Photo: Press (Queer On Acid)

Bogdan Taran and Max Lomov have released music under the guise Phonetica and are still active as Taran & Lomov, however in recent times also debuted as Queer On Acid. The Riga duo, who runs the Amber Muse label, radio show, and event series, has collaborated with Robert Owens and released EPs on Josh Wink’s Ovum as well as recently on the Pets sublabel Step. Somewhat unsurprisingly for such a prolific duo, they already have more releases, a secret collaborative project and a full-length album under their Taran & Lomov name in the pipeline. Their mix for our Groove podcast offers a foretaste in the shape of a new track from their upcoming EP for Kneaded Pains.


You have known each other for roughly two decades, have worked together as a production team under different names and have also been running the Amber Muse label, radio show, and event series. What characterises your working relationship?

Our working relationship goes hand in hand with personal relationship and friendship. And all the work develops in a natural way, which benefits the professional development in our case!

You debuted as Queer On Acid in 2019 on the eponymous label. How would you describe the philosophy behind this project as opposed to previous ones like Taran & Lomov?

We are quite eclectic when it comes to sets and music production, and at some point, we realised that one project to put into life all the ideas that are in our heads is simply not enough. So as not to interfere with everything in the heap, we decided to divide the musical ideas into projects. Queer On Acid started with us finishing some Taran & Lomov tracks that were on the shelf and decided to release them to the world under a playful name, which eventually grew into a separate project. In terms of musical differences, Taran & Lomov’s sound is on the deep techno and electronica side, while Queer On Acid is more of a dancefloor-oriented story, house mixed with techno with roots in the 1990s.

What does your joint working process in the studio look like? Do you have fixed roles when working on music?

Usually Max makes drafts, the basis, which we then listen to together, discuss and twist to the final versions.

For a recent EP on Takeout, you’ve teamed up with house legend Robert Owens. How did the collaboration come about and what did your working process look like with him?

We met Robert in the 2000s, when he came to perform in Riga. After that, in the last decade, we became friends when we invited him to our parties several times. On one of his visits, we thought why not make a track or two together. We made some instrumentals that we sent him with mood ideas. He wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals in a Berlin studio, and sent it back to us. Then we worked with his vocal parts in Riga to get the result. And in fact, the release with Robert became the one when Queer On Acid became a self-sufficient project – then we produced tracks in a certain direction. We would like to say special thanks to Shadow Child for believing in the project. Even despite the pandemic which began then, he was able to release the EP as a vinyl record on his new Takeout label.

Your latest release was the Cruising EP for Pets’ Step sublabel. What served as the inspiration for this release?

The inspiration for this release was 1990s techno and house. Bogdan started DJing in that decade and made a huge collection of records, so some of the inspiration comes from that era. At that time there was a lot of music with techno grooves and deep, house chords – we like this approach, which we embody in our records. This approach is clearly audible in the track “Keep On Reachin“.

You have been prolific remixers as well. How would you describe your approach to remixing someone else’s music?

We can’t say that we’re prolific remixers, but the remixes we’ve made have shot well. The last one was for Terr and Daniel Watts’ “Bring The Future” and the Clash Lion label. Terr had previously played our production “Give Ya Luv” from the second EP on Takeout. And when she asked us to do a remix, we tried to convey the percussive spirit of this track using the original parts. When remixing, we try to use the original stems to the maximum, putting them on our groove. In the case of “Bring The Future”, the original theme is clearly audible, while the new chords and drumline show the track from a completely different side.

Throughout your career, you have picked up on different musical styles. What kind of sound are you currently interested in as DJs?

Just like in music production, in DJing we play under several names. As Queer On Acid we love to play old tracks mixed with new music, love to dig into old records to discover “new” tracks for ourselves. As Taran & Lomov we’re more focused on deep techno and electronica, we are fond of broken rhythms, which is well reflected in our “Pravo” EP on Josh Wink’s label Ovum. Also, Max has a solo project East Cho which he uses to produce and play dark disco and indie dance tunes.

What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?

We wanted this mix to be nice to listen to as a kicky accompaniment for a productive workday, and so that it could serve as a great soundtrack for a home party – from house to techno, everything we love.

Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?

In August, Dense & Pika will release our new EP Rollerblader on their Kneaded Pains, one of the tracks from it is featured in the mix. Step will release another EP with a remix by Lupe in autumn. In general, there is always a lot of music in production. We also started working on a collab with a well-known queer duo whose name we will not name yet, let it be a secret! And we have the debut album by Taran & Lomov ready, and are currently looking for a label to release it with.

Stream: Queer On Acid – Groove Podcast 344

01. Alienage – Filter Funkard (Holding Hands Records)
02. LB aka LABAT – Nimbus 2000 (Poumpet Records)
03. Almaty – Gennaro (Naive)
04. Queer On Acid ft Robert Owens – In My Life (Unreleased Dub) (Takeout)
05. Humanbot – Stammgast (Sowasvon)
06. K-Hand – Sound 6 (trip)
07. Pangaea – Fuzzy Logic (Hessle Audio)
08. Spettro – Insurgentes (Lucidflow)
09. Ben Klock & Fadi Mohem – Hydrocarbon (Klockworks)
10. Queer On Acid – Psycho (forthcoming Kneaded Pains)
11, Zenker Brothers – Look Precisely (Ilian Tape)
12. Samuel L Session & Van Czar – Butterfly (Hardgroove)
13. Queer On Acid – Give Ya Lav (Takeout)
14. Luke Vibert – Disco Derriere (Hypercolour)

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