Key Information: Two brothers united to one sound & vision - such is the source of Russia’s illustrious, industrious Moonbeam. Following their formation in 2006, Pavel & Vitaly Khvaleev’s unique spin on electronic dance music swiftly won them favour with tier-1 DJs. Underlining its diversity, over that time their studio-ware has been as regularly supported by the likes of van Buuren, van Dyk, Schulz and Corsten, as it is Tiësto, Axwell and Digweed. Through many 100s of DJ sets and live Moonbeam shows, they’ve now soundtracked hundreds of thousands of electronic music nights for clubbers around the world. In 2009, propelled by their productions & performances, they entered DJ Magazine’s annual list of the world’s best DJs. With 3 official full-length artist albums already marking waypoints in their career, early summer 2015 heralds their fourth, the highly anticipated ‘Atom’.
Moonbeam The DJs: Originating from the major east Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, as both DJs and a live act, Pavel and Vitaly have built up an impressive reputation. Their captivating stage performances have built up a staunch home-country fanbase bedrock. To date they have held sway over numerous mainline events, tent-pole festivals and iconic clubs. In 2010 they supported Tiësto on his tour of the Ukraine and in 2011 rocked the goliath Kazantip festival. As their music’s begun to burgeon worldwide, demand to see the brothers themselves perform abroad intensified, now spreading as far a field as China, France, Japan, Czech Republic and South Korea.
The Music: much has been made of Moonbeam’s singular take on dance music. At once harmonic and profound, it is also effecting, conspicuously filmic and hauntingly poignant. A direct by-product of their shared musical influences (Röyksopp, Radiohead, Massive Attack and Björk are amongst the most regularly cited Moonbeam stimuli), it notably stands them apart from the majority of post-millennial electronic music.
“Music that has no limits, no borders. This inspires us to make experiments with our own music”, says Pavel. Tracks like ‘See The Difference Inside’, ‘Cocoon’, ‘7 Seconds’ and ‘Eclipse’, as well as remix work like Rachael Starr’s ‘To Forever’ attest to it. More recently releases like ‘Daydream’ and ‘I Love Your Face’ have found favour with the dance press. Rating ‘Daydream’ a rare 9.5 out of 10, DJ Mag hailed it was “intoxicating” and “incredible”. ‘I Love Your Face’ meanwhile was a Single of the Month in the magazine, with an effect that was, to quote, “little short of atomic”.
Equal in impact have been their artist albums: ‘Around The World’ (through Black Hole in 2010), 2011’s ‘The Secret’ (Moonbeam Digital) and the OST to their debut feature film ‘The Random’ in 2013. Without doubt Russia’s most prodigious electronic dance music export, Moonbeam’s music has been brought to dancefloors through a host of world-class imprints over the course of the last decade. Black Hole, Armada Music, Ultra, Coldharbour, Kickin’, Spinnin’, High Contrast and the esteemed German label, Traum Schallplatten have all seen releases of the brothers’ music.
In 2012 Pavel and Vitaly passed their 200th Moonbeam production milestone. In November of the same year they released ‘You Win Me’, which featured the vocals of Aelyn. The track was the first to be taken from the album ‘The Random’ and was also the landmark 500th release on Black Hole Recordings.
In late 2014 Moonbeam returned to the studio to record their next international album. The result was ‘Atom’, which again followed in the Khvaleev brothers’ grand tradition of the untraditional. A 10-track compression of leading-edge sounds & studio techniques, it determinedly slalomed around block-terminology & categorization. It drew again on their ever-flourishing home-grown talent pool of singer/songwriters - Avis Vox, Eva Pavlova, Irina Makosh, Aelyn, Sopheary & Deniz Reno among them. The first single taken from it, ‘Follow Me’, co-produced by Indifferent Guy and sung by Eva Pavlova, was released in mid April of 2015, with the album seeing release a month later.
The Moonbeam Film Studio: Moonbeam are every bit as much dedicates of vision as they are sound, regularly merging the two in their work. The video production and graphics studio arm of their organization has thus far produced 30 of the group’s music videos, as well as others for acts like A*S*Y*S* and Sol Noir. Their bespoke visuals are regularly seen as being a major contributing factor to their on-stage appeal.
2013’s The Random became the studio’s first feature length film, with an original soundtrack written, composed and performed by Moonbeam. The film, whose plot revolves around a mysterious game (the ‘Random’ of the title), received a limited European cinematic run. It was released on DVD in North America on May 13th, 2014. The Random was followed in 2015 by their second motion picture III. The thriller/horror film made Official Selection at a wide range of international film festivals, including FANT & Nocturna, Spain, BIFFF, Belgium and the Imagine Film Festival in Holland. On May 15th 2015, it won the Best Cinematography award at Australia’s prestigious Byron Bay International Film Festival.
Moonbeam’s Ticket To The Moon Radio Show: January 1st 2014 saw Moonbeam reformat & reboot their Moonbeam Music radio show. The result was Ticket To The Moon, which further broadened the show’s musical remit, placing an even greater emphasis on new music and introducing several new regular features. Ticket To The Moon is now broadcast on over 50 stations internationally.
Moonbeam Digital: Symptomatic of their independently minded musical approach, the Khvaleev brothers established the Moonbeam Digital label in 2005. This formed a platform through which they could take full creative control of their highly original music output. Subsequently it also offered an outlet for other talented and likeminded producers. It has generated many a key release in their own career and that of others. Included among them are ‘Hate Is The Killer’ (which was remixed by fellow Russian electronic music emissary Arty), regular vocal muse Avis Vox’s, ‘Doors Opened Inside’, Matvey Emerson’s debut album, and Moonbeam feat Blackfeel Wite’s own ‘Your Wind Is In My Hands’.
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