising electronic stars, as well as championed legends. It takes listeners deep across a wide range of genres, movements, cultures, producers, artists, and sounds that make up the diverse world of electronic music.
The Russian-Ukranian trio known as Teddy Killerz have taken the drum & bass scene by storm ever since they were elevated to center stage via the legendary RAM Records just a few short years ago. Able to knock out hit after hit with seemingly effortless ease, the trio’s recent Nightmare Street LP only served to solidify their hold on all corners of the dancefloor.
Flexing a diverse range of tempos, vibes, and styles, the trio can bust on the minimalist old-school vibe just as easily as they can kick it into mosh-pit territory for the neuro-tech massive. Take their latest cut, “New Jam,” which has just hit the streets. Centered on a healthy dose of hip-hop attitude, ragga swagger, and straight-up dank vibes, the trio prove they not only represent the future of the genre, but they are here to dominate the present, as well.
To get a sense of exactly where the crew is coming from, we sat down for a wide-ranging chat and locked in a massive 55-tune Metronome mix that’s sure to make you a believer. Check it.
What kind of music do you remember hearing your parents listen to? Are there any musicians in your family? Were you guys trained on any instruments when you were growing up?
Greg: My parents were never great music lovers. The only thing I remember from early childhood are cassettes of Abba and Gypsy Kings in my father’s car!
Anton: I remember my parents had vinyl of Modern Talking and a lot of Soviet pop music [laughs]. A lot of Italian music was popular in Russia at the time, from Luciano Pavarotti to Adriano Celentano.
Oleg: Yeah, it was the same in my family: mostly Soviet pop and some disco music, like Boney M. I think if I hadn’t heard the Prodigy in 1995, I would still be far away from this music scene.
At what point does electronic music enter your world?
Oleg: Everything started when I first heard the Prodigy. I was curious how they made this sound and this music. I started with producing breakbeat and hip-hop first, and only after that did I discover jungle and drum & bass.
Greg: Definitely the Prodigy and Scooter, as well. Later it was the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, 666, and others.
Anton: I think I heard KMFDM before Prodigy—and also, Orbital!
With you guys living so far apart, how did you connect in the first place, and how do you keep the vibe alive? It’s like a long-distance relationship: People say they won’t last, but you guys have made it work!
Anton: I first spoke to Oleg many years ago. I heard his tune in a neuropunk podcast and asked if he would like to work on something together. We’ve been making music together for a couple of years, and then I met Greg at a show in Rostov-on-Don. He came with the idea to make a trio and build a new name for our music.
Would things be different if you were all in one apartment making music together 24/7?
Greg: It would never work! When we meet together, we’re having fun and not working at all. But to be honest, it would make things much easier and just nicer. I hope we’ll do it one day.
Now that it’s become a career, what comes first: the concept or the tune?
Oleg: It can be either/or… Usually, we just make music and then see what we can do with it. But sometimes, we come up with an idea about what kind of sound we want to work on first. For example, we had some time after the album, and we decided to work on an old-school sound. This is how we started “Funky Feeling,” which later became a collab with Signal. The same happened on “New Jam.”
The artwork on every release is so on point, especially the image of those three bears. Is it too successful at this point? In other words, do you guys show up at gigs and no one even knows who you are?
Greg: It happens most of the time, yeah. We never wanted to plaster our faces everywhere, and as far as inspiration, we loved how the Gorillaz and Feed Me and others have used this same concept. We decided to focus on using our comic images everywhere.
Let’s say it all ended tomorrow and the Teddy Killerz were no more. How would you want the project to be remembered? What would your legacy be?
Anton: I don’t like word the word “legacy,” but it would be cool if people still listen to our music after a few years!
What kind of job/career would you have now if the whole music production thing didn’t work out?
Greg: I think I would still stay in my home city, working at the university. I’ve finally finished my Ph.D. and am teaching students the Ethics of Journalism.
Anton: I think I would make super cool hipster furniture!
Oleg: Probably still working in police!
Now that “New Jam” has hit the streets and you guys keep crushing with every release, what should we be looking out for next?
Greg: We have plans to come back to non-D&B production and release some music at other tempos. But don’t worry, we’ve also got a lot of D&B tunes in progress, as well!
- Track List:
June Miller & Teddy Killerz “Wildlife”
Teddy Killerz “Unbelievable”
The Upbeats “Dungeon” (Malux remix)
Audio “Ultron” (Mefjus Remix)
Chase & Status “Tribes”
Chase & Status “Smash TV”
L 33 “Karate” (Neonlight Remix)
Noisia “Stamp Out”
Mefjus & Emperor “Disrupted”
Teddy Killerz ft. Lena Cullen “Coming for You”
Noisia “Collider” (Teddy Killerz Bootleg)
Konichi “Contraband” / Misanthrop “Antimachine”
Teddy Killerz “Teddy’s Song”
Noisia “Into Dust” (NeonlightRemix)
Teddy Killerz “Violence”
Phace & Mefjus “Decisions”
Teddy Killerz “New Jam”
Annix & Turno “Cold Killer”
DC Breaks “Hustle”
Noisia “Tentacles” (Teddy Killerz Remix)
Annix & Prestige “The Dog Knows”
Synergy “Let It Roll”
Teddy Killerz “Monkey Kingdom”
Phace & Mefjus “The Mothership” (VIP)
Emperor “Haste” (Phace Remix)
Malux “Turbine” (Teddy KIllerz Remix)
I Am Legion “Make Those Move” (Teddy Killerz Remix)
Teddy Killerz “Chopper”
Break “Duck for Cover”
Misanthrop “Infinite Hysteria” / Wilkinson “What”
Phace & Mefjus “Malmaison”
The Upbeats “Joyrider”
Spor “Clarets March”
A.M.C & Turno “Ice Cold”
Mefjus, Kasra “Conversion”
Break “Who Got da Funk”
Break “Strictly Entertainment”
2N “Come Again”
Intermatic “Late Entry”
Noisia “Machine Gun” (Spor Remix)
Annix x Teddy Killerz “Jungle Consumes Everything”
Break “Love so True”
Turno & North Base ft. Harry Shotta “Third Eye”
Teddy Killerz & Gridlok “Sputnik”