It all began unexpectedly, when Artem Stepanov was 17 years old. At some point he made his mother buy him a music synthesizer as a New Year present. This device was bought exactly on the 31th of December. So, the whole day and all the night Artem was sitting by the instrument and studying it. He even did not leave his room for the new-year party.
So it still goes on like that, almost no breaks. Hardware and software are the only things that change. It is said that Artem’s relationships, private life and sleep were replaced with the composing for quite a long time.
Math Geek does not even try to define the genre of his music with any known expression. In cases, when he is asked for it, Artem constructs word combinations like “Frisky Braindance”, “Fairytale Punk”, “Melodic Heavy Mental Childish Happy Hardcore” and so on.
I can hardly say that what I do is a composer’s work. Perhaps, I really do nothing about the music, but someone else does. I’ve been feeling that way for a long time, but realized this fact with all the clarity just recently. I can not be quite sure that the music I have is done by me and that it is mine. Most of the times I remember myself doing something but I can not think of any details. I can’t say how did I make the track and why it was done like it was.
People often tell me that my music varies greatly, that they can listen to ten of my tracks and all of them have different mood, style and so on. They sound as if they were made by different artists. Of course, I introduce something own, my fingerprint. But all the ideas, I’d rather say, are not mine.
Some knowing people told me recently that the things, that happen to me, are described in psychiatry, and may be defined as a mental decease. In the church I’ve learned that this is called possession
Artem did not have that nick for the whole time. At first he used different nicknames to label his CDs, like: HexJoy 16, Affect Mould, Casket Lowrance
In the summer 2003, before taking a part in SunVibes festival, Artem tried to choose one of those names, but realized that all of them were not proper. At the same time he was working on a program meant to generate fractals and strange attractors (that was a graduation work in his college). He had to search the Web for the information on the topic. During his browsing Artem hit some American website with the following remark: “Fractal Geometry is such a difficult and strange science that you’ll better not even try to understand what it is. If you’re not a math geek, of course”. Artem thought that it was funny and he made a decision: if he worked with fractal geometry and quite understood what it all was about he was a real Math Geek.
Since that Math Geek takes part in SunVibes (Altai) annually. He had also performed at Kazantip 2005 (Crimea), at festival mini-actions of Heavy Mental, at a number of open-air and club parties at Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk. (Heavy Mental is a community of electronic musicians from Siberia. Artem Stepanov is one of its creators and inspirers. The community members are the people who Math Geek respects and who he follows the same path with).
As gurus and like-minded people Artem, above all, lists Aphex Twin, Solar X, Bogdan Raczynski, Orbital, The Orb. He also admires Boris Grebenshikov, early Kraftwerk and the musical style of Happy Hardcore like Mark’Oh and Blumchen.
I like the fact that this music has a strong energy and emotions, even if they are dumb. I suppose that Happy Hardcore is a genial and undeservedly forgotten phenomenon. It’s the same as IDM, but more simple and comprehensible. I like it when there are, let’s say, fast and rough beat throbs with a hard acid-bass layed over, and it almost makes me cry, because there also is a beautiful and touching melody.
At this time you can even feel the so-called illusion of happiness. I enjoy this effect. It’s a real IDM-effect.
Listen to some music by Math Geek: