Audeze interviews Maksim and Misha from dance artist duo Far&High

June 18, 2024

Far&High duo is one of the top Indie Dance artists in the world according to the Beatstats rating, and are among top-4 Diynamic record label artists of all time. A project was launched at the end of 2019: the musicians decided to combine creative forces and views on electronic dance music. Just a couple of months later the first Far&High tracks attracted Solomun's attention. He supported them in almost every set during his large-scale world tour. And in August 2020 the first F&H 4-tracker EP was released on the Diynamic label. Immediately after that, the release burst into the Beatport charts like a rocket and the “Alone” track held the first position in the Indie Dance chart for about 90 days, making the young project one of the official Best Sellers of 2020.
Far&High with Audeze LCD-2 Closed back headphones in the studio
 "After we got the Audezes, we were exaggeratedly shocked at the ability to work with the depth of the mix in closed headphones." - Maksim and Misha
Here's our chat with the Far&High Duo:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

It is a matter of particular pride for us that our project essentially began with a release not anywhere, but with Solomun on his Diynamic label. Despite the fact that we both have a huge amount of experience in music production and DJing under our belt, our new project, which we launched in 2019, thus immediately proved its worth and was highly appreciated in the scene. The track "Alone" from this EP spent several months at number 1 on the Beatport chart and currently holds the record for the most streams on Spotify. We believe without a shadow of embarrassment that this release and its sound had the strongest influence on the whole indie dance scene and its development in the following years. In addition to this release we are really proud of the success of our track “Sans Vetements” (released at the end of 2022). It got maximum hype and viral spreading in social networks thanks to the same Solomun. He regularly included the track in his sets and one of Instagram videos gained millions of views and thousands of reposts.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed? Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

Far&High (Max): My first attempts at writing music started when I was 14 years old in 1994. My tastes at that time were strange, from techno pop like dr. Alban and 2unlimited, Scooter, but of course I listened to The Prodigy & The Chemical Brothers, Westbam, Marusha, U96 to the then gaining popularity "Hard Core" in all its manifestations. But everything changed when I traveled to London and visited Liquid nightclub where I fell in love with Jungle and Drum'n'Bass, which I was, as a musician and producer, completely consumed by until 2005. Of course I listened to an unbelievably large amount of different electronic music, I liked everything, in every style and direction. From Sven Vath's ambient sets to the darkest techno sets of Neil Landstrumm, Steve Stoll. I loved everything, it was the most vivid musical journey into this universe. Now all the styles have settled down, and there is no more of that incredible feeling - when you first heard Minimal Techno or went back to the roots of Detroit and Chicago music! But even in the modern era there is something beautiful - it's the quality of production and rethinking the ideas of the past.

Far&High (Misha): My musical journey began as a kid with a fascination for heavy metal. By the time I was a teenager, I was already familiar with Scandinavian underground death and all other sorts of metal. You name it. Around the same time (mid 90's) I got into all other music and let's just say I broadened my horizons. Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Massive Attack, Jamiroquai etc. all came into play. I also liked Brit-Pop a lot - Oasis, Blur, The Verve etc. Today my playlist includes everything from Roxette and Phil Collins to old Slayer and Metallica. At the end of the 90's I was really into the wave of British Jungle and Drum&Bass music that was gaining popularity. That's what eventually motivated me to make my first attempts at making tracks on my own.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

Far&High (Max): We each have our own core specialization in the project, but it's more of a convention that is in diffusion between us. I am more inclined towards creativity, searching for timbres and ideas, but these ideas would not be as complete without Misha's opinion and advice. I always want to tell a story and I want the track to be logical, sometimes we do more than 10 versions of each track, until the whole story comes together in one tangible flow.

Far&High (Misha): Yes, Max is correct in describing the process and division of responsibilities. My area of responsibility is mostly the technical side of the issue. Processing, fat beats, mixing and mastering. However, as my colleague truthfully pointed out, sometimes we go into each other's "territory". For example, I always need Max's help and advice on final mixing. Second ears are always important.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

We would say that almost all cases of frustration with our own work came as a result of poor control or misuse of available monitoring. Incorrectly positioned monitors can have a dramatic effect on the bottom line. A poorly acoustically treated room can basically cancel out the benefits of even the most expensive speaker system. We moved around a lot from place to place throughout our careers, so the natural choice for us was to use headphones paired with some "sh*t-control" in our work. As of late, we've been in different countries altogether and we've both switched to Audeze headphones in our work, which has had an instant impact on productivity and quality of results. Initial tests in clubs and large venues show excellent results. Our choices are LCD-2 Closed Back and LCD-XC Carbon 2021 version.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

We won't lie if we say that our favorite equipment at the moment is Audeze headphones. At different times each of us has had different sets of equipment and outboards, a lot of different analog and digital synthesizers and other things. Eventually over the years we came to the point where all we need is a Macbook, headphones and ideally a prepared room with PMC or ATC level monitoring. The whole creative and technical process happens completely "in the box".

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Be guided by your idols, but always remain original in your work. That's the only way to stand out. And the most important advice is to work hard on your skills and never stop, no matter how long it takes.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

After we got the Audezes, we were exaggeratedly shocked at the ability to work with the depth of the mix in closed headphones. I guess you could say it's always been a dream of ours, since we move around a lot. Frequency response and detail are also impressive. As a result, we spend much less time on balancing and mixing than before. This is the main factor that is immediately noticeable. It's much easier to get the mix to be perfectly translatable. Because of this, we simply have less frustration and are able to spend more time and attention directly on the creative process and arranging.

We've done a few EPs recently using Audeze: one for Sincopat (it's released), one will be released over the summer on the legendary label Renaissance, and we are currently preparing our next EP for Diynamic. We are very happy with how it sounds, and even though we are almost finished with our studio, the Audeze headphones will stay with us as one of our main control tools!

Far&High with Audeze LCD-XC headphones in the studio