It's a small handful of young people that can say that they've been victimized by kleptomaniac aliens with a debilitating weed addiction. It's an even smaller group that has had the fortitude to flip this otherwise traumatic encounter into a dancefloor hit, as psychedelic bass master Greg Pesochin, aka Udachi, has with "Smoke Rings," a collaboration with fellow Brooklynite Jubilee. Coming from a diverse pedigree of DJing college radio, raves, and even skate rinks, Udachi's unique brand of wobble has earned him a spot on the Trouble and Bass bookings roster; he recently started Party Like Us Records with AC Slater and B. Rich. This Saturday, catch Udachi probing the depths of Mighty's superb soundsystem with fellow bass-head Deekline. We spoke with him about the inspiration behind his music, his logo, and the difference between parties on the East Coast and West Coast.
Could you give us a little history behind the very Japanese-sounding name Udachi?
I get a lot of questions about my name, and yes it sounds Japanese, but its meaning is translated from Russian [for] to have luck, or be fortunate, or to have a good journey. It might sound corny, but it's my way of thanking my family and friends for helping me through life and to be able to have these kinds of great opportunities.
In February, you released Party Animals Volume I off Party Like Us Records, which features releases AC Slater and B. Rich as well. What's the best part of working with these guys?
It's a great honor to work with people you love. These guys are real homies; we come from the same ilk of musical sensibilities, but still different enough to do our own things with great success. The best part is that we're always constantly pushing each other and helping [each other] progress in our musical abilities, and lend that friend ear for constructive criticism and such.
You also recently released your Stumble EP. It seems like lately a lot of bass-heavy DJs and producers are going towards aggressive bass tracks with airy vocals. What's your take?
As for other trends with music, I'm not sure if I try and follow them too hard -- I just try to make myself happy, then I trust myself in thinking it will make people happy on the dancefloor. This specific track was not an answer to current chart status tracks. I had a really un-refined instrumental sitting on the back burner with these amazing vocals from Short Stories for close to a year. I tried to make them fit, but it just wasn't happening at the time. So one day AC Slater is telling me that I'm due for another PLUR EP, and I think I kind of needed that push to get out of a musical funk. I came back to the track fresh and built the instrumental from scratch around the vocal. The song came together so naturally I almost cried when it was done.
I must say that I love the contrast between sort of the "masculine" and "feminine" vibes in a dance song. Bring em on! I think the best songs [are] the one's that make the mark and the ones that have the best contrast.
Your newest logo looks like a cobra pyramid with an eyeball...is it?
I guess it is ... or is it? The logo is sort of an amalgamation of my old logo variation. Originally it was going to be a Faberge egg with a third chicken-eye type thing emerging, then it just turned into this sort of astral being with lotus petals protruding.
Your musical history consists of quite a bit of quirky track names like "P-Funk Skank" and "Jellyroll." What's the story behind them?
With these two specific tracks, I think the names both kind of came out while writing the tunes. When "Jellyroll" was raw it had no vocals, then I kept hearing this sort of goopy sound when that first bass line would drop, and it seemed very jellylike to me. Then one night I imagined a giant slug like creature floating through the stars transmitting some sort of alien wave music from a little radio headset or something. So I recorded a couple of takes at AC Slater's studio of me sounding like a tweaked radio announcer. Then AC recorded some hilarious parts as well like the "Hey Udachi, where's my jellyroll," and it was history from that point on!
With "P-Funk Skank," I was chain-smoking Parliament Lights and my old boss used to call them "p-funks". I've gotten flack from friends, because the song doesn't really have a "funk" or a "Parliament Funkadelic" or any kind of "skank" rhythms. But I really liked the uprock sampling of the horns making them sound very flared, and it just sort of rolled off the tongue and I stuck with it.
And since these tracks blew up almost instantly, what's always that one moment for you when you know your track is a success?
Hairs stand up on the back of neck, and I get the goose bumps. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's exciting!
It must be a trip collaborating with multiple DJs at big festivals and headlining your own tours as well. Share with us one of your more memorable parties.
I think one of the best parties surprise-wise had be in Edmonton, Alberta. When the promoter picked me up he kept telling me that the party was at a restaurant. From the sound of it, I was a little bummed, thinking it was going to be awkward in some catering hall or something. It turned out to be the messiest, craziest party ever, packed out with crazy Canadians going nuts. The bass was so loud that the foam ceiling was disintegrating. I'm sure I inhaled all sorts of fungi and mold, but damn it was fun!
Since you're headlining S.F. this Saturday, what's something about the West Coast that differs from the East, musically and crowd-ly? Yes we just made that word up.
I think the East and the West both have their amazing qualities when it comes to going out. What keeps me coming back West is the open atmosphere and the sense of collaboration and fair trade, if that makes sense. It's also like another planet; it's hard to peg what it is. But every time I come out here, I get an immense response from really rowdy dedicated people that really understand what I'm playing, and weaving. I'm extremely humbled every time I get out here, it makes me want to work harder and get to that level where people trust me more in my DJ sets, and let me take them on that lovely journey. And I like it, rowdy crowdly!